Are you curious whether you should take your child to a pediatric dentist or if a general dentist will suffice? This is a common question among parents with children that are due for a visit to the dentist. More often than not, a pediatric dentist is best for younger children, especially if it is their first time visiting the dentist. Below, we will take a closer look at what a pediatric dentist is, what type of training they have, and what kind of treatment they offer.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a dental professional who is dedicated to the oral health of children, including infants and teens. This type of dentist has the qualifications and expertise to care for your child’s oral health until they become an adult.
What Type of Training Do Pediatric Dentists Undergo?
Pediatric dentists go through at least four years of dental school like other dentists. In addition, they have two additional years of residency training that is specific to children.
What Kind of Treatment Is Offered by Pediatric Dentists?
At Pediatric Dental Specialists, we offer a wide range of dental services for children. Here is a look at the most common services offered by pediatric dentists, including the ones at our practice.
Routine Oral Health Checkups
Dental health plays a considerable role in your child’s overall well-being. Routine dental checkups typically involve a professional cleaning and examination to ensure your child’s teeth are clean and developing properly. These checkups are recommended every six months.
Children should undergo dental X-rays at least once per year to help detect any problems that may be present beneath the surface of the gums and teeth. X-rays can identify teeth with decay, alignment issues, and impacted teeth, often solving problems before they occur.
Tooth decay and cavities can be common in children. It is important that these are treated as early as possible to avoid unnecessary pain and the problem from worsening. When a dentist fills those cavities, it will restore the tooth to its normal function while helping to prevent the future decay of that tooth.
Sealants are a preventative measure in pediatric dentistry. They are particularly helpful for when teeth are still growing. They serve as a quick and easy way to prevent the formation of cavities in the first place. The sealant is a very thin coating that is applied to the top of the tooth (the chewing surface). Sealants are shown to prevent as many as 80 percent of molar cavities.
Fluoride treatments are another preventative measure designed to help protect the teeth. Fluoride varnish is applied to the entire surface of each tooth with a small brush. It is a quick and painless procedure. Generally, patients must wait 30 minutes to an hour before eating or drinking after receiving a fluoride treatment.
Although not all pediatric dentists offer orthodontic consultations, the team at Pediatric Dental Specialists does. More often than not, we are the first ones to diagnose orthodontic issues in children since we are examining the mouth on a regular basis. Unlike some dental practices, we provide orthodontic treatment as well.
Other Services Offered by Pediatric Dentists
In addition to the aforementioned treatments, pediatric dentists will often offer advice and tips for parents, guidance regarding diet and nutrition, and resources for developing good oral health habits. While this may be offered by a general dentist, a pediatric dentist is going to be more familiar with the personality and actions of younger children and have some tricks up their sleeve to help you out.
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Although pediatric dentists focus on similar preventative and treatment measures that regular dentists do, pediatric dentists have more experience with small children. They know how to build trust with their younger clientele and how to explain complicated and scary dental procedures to children.
A pediatric dentist will often have a friendlier and more soothing tone when speaking to their young patients to help them feel more comfortable. Positive reinforcement is commonly used by pediatric dentists as well. A pediatric dentist will also help educate parents on the most appropriate way to take care of their child’s dental health.
When children enter unfamiliar surroundings, they can sometimes become fearful or anxious. A pediatric dentist is trained to handle a variety of behavioral situations.
Looking for a Pediatric Dentist in Kansas City?
With multiple locations throughout the Kansas City area, Pediatric Dental Specialists offer a variety of pediatric dentistry services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child or with any questions you have regarding pediatric dental care.