Why a Pediatric Dentist?
Why do kids need a Dentist?
One of the simple facts of life in the United States is that shortly after you have a child, you find a pediatrician who cares for your child in sickness and health. They monitor growth and development and intervene when necessary. Unfortunately, not everybody learns that the same process – that is, finding a Pediatric Dentist – should occur so that there is a point of care to monitor and maintain their child’s oral health and dental development as well. This disconnect is surprising, especially when you learn that the CDC identifies caries (cavities) as the most common chronic disease of children.
Why a Pediatric Dentist vs General/Family Dentist?
Just as kids are much more prone to get ear infections and older adults are much more likely to have heart disease, so too children have different dental needs than adults. In an era where technology and healthcare are evolving rapidly and constantly becoming more advanced and complex, it is difficult if not impossible for any one doctor to stay highly skilled in managing all conditions.
A specialist, on the other hand, receives advanced training in a smaller set of conditions, increasing their understanding and mastery in managing them. The majority of dental school training focuses on treating adult teeth. Pediatric dentists learn those same skills, but invest an additional two years where they are taught advanced techniques to prevent and repair cavities specific to the anatomy of baby teeth, as well as how to intercept growth and development issues that can otherwise lead to costly and lengthy orthodontic conditions in the future. During that time we are also trained how to make your child’s experience as pleasant and comfortable as possible, and how to supportively guide them through more difficult procedures.
What is different about a “Board-Certified” Pediatric Dentist?
After their two years of advanced training in pediatric dentistry, pediatric dentists have the opportunity to become board certified. This process not only helps confirm that their level of training meets specific criteria set forth by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, but it also monitors the pediatric dentist annually to make sure they are meeting continuing education objectives and keeping up with new materials, techniques, and standards of care for their specialty. This certification is important enough that hospitals make it a requirement to be part of their medical staff, and most dental schools require it to become a full time educator. It signifies a commitment to excellence and a top-tier level of professionalism within the specialty and in the field of dentistry as a whole.