A pediatric dentist, like a paediatrician, is a dentist who is in charge of dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and management of various dental health conditions on a child patient. While pediatric dentistry is not exactly a specialized skill, there are dental practitioners who will make a decision to go into further education and training to be able to specialize their skill and talents. Dealing with children is not exactly far from dealing with any normal adult patient, but given their age there are anatomical, physiological, mental, social and emotional issues that differentiate a pediatric patient from a normal adult patient, thus signifying the necessity for such. This then brings you to the value of Pediatric Dentistry.
When you make a decision to take your child to a dentist, you have a choice to take your child to a general practitioner or a pediatric dentist. This is a critical decision because it determines a lot of things. When you make a decision to take your child to a dentist, you are privileged to take your child to a general practitioner who is skilled to deal with child patients, but you can also make a decision to take your child to a pediatric dentist who is an expert, someone who has taken extra years of schooling in order to obtain proper knowledge of tackling problems that are special to the needs of a child’s. The dental needs of a child may not be different, but given that their teeth are not exactly similar to that of an adults, their address is not similar.
In terms of anatomy, the teeth of a pediatric patient involves the deciduous teeth (baby teeth) which are only twenty, compared to the thirty-two of the permanent dentition and at a certain phase in an individual’s life, the baby teeth and the permanent teeth, maybe present together in what is referred to the “mixed dentition phase”. Another very important thing to note about dental anatomy is the fact that deciduous teeth have larger pulp canals and exfoliating roots. During the mixed dentition phase, the necessity of dealing with these two sets of teeth becomes a challenge. At one hand, you have a delicate patient whom you cannot wrong and in the other, you have a patient who has simplistic needs but his age pose a difficulty.
Why should every patient value the need to seek a pediatric dentist and why is there a necessity to put importance on a specialty on pediatric dentistry when a general practitioner can very well treat the same conditions?
– The dental treatment is going to be highly specialized. The dentist has received extra training to be an expert in the handling of children and their dental issues. He has undergone extra years to obtain extra knowledge, and this gives him the special skill to meet the needs of patients.
– The dental practice is going to be specialized. Not only is the dental practitioner specialized, but the practice will be devoted to the management of child patients. The equipment and tools will be dedicated to address such issues and the practice will appear to be a place that patients will be more comfortable in.
– The staff will be dedicated to the treatment of children. When a parent makes a decision to take his child to a pediatric dentistry practice, he is taking him to a place where every member of the team is a true expert. From the dental secretary, to the assistant, to the dental hygienist and the technician — the entire dental team that is being supervised by the pediatric dentist has devoted their careers to meeting the needs of child patients.