There are many reasons why people may start to look for a pediatric dentist near me or a pediatric dentist. Maybe you need kids’ dentistry near me, or an emergency pediatric dentist near me because your little one has had an accident. Or perhaps you need something more mundane like a simple checkup or cleaning and so you start to search the internet for pediatric dentists near me, pediatric dentists, best pediatric dentist near me, emergency pediatric dentist, dentistry for kids, and best pediatric dentist near me.
But what does a pediatric dentist do? Why are kids’ dentists important in the first place? What are the benefits offered by having a pediatric dentist in case of an emergency? Before we answer these questions and more, let’s take a look at what some of the experts in pediatric dentistry have to say on the topic.
Pediatric dentistry is a specialist field that provides primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence (Shah S, 2017).
Although the scope of practice for a pediatric dentist is changing with technological advancements and evidence, it generally consists of behavior guidance, supervision, care regarding orofacial development, care for the medically and developmentally compromised, and so much more (Shah S, 2017).
Other areas include caries prevention, sedation, pharmacological management, and hospital dentistry including other traditional fields of dentistry. In short, pediatric dentists are specifically skilled in the management of the ever-changing stages of dental, physical, and psychosocial development and treating many conditions and diseases distinctive to growing individuals (Shah S, 2017).
What does a pediatric dentist do?
The job of a pediatric dentist is extremely important. A pediatric dentist is the oral health care provider for your child. They can do things like providing treatment for dental issues; provide advice, direction, and recommendations about different types of treatments; help give instruction on what to do for caring for the gums and teeth of children and infants; as well as be there in case of any and all dental emergencies your little one may face.
This is why pediatric dentistry is such an important focus of dental medicine and why not every dentist is certified as a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists spend an extra few years at dental college getting the additional accreditation as the dental needs of children are not always identical to the dental needs of adults. Pediatric dentistry is in fact a higher-level specialization allowing you to rest assured that your little one is going to have the best care available.
Why is kids’ dentistry important?
Kids’ dentistry is important for many reasons, not the least of which we’ve mentioned above, but sometimes dentistry can be as simple as getting your children into the good habits of visiting a dentist. Even if there is nothing particularly to be concerned about when it comes to your children’s dental care, it’s always best to still have regular dental appointments anyway as not only can these catch any issues that might arise but they will also give you the additional benefit of treating your children in the method of best dental practice and hygiene such as visiting the dentist office regularly. Children who visit the dentist become adults who have no fear of the dentist and thus are ready and able to visit them to deal with any dental concerns and considerations they may have.
How old are pediatric dentists’ patients?
Pediatric dental patients can be of a wide variety of ages. It is most common to think of them as elementary school children. The fact of the matter is that a pediatric dentist can work with patients from infants all the way up to adults who happen to have pediatric issues. There are some individuals who struggle with losing their baby teeth even as adults and so this would definitely fall into the category of the type of services that a pediatric dentist could provide.
However, the reason there is the elementary school stereotype is that is by and large they are the most common patients. The vast majority of people are not seeking out dental or oral health care tips concerning their babies nor are most teenagers likely to need to go to the pediatric dentist. So apart from these outliers, the average age will be usually from about 5 or so through to the early teen years.
What treatment modalities are offered by the pediatric dentist?
There are a wide variety of treatments that are available for an even wider array of concerns. Perhaps you’re worried about overbite, overjet, underbite, cavities, loose teeth, teeth coming in at odd angles, children who grind their teeth, and so on. The fact is if there is an oral health problem for your child, then there is likely to be some kind of treatment for it.
Of course, when most people think of treatments, their mind almost inevitably goes to braces. That is not surprising as braces are certainly the most visible of all types of dental treatments, especially for children. While there are types of braces that are nearly invisible, most parents do not find it practical or economically sensible to get them for their children.
Elementary schoolers wearing braces are such a common sight that there is little to no stigma in the wearing of braces although they can be uncomfortable. Their affordability combined with their speed, effectiveness, and the fact that a child cannot misplace or lose them make them by far the most common type of orthodontic treatment for elementary school children.
What benefits do pediatric dentists offer to children?
The benefits of a pediatric dentist to a child are truly innumerable. The fact of the matter is that dental care is extremely important as good dental care and habits of good oral health care are things that can change an individual’s life. As mentioned earlier, children who visit the dentist regularly become adults who visit the dentist regularly which means that even long after you are gone your child, will still be reaping the benefits of the oral healthcare practices that you taught them.
The benefits that a pediatric dentist can offer a child can include things like less oral health pain, better prognosis and treatments when it comes to dealing with oral health problems, finding and identifying issues before they become painful, invasive, or expensive, and a whole host of other benefits. Essentially, just know that the pediatric dentist is there for your child and their oral health needs, and the more often you visit, the better positioned you will be to protect the health of your child and ensure their future well-being.
Shah S. (2017). Paediatric dentistry- novel evolvement.Annals of medicine and surgery (2012), 25, 21–29.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amsu.2017.12.005