Pediatric Dentists VS Family Dentists: Know the Difference
Due to the advancement of technology, we have learned how different body parts work at various life stages, which has led to the development of specialized dental practitioners like pediatric dentists. Today, we at Green Tree Dental will discuss the similarities and differences between pediatric dentists and general/family dentists and why it’s essential for a dental office to have both.
Who are Pediatric Dentists?
A pediatric dental practitioner is a dentist who has specialized in children’s oral care while family dentists administer services to both children and adults. For one to specialize in pediatric dentistry, he/she has to first get a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree in diagnosing, treating, and understanding oral issues affecting children. This is followed by two more years of specialized training in the pediatric field through a residency program.
According to dental health experts, kids can start seeing a dentist when they turn six months old until they turn into teenagers. Kids’ dentists use specialized equipment designed to fit inside their mouths without making them uncomfortable. Dental practitioners specializing in kids care, such as those found in our offices, are trained to have a nurturing personality and calm comportment, which helps keep children relaxed during appointments. They also have the skills to handle kids who have issues like autism or those who cannot sit still during treatment.
Qualified pedodontists know and understand that different kids have different oral care needs, meaning that each individual gets their own preventative plan or custom treatment. Sometimes professionals in this field may be required to perform emergency services like in a scenario where a kid has suffered an oral injury when playing sports.
When to See a Pedodontist
Aside from the regular oral exams and care that are scheduled at least twice in 12 months, you should also consider taking your child to an experienced pedodontist if he/she shows any condition or symptom listed below:
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth loss or delayed eruption of teeth
- A dry mouth or bad breath
- Discolored or crooked teeth
- A medical condition like diabetes which raises his/her chances of developing dental problems
- Sudden change in his/her gums, lips, teeth, or tongue
- Swelling of oral tissues like the gums
- Sensitivity to both cold and hot liquids
- Mouth, jaw, or tooth pain
Services Provided by Pediatric Dentists
Pedodontists offer comprehensive care and treatment for various oral diseases and conditions, some of which include:
- Care for teeth trauma such as teeth fractures and displacement
- The repair of dental defects and cavities
- Management of periodontal disease
- Improper bite assessment and treatment
- Infant oral exams
- Diagnosis of oral health conditions that are associated with illnesses like asthma, hyperactivity disorder, heart defect, diabetes, and hay fever
- Habit counseling
- Preventive oral care, which includes fluoride treatments, diet recommendations, and teeth cleaning
Why Some People Prefer Family Dentists Over Pedodontists
Just like a pedodontist, family dentists are trained to tackle oral health problems that both adults and children face. Some parents prefer seeking the services of a family dental professional since they are trained to care for all persons aged between 0 and 100 plus years. This means that their entire family members can go together to the same dental practitioner for scheduled appointments and receive quality services. However, if you know that your kid has behavioral problems or special needs, please ask your family dentist to refer you to a pedodontist.
When your child turns 18 years, he/she can now resume where he/she left off with the family dentist. At this age, young adults are looking for various general dentistry services like teeth whitening, tooth removal, dental crowns, and other cosmetic procedures that will improve their oral health and their teeth’s appearance.
How to Provide Proper Oral Home Care for Your Child
Parents should help their kids practice recommendable oral routine habits to avoid common dental problems. Dentists recommend teaching them the importance of good oral health and reminding them how frequently they should practice it. It’s your responsibility to make sure they know how to clean and floss their teeth properly, the foods they should avoid, and those they should eat for strong and healthy teeth.