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Pediatric Dentistry

female hygienist smiling at a little girl sitting in dental chair

Children have different dental needs as compared to adults, and because of this they should have their own dentist. Pediatric dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on infants and preadolescent children. This specialization is important is ensuring that your child receives the best dental care available to them.

You may be wondering what the difference is between a pediatric dentist as compared to an average dentist. Both dentists begin with similar training; an undergraduate degree in addition to attending dental school and earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. After this base education has been accomplished, pediatric dentists are required to complete an additional two years of training to earn their specialization. This specialized training focuses on the development and management of children’s teeth, child behavior, physical development, and treatment of children with special needs. These additional qualifications make pediatric dentists well-suited to meet your child’s dental needs.

In addition to their qualifications being centered around children, pediatric dental offices also tend to reflect this same focus. As a result, many pediatric dental offices are colorful and kid-friendly. Often times they may even have play areas to make a trip to the dentist a fun experience. The staff is also trained in explaining procedures to children in an appropriate way and can efficiently deal with child-specific issues. This kid-friendly environment will ensure that your child can relax and feel at ease during their dental procedures and will help alleviate excess fear and anxiety.

Like regular dentists, pediatric dentists can offer a wide range of treatment options for your child. Some common pediatric dental treatments include stainless steel crowns, tooth-colored fillings, x-rays, dental cleaning, early orthodontic care, extractions, pulp treatment, sealants, and space maintainers.

Generally speaking, most children may only need to undergo x-rays, teeth cleanings, and possible early orthodontic care. However, if your child develops cavities, they may need to receive a tooth-colored filling to repair the decayed area or a stainless steel crown if the tooth is too damaged to hold the filling. Extractions may also be necessary to remove a decayed tooth, however, this is an extremely rare occurrence. Pulp treatment may also be used in lieu of extraction to treat a decayed or injured tooth. Finally, sealants are plastic coatings placed on the teeth to help prevent the buildup of plaque.

In addition to preventing or treating tooth decay, pediatric dentists can also administer early orthodontic care. They are specially trained to identify developmental problems that may need to be managed with future orthodontia. If caught early, pediatric dentists can help incoming teeth come in better than if left without intervention.

One way of accomplishing this is through the use of space maintainers. This tool holds space in the mouth for the permanent tooth when a baby tooth is lost too soon or extracted. Space maintainers prevent the surrounding teeth from crowding the space where the new tooth will erupt, which could cause the affected tooth to erupt incorrectly.

Overall, there are many benefits to seeing a pediatric dentist here at Forest Hill Family Dental. Not only are their qualifications specialized in your child’s dental needs, but they possess an environment that is conducive to reducing anxiety and fear about dental visits. They also provide a wide range of services to make sure that your child can receive the very best dental care.

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