What is Pediatric Dentistry?
The study involving pedodontia is also referred to as Pediatric dentistry or Pedodontics. This is a branch in dentistry involves treating kids, teenagers, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists undergo three years of extra training to develop comprehensive practical knowledge. This is necessary for dealing with dental issues with respect to kids. Children need specialized care as their teeth differ from adult teeth. For example, kids are very anxious about visiting a doctor. As the shape, size anatomy of every tooth differs from that of an adult kids need specialized care.
When it comes to practicing pediatric dentistry, most of the pedodontists own exclusive pediatric dental practices catering to Kids. They start their day in the morning after planning a dental visit for their patients. Most of them are members of the American academy of pediatric dentistry and have to follow certain guidelines set by them. A day as a Pedodontist involves advice diagnosis or treatment and treating lesions such as dental caries, gum diseases, allowing the eruption of permanent teeth. Space maintainers go a long way in oral health care as they reserve the space for the eruption of permanent teeth.
What does a pediatric dentist do?
The main role of pediatric dentists is to provide dental care for children. Many kids these days are prone to tooth decay. This is detrimental to dental health and its a challenge for many pediatric dentists to treat children with early childhood caries. Pedodontists are also trained in preventive dental care during their years in a dental school. Most of them work in a specially designed pediatric dental clinic for kids with state of the art dental equipment & instruments.
Oral Health for kids
The age when kids have a mixed dentition, where the milk teeth are falling off to allow the eruption of the permanent teeth. This can be a challenging period and oral health education for kids can go a long way in helping them take care of the newly erupting teeth. Pediatric dentists give ample importance to teaching them the right brushing techniques during this age. The child’s parents are also given the necessary education to help their kids during this phase until the age of 13. Flossing and bruising are important at this age. Getting rid of oral habits such as tongue thrusting and thumbsucking help the kids develop a healthy permanent dental arch.
Preventive Dental Treatment for children
Unlike many general dentists, Pediatric dentists give more importance to preventive treatment as prevention is better than cure. Fluoride treatments such as applying fluoride varnish make your child’s teeth more resistant to caries. Pediatric Orthodontists will examine any malocclusion in children so that they can correct the misaligned teeth with early childhood braces for kids.
Many underlying medical conditions are present in kids. Fluorosis due to excess fluoride in drinking water especially in rural India leads to intrinsic staining of your child’s teeth. Many private practices pediatric dentists run are integrated with preventive dental measures. Pit & fissure sealants which prevent food lodgement in deep pits resulting in caries. Dental hygiene care at home for kids during the COVID10 lockdown can be challenging for many parents but should still be prioritised as snacking is usually more frequent and measures such as the fluoride varnish can mitigate the development of cavities during this time.
Is general dentistry substitute for a professional who caters to kids?
Difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist | Orthodontist | Kids dentist
- General dentists are trained in the field of dentistry for five years.
- Pediatric dentists are trained in the field of general dentistry for five years. Followed by the field of pediatric dentistry for three more years amounting to a course lasting for eight years.
- General dentists usually run practices which are suitable for adults and have a more clinical and hospital like atmosphere. Pediatric dentists usually run pediatric dental practices which are designed for kids. They have a hospital free ambiance with a design which is friendly and vibrant with a play area as your kids first visit to the pediatric dentist should be comfortable.
- General dentists use equipment and instruments which are perfect for adult dental care. Pediatric dentists use instruments and equipment for kids, the dental chair is smaller and more comfortable. The dental instruments for kids is different as the anatomy of their teeth varies.
- General dentists have assistants who are clinically trained to cater to their needs. Dental assistants in pediatric dental practice are usually trained to handle kids, making them feel more comfortable during the dental procedure.
- Behavior management is the many priorities for pediatric dentists especially while handling special kids as many patients throw tantrums during dental procedures and handling them can be a challenge.