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What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

February 1, 2024
What Is A Pediatric Dentist

You may have heard of a pediatrician, but what is a pediatric dentist? As you might assume, a pediatric dentist provides dental care for children and teens. A pediatric dentist is different from a general dentist or family dentist who may serve patients of all ages. Pediatric dentists serve only infants, children, and adolescents. 

What makes a pediatric dentist different from other dentists? Here’s what pediatric dental practices do. 

Qualifications of a Pediatric Dentist 

A pediatric dentist must complete all of the qualifications of a general dentist. They must earn an undergraduate degree and then complete dental school to earn their DMD (doctor of medicine in dentistry) or DDS (doctor of dental surgery). Then they must complete a 2-3 year residency program in pediatric dentistry to earn a specialization in the field. 

Pediatric Dental Services 

Many pediatric dental services are the same as general dental services for adults, but some are specific to children. 

  • Preventive and diagnostic. Children need regular teeth cleanings and diagnostic dental X-Rays. Pediatric dentists know what conditions are common for children and what to look for. 
  • Restorative. Cavity fillings, root canals, and other restorative procedures are common for children’s teeth. 
  • Cosmetic. In some cases children may need cosmetic dental services to improve their smiles. 
  • Emergencies. Dental emergencies are common in children, such as toothaches and knocked out teeth. 
  • Orthodontic screenings. Pediatric dentists periodically assess the position of the teeth and bite and may refer children to an orthodontist for treatment when the time is right. 
  • Sedation. Children can often benefit from sedation to help make dental procedures less intimidating. 

Getting Started With Dental Care 

Children should begin receiving professional dental care around the age of one. By this age some of the baby teeth have probably come in and should be cleaned and examined. Many children don’t go to the dentist until they are 2 or 3, which is ok, but earlier visits make it easier for children to get used to the experience of dental appointments. A tooth is susceptible to decay as soon as it is visible above the gums, so as soon as your baby has teeth, they should be going to the dentist every 6 months. 

Typical Age Range for Pediatric Dentistry 

Pediatric dentists typically see patients from infants through teenagers. During these years children are growing and their dental needs are different from those of adults. The baby teeth come in, then they are gradually shed to make room for the permanent teeth, and during it all the jaw is growing. 

Transitioning to an Adult Dental Practice 

There is not a definite age when a teen must transition to an adult dentist, but most reach a point where they feel ready for a more adult setting. They can begin going to the same dentist as their parents, or their pediatric dentist may be able to recommend or refer them to a specific practice. You may also want to look for a place that is in-network with your dental insurance. 

Why Choose Kids & Teens Dental Place? 

If your child is ready to begin dental care, Kids & Teens Dental Place is currently welcoming new patients. We also accept patients transferring from other practices. With over 15 years of experience in pediatric dentistry, we know the specific needs of children and how to best provide dental care for young patients. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry 

Around what age should my child lose their first tooth?

Most children will lose their first tooth around the age of 5 or 6. This may vary depending on the child. The earlier your child’s first baby tooth erupted, the earlier they tend to lose it. 

How do I know if my child has a cavity? 

Regular oral examinations and dental X-Rays can detect cavities when they are very small and easy to treat. If your child has a visible cavity or a toothache, contact us and we will schedule an appointment. 

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

11041 Shadow Creek Parkway Suite 125 Pearland, TX 77584
9540 S. Main St. Ste 100 Houston, TX 77025
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