Pediatric Dentist vs Family Dentist
Often parents wonder whether they should consult either a family dentist for their young child’s tooth problem or a pediatric dentist. Looking at the two terms one can easily guess that pediatric dentist is specifically meant for kids. Still, there might be questions about how they are different from the family dentist.
To understand what sets pediatric dentists apart from family dentists, first we need to understand what comprises family dentistry. In a nutshell, family dentistry provides services for the general maintenance of oral hygiene and health. Typically, they try to ensure that the plaque buildup around the teeth of their patient is at a minimum. They keep tooth decay and cavities at bay, and ensure that the gums are healthy. On the other hand, a pediatric dentist is one who has been trained beyond the dental school to take care of the oral health of kids–right from infanthood through teenage years.
Pediatric dentists complete 4 years of dental school followed by two additional years of residency training in dentistry for kids. That is why they are better equipped to take care of a child’s teeth, mouth and gums during the various stages of childhood. One will agree that kids are not just ‘little adults’ and hence have different ways of reacting to things. Even as adults, a trip to the dentist can make us nervous, so one can only imagine what kids go through. Also, kids might not always be as cooperative during a dental check-up. Since, pediatric dentists are trained to examine and treat children, they know the ways in which to make them feel comfortable. They can lay a positive foundation such that your child will not feel intimidated.
Wondering what kind of treatment pediatric dentists provide? Here is a brief list:
- They conduct the examination of the oral health of infants which are designed to assess the risk of caries in mother and child.They provide preventive dental care which includes cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as diet and nutritional advice.
- In case of any dental injuries to your child, they can provide immediate treatment.
- They can provide you with an early assessment if any teeth straightening treatments that might be needed for correcting an improper bite.
- They can also provide treatment for gum diseases like pediatric periodontal disease, ulcers, mucoceles, etc.
- They offer treatment for repair of tooth cavities or defects.
- If you need a specific diagnosis of oral conditions for your child that can be associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, etc., they are equipped to provide you with a correct assessment.
Some family dentists may have indeed received training in taking care of the oral health of your kids. However, it is reassuring to consult a pediatric dentist as they are specifically trained for the task.