Not all dentists are created equal and you will want to be selective in what type of dentists you go to depending on expertise, your age and what procedures you need. When it comes to children, a pediatric dentist is the best for treating child and infant oral health needs. However, a pediatric dentist needs specific training to work well with children and to create an inviting environment where your child will want to be. Find out what a pediatric dentist does, the training they need, and what a good pediatric dentist will look like!
Did you know that a dentist can be considered a surgeon? Dentists are known as dental surgeons, or surgeons who train specifically to work with the mouth. Becoming a dentist takes just as long as it does to become many different kinds of doctors. People training to become dentists must complete 4-5 years of undergraduate education, making sure to complete specific courses in science fields in preparation for medical school. Prospective students must then get into competitive dental schools that only take a certain number of people each year.
Getting into a school requires months of work studying and preparing for rigorous tests that will test for the best candidates. Once accepted, students will have to complete at least 4 years of dental school, where they then do additional training or fellowships. Once students have completed both undergraduate schooling and earned a DDS or DMD (dental) degree, they have to register with various councils in order to practice dentistry on patients. Every year there are continuing education courses dentists must take and pass well, making sure to train in new dental technology. If you visit a dentist frequently, then you can be sure you have a professional working on you that has been to school for about a decade training in all areas of your face and mouth.
Remember how we mentioned fellowships and additional training? That is what sets different dentists apart. Dentistry is a field full of dental professionals who train in specific functions of the face and mouth. You have professionals that only focus on gum disease (periodontics), oral surgeons (oral and maxillofacial surgery/craniofacial), cosmetic dentists, endodontists (that only do root canals), and many more specialists. A pediatric dentist is a dentist that has obtained post-dental school education for infants and children.
Part of that adaptation requires a pediatric dental residency, which provides hands-on training and coursework for child dentistry, orthodontics, development, psychology and infant oral care. For example, Dr. Nam at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is trained in child psychology, which she uses for every patient she sees. From newborns to adults, she knows how patients think and what worries them when it comes to dental work.
Often, a pediatric dentist will work closely with organizations specific to children. Dr. Nam is a team member with the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, a facility that treats and heals more children than any hospital in a 7-state region. She also is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and is a mother herself. Her training in child psychology and experience with countless children help make her a skilled pediatric dentist.
Do you have a child? You should consider taking them to a pediatric dentist! All certified DDS and DMD dentists are trained to work on a patient’s mouth to help rid it of tooth decay, gum disease and oral health problems. However, general dentists are trained in a very broad spectrum instead of being trained specifically to work with children. Because our practice is centered only on pediatric dentistry, you can be sure that your child’s needs are met not only physically, but psychologically.
Things you will find with a pediatric dentist in their office is:
Many people go to various dental offices until they find one that they like. That is especially true when working with children, as children can get anxious about dental work. This is one of the reasons it’s important to start children off with dental visits when they are still infants. They get used to being a dental office and they know what to expect from their time there. Equipment is smaller—or “child-sized”—and less intimidating than a normal dental office.
A pediatric dentist will be nice and inviting for your child, helping to cultivate good feelings about dental work. Pediatric dentists will are the most gentle for children and infants out of all the dentists out there. If you have a child, definitely consider taking them to a pediatric dentist. To learn more about our pediatric dentist and staff, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003!