The Scope of a Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentistry is that branch in Gainesville VA dentistry that deals with children from birth to adolescence. Dentists who take up this field of specialization are called pediatric dentists. Their training and skills are geared into the care for a child's teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

It is in the first 6 months of a child's life that he/she starts getting teeth, and by age 6 or 7 years, he/she also loses those baby teeth and are replaced by a secondary, permanent set of teeth. If the child does not have proper dental care, beginning from the time that a complete set of baby teeth is formed, he/she may already face possible oral decay and, worst, disease that may cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Early childhood dental caries is more common in children than children having asthma.

A trained and experienced pediatric dentist knows how to examine and treat children to make them comfortable during a Gainesville VA dental visit. In their dental practice, they use specially designed dental equipment that are arranged and decorated, friendly-looking, with the children in mind. The main job and focus of a pediatric dentist is in providing a comprehensive oral health care, which includes: infant oral health exams that cover risk assessment for caries in mother and child; preventive dental care, which covers cleaning and fluoride treatments, nutrition and diet recommendations; habit counselling on pacifier use and thumb sucking; early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite, which is orthodontics; repair of tooth cavities and defects; early diagnosis of oral conditions that are associated with diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; management of gum diseases and conditions; and care for dental injuries, like fractured, displaced, or knocked-out teeth.

To become a pediatric dentist, you should have four years of dental school and 2 additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens and children with special needs. An important factor, which is needed to be a successful pediatric dentist, aside from the training skills and experience, is to develop good communication and working relationship with the parents, so the parents are able to trust dentist and follow his instructions when needed at home or before and after a surgical procedure is required. The way the pediatric dentist treats his child patients, making the child comfortable, will be a good and enjoyable experience of the child to be confident to go on his/her next dental visits. Most pediatric dentists have their own private practices, but some not only have their private practice, they also associate with their college dentists in terms of being referrals in surgical procedures and other specialized treatments, as well as devoting some of their extra time to teach in dental schools.