Many dentists advertise that they are family dentists and can treat patients of any age, but when it comes to the dental needs of children, some parents prefer a specialist. This is where a pediatric dentist comes in. The difference between a pediatric dentist and a family or general dentist goes beyond the fact that pediatric dentists only see young patients. They are specialists in the oral health needs of children, and have received specialized training reaching far beyond the requirements of general dentistry.
A pediatric dentist must complete the same educational requirements as a general dentist. After this training is complete, the education of a dentist who wishes to be a pediatric dentist continues for at least two more years. During this phase of their education, they work exclusively with children and receive training not only in children’s dentistry but also in childhood development and child psychology. Pediatric dentists are trained in behavior management, and they have learned techniques for distracting children and making them as comfortable as possible during office visits. In addition, pediatric dentists have received training in the treatment of special needs children.
Because pediatric dentists focus on young children and teens, they hold the responsibility of instilling a healthy view of the dentist into their new patients. In addition to offering specialized dental treatment for growing children and adolescents, the goal of pediatric dentistry is to teach children that practicing good oral hygiene is necessary for a healthy, white smile. Informing children about early prevention, detection, and maintenance helps to ensure beneficial practices and habits. Offering dental services for young people in a friendly, comfortable environment, pediatric dentists make children feel at home- while instilling a positive feeling of oral health that will last a lifetime.