Pediatric dentists specialize in the specific oral health care needs of children, from infants to teenagers.
At Smile Town Langley, we're sometimes asked, ‘what, exactly, is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?’
Parents often wonder what training, education, and qualities make a pediatric dentist specially qualified to treat children. Here's a quick review of what pediatric dentists do, and how we're different.
Qualifications & Training
Pediatric Dentistry is one of only 9 dental specialties recognized by the Canadian Dental Association.
To become a dentist, each aspiring candidate must go to dental school. Some of them move on to practice as dentists immediately upon completion; these are general dentists.
To qualify as a pediatric dentist in Canada, dental school graduates must complete further education and training in an accredited pediatric dentistry education program. They must hold this specialty designation from a Provincial Dental Regulatory Authority.
What do Pediatric Dentists do?
Pediatric dentists are specially trained in the unique oral health care of children, including all ages from infants to teenagers.
Some of the areas that pediatric dentists deal with on a daily basis include the following:
- Infant oral health exams - including risk assessment for cavities
- Preventive dental care - including oral hygiene, check ups, fluoride treatments, and nutritional and dietary recommendations
- Habit counseling - thumb sucking and pacifier habit breaking
- Early orthodontic assessment & treatment - straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (malocclusion)
- Fillings for tooth cavities or defects
- Diagnoses of oral conditions associated with diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, hay fever, congenital heart defects, and ADD / ADHD
- Management of gum diseases
- Treatment of dental injuries (for example, fractured, broken, or knocked-out teeth)