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What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a pediatrician of dentistry.  After receiving a Doctor of Dental Surgery, he or she has completed two to three years of specialty training in a residency program, which is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a component of the American Dental Association.

In this “training beyond the usual”, the practitioner can concentrate on medical and dental problems of the oral cavity, as well as the special conditions and treatment procedures, that are unique to infants and children, and patients with special needs. Back to top


What are some of the services you can expect from a specialist?

Before a child is born, you may be able to get pre-natal counseling on what to expect, and what should be done for a newborn’s dental health.  Hopefully, when the 1st teeth erupt at about 6 months of age, they can be protected from the ravages of the feeding bottle.  There are also conditions and diseases in infants and younger children that a specialist can address.  You can also learn about what to do in the case of accidents or habits.  Also, the date of the 1st visit will vary, and can be suggested for each particular child.

The specialist also emphasizes oral care for the growing child, as younger children do not have the coordination or responsibility of older children and adults.  There are optimal times for teeth to be lost, and if necessary, a valuable service is known as space management, and the pediatric dentist can ascertain that age for a particular child and recommend space maintainers and appliances at the right time.  If a child requires braces, the specialist can work together with an orthodontist to properly prepare the teeth for such treatment: interceptive appliances, extractions, etc.

You can also get advice on habits such as: thumb sucking, bulimia, teeth cleaning agents (brushes, toothpastes, floss, etc.), sealants, fluorides and the many advances that have been made through research study and are available for enhancing your child’s oral and dental health.

The pediatric dentist is also your first choice for a child's emergency treatment and referrals for special needs.  By limiting his practice, the trained specialist focuses totally on the needs of your child.  The specialist's treatment equipment, chairs and décor are designed to make an atmosphere that children are familiar and comfortable with.