Pediatric dentists specialize in dental care for children, from infants to teenagers. Here, our Belleville dentists explain how pediatric dentists are different from general dentists.
What is a pediatric dentist?
Here at Belleville Dental Care, we often have parents ask us how a pediatric dentist differs from a general dentist. In particular, they wonder if there is any benefit to bringing their children to a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist.
Below, our Belleville dentists outline the key differences between general and pediatric dentists and explain when it might be beneficial to visit a pediatric specialist.
Qualifications & Training
Pediatric Dentistry is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the Canadian Dental Association.
To become a dentist, you must go to dental school. Dentists that begin practicing directly after graduating are considered general dentists.
To become a pediatric dentist in Canada, dental school graduates must complete an accredited advanced education program in pediatric dentistry. Once they have completed this program, they will attain a specialty designation from the Provincial Dental Regulatory Authority in their province.
What do pediatric dentists do?
Pediatric dentists have specialized training in the specific oral health care needs of children, ranging from infants to teenagers.
Pediatric dentists address the following dental care needs specific to children:
- Baby teeth care
- Preventive dental care for children: oral hygiene cleaning, fluoride treatments, nutrition and diet recommendations, etc.
- Infant oral health exams, including risk assessment for cavities
- Early orthodontic assessment & treatment: straightening teeth and correcting misalignment and bite problems (malocclusion)
- Dental care for children with disabilities
- Habit counseling: thumb sucking and pacifier habit-breaking
- Fillings for tooth cavities or defects
- Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, congenital heart defect, hay fever, and ADD / ADHD
Does my child need to go to a special dentist for children?
General dentists have the skills and training necessary to care for children's teeth, so in most cases, you do not need to send your child to a pediatric specialist.
That means that you can bring your child to your own dentist, and he or she will be well qualified to care for your child's teeth, including performing routine dental exams.
For children with unusual or more serious dental problems, or for those with disabilities, the specialized training of a pediatric dentist may be required.