When your child is first born you spend lots of time at the pediatrician’s office for well visits. During the first years of life, “check-ups” occur often; in fact, your child has 10+ well visits by the age of two. Would you trust just any doctor to monitor your child’s health or a doctor that specializes and has been extensively trained in the growth and development of children? When it comes to your child’s dental care, you should be asking yourself the same question and consider choosing a pediatric dentist.
A Pediatric Dentist is the pediatrician of dentistry because they provide oral care strictly to infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. To acquire this knowledge, they must attend a 2-3 year specialty dental educational program that focuses on pediatric dental training after the completion of a four year dental school. This additional training includes various areas of study:
- child psychology
- child oral trauma
- advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures
- oral pathology
- child-related pharmacology
- child development
- care for patients with special needs
- conscious sedation and general anesthesia.
If you are a parent you know that children are not always patient and/or cooperative. A pediatric dentist knows how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. They also use specially designed equipment and an office environment that is welcoming to children increasing their comfort level. For example, at Kids Teeth children can enjoy an indoor pirate ship playground or a movie during their procedure.
Still not sure if a pediatric dentist is the right fit for your family? Take a moment to learn a little more about why Dr. Will & Dr. Mike choose become board certified pediatric dentists and get a glimpse of their daily responsibilities.
Why did you choose this career path?
Dr. Will: “Growing up, I would work with children through church youth groups and several years at summer camps. I have also always enjoyed working with my hands. Pediatric dentistry allows me to continue to do both while providing a service to improve children’s health.”
Dr. Mike: “I have always loved working with children. Both of my parents were school teachers and I grew up working at summer camps and teaching swimming lessons to kids. Childhood education and development has always been a passion and enjoyment of mine. After dental school I decided to pursue a specialty in pediatrics so that I could continue serving children and families in the most comprehensive and comfortable way.”
What challenges do you overcome daily in your profession?
Dr. Will: “Children are just as diverse as adults. No one level of anxiety is the same as another. Some have a different source of fears than others. We are routinely challenged by determining which treatment (if any) is warranted based upon a child’s age, anxiety, amount of treatment needed, medical history, and stage of dental development. Then, our goal is to educate the entire family on proven proper hygiene practices and safe ways to comfortably render any needed treatment while dispelling myths about baby teeth, flossing, and Internet-based medical philosophies.”
Dr. Mike: “As pediatric dentists we have a large variety of daily appointment types and consultations ranging from infant exams concentrating on prevention and education to an adolescent or young adult that needs restorative treatment or evaluation of wisdom teeth. We see emergencies for oral and dental trauma for the young patients learning to walk to the teenager who gets injured playing sports. We follow the growth and development of infants and toddlers as their primary teeth erupt, monitor the transitioning stages (primary to permanent) of tooth development for the front teeth 5-8 year olds and the back teeth in the 10-12 year olds. As they finish getting their teeth as teenagers we follow patients for orthodontic treatment and Wisdom tooth development. We are always focused on oral health with an emphasis on education and prevention. When there is a need for restorative or surgical treatment we are trained in behavior management and sedation when necessary. We get to team with patients and parents daily to encourage good oral hygiene and dietary habits that set children up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.”
Are you ready to schedule your child’s visit to the pediatric dentist? Give us a call or visit our website to submit an appointment request. Don’t forget, children 18 months and younger are complimentary. We look forward to meeting you soon!