Have you been curious about why we call ourselves pediatric dentists?
There are three main differences between pediatric dentists and general dentists. Read on to learn more!
Pediatric Dentists have more training
In essence, general dentists are like primary care physicians, and pediatric dentists are like pediatricians.
Pediatric dentists have undergone even more training than general dentists so that they can diagnose, treat, and manage dental conditions specifically in children. Unlike “family” dentists, pediatric dentists do not treat adult patients. They only see children from birth through young adulthood (approximately 18-22 years old).
All dentists must earn an undergraduate degree and attend dental school. However, pediatric dentists then go on to complete an additional 2-3 years of intensive pediatric dental training, which is specifically focused on treating the unique dental issues of children and teens.
During this intensive specialization, pediatric dentists learn about subjects like pediatric sedation, children’s orthodontics, child psychology, and child development. Pediatric dentists also receive additional training to create the best possible dentist-visit experience for children with disabilities or emotional issues.
Some pediatric dentists chose to practice general dentistry before specializing in pediatric dentistry, which can give them extra insight into the long-term effects of dental hygiene habits.
After completing these years of additional training, pediatric dentists must then pass even more state requirements and examinations. Only after passing all examinations can they be certified as a pediatric dentist and begin practicing.
Pediatric Dentists have more experience connecting with children
Does your child get nervous about going to the dentist? Have they had a bad experience with a filling?
Addressing a child’s fears and anxieties with compassion is precisely what sets pediatric dentists apart from general dentists. Pediatric dentists have extensive experience talking with children, dealing with their emotions, and easing their fears. At Warr Pediatric Dental Associates, we only see children so that’s what we do all day long!
One way that pediatric dentists connect with children is by talking in terms that they can relate to. This helps your child to understand and feel ownership of the cleaning process and reduces the overwhelming feeling that comes with having too much information.
Pediatric dentists also use smaller dental equipment than general dentists. Pediatric dental tools are specially designed for a child’s mouth, which makes cleanings and other treatments more comfortable for your child.
The additional training that pediatric dentists undergo (described above) also includes dealing with extreme dental cases in hospitals. This means that no matter how scary the situation may feel for your child, a pediatric dentist can calmly and confidently handle any necessary treatment.
Many pediatric dentists (including Dr. Warr) also design their offices with fun and relaxing decor to make the experience as comforting as possible. Every element in our office is carefully considered and designed to make your child comfortable. Our open bay concept is unique to a pediatric dental office. It provides open space for your child, which means they can see other children getting their teeth cleaned. The TV and iPads help to keep your child entertained while we clean their teeth. Even the colors and pictures in our office were especially selected to create a fun environment and distract our anxious patients. They absolutely love the atmosphere that we’ve created for them!
Pediatric Dentists focus on baby teeth and preventative treatments
General dentists do a great job of working with children where it’s warranted but a pediatric dentist will take care of the times when behavior, crowns and fillings may be beyond their scope. Just as pediatric dentists aren’t equipped to take care of older adults and their needs, a pediatric dentist takes on those special cases where your general dentist may not be able to complete the job. As a team we will work to make sure that your child gets the best care possible.
Pediatric dentists focus on teaching your child to care for their teeth in ways that they can understand. Each assistant has been trained to talk with both parents and patients in ways that include your child in their oral health regimen. Each approach must be age specific and tailored for each child.
Pediatric dentists also work directly with parents to design routines that will foster positive dental hygiene habits for their child. While every child is different, pediatric dentists are prepared to help any child develop foundational dental care habits that will support lifelong oral health.
Beyond these habits, pediatric dentists also educate parents and children about preventative treatment options, such as sealants and fluoride treatments. Preventing tooth decay, rather than treating it once it has occurred, is the priority for pediatric dentists.
At Warr Pediatric Dental Associates, we pride ourselves on our ability to care for our child patients with the utmost respect and compassion. If you don’t already have a dental home, give us a call at 336-887-9277 to set up a visit with our pediatric dentists. Bonus: if your child is under 2, the first visit is free!