Pediatric Dentist and Regular Dentist, what’s the difference?
Surprisingly the most common question in a mother’s mind regarding their children’s oral health is, “Can I take my child to my own dentist?” If we may give an answer to that then it would be, No; it is for the same reason why you have pediatricians for your child and an ob-gyn for you.
Contrary to popular belief, not all dentists are the same. This is not only by character but by profession as well. An Orthodontist would be different from an Endodontist, where the first specializes in physically visible dental abnormalities, while the latter deals with diseases in the tissues, blood vessels, and nerves inside the tooth.
A child’s teeth are definitely more sensitive than an adult’s; not giving their teeth the proper care it require would only result to decay and can highly affect the development of their permanent teeth; the same goes for adults.
A Pediatric dentist, or professionally known as Pedodontist, are general dentists who completed two or more years of training after dental school. Their training was consisted of a detailed education concerning childhood development, orthodontics and child psychology. There is no doubt that an experienced Pedodontist would know how to handle kids during their teeth development stages, as they have worked with them for the rest of their dental career. Many Pedodontist would normally offer educational materials to help both the child and parent learn about dental hygiene.
On the other hand, a General Dentist did not undergo any special training after getting their credentials of DDS or DMD; it wouldn’t be necessary if they aren’t focusing on a single field. It is safe to say that they are the multi-taskers of the dental industry, for they know any prevailing concerns regarding teeth. General dentists cater to a wider age group and usually take full responsibility of diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services to meet the patient’s oral health needs. But the service they provide are limited to basic dental worries, such as fillings, root canals, crowns, veneers, bridges, gum care and as well as preventive education. For significant conditions, credible dentists would recommend going to dental specialist; for example, a Pedodontist.
Another notable difference between a Pediatric Dentist to a Regular Dentist would be equipments. Pedodontist uses special equipments for children, like smaller x-ray film and smaller drills because of the natural fragileness of milk teeth. Primary, milk, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons — Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, but they also aid in forming a path for permanent teeth; this can influence a person’s confidence as he/she grows up.
It is advisable to send your baby to a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears, as bacteria may also start forming early on. Study reveals that aged 16-18 can still be checked by Pediatric dentists since they may still have milk teeth molars and premolars; and by the age of 21, a person, on average, would have fully developed teeth.
The treatment for baby teeth is also different than an adult. An adult would only need to see a dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups (if they don’t have any serious dental problem or dental enhancement). But a child’s teeth require more special attention. Dentists would recommend parents to bring their children for check-up every 6 months to monitor the formulation of the teeth and promptly treat any developing problems. Also, regular visits can help your child build their trust with their Pedodontist, avoiding dental fears like what some adults experience now.
In this case, to save the trouble of having a General Dentist diagnose your child to be sent to a Pedodontist, it would be wiser to go straight to the source.
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