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What is the difference between a dentist and a pediatric dentist?

Dentistry is one of the oldest professions on the planet. You may be surprised to learn that there is an inscription on the tomb of Hesy-Re who died in 2600BC. It reads “the greatest of those who deal with teeth and of physicians”.

This is the oldest known reference to a dentist and proof that this industry is over 4,500 years old! Yet, despite huge advancements in technology and treatment methods, one in six Australians have a fear of the dentist today. This may be the reason that dentists have adopted different specialties within the field.

One of the most obvious and potentially confusing is the dentist versus the pediatric dentist. Although both of these deal with teeth, the standard dentist deals with adults, while reputable pediatric dentists, such as this pediatric dentist Sydney, deal with children.

In short, that’s the difference between the two.

How They Differ

Pediatric dentists have specialized degrees in dental care for children. These study the development of teeth in children and every pediatric dentist must complete two years of residency training before they can be qualified and start practicing themselves.

The main difference in what they learn comes down to tooth development. From the age of 18, the adult teeth are present and there is little, if any, movement in the mouth. Before this, teeth are still developing and a dentist needs to be aware of when they are dealing with baby teeth or permanent teeth.

This is also the time when a brace is most likely to be fitted. Pediatric dentists have a more in-depth training in how teeth develop and the best techniques to create the perfect smile. If they do their job properly the child will not need corrective dental care as an adult, although they’ll still need regular checkups and cleaning.

Equipment Sizing

Pediatric dentists need more than a deeper understanding of teeth development. They also need to have the right equipment. This is a critical stage in a person’s life when they can develop trust instead of fear of the dentist. Having the rights sized equipment and environment can help children to feel comfortable and start a good relationship with the dental profession.

This is essential for their long-term care and the likelihood of them retaining their teeth into old age.

Bedside Manner

The right training and equipment go a long way but a pediatric dentist also has specific training in talking to and dealing with children. This is essential if they want to give the child the best possible service and help them to have good oral health for life.

They need the very best bedside manner and the ability to inspire confidence in children. This is not an easy task as every child is different, as are their expectations and level of fear.

Of course, they will also know the child’s history and can offer effective emergency care after a trauma or sports injury.

Whether a child or adult it’s important to have regular dental checkups. Oral health is connected to overall health, taking the right steps as a child will be beneficial through life and that starts with a good pediatric dentist.


Posts by SpeakBindas Editorial Team.

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