Our Winnipeg dentists are often asked the difference between a pediatric specialist dentist and a general dentist. Parents tend to wonder if there is any benefit to bringing their children to a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist.
Read below for the outlined key differences between general and pediatric dentists and when it might be beneficial to visit a pediatric specialist.
What is a pediatric dentist?
Qualifications & Training
To become a dentist, you must go to dental school. Some dental school graduates move on immediately to practice as dentists, and these are 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
- Dental care for children with special needs
- Habit counseling: thumb sucking and pacifier habit-breaking
- Fillings for tooth cavities or defects
- Preventive dental care for children: oral hygiene cleaning, fluoride treatments, nutrition and diet recommendations, etc.
- Infant oral health exams, including risk assessment for cavities
- 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, sending children to a pediatric specialist is not necessary.
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.
For children with unusual or more serious dental problems, or for those with disabilities, the specialized training of a pediatric dentist may be required.