Most people usually take their children to a family or general dentist. However, some children need specialized dental care; it is such a situation when pediatric dentists come into the picture.
As the name suggests, pediatric dentists, or pedodontists, possess unique qualifications that make them eligible to provide dedicated oral health care to children from infancy through their teen years. In addition, pediatric dentists are qualified to treat a younger cohort with special needs or disabilities.
Are you contemplating visiting a pediatric dentist in Kansas City for your child? If yes, then read ahead!
A Brief Overview of Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry is that branch of the dental field dealing with children from infancy to adolescence. Toddlers get their baby teeth during the first six months of their life. By age six or seven, they begin losing their milk teeth, and secondary or permanent teeth take their place.
Without adequate dental care, children are susceptible to oral decay and disease, which can last a lifetime. For instance, early dental caries – an infectious disease – is five times more common in children than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
Thus, specialized and personalized dental care becomes imperative for children, something that pediatric dentists can provide. Pediatric dentists are special expertise in treating children from birth to college. In addition, they will also work with patients with special needs above the age of 18.
Pediatric dentists complete a program that treats children who need gentler care and deals with kids and teenagers with special needs and disabilities. The program usually entails two to three years of further training after dental school.
In addition, pediatric dentists work in hospitals and children’s wards and manage patients needing urgent dental treatment. They also have the necessary training in orthodontic teeth-straightening methods.
You can sometimes find pediatric dentists teaching in dental schools or working in hospital training facilities to conduct research and develop better methods of preventing oral health problems in children. In a nutshell, some of the prime responsibilities of a pediatric dentist Kansas City area –
- Conducting oral health exams
- Teeth cleaning and fluoride treatments
- Cavity removal
- Diagnosis and early treatment to straighten teeth
- Correct an improper bite in a timely fashion
- Repairing dental injuries like displaced or fractured teeth
- Gum disease management
- Prevention of pediatric periodontal disease
- Early detection of oral health conditions resulting from diabetes, asthma, ADHD, hay fever, and more
Benefits of Visiting a Pediatric Dentist
About 1 out of 5 children aged five to 11 years have at least one untreated tooth decay. Such jarring figures make it necessary to take children to pediatric dentists for special care. The benefits of consulting a pediatric dentist are many.
They first focus on oral health and disease prevention/treatment among the young cohort. In addition, pediatric dentists are experts at explaining procedures to children and forging trust with their young patients. Patients and other pediatric dental professionals in a pediatric dentistry clinic also receive advice on managing children’s dental health best.
According to AAPD, some of the techniques that pediatric dentists utilize to communicate with young patients are-
- Tone: Pediatric dentists use a soothing or friendlier tone to build a trusting bond with their younger patients and demystify appointments.
- Tell-show-do is a communication mechanism wherein the dentist explains the treatment to children in a lexicon that the kids understand. A preemptive explanation of the dental procedure is an excellent way to bond with the child patient and assuage their fears.
- Positive Reinforcement – Pediatric dentists also praise their patients for good behavior, such as sitting still, following instructions, and so forth.
Why Choose Pediatric Dentists Over General Dentists?
To begin, remember that all general dentists, including those specializing in pediatric dentistry, receive instruction from pediatric specialists throughout dental school. Some generic dentists are more comfortable dealing with small children and common childhood dental needs than others.
However, if a general dentist is uncomfortable treating your child owing to some complicated oral health issue or because they have special needs, then visiting a pediatric dentist becomes mandatory.
Furthermore, pediatric dentists teach parents and children the importance of imbibing good oral hygiene and habits that last a lifetime. Finally, it’s important to remember that children react differently to dental visits than adults.
A young toddler, for instance, may experience worry or dread when placed in an unknown situation. If the patient needs much care, that worry might get bad. Thus, considering a pediatric dentist in Kansas City is a good option.
All in all, the dental and oral health needs of some children are starkly different than that of adults. In such a context, pediatric dentistry becomes important. If you feel your child is extremely fearful or anxious about dental visits, consulting a pediatric dentist, such as the ones in KC Dental, can be a good idea.