Pediatric Dentistry vs General Dentistry? The common perception of dentistry is that it is a medical specialty that only deals with teeth. Pediatric dentistry is one such subfield.
A pediatric dentist, as opposed to a regular dentist, specializes in maintaining and improving children’s oral health throughout all of their developmental phases. However, several parents are unsure of the differences between using a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist.
Parents can decide if it’s worthwhile for their children to receive specialized dental care if they have a better understanding of what pediatric and general dentistry entails.
Comparing Pediatric & General Dentistry
There is no denying that general and pediatric dentistry overlap. However, before deciding on one of these dental clinics, you should be aware of a few key distinctions between them.
Level of Education & Training
General dentists and pediatric dentists both have similar educational and professional backgrounds. Both must finish their undergraduate studies in four years at a college or university before enrolling in and graduating from dentistry school. Their similar educational experiences diverge from this point onward.
Since general dentists don’t need any more training before treating patients, they often only need to complete a residency for at least one year.
Compared to conventional dentists, pediatric dentists will need a higher level of education and training. To learn everything there is to know about the dental health of newborns, kids, and teenagers, pediatric dentists must complete two to three more years of school. Primary dentition (baby teeth), mixed dentition, child development, behavior, psychology, pharmacology, special needs patient care, and pediatric sedation are among the topics they study in those years.
The Key Patient Demographics
There is a reason a general dentist is referred to as such. Simply, a general dentist attends to people’s typical oral health problems. In that situation, the majority of their patients are grownups. Their understanding of dental care mostly focuses on issues unique to permanent teeth, or often adult teeth.
As previously said, pediatric dentists are experts in providing dental treatment for kids of various ages. Because of their education, they can readily interact with children of all ages, including those with special needs. Pediatric dentists can also treat adults with unique needs when it comes to providing treatment for those with special needs.
Available Means of Treatment
Pediatric and regular dentists may generally treat children with many of the same procedures. However, there is a key difference between these two in the way they tackle problems with tooth alignment. If your child needs their teeth straightened, you can anticipate that you won’t get much from a general dentist. A regular dentist will only recommend an orthodontist to you.
You might anticipate having difficulties with tooth alignment dealt with more quickly by a pediatric dentist. Along with their examination, they typically offer an orthodontic pre-assessment. A few pediatric dentists may also be able to provide minimal orthodontic treatment. Early evaluation by a pediatric dentist allows for prompt intervention as opposed to perhaps being placed on a waitlist for an orthodontics office following a referral from another source.
In this way, you not only save yourself a trip to another dentist but also your wallet!
Type of Clinic Environment
Even for adults, going to the dentist may be a scary experience. A pediatric dental clinic is very distinct from a general dental clinic.
Since pediatric dentists treat children, they decorate their offices with vibrant colors, games, and toys to make them feel kid-friendly. A general dentist’s office, on the other hand, might occasionally appear too clinical, which can intimidate or bore a youngster. They set out to make children feel at ease and at ease before a dental visit by opening a pediatric dental clinic.
Additionally, because they are knowledgeable in the best communication strategies for calming down kids, pediatric dentists are better suited to allay any child’s worries. Additionally, by explaining it in terms your child can comprehend, they can make it simpler to promote dental hygiene to your child. A regular dentist may find it difficult to accomplish this, which will cause a child to disregard whatever oral hygiene advice they may offer.
Additionally, they find it simpler to communicate with both adults and children with special needs. Any patient with special needs could have a terrible experience if a general dentist struggles to communicate with them. Given that both pediatric and general dentistry can treat teeth, they might belong under the same category. However, the patients they treat and the quality of treatment they provide differ greatly. A pediatric dentist is preferable to a general dentist for the long-term treatment of a child’s dental health. Additionally, you can be sure that a pediatric dentist will give your child an environment that will encourage them to enquire about their next dental appointment.