Pediatric Dentist Age Range
If you’re wondering about pediatric dentistry and the pediatric dentist age limit, you’ve come to the right place. Just as it is important that you take your children to a pediatric doctor for health checkups, it is equally important to see a pediatric dentist for oral hygiene. At The Super Dentists, our pediatricians have training and expertise to treat children’s developing teeth and potential issues like gum problems, cavities, tooth decay and crowding of the teeth.
“All they do is see kids,” Dr. Hoss said of pediatric dentists. “They are not only very good at everything related to the technical dental needs of the child, but they are also great at understanding child behavior and working with children who have special needs.”
Pediatric practitioners are also great at educating parents using the latest information on best practices for daily mouth hygiene.
What’s the Difference Between Pediatric and Adult Dental Care / Services?
While general dentists focus solely on adult teeth, pediatric dentists usually only treat children’s teeth. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) explains that the two-year pediatric dentistry residency program starts after graduating from dental school and immerses dentists in scientific study and clinical experience. “The trainee learns advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures, along with child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation and general anesthesia,” says AAPD.
You can count on your pediatric dentist to be the primary and specialty oral care provider for your children from infancy through adolescence. Here are some key qualities of a pediatric dentist:
- Pediatric dentists complete four years of undergraduate college followed by four years of dental school and at least two more years of extra education focused on pediatric dentistry.
- They are trained to treat children in a way that makes them feel safe and comfortable
- They are trained to educate children about oral healthcare topics using developmentally appropriate language.
- Pediatric dentists include orthodontic assessment and intervention as part of their examination.
- Their offices are usually a fun place to be with kid-oriented toys and activities. Perhaps they are playing kid’s movies on the television in the lobby or offering video games.
- They offer special instruments and materials small enough for tiny mouths.
Should Kids Go to a Pediatric Dentist?
The answer is yes! Kids should absolutely go to a pediatric dentist. Think of pediatric dentists as specialists in their field. Children’s mouths and jaws are still developing, and pediatric dentists are trained to work with developing mouths. Pediatric dentists are trained in how to intervene in a child’s dental problems early to prevent more serious problems down the road.
There are certain dental issues seen exclusively in children. For example, natal teeth require special care, as do childhood cavities.
Pediatric dentists are trained to understand the anatomy of baby teeth and can perform procedures for primary teeth, like a baby root canal for example. When you bring your child to a pediatric dental, here are the specific treatments they can perform:
- Helping your child as the first teeth erupt.
- Dental sealant to help prevent cavities.
- Administering of resin-composite tooth-colored fillings.
- Effective sedation for kids to have a painless and worry-free procedure.
- Guiding children’s teeth into correct positions to help with orthodontics.
“We have flavored gloves and equipment that isn’t as intimidating as what you’ll find in a general dentist’s office,” said Dr. Hoss, co-owner of The Super Dentists. “And we can use lasers a lot of times instead of drills. These things make a big difference to kids.”
What Ages Does a Pediatric Dentist Treat?
Some may ask, what age does pediatric dental stop? If you are wondering if there is a particular pediatric dentist age limit, there is not. The pediatric dentist age range is usually six months to a year old up to 18 years of age, but they may also treat adults with special needs.
Does it Matter if I Don’t Take My Child to a Pediatric Dentist?
A general dentist will be able to meet most of your child’s dental needs and sometimes families opt for a general dentist so the entire family goes to the same office. There are exceptions to the rule, though. If your child has special dental needs, it is wise to take them to a pediatric dentist where they are specialists in children’s oral hygiene.
Special needs children or children who have behavioral problems can benefit from the advanced training that pediatric dentists receive. Pediatric dentists are not just trained in pediatric dentistry, they are also trained in behavior modification and use this training to help all kids improve their oral health.
Are Teens Too Old for Pediatric Dentists?
There is no set pediatric dentist age limit according to pediatric dentists so it is certainly appropriate for teenagers to stay at a pediatric office rather than switching to an adult dentist. Teenagers can decide for themselves when they are ready to transition to a standard dental practice.
While there is no pediatric dentist age range set in stone, there are advantages to teenagers staying put at their pediatric dentist office. For one, the pediatric dentist has knowledge of your teenager’s oral history and is in a better position to assist. If you are wondering when do you stop seeing a pediatric dentist, rest assured that The Super Dentists will always be here to help kids big and small as they transition into adulthood with all of their oral hygiene needs. We grow with you and your teeth!
For more information about pediatric dentistry, call The Super Dentists at 1-855-GO SUPER. The Super Dentist has been reinventing and transforming the dental experience for thousands of kids in San Diego since 1996.