What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
Children are not just small adults. They are different from adults and have different dental needs. They are still developing in many ways physically including dentition, jaw, and maxillary bone structure. Also, they are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable, understand their development, and recognize the potential concerns to address in a timely manner if needed. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind. As pediatricians are best trained to care for children’s medical health, pediatric dentists are best trained to care for children’s dental health.
What Kind of Training Do Pediatric Dentists Receive?
Pediatric dentists have completed:
- Four years of dental school
- Two additional years of residency training specializing in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs
What is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist?
A board certified pediatric dentist is one who has completed a graduate program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in the specialty of pediatric dentistry, and then passes a rigorous two-part voluntary exam by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). Participation in the certification process is a demonstration of the pediatric dentist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence.
The certification process involves a written Qualifying Examination and an Oral Clinical Examination covering all topics a pediatric dentist should know. Current Diplomates of The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry can be found on the ABPD Diplomate Roster.