When it comes to the care of your child, it is essential to find a professional who can confidently handle any and all obstacles. After all, we want the best for our children. Finding a professional for their teeth is no exception. Going to the dentist can be a scary process for young children. Many kids suffer from tooth problems such as straightness and replacement but who do you take them to? Some would say the dentist, but that is incorrect. When it comes to these matters, your child should see what is called a pediatric orthodontist. In this article, we will take a closer look at the differences between the two, what kind of training they require, and how to be a good pediatric orthodontist.
What is a Pediatric Orthodontist?
Pediatric orthodontists specialize in the oral health of children, generally ranging from toddlers to teenagers. They are equipped to care for a child’s teeth, gums and mouth during the stages of childhood. Although this may sound like just a regular dentist, there are a few differences. Pediatric dentists only treat children from the age of infancy through adolescent years. General dentists, on the other hand, treat patients of all ages. Pediatric orthodontists are also usually paid more because of the amount of education involved. Now that we know what is a pediatric orthodontist and how they are different from a general dentist, it is important to look at the education behind the certification.
What Kind of Training do you Need to be a Pediatric Orthodontist?
As with most other professions, dentistry requires an undergraduate education. Any type of dentist will complete five years of training to earn their degree. During that time, they will gain practical skills, working under close supervision at a variety of hospital and community clinics. Once a general dentist has achieved their degree, they can move onto the next step. After earning a bachelorette, students then must attend postgraduate dental school. This furthers their skill set with foundational training, dental core training, and specialization. Once undergraduate and postgraduate dental training has been completed, an individual hoping to practice as a dentist needs to register with the General Dental Council, or GDC. They are responsible for setting the standards for oral care. Once passed, the individual can then practice as a dentist.
The steps for becoming a pediatric orthodontist are somewhat similar to that of a general dentist with a few additions. So then what kind of training do you need to be a pediatric orthodontist? Just as with any individuals hoping to become a dentist, there must be the completion of an undergraduate degree. This may take three to four years to achieve. This degree can be in a science program. Once an undergraduate degree is accomplished, the individual must move on to dental school. With the general dentist, this is where they were able to take the test and gain their license. However, that is not the case for someone hoping to become a pediatric orthodontist. In addition to the same schooling as a general dentist, a pediatric orthodontist must complete a two-year residency program. This is where they learn how to truly work with children, gaining knowledge of child psychology, pharmacology, development, and other topics related to pediatric dentistry. After these two years are under their belt, they then can take an exam to become licensed.
Now that you know about the differences involved in the training and expertise of a pediatric orthodontist and a general dentist, you can make the best choice for your child.
Why Should My Child See a Pediatric Orthodontist?
Having your child see a pediatric orthodontist instead of a family dentist can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Listed below are a few advantages to choosing them to see a pediatric orthodontist and what makes it a good decision. These are also ways to find a better-suited specialist. These are not only what you should look for, but how to be a good pediatric orthodontist.
- Pediatric orthodontists have 2-3 years of additional training as opposed to a family or general dentist. This further education allows them to have the best skillsets and knowledge when it comes to dealing with your child’s oral problems.
- They only treat children. Working as a pediatric orthodontist is more than just keeping teeth healthy. When one works with kids, they need to understand a variety of topics such as child psychology, child development, and other areas that will help your child feel safer.
- Since they are kid-focused, they tend to have more engaging offices. Although this isn’t as important as their education, a child who looks forward to going to the dentist is a powerful tool. This allows your child to feel safer in a different environment.
- Pediatric orthodontists have extensive knowledge and are equipped for children with special needs. Perhaps your child is handicapped and needs extra care. These professionals are not only able to handle many different challenges that come their way.
All of these factors are great considerations for deciding on where you want your child to be seen for their oral problems and preventative care. Those professionals who not only take into consideration your child’s oral health but also their personality know how to be a good pediatric orthodontist.
What Services Does a Pediatric Orthodontist Offer?
As an office that has qualified pediatric orthodontists, we offer a variety of services that your child can benefit from such as:
- Infant oral health exams
- Preventative dental care such as cleanings and fluoride treatments
- Counseling for any poor habits (for example, thumb sucking)
- Orthodontic work for straightening teeth and correcting bites through braces, Invisalign, and retainers
- Tooth repair for cavities or defects
- Management and care for gum and tooth conditions such as fractures, gum diseases and more
When considering which professional you would like to take your child to, do not rule out pediatric orthodontics. The additional training is to ensure that every child is treated with the best care possible through knowledge such as child psychology and development. As with deciding on any professional, it is also important to find a specialist who will make your child feel comfortable. Rewrite any negative connotations associated with the dentist for your child with someone who will understand them and provide the best care.
What Kind of Training do Pediatric Orthodontists do?
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.