Does Your Child Need a Pediatric Dentist, Specifically?

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Family dentists treat patients of all ages, including kids over the age of roughly three years old. For families with children, taking those kids to a family dentist near you is a convenient option since everyone in the family can book and attend appointments at the same dental clinic in Scarborough. Is taking your kids to a family dentist your best option? Or should your kids see a pediatric dentist in Scarborough instead?

Every dentist receives the same core education before choosing — if they wish — to specialize. Dental students who choose to specialize in working with kids through pediatric dentistry then take an additional two or three years of education. During that specialized education, the following aspects of kids’ dentistry are covered in recognition of the fact that kids are not just adults shrunk down to a miniature size, but patients with specific needs:

  • Diagnostic and surgical techniques especially for children
  • Child psychology and development
  • Dental pharmacology (drug treatment) including delivery and dosage requirements unique to kids
  • Radiology techniques
  • Trauma management and treatment
  • Conscious sedation and general anesthesia
  • Special needs dentistry for children

Unlike family dentists who see people of all ages (usually including children over the age of three), pediatric dentists typically only treat children from infancy to approximately age 18. A pediatric dentist does not typically treat adults or seniors (though a family dentist very well might treat children and seniors on the very same days).

Dentists who focus on pediatric dentistry near you offer specific advantages when it comes to supporting children with specific emotional, developmental, medical and dental needs beyond even those offered by well-qualified family dentists. Pediatric dentists have special training and well-developed experience dealing with:

  • Supporting children with behavioural problems, including behaviours associated with age, emotional development, anxiety disorders and mental health conditions
  • Helping children feel comfortable, including children who experience common and natural dental anxiety and phobia
  • Understanding and treating dental conditions unique to children, including those relating to the initial development of baby teeth, the emergence of permanent teeth, dental implications of certain special needs and orthodontic implications of enigmatic tooth development
  • Teaching children and parents best practices for preventative dental hygiene and helping parents to establish healthy dental habits at home to reduce the risks of long term dental issues associated with preventable tooth decay and gum disease

How to choose a dentist specializing in pediatric dentistry in Scarborough

If you are looking for a dentist that specializes in treating kids and supporting those kids’ parents, you have several options and lots to consider. Here’s a list of questions that families we see in our practice considered and asked potential pediatric dentists during their search for a kids’ dentist.

  • Have you received specialized training in pediatric dentistry?
  • What experience do you have treating children with special needs?
  • Is the clinic’s office and equipment child-friendly?
  • Does the practice also include general and family dentists for the rest of the family?
  • Does the dentist participate in your insurance plan? Or provide financing options if necessary.
  • Can the dentist provide references from families with children near your child’s age?
  • Is the clinic location convenient?
  • During what hours are appointments available, keeping in mind work, school, childcare and public transit schedules?
  • Does the clinic offer emergency dental treatment for children?

During your search for a pediatric dentist to treat your children and to support your family, don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Vista Dental Clinic. We love children and have committed to developing and demonstrating expertise and compassion in ensuring our youngest patients have the best dental health for a lifetime.