What Makes a Pediatric Dentist Different?
At face value, a dentist is a dentist. All receive the same education and have the same expertise. However, that isn’t true. Just as doctors have different specialties, so do dentists. Our Grandville pediatric dentists, for instance, focus on treating children, not adults. But how else are they different?
Here are 4 things that setlike ours apart from a general dentist.
A Pediatric Dentist Differs From a General Dentist in Terms Of:
1) Specialized Training and Education
Bothattend dental school for 4 years. This is on top of an already completed undergraduate degree in a related field. Where the two professions deviate, is after the graduation from their primary dental school.
General dentists go on to finish a residency period as determined by their state and pediatric dentists pursue 2-3 years of additional training centered around the dental treatment of infants, children, and teens. This includes topics like:
- Baby teeth
- Mixed dentition (combination of baby and adult teeth)
- Child development and behavior
- Child psychology (with an emphasis on communication methods)
- Special needs dental care
- Sedation dentistry for children
Now, general dentists do still receive some education on how to effectively treat children while in school. Unlike those invested inthough, they might not always feel the most comfortable dealing with younger patients. This is where professionals like our team of dentists shine. We LOVE kids and know how to make visits fun every time.
2) Overall Office Environment and Feel
If you’ve walked into a dental office, you know the common look. Neutral walls, standard furniture, and unassuming carpet. The space is designed to keep you calm and not shock you with any bright paint colors or in-your-face art.
Children, however, may find this type of lobby boring. It might also further worsen the anxiety or fear they feel if there are no toys or activities present. Unfortunately, because general dentists largely treat adults, this space is more expected and not always tailored to kids waiting for their appointment.
Inside our Grandville pediatric dental office, we have designed our front lobby and exam rooms to be care-free, fun, and appealing to children of all ages. From our wildlife-themed waiting room to our collection of books, toys, and stuffed animals, we allow kids to make the most out of their time with us.
3) Dental Tools and Equipment Used
When you’re not an adult, your mouth is small. Each tooth is also quite small. Because of this, specialized tools are needed to fit inside tiny mouths and treat baby teeth. A general dentist is less likely to have these types of pediatric dental materials at their disposal.
Our pediatric dentists are equipped with the tools required to give your child the best and most thorough checkup. Of course, as your child grows older, we can also switch to larger dental instruments to accommodate them. Being able to adjust in this way makes it so our pediatric dentists can treat teens until they are 16, after which we perform one additional checkup.
4) Early Orthodontic Assessment
There is a chance your child may need orthodontic treatment to correct bite issues, overcrowding, or the misalignment of their teeth. Thanks to early care by our pediatric dentists, we can pinpoint what exactly requires close attention and treatment with braces.
General dentists, on the other hand, aren’t as familiar with child development and the mixed dentition phase. When children have a mix of baby and adult teeth, it can be tricky to predict how new teeth will come in and affect the rest of the smile/jaw. Our dentists will evaluate your child by age 7 to determine whether orthodontics is necessary.
Make an Appointment
Going to a general dentist is awesome and keeps your teeth healthy, but it may not work out as well for your child(ren). They may benefit more from being seen by our trained team of pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI, who have spent years treating young patients up until their mid-teens. Give Grandville Pediatric Dentistry a call today at (616) 531-3430 to request an appointment and get started.