Kurt Vest, DMD, ABC Pediatric Dentistry
What is a pediatric dentist? Just as a pediatrician is a medical specialist who has focused their training on children, a pediatric dentist is a dental specialist whose training is specifically centered on children. They have an additional two to three years of education (after four years of dental school) which focuses on the needs of pediatric and special needs patients. These extra years are spent in clinical and hospital settings, honing their skills in pediatric behavior management, caring for children and adults with special needs, treating traumatic injuries, and understanding the complexities of a child’s oral health.
In addition to their pediatric residency, a pediatric dentist can also become board certified. A certified pediatric dentist has gone through a rigorous examination process with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry after completion of their residency. Board certification assures you that the dentist’s knowledge, skills, and experience meet the highest standards possible.
So why choose a pediatric dentist for your child?
Focused pediatric dental care.
A pediatric dentist understands the value of preventative care. By establishing dental visits by the first year of life, you are providing that your child’s mouth can have the best chance at staying healthy and happy. A pediatric dentist can tell you any important information about the prevention of early tooth decay in your toddler. They can help navigate the challenges of brushing, flossing, diet, and benefits of fluoride. From the kid-friendly office design, to their special style of communication, their main concern is what is best for your child.
A positive dental experience.
A pediatric dentist wants your child’s overall experience to be enjoyable. Too often, a child can feel nervous or overwhelmed by a visit to the dentist. Just one unsavory experience can lead to lifelong anxiety about dental visits. A pediatric dentist provides your child with the best care available, but not at the expense of your child’s feelings. Their training in pediatric behavior management and safe sedation techniques can help to calm a nervous child and perform procedures in a comfortable manner.
Extensive education for all situations.
A pediatric dentist keeps current on the latest advances in dentistry for children. They can provide answers to questions ranging from pacifier and thumb-sucking habits, dental and facial trauma, craniofacial growth, dental eruption, and early orthodontic diagnosis (just to name a few).
Children and adults with significant medical, physical, or mental disabilities can present challenges to dentists. A pediatric dentist is highly trained to meet the needs of these individuals.
Ultimately, the goals of the pediatric dentist are to help children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth. Feel confident that your pediatric dentist can help you navigate your child’s oral health with their total physical, emotional, and mental health in mind. By taking your child to visit a pediatric dentist, you are helping them foster positive attitudes about the dentist early on in life.