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How Pediatric Dentists Are Trained To Work With Children
You want to take care of all your child’s health needs, and this includes finding the right pediatric dentist. While some general dentists also treat children, a dentist with a specialty in pediatrics is trained to provide child-focused care. It is worth your time to learn the difference between the two when picking a dental practice to take your child.
Differences between general dentists and pediatric dentists
General dentists are trained in oral health. They complete a standard dental education regimen. This includes obtaining their bachelor’s degree and completing dental school. Lastly, students must pass the dental exams to become a licensed dentist. Once they are licensed, they are ready to treat dental patients. General dentists treat adults, and some also treat children. While they can care for teeth, they may not know how to handle children.
Those who specialize in pediatrics must complete all the requirements listed above. After getting their license, dentists can then enter a pediatric residency, which takes two to three years to complete. After completing a pediatric-specific exam, they are licensed to specialize in pediatric dentistry and generally only work with children.
Pediatric dental training
Earn a bachelor’s degree
The road to becoming a pediatric dentist is a long one. The first four years of their education is spent getting their bachelor’s degree. This education includes studying general areas of dentistry. Those who want to enter pediatrics often take courses on child psychology and development.
Finish dental school
The next four years are spent in dental school and involve obtaining practical knowledge. This includes two years of learning dental procedures in a controlled laboratory setting. The next two years consist of practical application. Students treat adults under the supervision of licensed dentists.
Following dental school, candidates cannot start practicing until they complete their dental exams. The first part is a written exam that tests their knowledge of dentistry and oral health. After passing the written test, candidates must also pass a clinical exam testing their skills and abilities. Once both tests are passed, they become licensed dentists and are ready to practice.
Complete a 2-year pediatric residency
For those wishing to specialize in pediatrics, the next two to three years are spent in a pediatric residency. This specialized education delves into topics such as these:
- The proper evaluation process for children
- Child psychology and development
- Child dental anatomy
- Sedation and anesthesia for children
- Treating traumatic facial and oral injuries
After completing their pediatric residency, candidates must pass another series of examinations. These exams, specific to pediatric dentistry, include a written, oral and practical component. Once all are completed successfully, candidates can then call themselves a pediatric dentist.
Your child is in good hands with a pediatric dentist
As you search for a dentist for your child, you have multiple choices available. A pediatric dentist has years of schooling and training to deal with children and their unique dental concerns. If you want a kid-friendly dentist, call our office to learn about our services.
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