28 Feb 2017
WHAT IS A PEDODONTIST?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry [AAPD] defines Pedodontics or Pediatric Dentistry as – an age-defined specialty that provides. both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic. oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
A dentist who caters to the above is known as a Pedodontist, or a Pediatric Dentist.
Do we need a separate specialist for children?
A general dental surgeon is trained and proficient to handle a multitude of dental conditions. He can even manage children. However, children often prove a challenge to manage. A successful management children will require – in addition to understanding of the dental disease and its management – understanding of child behavior, psychology, in-depth knowledge of behavior management techniques, knowledge of using Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and management of Dento-facial injuries and trauma. Therefore, Pediatric Dentistry has emerged as a sub-specialty of Dentistry and has evolved into a complete specialty.
Practically speaking, a general dentist who is not trained in behaviour management and child psychology will not be able to efficiently manage children on a daily basis. Having said so, it does not mean he cannot manage children. Ideally, they would not choose to spend a lot of time with child patients and instead find it convenient to refer to a Pedodontist.
Does taking your child to a Pedodontist render better care delivery to your child?
In India, a Dentist who wants to pursue a Masters in Pediatric Dentistry, undergoes a rigorous three-year program along with Thesis Dissertation in research in the field of Pediatric Dentistry. He is trained in –
- Behaviour Management
- Child Psychology
- Growth & development
- Understanding of Dental Disease & its Management
- Knowledge of Anesthesia and Sedation
- Handling of Medical Emergencies
- Handling of Dental Injuries & Trauma
- Knowledge of future Trends and Recent Developments
With such a detailed and structured program into managing children can go a long way in rendering a better quality of care for children.