Pediatric Dentist

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Do you think a Pediatric Dentist is different from a regular dentist? Don’t they both work on teeth?


A while back I did a post on different specialties of dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry was on the list. A pediatric dentist is specially trained to provide both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs. Would you agree that a child’s mouth is different from an adult mouth. Tooth and jaw health, growth and facial development. Dental care impacts all these areas.

What different training does a pediatric dentist get?

All dentists attend 4 years of standard dental school. Pediatric dentists are required to complete an additional 2 years of residency (on the job, supervised education and training) dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs.

What are some of the “specialized” care they need to train for?

During the 2 year residency, dentists learn and practice techniques specially for children.

  • Infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child
  • Preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations
  • Habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
  • Conditions caused by tongue thrusting
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics)
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles, and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced, or knocked-out teeth)

At  what age should I begin taking my child to the dentist?

The recommended rule of thumb is six months after the first tooth comes in.

When my daughter was two years old, I took her to the dentist. We sat and waited and hour (with a 1 and 2 year old, that is miserable.) We went into the exam room. He came in, looked in her mouth and said. We don’t really need to see her until 4 or 5 years old. Hmm! I’m glad to say she at 15 has managed great personal oral hygiene.

Finding a pediatric dentist to begin care for your child.

There are many search methods to consider:

  1. Insurance Preferred Providers
  2. Google Search
  3. Location Search
  4. Broker Service: like
  5. My favorite: WORD OF MOUTH
  • See who your friend see or have seen and what they have to say.
  • Look on social media to investigate how your network likes them.
  • Look on dentist’s website for testimonials.

Dr. Alicia Abeyta is the Gentlest Dentist in Albuquerque. She offers specialized care for children and adults, to encourage patient comfort. Call For A Consultation Today! 

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