What kind of training do pediatric dentists need? Any dentist can treat a child as long as they hold their general dentistry license. To become a specialist in the field, they will need additional training as well as more education. There are other steps that must be taken as well. It takes quite a bit of training, education and the right combination of skills and temperament to be a good pediatric dentist.
The All Important Training
Mothers want to know that their children are in good hands when they take them to the dentist. Not all kids are going to be okay with the same dentist as other members of the family. The nervous young one may need a dentist that has the extra skills and education that it took to become a pediatric dentist.
The Pediatric Dentist Education Requirements
All dentists, whether they are general or specialized, must do several things:
- Earn a Bachelor’s degree
- Take the DAT test and apply for dental school
- Complete all required courses of the dental program to earn their DDS or DMD degree
- Pass the National Board of Dental Examinations to get their license
To become a pediatric dentist which is a dentist that specializes in the care of children of all ages there are additional pediatric dentist education requirements. These include:
- Entering a pediatric dentist residency program
- Decide where you want to practice and find out about additional licensing exams required there
- Take the voluntary American Board of Pediatric Dentists exams
During residency, the dentist will learn all about children and their dental health as well as the basics of child development and psychology. All of this is necessary to better treat the kids in their practice.
Pediatric Dentist Skills Needed
Every mother has a wish list of things she would like to see in the professionals she trusts with her children’s health. For the dentist that is going to help the kids have healthy, strong, white teeth and a happy smile, those extra skills include patience and the ability to make children trust them. Whether they are funny and get the kiddos that way or are just so kind and good that the kids naturally are drawn to them, it takes more than just dental skills to be good at this profession and that includes training.
Not all of the pediatric dentist skills needed relate directly to the kids, though. Because they are working with families, there are other skills like diplomacy that come in to play as well. Teaching a mother about her baby’s oral health care is a delicate skill because no one wants to be lectured or talked down to. A good pediatric dentist can teach without lecturing and is available for all questions.
Prepping for a First Pediatric Dental Appointment
It is important that everyone be ready for the exam before they even go in the office. Knowing what is going to happen can keep a little one from being overly nervous. It might help to role-play an exam at home perhaps showing how the dentist checks the teeth on a dolly. Describe what they might see in the office or even better ask if the child can take a doctor free tour first. Some dentists offer virtual tours which are perfect because you are at home, on your computer and looking at the offices and the exam rooms without the distraction of other people and the sounds that you might hear there.
It is also a good idea for Moms to know what to expect as well. Some offices don’t want parents to come back with the kids while others will allow it. You and your kid should be ready for that before the time goes. Be brave, Mom. They are just on the other side of the door. They are fine.
How You Know You Found a Keeper
If your children are not hiding or crying when it is time to go to the dentist, you have a good one. If they are happy or excited about their next appointment you have a keeper. That rare unicorn of a professional should be praised often and lavishly. This is the person that you will want to brag about to mommy groups and mommy bloggers.
If you have special needs kids and the dentist is not a terrible, terrifying experience then that dentist needs to be given gifts as well. These types of dentists are hard to find and important to hold on to especially in some areas. Rural or smaller communities may not even have a pediatric dentist as an option which means having to make due with just a regular dentist.
Transitioning from a Pediatric Dentist
As your kids get older, he may not want to go to a pediatric dentist anymore. He may suggest going to a general dentist and that is okay. Ask for recommendations from the current dentist for someone new. This may not happen with every kid. A super great pediatric dentist may find his patients do not want to leave his practice even when they are eighteen years old and no longer technically a kid!
If there is a transition all records will be forwarded to the new dentist. Make sure that it is noted when the last x-rays were taken so that the new dentist doesn’t automatically redo them.
Other Important Things to Look for in a Pediatric Dentist
While great skills and temperament coupled with good education and proper licenses and credentials are important, there are other non-dentist things that matter as well. The office should have a good location with adequate parking. The hours should be flexible enough that working parents can still get their children into the dentist. The staff should all be kid-friendly. The waiting room should be of a decent size and ready to handle even the roughest of toddlers.
Your children’s healthy teeth are important. Dental health is more than just teeth so call Kinder Smiles and schedule an appointment as soon as possible from an expert who has had the training.
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What do Training Does A Pediatric Dentists Need? ( 5 EPIC ANSWERS)