A pedodontist is a dentist who specializes in children’s teeth. The word pedodontist means “foot tooth,” and it is a professional trained to provide care for the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and special needs patients. They are also trained to detect and treat dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw/bite problems. They mainly deal with preventive care.
Conditions Pedodontist Treat
- Crowding or spacing of teeth
- Co-existing jaw and tooth problems like underbite, overbite, or crossbite
- Care of permanent teeth before they come in (erupt)
- Surgical procedures on the gums and jaw
- Preventive dental care like oral hygiene instruction, fluoride, and sealants
- Treatment of diseases and disorders like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting
- Fillings and sealants
- Root canals
- Pulp capping (painful tooth), root canal treatment, crowns, bridges, braces for teeth, dental implants
- Orthodontics (crooked teeth) that doesn’t correct as expected with regular orthodontic care alone
- Malformations in the baby teeth, such as misshapen crowns, can cause a misaligned bite when the permanent teeth come in.
Why Should You See a Pedodontist?
It is essential to have a good relationship with a pediatric dentist, especially with a young child. You need to find a pediatric dentist who provides care for your children. You should visit a pedodontist if your child has any of the following problems.
Oral Health Issues
These specialists can help guide your child’s oral health as their teeth begin to emerge. Because they are trained in pediatric dental care, they can recognize any abnormalities or problems that may arise with your child’s teeth early on. Most dentists will see your child at least once a year, but with a pedodontist, your child may be able to schedule more frequent appointments.
Specialized Pediatric Dental Treatments
Specific dental procedures and treatments are designed for children’s teeth and, therefore, require a specialist’s expertise in children’s dentistry. If your child suffers from tooth decay, a routine cleaning may not be enough. The dentist will have to remove the decayed tooth and place a filling in its place.
If your child suffers from braces, they will have to visit a pediatric dentist who treats children with braces. This is because different types of braces are designed for children. They are not the same as braces for adults. Therefore, it is essential to see a dentist who has the skills and knowledge of dealing with children’s teeth.
Infections can spread from child to child at school, daycare, or other family members. In some cases, your pediatrician may recommend that you take your child to your dentist so the dentist can take a look.
An infection can spread quickly if it isn’t treated promptly. Even baby teeth are susceptible to decay and conditions, exceptionally if they aren’t cared for properly during infancy or early childhood years. However, proper at-home care and regular dental visits with your pedodontist can prevent many common baby tooth infections.
Root Canal Treatment
If your child’s tooth has become infected, your dentist will perform a “root canal” treatment. This involves draining the pus out of the tooth and then placing medication into the root to fight off any lingering infection. The tooth may also be filled if it is too damaged or decayed to save. However, this procedure may not be successful in saving the tooth altogether. Therefore, the dentist will need to extract it.
A pediatric dentist will be able to provide your child with the care they need from their first dental visit into adulthood. It would be best to start looking for a pedodontist as soon as you feel that your child is ready for their first trip to the dentist. Your child can get acquainted with a new dentist and learn to brush and floss their teeth properly.