Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health & dental needs of a child. Pediatric dentists offer a broad range of treatment for infants, children, and adolescents including children with special needs. Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind. A pediatric dentist offers a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. Apart from the treatment aspect of this branch, it educates parents about preventive oral health care.
WHY IS PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY IMPORTANT?
A child’s teeth grow and change through time. Early routine checkups at the dentist can help your child have a happy, healthy smile. The most common misconception among patients is that since the milk teeth are shed at an early age, there isn’t a need to take proper care of the child’s teeth. But the truth is quite the opposite. Tooth decay in a child’s teeth can lead to decay in the permanent teeth as well. Early childhood caries(decay), gum diseases, etc. are very common complaints among children.
Your dentist can not only offer treatments but also educate the parents about healthy brushing habits, the importance of flossing and various other preventive measures. It is important to get your child acquainted with the dentist as early as possible to have a healthy smile throughout their lives.
Another topic which is commonly addressed is your child’s eating and nursing habits. Typically, food containing high sugar and starch should be limited. Regular dental checkups can help you intercept any possible orthodontic problems at a very early age. For example, problems with teeth crowding, spacing, etc., can be prevented if there are routine checkups at the dentist’s. Abnormal oral habits like thumb sucking, nail biting, mouth breathing can also be intercepted at a young age and can be modified at the
PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY FOR A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD:
A special needs child is someone who has mental, physical, emotional and developmental issues. Pediatric dentistry also deals with the dental needs of a special child. Some of the disabilities like Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, bipolar disorders, etc., hamper a child’s ability to take care of his/her oral health. With a special needs child, a pediatric dentist can anticipate and treat any dental problems with ease. It is important to get a special child get accustomed to the dentist for a healthy oral cavity at the earliest, as it is crucial to the child’s
COURSE OF TREATMENTS FOR A CHILD:
1. RESTORATIVE TREATMENTS: Like adults, this branch of dentistry offers a wide range of restorative treatments. Tooth-colored fillings for shallow cavities, lumpectomy or pulpotomy for deep cavities are few of the procedures done to repair the damage to a child’s teeth due to decay.
2. ORTHODONTIC TREATMENTS: Many of common orthodontic problems in adults can simply be avoided if caught at an early age. A regular visit to the dentist can help you understand the potential problems of crowding and spacing in your child’s mouth. Abnormal oral habits like mouth breathing, thumb sucking, etc., can be easily broken with habit breaking appliances. Space maintainers- as the name suggests-maintains the space in the jaw, giving time to the permanent teeth to erupt.
3. EXTRACTIONS: Extractions, just like in adults, is a common procedure done to remove a tooth which is beyond treatable. In children, it is also done if the milk tooth hasn’t shed in time to accommodate the permanent teeth.
4. CLEFT LIP AND CLEFT PALATE: Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects in children, resulting in incomplete closure of the lip and palate in a child. This developmental defect can lead to difficulty in feeding, swallowing, speech problems, nose infections, etc. This defect can be repaired with the help of surgery in young patients to restore normal functions and with minimal scarring.