DentistryThe Differences Between a Dentist and Pediatric Dentist

Many types of dentists see patients of all ages, but only a pediatric dentist specializes in the care that children need. This change is how these dentists differ from others. They have specialized training, education and focus that better qualifies them for caring for kids.

Below are some attributes that set your pediatric dentist apart.


Dentists specializing in pediatrics must obtain the same university education as other dental professionals. This means they attend an accredited university first, before going through dental school.

Their training after dental school is what sets a children’s dentist apart. Those specializing in pediatrics study need to train an additional two to three years in treating children. They learn skills and techniques related to children’s care. These dentists build a solid foundation of knowledge and experience about children’s dental problems, such as dental caries, thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, fluorosis, shark teeth and other conditions.


Pediatric dental specialists treat children of all ages and throughout their stages of development, which means they see patients from infancy through high school ages. These young patients have smaller mouths than adults, making pediatric equipment important for their comfort and quality of care. Dentists caring for adults do not usually have this specially-sized equipment. But those in pediatrics do.

Also, because a pediatric professional dedicates their work to only kids, everyone who works in the practice is kid-friendly. This benefit helps your child feel welcomed and calm in the dental office. Those in pediatrics also typically decorate their offices with bright colours and kid-sized furniture to help children feel comfortable. Many practices like these offer in-office entertainment that kids enjoy, to help them relax even more. All of these special touches set the tone for your child’s lifelong attitude about dentistry and caring for their teeth as they should.


Dentists specializing in pediatrics must go through a two to three-year specialty program after regular dental school. This gives them valuable training and experience with kids of all ages. They learn how best to communicate with young patients and how to help manage the behaviours of anxious ones. Your child’s dentist talks to them on their level, educating them about taking care of their teeth using language young people understand.

This experience gained by pediatric specialists helps them quickly identify the development of your child’s teeth and jawbones. If they see problems, they provide a referral to an orthodontist for early intervention. A children’s dentist also treats patients with special needs, such as those with developmental or behavioural concerns.

Should my child see a pediatric specialist?

Pediatric dentistry provides your child with a level of care and treatment that they will not receive from a dentist seeing people of all ages. But whether you choose a pediatric dental professional is up to you, according to your family’s unique needs. But by taking your child to a pediatric dental office, you provide your child with dental care specifically designed for them. This can make a huge difference in their oral health from childhood into their later years.

Dentists choosing to specialize in pediatrics have all of the education, experience, training and tools needed to treat your child. But even more importantly, they build a lasting relationship with your young person. This ensures your child feels comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair. It prevents your child from having the anxiety that many dental patients suffer well into adulthood. By trusting the dentist, kids receive the consistent care they need and maintain healthier teeth and gums throughout all stages of life. Start your child on the right path by taking them to a pediatric dentist today.

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One comment

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    Victoria Addington

    July 29, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for helping me understand the difference between a regular dentist and a children’s dentist. My child’s first tooth comes out, which is why I’m hoping to take him to the dental clinic for his first assessment. It’s good to know that dentists that specialize in pediatrics have all the knowledge, experience, and training needed for my child’s treatment. Hopefully, I can find a specialist here in town.


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