A pediatric dentist is an oral health care professional who takes care of a specific group of individuals. The group of individuals is children and the age range for these starts when the first deciduous tooth erupts up to the age of ten to twelve years old. Some parents actually bring their toothless child to visit the clinic just to be sure or when there are malformations in the baby. Many of these dental professionals foray into the world of surgery since there are babies who are born in this world with problems in their jaws, cleft palate and gums.
The education of the prospective pediatric dental professional starts just like those in the general dentistry field. They go through a basic college course and then proceed to the dental college of their choice. The basic college course takes about four to five years while the dentistry course ranges from four to six years depending on the specialties that the hopeful dentists will take up. Most of the specialties are taken up after the entire four year dentistry course has been completed; others take up specialties after they have passed the exam for dentistry. The dentist, or at least the hopeful, needs to pass the dental board exam in order to be able to practice in the United States of America. He or she also needs to be associated with certain affiliations, organizations and groups in order to be recognized as a practicing professional.
Dentistry is a field that is connected to medicine in a very close way. The dentist basically evaluates, diagnoses, treats and corrects problems that need to be addressed in an individual. In this case, children are brought by the parent or parents for a visit and the child is evaluated according to the examination that the professional conducts. Children who have no immediate problems are initially recommended to undergo cleaning of the teeth by the parent with the use of a gauze bandage wrapped around a finger and rubbed on the pearly whites. The rubbing acts as brushing and gets the child used to having a foreign object inside his or her oral cavity. It also helps to really clean each tooth that has eruted.
Despite being just a milk tooth, it still needs to be cleaned and maintained because the permanent ones come out several years after and having rotten or damaged temporary ones can impair the digestion and eating style of the child. Pain and discomfort can also occur if the deciduous ones are infected or damaged too soon. The pediatric dentist can also be expected to make composite bonding with any temporary tooth that may need it. This is especially true for those that still have a long way to go before they are replaced by the permanent ones. Fillings are very common with children around the age of six to nine years old especially in a tooth related to the molars.
These are just a few of the responsibilities that a pediatric dentist may need to do for his patients. There are other more complicated ones, especially those requiring surgery.