Everything you need to know about paediatric dentistry.
Paediatric dental care is a specialised field in dentistry that provides services and treatments to children. To become a paediatric dentist takes many years full time at university to first become a general and licenced dentist with a further two years full-time study and specialised training in paediatric dentistry under the mentorship and supervision of a university professor in the field of paediatric dentistry.
In Australia, paediatric dentists are well respected and extremely sought after by families needing expert skills and knowledge in children’s dentistry only a paediatric dental specialist can offer.
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Parents struggling to find an expert to talk to about their child’s paediatric dental care needs can find and book a dentist they love in minutes on AirSmile. Once they have attended the practice for a new patient exam and feel confident and happy with the care and treatment they received they can go ahead and book the whole family in for a check-up, teeth cleaning and a referral to a paediatric dentist, if that is what the dentist decides your child needs.
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Your child does not have to see a specialist paediatric dentist unless it is recommended by your general or family dentist. Children who are referred to a paediatric dental clinic are often at high risk of getting dental decay and cavities due to diet, medical and genetic factors and therefore require the care of a paediatric dentist. If your child has developed many areas of decay that require a significant amount of time in the chair, or treatment is complex, you might also need to seek the care of a paediatric dentist to have the course of treatment completed.
The most common reason children seek care at a paediatric dental clinic is because they offer to complete treatment under general anesthetic which allows the work to be done in one appointment and without causing undue stress to the child since they are asleep throughout the entire process.
In most cases, once the paediatric dentist has completed the necessary treatment plan they will refer you back to your family dentist for continued care and regular maintenance. However, if you and your child are comfortable and happy to continue seeing the paediatric dentist they will be thrilled to continue caring for your child on a routine basis.
Absolutely! Children feel sensitivity and pain in their baby teeth just the same as adults do in their permanent set of teeth. Sugar, acid and a build-up of tartar and soft plaque will cause decay, cavities and bleeding gums throughout a person’s entire life. Age has no barrier that protects us against oral health disease and conditions. Therefore, if active disease is left untreated in baby teeth it can cause significant problems such as toothache, infection to the nerve, early tooth loss and damage to the adult tooth growing underneath, to name a few.
In some cases, if the baby tooth is showing signs of being lost naturally in the near future before the decay begins to cause pain, the dentist may suggest to leave the cavity as is to save the child having to go through a tooth filling procedure and your dollars in paying for a filling that won’t be around for long.
If a dentist or paediatric dentist is recommending treatment of a cavity it is always wise to follow their guidance. If you have any doubts, seek a second opinion to help make your decision final.
Taking your child to a paediatric dentist early on is one of the best ways to help make them feel comfortable and relaxed with regular dental visits, check-ups, and teeth cleanings. Paediatric dental clinics suggest taking your child to the dentist starting around age two. This is when the child starts to become cooperative enough to sit in the chair and enjoy spending time with the dental team. They have also had some time eating a solid food diet, putting things (not always the right things) in their mouth that may have caused some damage, and understand that daily brushing of the teeth is now a routine thing.
The sooner you take your child to the dentist the sooner you can start to become educated on how best to care for your toddler’s teeth, find out the best diet for their oral health, and learn how to prevent disease. After the first visit, a paediatric dentist will usually suggest a visit every 12months up until they start to lose their baby teeth and their adult detention starts to come through, at which time they will most likely suggest attending every six months for a routine check-up and clean.
In the dental world, silver caps are called stainless steel tooth crowns and are used to place a strong and protective covering over a significantly damaged tooth – one that has usually been undermined with dental decay and may or may not have had the nerve inside removed due to infection.
A stainless steel crown (silver cap) is bonded over the top of the tooth in an effort to restore its strength so that it will remain in place while the permanent adult tooth underneath continues to develop. Losing a baby tooth before the adult tooth is ready to erupt can cause significant issues in spacing and alignment of the teeth so it is best to keep baby teeth in place as long as possible. A stainless steel silver cap gives the child a tooth to chew on comfortably until it is naturally extracted.