Pediatric Dentistry FAQ

What is Pediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training are required to become a pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares pediatric dentists to meet the needs of infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs.

We at A Smile Pediatric Dentistry are concerned about your child’s total health care. Good oral health is an important part of total health. Establishing us as your child’s Dental Home provides us the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. At A Smile Pediatric Dentistry, we focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases, and keep current on the latest advances in dentistry for children.

What is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist must pass the rigorous examination process with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in order to be board certified. Only dentists that have completed a residency, usually 2-3 years, in pediatric dentistry can sit for the board certification examinations. Board certification tests the knowledge and problem-solving abilities of a pediatric dentist.

The examination including a qualifying exam and a oral clinic exam. The qualifying exam is a written test to generate evidence toward validation of the individual’s advanced training in pediatric dentistry. Upon passing the qualifying exam, the dentist becomes “Board Eligible”. The oral clinic exam is an oral test that enables the candidate to demonstrate proficiency in diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical care. Upon passing the oral clinic exam, the candidate becomes “Board Certified”.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

When should my child first see a dentist?

“First visit by first birthday” sums it up. Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age. This visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at our office located in Plano TX.

Why are the baby teeth so important?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons: 1) Maintain good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly; 2) Are involved in speech development; 3) Help the permanent teeth by saving space for them. It is very important that primary teeth are kept in place until they are lost naturally. The front 4 teeth usually last until 6-7 years of age while the back teeth generally are not replaced until age 9-13. A healthy smile can help children feel good about the way they look to others.

How safe are dental X-rays?

There is very little risk in dental X-rays. At A Smile Pediatric Dentistry, we ere particularly careful to minimize the exposure of child patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than undetected and untreated dental problems.

Lead body aprons and shields help protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. At A Smile Pediatric Dentistry, our use of digital X-rays and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.