A pediatric dentist is an oral healthcare professional specially trained to diagnose and treat all manners of childhood dental problems, as well as educate both children and parents on how to maintain good oral health throughout the child’s lifetime. Pediatric dentists treat children from birth to early adulthood, with the recommended first dental visit (according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) occurring at the time the first tooth erupts or by the child’s first birthday.
Because children often experience different dental problems than adults, and they are constantly going through developmental growth stages, it is highly beneficial to seek dental care for your child from a specialist who has undergone extensive training to specifically treat children and their unique needs. A pediatric dentist, much like a pediatrician, is trained and skilled to understand and treat the individual needs of each child. Pediatric dentist, Dr. Zarmin Lalani at Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Frisco, provides dental treatment for infants, children, and teenagers.
Professional Training for a Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist has completed an undergraduate degree, as well as a four-year degree from dental school to become a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). In addition, a pediatric dentist completes 2-3 years of specialized residency training which includes:
- Hospital training, including pediatric dental emergencies
- Treating children while under sedation and anesthesia
- Invasive and preventive oral care for children
- Treating special needs and medically compromised children
- Recognition of conditions requiring orthodontic care
- Training in certain orthodontic methods
- Managing growth and developmental issues related to a child’s jaw, mouth, face, and head
- Child psychology and development
During this residency, the pediatric dentist is enhancing his/her skills in order to provide child-friendly, nurturing, and educational dental care that makes patients feel comfortable.
Benefits of Selecting a Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist is uniquely qualified and highly trained in diagnosing and treating children’s dental problems, as well as maintaining their oral health.
Benefits of choosing a pediatric dentist include:
- Kid-friendly surroundings: Pediatric dentists offer environments that are suited for children. From office décor to toothpaste flavors, every aspect is designed to put kids at ease.
- Affiliations with pediatricians and pediatric hospitals: A pediatric dentist will have relationships with other child health professionals and hospitals that would be beneficial should your child have an emergency or need extensive dental care.
- Nurturing environment: Pediatric dentists, as well as their staffs, enjoy working with children. They have a keen sense of what children need and how to alleviate their fears because they work with them every day. Pediatric dentists know how to talk to kids and cultivate a trusting relationship with them.
- Pediatric dental equipment: Children need specialized equipment because their mouths are smaller and their teeth are more fragile.
- Understanding of childhood dental developmental stages: Pediatric dentists have an acute awareness of how a child’s jaw and teeth should develop. They can provide treatment for every aspect of childhood dentistry and recognize problems in growth or development, as well as the need for orthodontic care.
- Special needs training: Because of their specialized training, pediatric dentists are experienced in treating children (and adults) with physical or mental disabilities or chronic illness.
When selecting a dentist for your child, look for a place to call your dental home – a place you feel comfortable. Having a relationship with your child’s dentist will make it easier to ask questions and seek advice when you need it. Remember, you will be visiting your pediatric dentist for around 20 years! Make sure it’s a good fit.
Services Provided by Pediatric Dentist
Your pediatric dentist will provide comprehensive oral care for all stages of your child’s dental development.
Oral health care services include:
- Initial dental exam and assessment for early childhood caries (also called baby bottle tooth decay)
- Preventive dental care (typically semi-annually): Can include cleaning, fluoride treatments, and dental x-rays
- Identifying and repairing cavities
- Placement of dental sealants for cavity prevention
- Educational resources for preventive home care (proper brushing and flossing)
- Habit counseling, such as thumb sucking, dietary choices, and pacifier use that may affect teeth
- Provision of mouth guards to prevent injury to teeth
- Bite evaluation and assessment for orthodontics
- Diagnosing, treating, and managing pediatric periodontal disease and oral conditions that may occur in conjunction with childhood diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, hay fever, and ADHD
- Dental injury care (such as fractured, broken, or knocked-out teeth
- Identifying and treating dental developmental problems
Dr. Zarmin Lalani is a board certified pediatric dentist in Frisco dedicated to helping her patients develop and maintain good oral health habits that last a lifetime.
If you are looking for a pediatric dental office to call your dental home, please contact Dr. Zarmin Lalani and her team at Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry Frisco, Texas, by completing an online appointment request or phone 469-365-5437.