General dentists have their place. Many people are satisfied with their general dentist. However, specialists have additional training that allows them to serve unique populations, such as children. Kids have small teeth and developing bone structures that make them especially susceptible to some types of tooth decay. Children's dental care specialists can serve kids in the following ways:
1. Offer preventative and restorative care.
Pediatric dentists can provide routine preventative care for babies, kids, and adolescence. Kids' needs evolve at every step of their growth, and your child's dentist will respond to those needs accordingly. X-rays, cleanings, and patient education will ensure that kids grow up with strong and healthy teeth. When necessary, pediatric dentists can also provide restorative treatments to fill cavities, extract baby teeth, and resolve any dental problems that arise.
2. Provide in-office pain management.
Children's dental care specialists strive to provide a comfortable and anxiety-free experience for kids. One way this is made possible is through the use of in-office pain management techniques. Local anesthesia is standard for any restorative treatment, such as cavity fillings and dental extractions. However, dentists can also provide topical anesthesia and non-drug pain management techniques to make lidocaine injections more comfortable. Cool, numbing sprays, vibrating tools, and other standard pediatric office equipment can make sure your child's dental appointment is as painless as possible.
3. Prescribe medication when appropriate.
Dentists care for their patients' teeth, usually through the use of direct treatments, like fluoride applications and cavity fillings. However, in some cases, medication is indicated. If children present with dental abscesses or infected teeth, their pediatric dentist may prescribe antibiotics. Severe tooth pain that does not respond to over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, may be treated with prescription pain medication. Dentists are medical doctors, and as such, they can write prescriptions as necessary.
4. Refer kids to a specialist if necessary.
Children's dental care specialists can perform most procedures in-office. However, there may be some situations when another specialist's expertise is required. Children who require root canals may be referred to an endodontist for specialist treatment. Endodontists have microscopes and special tools that can be used to provide excellent and pain-free care to patients. Likewise, kids who suffer from tooth and jaw misalignments are commonly referred to orthodontists for evaluation and treatment. Your child's pediatric dentist will be able to refer you to specialists they trust for excellent care.
Visit a local pediatric dental clinic for more information.
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