What is a Paediatric Dentist (Specialist in children’s dentistry)?
A Paediatric Dentist is qualified in the branch of dentistry that is concerned with preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children from birth through to adolescence, and especially for those with special needs. Paediatric Dentistry includes the management of orofacial problems related to medical, behavioural, physical and developmental disabilities.
How do Paediatric Dentists differ from General Dentists?
Paediatric Dentists are specialist dentists. To qualify as Paediatric Dentist, we have to successfully complete three years of full-time postgraduate training, including clinical and research work, after our general dentistry training. This specialist training takes place in both University and Hospital settings under the guidance of practicing dental and medical specialists.
After completing our training, specialist Paediatric Dentists must register our qualification as a specialist with the dental board and AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).
Paediatric Dentists may also be known as Paedodontists or Specialists in Paediatric Dentistry
Can my general dentist call him or herself a Paediatric Dentist?
Although many General Dentists can provide dental care for children, only a specialist dentist registered with AHPRA can be referred to as a Paediatric Dentist.
Your General Dentist may have developed skills in order to provide general dental care for children. However, this cannot be compared to the extensive training needed to register as a Specialist Paediatric Dentist.
How can my child benefit from seeing a Paediatric Dentist?
Paediatric dentists undergo extensive training and have expertise in:
- carrying out a comprehensive dental examination and identifying any problems or concerns
- children with extensive dental decay
- helping children with anxiety or behavioural issues, including Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and more
- very young children, from birth, for oral conditions, oro-facial growth and development and nutritional advice
- children with various medical and/or genetic conditions
- a variety of dental injuries to primary and permanent teeth
- dental conditions like hypomineralised or ’chalky’ teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth, tooth eruption problems, abnormal formation of teeth (like enamel or dentine defects)
- treatment using specialised techniques like sedation in addition to providing treatment in a hospital setting under general anaesthesia.