What is the Difference Between Pediatric and Orthodontic Dentistry?

Pediatric dentists are those who examine and clean your child's teeth twice a year, monitor the development of baby and permanent teeth, fill cavities, and perform other routine treatments. The main difference between pediatric dentistry and orthodontics is the emphasis placed on each. Pediatric dentists focus on children's dental health, while orthodontists specialize in correcting malocclusions. Katherine Rivera-Spoljaric, a pediatric pulmonologist at San Luis Children's Hospital, shares her ideas about the benefits of pediatric dentistry.

All orthodontists are dentists and they all graduate from the same dental schools. When it comes to choosing between a dentist and an orthodontist, there are a few things to consider. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is the only organization that certifies orthodontists. You can go to their website and select the “Choose an Orthodontist” option to find a specialist near you. Don't hesitate to ask your dentist if an orthodontist travels to your city every month to see patients. Orthodontists must complete an additional two or three years of university education beyond dental school and additional continuing clinical training each year.

They also invest in cutting-edge technology for their offices (not found in dental offices). All of this means that, if you can, you'll want to choose a specialist (orthodontist) instead of a generalist (dentist) when buying orthodontic appliances for children. When it comes to choosing the best orthodontist for your children, start by looking for the right certification. Orthodontists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions related to teeth and jaws that general dentists may not be exposed to during their undergraduate program. They also receive training in a graduate program such as master's, doctorate or doctorate degrees in a dental school which allows them to treat many conditions related to tooth clumping. The correct exfoliation sequence for baby teeth helps the permanent teeth to come out in their correct position to create the correct occlusion with the adjacent teeth, so pediatric dentists place space maintainers in case of early exfoliation of the deciduous tooth to maintain space for permanent teeth to erupt.

Sammy Bownds
Sammy Bownds

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