Like all dentists, pediatric dentists must earn one of two degrees: a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM). Both degrees require a minimum of four years of study at a dental school and are equivalent to each other. However, specializing in pediatric dentistry requires additional residency time. Most pediatric residency programs last 2 to 3 years after dental school and licensed as a dentist.
Some candidates also choose to obtain board certification from the American Board of Pediatric Dentists, which provides an additional level of verification that they are leaders in their field and prepared for even the most challenging needs of any pediatric patient. Pediatric dentists have the skills and education to provide pharmacological treatment for anxiety to patients who need it. Pediatric sedation for dental procedures requires a high level of specialized knowledge and competence, so it's essential that providers have the tools needed to ensure the effectiveness and safety of pediatric sedation. Additionally, pediatric dentists receive additional training to help patients deal with dental anxiety, such as knowing when to be a little harsh, when to play, and when the patient needs medical intervention to overcome their fears.
The educational requirements to become a pediatric dentist include completing a 2- to 3-year graduate residency program after dental school. Students also participate in weekly pediatric dentistry seminars, oncology rounds, orthodontic clinical sessions, and large rounds of pediatric medicine. Some children's dentists also earn additional certification through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. A pediatric dentist is a licensed dental provider who has completed specialized training at a children's hospital or university program.
They are specially trained to understand children's development from birth to puberty and have the skills and education to provide pharmacological treatment for anxiety to patients who need it. Pediatric dentists also receive medical training in advanced topics such as anesthesiology, bacterial growth, oral surgery, and advanced lifesaving techniques. Being able to solve problems and adapt to changing times can really set them apart as pediatric dentists. If you haven't taken your child to a pediatric dentist yet or want to schedule an appointment, look for one who is professionally affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the Georgia Dental Association, the International Association of Dental Traumatology, and the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.