What Makes A Pediatric Dentist Different?

Adequate dental care is important for young children as they grow and develop. You may have heard advertisements announcing the services of a pediatric dentist and wondered to yourself how these dentists differ from the family dentist you visit regularly.

Understanding the core differences between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist will help you see the value in taking your children to a pediatric dentist in the future.

Specialized Training

In order to become a dentist, an individual must pass through a rigorous educational program. These programs are referred to as four-year dental degrees. Your family dentist probably completed his or her four-year degree and then began offering dental services to the public.

A pediatric dentist completes an additional two or three years of training beyond the four-year dental degree. This additional training focuses specifically on the dental and oral hygiene of infants and children. A pediatric dentist will be more knowledgeable when it comes to meeting your child's dental needs.


A visit to the dentist's office can be a frightening experience for a young child. Dentists use a variety of tools while completing a checkup or filling a cavity that a child might find intimidating. As a result, many children act out when they are at the dentist. A family dentist might not enjoy working with a child who is frightened or nervous.

Pediatric dentists pursue specialized training because they want to work with children. They know that dental appointments can be difficult, and they have the patience and tolerance needed to work with even the most challenging youngster to provide quality oral care.

Office Environment

If you have had the opportunity to visit a dental practice that specializes in the treatment of young children, then you know that these practices maintain a very unique office environment. Bright paint colors are featured throughout the waiting room and exam rooms. Televisions with cartoons are often found in waiting rooms. Toys, books, and kid-friendly magazines are available at all times.

This lighthearted and fun environment can help to put a child who is nervous about the dentist at ease. Since pediatric dentists only see children as patients, they design their practices to meet the needs of a child. A family dentist will have a more mature and sophisticated feel that young children can find intimidating.

Pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to help your child establish healthy oral hygiene habits and treat any dental issues that your child may experience as he or she develops.