Are you thinking about pursuing a career in Pediatric Dentistry? Becoming a children’s dentist can be a vastly rewarding career path. A child’s dentist has the responsibility of creating or defeating life-long dental anxiety in every patient they see. Children’s dentistry requires a specialization one step further than a degree from dental school.
Pediatric dentists treat patients from infancy to teenage years. Working with this specific age group requires children’s dentists to be extremely reassuring and comforting with their patients. This age group also goes through the most dramatic biological development. A child’s dentist must understand development within the oral and facial structure as well as other areas that may affect oral health. It’s in their hands to guide young patients to a healthy oral hygiene routine for the rest of their lives.
Education to Become a Children’s Dentist
If you didn’t decide to pursue pediatric dentistry in middle school, you aren’t doomed. However, if you did, you have quite an advantage. You can begin tailoring your class schedule around things that will be useful to learn and that will look great when applying for higher education. Take classes in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Anatomy to gain an advantage when applying to universities.
Most often, dental schools require aspiring dentists to have a Bachelor’s Degree. Requirements for acceptance differs between dental schools, but some degrees will give you a leg up. Study Biology or another science to set yourself apart from other dental school applicants when the time comes.
Aspiring pediatric dentists spend four years after undergraduate completion in dental school. Degrees available from dental schools are a Doctorate of Dental Surgery or a Doctorate of Dental Medicine. This is where you learn how to practice dentistry. Pediatric specialization is not included in this degree.
During the application process, dental schools consider your degree, GPA, recommendations, and Dental Acceptance Test scores. In school, potential dentists will study anesthesia, anatomy, and periodontology.
For two years after dental school completion, students complete a residency. This is the point where someone aspiring to be a children’s dentist gains experience and skills related to working with children. Here, what is taught in dental school is put into practice and you will learn how to adjust techniques for children.
Each state has its own licensing process. In most states, you can expect to complete a written exam and a practical exam. To practice pediatric dentistry, you may be required to complete a specific pediatric exam.
What to Expect as a Children’s Dentist
As a children’s dentist, you can expect some standard duties whether you are working in a private practice or a public clinic. Children’s dentists’ duties include:
- Examination of jaw bones and gum tissue
- Pre-evaluation of orthodontic treatment
- X-ray scanning, evaluation, and diagnosis
- Routine dental check-ups and cleanings
- Initial dental exams
- Repair and treatment of cavities, oral disease, and dental injuries
Visit Us to Learn More
Make an appointment today with Children’s Dental Care and Orthodontics to get a check-up and ask some questions about Dr. LaLande’s career. We work hard to build a foundation for maintaining healthy oral hygiene that will last a lifetime.