Last Updated: September 4, 2019
Alpharetta, GA – A lot of children are treated by general dentists, but your child can benefit from seeing a pediatric dentist. Why is that?
A general dentist graduates from dental school, and is ready to start seeing patients. But a pediatric dentist spends two additional years after dental school training to meet the needs of children. This time is spent focusing on behavior management, sedation dental treatment, pediatric dental procedures and orthodontics. General dentists aren’t typically trained in these important skills.
“Dealing with pediatric patients can take a special set of skills,” says Dr. Nanna Ariaban, a children’s dentist in Alpharetta.
“After I went to dental school, I spent additional time learning more about how to care for the unique dental needs of children, and I’ve dedicated my professional career to serving children. That means I understand the unique challenges that can sometimes bring, and my office is equipped to help them feel comfortable and safe.”
A pediatric dentist spends years beyond dental school in caring for children, understanding their dental needs and honing their skills to meet those needs. During this training, pediatric dentists learn about issues specific to children, such as sedative guidelines, how to adapt to a child’s behavior, how to treat children under general anesthesia, and how to earn a child’s trust to make them feel at home.
But in addition to their additional training and experience, pediatric dentists also have the ideal personalities for handling small patients.
“Children can often be afraid of visiting the dentist, and that can lead to crying, screaming, and other less than ideal behavior,” says Dr. Nanna. “But, at our office, we work hard to help all of our patients through their fear. Because we work with children every day, we know and expect these things to happen, but we also know how to handle it. We work hard to ensure everything in our office, from the decorations, to entertainment, to furniture, is there to help children feel at home.”
Pediatric dentists are like the pediatricians of dentistry. They specialize in providing the comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral care that your child needs. They serve children from their infancy through adolescence, and are trained in treating children with special needs.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and your typical family dentist?
The main difference you’ll find between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist is that a pediatric dentist can provide the specialized care that children need and deserve. Their additional training has provided them with knowledge in child psychology, growth and development that a general dentist may not have.
The tools at a general dentist are also not catered to children. It isn’t just about sitting in the chair. There are a lot of factors that go into a dental visit. The environment, the decorations, the dentist and the tools. The equipment used at Polka and other pediatric dental offices use tools that are specifically created for use with children. The walls are painted and rooms are decorated with a child’s eyes in mind.
The comprehensive oral care a top pediatric dentist provides includes:
- Oral exams for infants that includes risk assessment for caries
- Preventive dental care that includes cleaning, fluoride treatment, nutrition and diet recommendations
- Counseling on habits, such as pacifier use and thumb sucking
- Early orthodontic assessments and referrals
- Restoration of cavities or defects
- Diagnosis of oral conditions that can be associated with other diseases.
- Care for dental injuries
“Children look like miniatures of us, but they aren’t just little adults,” says Dr. Nanna. “They aren’t always capable of sitting still, or of fully understanding what we need to do and why. My staff and I are experienced in ensuring all of our patients are comfortable from the moment they walk in the door until the moment they leave.”
When you choose a pediatric dentist for your child’s oral care, you can ensure you’re getting the best and most up-to-date treatment, and the care and resources to prevent, detect and treat your child’s oral health needs throughout the stages of their development. All in an environment that caters to their comfort and safety.