Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
To become a pediatric dental specialist, a dentist must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 24 months in an advanced education program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA). Such programs must be designed to provide special knowledge and skills beyond the DDS or DMD training. The curriculum of an advanced program provides the dentist with necessary didactic background and clinical experiences to provide comprehensive primary oral health care and the services of a specialist. Pediatric dentists provide care, conduct research and teach in a variety of clinical and institutional settings, including private practice and public health. They work in coordination with other health care providers and members of social disciplines for the benefit of children.
Pediatric dentists are trained to provide care that encompasses a variety of disciplines, techniques, procedures and skills that share a common basis with other specialties but are modified and adapted to the unique requirements of infants, children, adolescents and those with special health care needs.
By being an age-specific specialty, pediatric dentistry encompasses disciplines such as behavior guidance; care of medically and developmentally compromised and disabled patients; supervision of oro-facial growth and development; caries prevention;; sedation pharmacological management and hospital dentistry, as well as other traditional fields of dentistry. These skills are applied to the needs of children throughout their ever-changing stages of development and to treating conditions and diseases unique to growing individuals.
REFERENCE MANUAL V 37 / NO 6 15 / 16