General Question

jamms's avatar

What is a good reason for visiting a pediatric dentist over a standard dentist?

Asked by jamms (609points) July 15th, 2008

I have an 11 year old who needs a tooth pulled. Her step father is insisting on using a pediatric dentist. Is she of the age where that is still important? What does a pediatric dentist do that another dentist could not? What age is it appropriate to switch from a pediatric dentist to a standard dentist?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Here’s one answer (emphasis is mine):

“Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health and unique needs of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training is required to become a pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares pediatric dentists to meet the unique needs of your infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs.”

mcbealer's avatar

As per above, if you have access to specialized medical treatment, go for it.

chaosrob's avatar

Children’s anatomy may require different tools and procedures than an adult. Drug dosing requirements, especially the use of any anesthesia, can be very different for a child than an adult. If there’s someone skilled available, I’d use them.

jamms's avatar

Good deal, thanks guys.. Maybe I should have elaborated more, my insurance covers up to a child of 6 years old to visit a pediatric dentist. This child is 11. If the cost difference is over $200 to visit a specialist is it necessary to go to a kids dentist when the girl in question is almost a teenager?

scamp's avatar

One word of caution. Ask for references if you can. Having the title of pediatric dentist doesn’t always mean they will be wonderful with children. I could tell you a few horror stories about what happened to my daughter, but I will spare you. I think she can see either dentist if she doesn’t have any special needs. If it were me, I would take her to the regualr dentist and save the $200.00.

Whatever you decide, I hope she does well and has minimal pain.

marinelife's avatar

With the additional information provided, I would not bother as long as your child now is OK about dentist visits and does not have any especially difficult dental conditions.

edwardomd's avatar

I will add to this because I am in my residency for pediatrics. First of pediatrician or pediatric specialist of any type does not mean toddler, it generally means not adult. So I would get the she is almost a teenager out of your head. The second this I will add is while 200 may feel like a decent amount of money, it is nothing to medically make sure things are done right.

From the tools to the knowledge and extensive additional training, pediatrics should always be utilized when it is possible. As far as an insurance company that will only allow pediatrics until 6, I would get rid of them. It sounds like the insurance company is the problem more then anything. This must be a DMO or similar, they contract usually with larger but lesser quality practices that are more like dental assembly lines then offices. These offices like American Dental Concepts, and other chains (not individual Dr’s) are usually lesser quality.

Funny thing is you would probably pay a little more to take your car to someone who worked on that type pf car or problem if you had one, without question. Why do people always try to save a buck on something like this?

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