Paediatric dentistry is a field of dentistry which focuses on treating the oral health problems of children from when they are born until they reach the age of sixteen. A lot of Paediatric dentistry specialists work in a consult position in a hospital or in the community dental service as a senior dental officer.
Paediatric Dentistry Specialists
This deals with the dental health of children from birth up to 16. Once a child reaches 16 they are then treated in the normal adult services.
Paediatric dentistry covers a wide range of problems such as tooth extractions and restorations. Children can suffer from the same complaints as adults but there are special considerations when treating young patients.
One example is that of tooth extractions. A general anaesthetic may be better for a child as they are often unable to cope with a long procedure. Children have limited attention spans and will find it very difficult to stay still or remain patient during a procedure. Sedation is another option.
To become a paediatric specialist means a special awareness of children’s needs and their unpredictability!
Many paediatric specialists work as a consultant in a dental hospital, as a senior dental officer or in community dental services.
A paediatric specialist has to have completed a minimum of 2 years of postgraduate training. They must also have Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) which can take a couple of years to achieve. The next step is the Diploma of Membership in Paediatric Dentistry (MPaeDent) from the Royal College of Surgeons
Candidates must complete a further 2 years of SAC training to be awarded the Intercollegiate Fellowship in Paediatric Dentistry, FDS (PaedDent). This will enable him/her to apply for an NHS consultant post.
Paediatric Dentistry Treatment
Paediatric dentistry tends to overlap with several other dental specialties. As such the treatments carried out by a Paediatric dentistry specialist are widely varied. For instance, a child seeking treatment for toothache could potentially require an extraction, a restoration or a treatment of the pulp. Paediatric dentistry specialists also tend to make use of behavioural procedures which can help the child adapt or become less nervous about dental treatments. As children are often too young to be completely cooperative while undergoing treatment, a specialist in Paediatric dentistry often has to perform treatments using sedation, general anaesthetic or nitrous oxide, especially with the more complex treatments.
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