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What is Pedodontics?

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Let us first define pedodontics. Paedodontics is a subspecialty of dentistry that focuses on the care and management of children's teeth. It treats patients from birth to adolescence and is also known as paediatric dentistry. Its objective is twofold: to care for children's teeth while also educating patients about proper dental hygiene and maintenance for their young children.

Paediatric dentistry's success is based on early oral examinations, which can lead to the early detection of dental problems, preventing major and long-term damage to children's teeth. A pedodontic clinic is required for oral examinations.

Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry

MDS in Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry is a three-year postgraduate degree programme that requires a BDS from a recognised college or institute.

Pedodontic Dentistry

Pedodontics is a dental speciality that deals with the care of children's teeth. It is also spelt as pedodontics. The pedodontist is basically concerned with the prevention, which includes instruction in a proper diet, fluoride use, and oral hygiene practices. The pedodontist's routine practise focuses on caries (tooth decay), but it also includes influencing tooth alignment. To correct early abnormalities in tooth position, lengthy treatment may be required. Braces or other types of correctional devices may be used.

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

Pediatric dentists perform a variety of important functions related to a child's overall oral health and hygiene. They place a special emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are important in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and also hold space for permanent teeth.

Other important functions include:

Education – Pediatric dentists educate children using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology, emphasising the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy. They also counsel parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, healthy eating habits, and other aspects of household hygiene.

Monitoring Growth – Pediatric dentists can anticipate dental issues and intervene quickly before they worsen by continuously tracking growth and development. Working toward earlier corrective treatment also helps to maintain the child's self-esteem and promotes a more positive self-image.

Prevention – Helping parents, as well as children, establish sound eating and oral care habits

Pedodontic Treatment

It is strongly advised in pedodontic treatment that all young children be examined by a paediatric dentist from an early age. The first step in treatment is the patient's first dental checkup. As a general rule, young children should see a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears, or by the time the child is one year old. These early visits inform parents of whether they're properly cleaning their child's teeth at home.

Following the initial visit, regular checkups every six months should be scheduled. Patients will have routine teeth cleaning and dental exams during these regular checkups. A fluoride treatment may also be administered by the dentist on a regular basis to protect against tooth decay caused by sugars and bacteria.

In the course of paedodontic treatment, the dentist may need to perform several procedures, including the few procedures listed below:

  1. Fillings – This entails removing any decayed or damaged tooth structure. After that, the hole is filled with metal, plastic, or other filling materials. The procedure keeps the decay from worsening and spreading further into the tooth.

  2. Extractions – Tooth extractions are done when a tooth is severely damaged or infected, or when a child's teeth are overcrowded.

  3. Dental Crowns – Dental crowns may also be required for young children to restore badly damaged teeth. The procedure begins with the removal of caries or cavities and the reduction of the size of the tooth to accommodate the crown.

  4. Root Canals – Root canals are typically used to treat decayed or infected teeth, as well as injuries that result in tooth loss.

  5. Dental X-rays – Dental x-rays are a standard part of a routine dental exam. Dentists can use x-rays to detect bone damage, tooth decay, impacted teeth, and dental injuries, among other potentially serious issues.

  6. Sealants – Once children start getting their molars, dentists may recommend the use of sealants which generally protect the surface of the teeth from wear as well as tear.

Paedodontic treatment may also include oral as well as maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics in some cases. Orthodontics, for example, is most commonly performed during a child's adolescent years because this is the best time to ensure that the teeth and jawbones are properly aligned. Orthodontic treatment can assist teenagers in avoiding many potential tooth problems as they enter adulthood.

Possible Risks and Complications

Since patients who undergo paedodontic treatment are generally adolescent, this branch of dentistry involves some special risks.  For one thing, many young patients are afraid of undergoing dental treatments, which can make even simple procedures difficult. As a result, paediatric dentists are educated and must have the patience and determination to treat all young patients, including those with difficult cases.

The use of dental anaesthesia is another source of concern for young patients undergoing dental procedures. Anaesthesia, according to studies, carries some unavoidable risks, including:

Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic agent

  1. Dizziness

  2. Sleepiness

  3. Nausea

  4. Vomiting

Dental procedures themselves also come with several risks, including:

  1. Severe pain (or pain that is unbearable to the child )

  2. Severe bleeding

  3. Fever

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FAQs on Pedodontics

1. What Procedures Do Pediatric Dentists Do?

Answer: Common Pediatric Dental Procedures

  • Crowns Made of Stainless Steel (SSCs) Stainless steel crowns are used to restore back teeth that have become too decayed to tolerate white fillings.

  • Tooth Colored Fillings (Composite Resin) 

  • X-Rays (Radiographs)

  • Cleaning of the teeth, also known as dental cleaning(Prophylaxis).

  • Fluoride. 

  • Cavities (Caries)

  • Early (Interceptive) Orthodontic Care. 

  • Extractions (Tooth Removal).

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