Choosing A Pediatric Dentist
Caring for children involves having an understanding of the medical, social, and emotional needs of the individual at different periods of their life. Children are not just little adults. In the same reasoning parents choose a pediatrician to care for their child’s medical needs, a parent should consider a pediatric dental specialist to care for the dental needs.
General Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist
The general dentist may care for children as part of their practice, but does not limit specialization to young people.
The Pediatric Specialist
Just as medical doctors may specialize in a certain area (surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, etc.), a dentist may specialize in pediatric dentistry after finishing a collegiate degree, a doctoral degree in dentistry and then completing an intensive 2 or 3 year residency at an accredited university or hospital. Their training normally also involves caring for individuals with special mental, emotional, and/or physical needs. Growth and development of the facial structures also is an important part of their expertise.
The academic achievements of a pediatric dentist normally include 10 years or more of higher education. Upon completion of their specialty training, a pediatric dentist may voluntarily seek to become a Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. To earn this status, a pediatric dentist must demonstrate broad experience, exceptional skill, and in-depth knowledge. Dr. McNutt became board certified in 1994.