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Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth.

Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.

Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive oral health care that includes the following:

  • Infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child
  • Preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations
  • Habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics)
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced or knocked-out teeth)


One of the most common dental procedures that pediatric dentists perform is dental fillings. Children’s teeth are prone to decay, which can result in cavities. Most of the time, cavities can be treated with a quick and simple dental filling procedure.

The pediatric dentist will numb the infected tooth and remove any areas that are damaged. After dental drilling is done, the tooth will be filled with a material of the dentist and parent’s choice. Common materials are silver amalgam or ceramic porcelain, both of which are durable and can seal the tooth off.


Having a child visit for regular cleanings is another common and important pediatric dental procedure. Routine cleanings are important because children’s teeth are more susceptible to cavities due to excessive sugar consumption and a lack of oral hygiene.

Dental cleanings are typically straightforward and allow the dentist to remove any built-up plaque that could later turn into tartar.


Another common pediatric dental procedure is a tooth extraction. As surprising as it may sound, many children require an extraction during their youth. When teeth get overly infected or if they do not have room in the mouth, a dentist may recommend that the tooth be pulled.

Extractions can be scary for children, but pediatric dentists are experienced in performing this procedure on children. Localized numbing is done so the child is less likely to feel any pain.


When a tooth is severely infected, the pediatric dentist may recommend that a dental crown be placed. This is one of the most common pediatric dental procedures done today. Dental crowns can restore and renew teeth that are poorly damaged.


The pulp of the tooth is found at the center of the tooth which can’t be seen by the naked eye. It compromises tissues, nerves, and blood vessel which are responsible for channeling the vital nutrients and oxygen to the tooth. Several factors can damage the pulp which leads to tooth decay, extreme pain and pulp exposure leading to inflammation.

Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy are dental procedures under pediatric dentistry that treats pulp tissue of the damaged permanent tooth. Both are essential in addressing the problems, but they have different processes. In pulpotomy, the coronal part of the pulp is removed while in Pulpectomy procedure, the crown and the root canal of the pulp chamber is removed.

For further understanding, Pulpotomy is a common procedure and can be referred to as baby root canal. Pulpotomy restores and saves the tooth infected by a deep cavity. Deep cavity must be treated to avoid the spreading of inflammation and infection that can cause abscess tooth. Pulpectomy, on the other hand, is similar to a root canal. The dentist removes all the pulp from the damage teeth from the crown to the roots. After the removal of the damaged pulp, the area is cleaned and disinfected and filled.


Space maintainers are used when children lose their baby teeth prematurely. They preserve the resulting empty space(s), so the permanent teeth can come in properly. Without a space maintainer, the other baby teeth can move into the space and block the adult tooth from erupting.

These appliances help prevent malocclusions (misalignment of teeth), overcrowding, and other orthodontic conditions.

Space maintainers shouldn't cause pain because they don’t shift or move teeth. Generally, children adjust to them fairly quickly, though they may initially experience bleeding gums.

Monitoring children during the “mixed dentition phase,” when both permanent and baby teeth are present in the mouth, is crucial since teeth misalignment has a high chance of developing during this process.

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