Questions and Answers
About Pediatric Dentistry


1. What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dentist who specializes in treating children. Just as pediatricians are physicians who care for children's medical needs, pediatric dentists are dentists who care for children's oral health needs.


2. Is pediatric dentistry something new?

No. The American Dental Association recognized the specialty of pediatric dentistry in 1948. Pediatric dentistry is one of only eight specialties recognized by the ADA.


3. What special training do pediatric dentists receive?

To become a pediatric dentist, an individual must first complete dental school. After dental school, the dentist receives another two or three years of specialized training in pediatric dentistry. This training includes not only the latest clinical techniques in providing dental services for children, but also training in child psychology, child behavior, growth and development, and other issues pertinent to the special oral health needs of children.


4. Do I need a referral from another dentist or a pediatrician to take my child to a pediatric dentist?

No. While many children are referred to pediatric dentists from other doctors, parents are invited to call the pediatric dentist of their choice directly to schedule an appointment for their child.


5. How is a pediatric dentist's office different from a general dentist's office?

Because they specialize in children, pediatric dentists try to create an environment where children will be comfortable. They frequently use bright, primary colors and have play areas and games available for the children. In addition, pediatric dentists have specially trained staffs who know how to make children feel at ease and attend to their needs.