What is a Paediatric Dentist?

Published on March 22, 2022
what is a paediatric dentist

Once your child turns one, it’s important to start bringing them to the dentist. Regular visits will allow your dental practitioner to check that your child’s teeth and gums are developing properly, identify any potential issues, and answer any questions you may have about maintaining good oral health in children.

Specialising in the dental treatment of children - including those with special needs - a paediatric dentist can help you ensure your child receives the dental care they require at every stage, for a lifetime of good oral health.

What is a Paediatric Dentist?

A paediatric dentist is a dentist who specialises in the field of dental care and treatment for children. Paediatric dentists have received additional training in this specific area, making them specialists in children’s dental health.

Paediatric dentists are required to undergo an additional three years of specialist qualifications in paediatric dentistry.

What can paediatric dentists do?

Paediatric dentistry can identify and treat a wide range of dental issues and conditions present in children, including:

  • All types of tooth decay
  • Problems with tooth formation or eruption
  • General issues with any area of the mouth at different stages of childhood
  • Dental issues in patients with special emotional needs, e.g. due to a medical condition or a previous traumatic experience
  • Regular teeth cleaning

As children can often be nervous or fearful of visiting the dentist (especially during their first visit), paediatric dentists are trained in the psychology and management of anxious child patients, in order to make the dental experience as calm and comfortable as possible.

Can I take my child to a general dentist?

Absolutely, it’s fine to bring your child in to see your usual National Dental Care or DB Dental dentist for their regular check-ups - all our dentists are experienced and trained in working with children. While you don’t need a referral to see a paediatric dentist, your dentist might refer you to a specialist in paediatric dentistry if your child requires particular treatment.

Our family-friendly practices focus on ensuring your child enjoys a positive and stress-free dental visit, every time. If your child is anxious or you have any concerns, chat to the friendly team at your local practice, who’ll be happy to help.

How much does paediatric dentistry cost?

The cost of a standard dental check up for children can cost anywhere from approximately $50 to $100, depending on where you are in Australia, and what’s included in the check up.

Similarly, the cost of fillings and other treatments will vary, so it is best to speak to your dentist about the expected costs.

Keep in mind that many Australian families can use the Child Dental Benefits Schedule to cover some or all of the costs of children’s dentistry treatments.

What is the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)?

The CDBS is a government scheme that provides benefits for eligible children aged 0-17 for a range of dental services.

If your child is eligible for the CDBS, you may be able to receive up to $1000 in benefits (to be used over two consecutive years), for basic dental services including:

  • Dental examinations
  • X-rays
  • Cleaning
  • Fissure sealing
  • Fillings
  • Extractions

To find out more and to check your eligibility for the CDBS, click here.

At what age should a child begin seeing a paediatric dentist?

Generally speaking, it’s best for a child to start seeing a paediatric dentist either as soon as their first tooth comes through, or by the time they turn one - whichever comes first.

This will allow a dentist to start examining their teeth, watching out for signs of issues that need addressing, and ensuring teeth are coming through well without issues.

Starting young can also have the benefit of familiarisation, helping to avoid dental anxiety further down the track.

As a parent, it can be hard for you to tell the difference between normal teething discomfort and genuine dental issues, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment for a professional inspection.

Book an appointment with a children’s dentist

If your child is due for a dental appointment, book today with your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice.

You can find your nearest practice online.

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