Pedodontics

Professionals in the field of pedodontics are dentists that work with the teeth of children. Read on to learn more about this unique field of dentistry, including educational requirements.

Is Pedodontics For Me?

Career Details

Pedodontics, most recently referred to as pediatric dentistry, involves caring for the teeth of children. As one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (www.ada.org), pedodontics focuses on providing dental care for kids from birth through their teen years. As a pediatric dentist, you would provide both children and their parents with information about oral hygiene, including how to prevent tooth decay by forming a healthy dental regimen. You'd also teach them how poor nutrition and tobacco use can have a negative impact on the health of their teeth and gums.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for all dentists is expected to grow by 16% over the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). The increasing demand for dental services with the growing population is expected to fuel this growth. The BLS also reported that dentists earned a mean annual salary of $163,240 in May 2012.

How Can I Work in Pedodontics?

Dental Education and Licensing

Upon completion of a 4-year program leading to an undergraduate degree, individuals interested in pediatric dentistry must complete four years of dental school, earning a DDS or DMD. Dental education combines both classroom education with clinical training working on patients. Additionally, all states require dentists to be licensed, which requires completing an accredited dental program and passing both a written and practical exam.

Certification in Pedontics

Certification in pediatric dentistry can then be obtained through completion of an additional 2-3 year post-doctoral program in the specialty. As a student in a pediatric dentistry program, you may take courses in subjects such as head and neck anatomy, infant oral health, child psychology, interceptive orthodontics, pharmacology, epidemiology, oral biology, patients with special needs and histology. Graduates of pediatric dentistry programs are eligible to sit for the certification examination given by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (www.abpd.org).

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