Paediatric Dentistry is the branch of dentistry that is concerned with preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children from birth through to adolescence, and especially for those with special needs. It includes management of orofacial problems related to medical, behavioural, physical and developmental disabilities.
What is a specialist Paediatric Dentist?
Paediatric Dentists are specialists and must have completed at least three years of additional full time study after their general dentistry training. The additional training is supervised and under the direction of specialist dental and medical staff in various hospitals and university clinics, so the Paediatric Dentist has a broad range of experience in managing the diverse oral health care needs of children.
A Paediatric Dentist must register their specialist qualification with the Dental Board in their jurisdiction and restrict their practice to Paediatric Dentistry. In Australia, this is The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). AHPRA lists registered oral health therapists, hygienists, dentists and specialists in Australia. You can check the registration and qualifications of clinicians online at www.ahpra.gov.au.
Like all specialty areas of dentistry, paediatric dentistry falls within the scope of the General Dentist, the Dental Therapist, and the Oral Health Therapist. While many general dental practitioners may have an interest or experience in the management of children’s oral health, only registered specialists in Paediatric Dentistry may refer to themselves as a Paediatric Dentist.