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by Dr. Ryan Roberts

“What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

That’s a common question from parents.

Simply put, a pediatric dentist specializes in caring for children as they go through the various stages of childhood, from infancy to the teen years.

Our whole goal is to create a dental home that is safe, friendly and effective for kids, so they can relax and be free of fear and anxiety.

Kid-Friendly

From a child’s point of view, a trip to the dentist can be a scary event. When young children are anxious or afraid, we can’t expect them to sit back and cooperate like you and I do.

Pediatric dentists are trained — and our staff is trained — to make sure children feel comfortable and to put their fears at ease.

Still, some kids are afraid no matter what.  Some may need to go to sleep for treatment, while others may need to go to the hospital and undergo anesthesia.

A pediatric dentist will tailor the exact level of care based on the specific needs of your child.

Growth and Development

Children are not just little adults; their bodies are constantly growing, developing and changing.

Pediatric dentists know what problems to look for during a child’s growth and development, so we can avoid major issues later.

For instance, we monitor children’s baby teeth to make sure their permanent teeth can come in properly. If a child’s teeth are crowded, or coming in behind other teeth, we might remove selected teeth to create room for the permanent teeth.

That’s a simple example of an issue we can fix early, but if left untreated, can cause major problems down the road — problems that are invasive for the child and quite costly for the family.

Special Needs Kids

Finally, some children have medical problems such as autism, cancer, cerbral palsey, a congenital heart defect, Down’s syndrome… any of a variety of issues.

As pediatric dentists, we’ve been trained to take care of special needs children in a very safe and effective manner.  We treat kids with medical needs that a general dentist or a family practice dentist may not be trained or equipped to to handle.

Above all, for me personally, I enjoy taking care of kids and not everyone does.  I like kids and they like me, and I enjoy being a resource for families.

That’s one of the main reasons I became a pediatric dentist.

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Did you know children’s first dental visit should be by first tooth or first birthday?

That’s why On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry provides free examinations for children up to 18 months old.

Appointments are limited. Please call our office at 918.970.4944 for more information.

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