San Diego, CA – Your child should visit a dentist regularly, beginning at the age of one, or beginning when the first tooth appears. But, did you know you should make sure your child is seeing a pediatric dentist, and not just a regular dentist? San Diego kids dentist Dr. Santiago Surillo explains why.
“Dentists all begin on the same path – we earn an undergraduate degree, then go on to dental school to earn our dental degree,” says Dr. Surillo. “But, after dental school, we can take different paths. A general dentist will go on to begin work right away, while others will continue on to specialize in one of the nine dental specialties. Pediatric dentistry is one of those, and requires additional training.”
A pediatric dentist must complete at least two additional years of training during their pediatric residency. This training is important, because it will not only give them the knowledge they need to help treat and manage the oral health of children as their teeth are developing, but it also provides important training on child behavior, physical development, and treating children with special needs.
A pediatric dentist only treats children – the entire practice will be devoted to ensuring the health, safety and comfort of your child. Pediatric dentistry offices are designed with the child in mind, helping to ease any anxiety or worry associated with visiting a dentist.
“I always explain to people that visiting a pediatric dentist is much like taking your child to see a pediatrician,” says Dr. Surillo. “Your child sees a pediatrician, because the pediatrician specializes in children’s health. He or she has the knowledge and skill set to keep your child healthy, and to know when something may not be right. The same can be said about pediatric dentists – children have unique needs, and we have the skill set to help.”
Children’s teeth are more prone to cavities, so pediatric dentists must be skilled not only in treating and diagnosing dental issues, but also in educating parents and children on proper dental care, as well as habits that can create a problem, such as thumbsucking or extended pacifier use.
But even more than the unique dental needs of children come the unique emotional needs of children. Pediatric dentists work with children each and every day, so they are skilled in speaking with children, and handling their emotions, including fear, that can come along with dental visits.
“Dental health is important, and plays a crucial role in your overall health,” says Dr. Surillo. “We work extremely hard to make your child as comfortable as possible from the moment he or she steps in our office. Pediatric dentistry offices are designed with children in mind, helping to erase fear and anxiety, and allowing for a positive experience for the child.”
A pediatric dentist has the training and experience to ensure your child develops healthy habits, and to intervene to prevent issues when necessary, all while ensuring your child is safe and comfortable. To discover the difference a pediatric dentist can make, call Dr. Surillo today at 619-461-6166.