So you’re a Pediatric Dentist, what does that mean?

Hello and welcome to The Children’s Dental Center blog, Tooth ‘Chatter’!

Dr. Jenn Feingold would love to tell you more about what it means to be a pediatric dentist!

What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is an individual who has chosen to focus their professional career on the oral health care of patients from birth through their teenage years or patients with special healthcare needs regardless of age. Pediatric dentists have specialized skill sets when it comes to caring for their patients, especially in terms of parental guidance, dental treatment recommendations, and behavior modification. They understand that children are not ‘just small adults’ and strive to make going to the dentist a positive experience.

How do you become a pediatric dentist?

On average, most pediatric dentists complete a four-year degree at an undergraduate school prior to applying to dental school. Once accepted into dental school, one must complete four more years of school and graduate with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. At this point, most dentists choose to go on and practice as general dentists, however, a small percentage decide to pursue more training in specialized areas such as pediatrics. You must apply and ‘match’ into a residency program for specialty training. If accepted, most pediatric dentists then spend an extra two years in residency (for a total of 10 years of school!) focused on the treatment and care of pediatric patients and those with special healthcare needs only.

Why a pediatric dentist?

All dentists are able to treat children, however, pediatric dentist have additional training focused solely on the care of your child. Baby teeth are different than permanent teeth in terms of shape, size, and composition and thus they require different treatment than an adult tooth. Pediatric dentists also receive additional training in terms of nitrous oxide use, sedation medication, and general anesthesia which can provide many treatment options to best serve your child’s needs.


Contact Dr. Jenn Feingold at the children's dental center at 2761 Oakdale Blvd Suite 4, Coralville, IA 52241. Our office is open Monday through Thursday - 7 am to 5 pm. Call (319) 626-5437 and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

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