Pediatric Dentists and Oral Surgery

A Pediatric Dentist is a dental professional that primarily focuses on the dental care of infants, toddlers, children and adolescents up to age 18. Pediatric Dentists are just like regular doctors when it comes to surgery, some Dentists perform oral surgery and others do not. A Pediatric Oral Surgeon provides treatment for the teeth, gums and jaw of children.

Pediatric patients can experience dental trauma like any other patient and may require surgery or an extraction. If your Pediatric Dentist does not perform surgeries, they will be able to refer you to a Pediatric Oral Surgeon for care.

What is the difference between a DDS and DMD?

DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine and DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. Both are degrees that Dentists receive but there is a distinction. Both DMD and DDS spend between 7 and 8 years in college and dental school receiving training and both must pass a state license certification exam that qualifies them as licensed Dentists. A DDS will typically spend an additional 4 to 6 years in training after dental school, typically in a hospital surgical environment.

What type of surgical treatments does a DDS perform?

A DDS performs procedures such as:

  • Tooth extractions
  • Dental implant placement
  • Repair of broken bones in the jaws and face
  • Removal of cysts and tumors of the jaws
  • Soft tissue biopsies
  • Jaw realignment surgery to correct bite issues
  • Cosmetic and TMJ surgeries.

Why choose a DDS if your child needs oral surgery?

If your pediatric dentist refers you to an oral surgeon, it is because they determined that the best way to treat your child is with a specialist. With a wealth of surgical training, Oral Surgeons have also been exposed to a wide range of complications that can arise during surgical procedures and are best equipped to treat any that may occur. Having a Pediatric Oral Surgeon treat your child means that they will be treated by a dental professional who has undergone specialty training and has experience performing the procedure your child needs.

If you find yourself in a position in which your child needs oral surgery, your first step should still be their Pediatric Dentist. They will evaluate the area and determine the best path of treatment for your child’s individual case. If they are unable to provide the best treatment, they will refer you to a Pediatric Oral Surgeon for specialized care. Your first visit with the Oral Surgeon will likely be a simple consultation unless your child is experiencing an emergency, in which case they may be treated right away.

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