A Typical Day in Pediatric Dentistry-Part 2

What does a Pediatric Dentist do? I mean, what do we actually do on a daily basis?

In Part One on this, I described without too many specifics, the flow of a normal day. Here are some more specific cases I seem to see almost every day:

1. Teeth coming in behind baby teeth. Every day, I mean every day, a child (or several children) presents with this.

2. Chipped or Fractured Teeth-Usually after a long weekend kids show up with small or large fractures of their teeth. Some we just smooth and some need a composite buildup to restore.

3. Premed or Sedation Cases. These are usually the longer operative cases of the day. These are children who need conscious sedation for the longer or more complicated work they require-this can be anywhere from one tooth to multiple quadrants of dentistry: white fillings, stainless steel crowns, Pulpotomies, extractions, Space Maintainers.

4. Routine operative dentistry-one or two fillings, one crown, a couple of extractions for orthodontic reasons, etc. on more cooperative patients.

5. Occasionally the tooth ache, Ulcer, or other odd things that need a dentist’s eye.

6. Orthodontic adjustments-not too many for me as we have a couple orthodontists that handle most cases. Still, I have a few Crossbite corrections etc.

7. AND–of course the many hygiene examinations we do throughout the day. Hospital Cases on Fridays.

What I do not see on a regular basis is something like that that I saw the other day. A “routine” examination of new patient. Yes, one or two cavities, but an evident large swelling in the mandible the size of a golf ball. X-rays, discussions with the other docs in the practice, and finally a referral to an oral surgeon for followup and likely surgical removal of an obvious tumor. Yes, we do see things like that and need to be prepared and educated to make the right decision. That kind of case makes the whole day much more interesting and rewarding.