Pediatric dentists are highly trained to help children with their oral healthcare needs.
Being licensed in pediatric dentistry is different than working on children as a general dentist. While general dentists can work on children, pediatric dentists are required to obtain post-dental school education that focuses on adapting general dental procedures to children.
Pediatric Dentistry Education & Licensing Requirements
You must love kids if you’re interested in pediatric dentistry. Besides that, you have to be prepared for years of general and specialty training.
- Bachelor’s Degree. All dentists have to obtain a bachelor’s degree first. Though a specific major is not required, it is beneficial to show fluency in coursework that focuses on biology, chemistry, physics etc.
- Dental Admissions Test. In order to apply to dental school, you must pass the DAT. Plan to take this during your junior year of undergraduate studies.
- Dental School. After completing your bachelor’s degree, you must earn a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited dental school.
- Pediatric Dental Residency. To pursue the pediatric dentist specialty, you must complete a pediatric dental residency program. This will include courses such as child orthodontics, infant oral healthcare and even child development and psychology.
- National Licensing. All dentists must pass both parts of the National Board Dental Examination to obtain general licensing.
- Pediatric Dentist License. Your completion of the pediatric dental residency program will qualify you for licensing in pediatric dentistry. You may have to complete state-level specialty exams depending on where you want to practice.
- Voluntary ABPD Licensing. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry offers certification, which can be obtained by completing additional exams.
We encourage you to explore open pediatric dentist and specialist positions, and contact a Hunter & Spence Dental Career Consultant with any employment questions!
Dental Career Guide: http://www.dentalcareerguide.com/dentist/pediatric/residency.html