Office News |4 min read

What Is a Pediatric Dentist? (And 5 Other Top Questions)

smiling children playing with bubbles

Your child’s health is a huge priority as a parent.

Oral health plays a big part in keeping your child healthy, happy, and growing as they should.


This means choosing a pediatric dentist in Charleston, WV is super important.

Your next question is going to be either “Why should I choose a pediatric dentist?” or “What’s a pediatric dentist anyways?


I’ll break down what a pediatric dentist is and five other top questions I often hear about pediatric dentistry.

Ready? Let’s start with question one.

Q: What is a pediatric dentist?

A: Pediatric dentists… This text opens a new tab to the AAPD.ORG website…  provide specialized oral healthcare only to infants and children through adolescence – including those with special health needs.

Fun fact: A pediatric dentist is called a “pedodontist.”

Q: What do pediatric dentists do?

A: Pedodontists are the pediatricians of oral healthcare. We’re uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health because we’re focused only on their specific needs and preventative care for children.

Fun fact: Pediatric dentists have an extra two to three years of training at university pediatric facilities. (That’s on top of dental school.)

Q: How is pediatric dentistry different from general dentistry?

A: Pediatric dentists are primary dental healthcare providers with specialized training for infants, children, and adolescents.

We’re also trained and qualified to treat special needs patients and perform sedation dentistry for your littles.

Fun fact: Pediatric dentists can treat your child in a hospital setting too.

Q: Is pediatric dentistry hard?

A: Yes, it is. It takes specialized training to become a pediatric dentist. This starts with additional years of schooling – plus yearly education requirements to maintain our specialization.

Think of it like this:

Every child is different, so pediatric dentists have to know a wide range of approaches to help a child complete needed dental treatment.

It seems like a lot (and it is), but pediatric dentists want to take excellent care of your child, so we don’t mind the work.

Fun fact: From infancy to adolescence, your child’s anatomy changes. Pediatric dentists are trained to handle every stage of your child’s oral healthcare.

Q: What are pediatric dentistry procedures?

A: Interestingly enough, the procedures are similar to general dental services for adults. This includes:

Here’s the difference:

We focus on treating children with their unique concerns, challenges, and perspectives.

Fun fact: Pediatric dentists use pediatric (kid size) dentistry tools to examine and treat your child.

Q: So, how do you choose a pediatric dentist?

A: Selecting a pediatric dentist for your child feels like a big decision for many parents. You want a great dentist and a lifetime of healthy oral habits for your child.

I get it!

Follow these three steps as according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry… This text opens a new tab to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website…:

  1. Ask for recommendations: Your pediatrician can refer you to local pediatric dentists. They work closely with us more often than you think.
  2. Partner-up: Make sure you and your child’s pediatric dentist mesh well together. You’ll work together to maintain your child’s oral health.
  3. Have important conversations: You should always ask questions if you don’t understand something your pediatric dentist talks about.

And here’s a bonus step:

When researching for a pediatric dentist, pay attention if they have board certification.

Board certification is a big deal – not just a fancy title.


Because it’s optional.

Board certification requires a ton of extra training and certifications to earn.

What it means for you:

Your child receives high-quality oral healthcare based on a set of standards for excellence from a board-certified pediatric dentist.

Fun fact: I’m (Dr. Tracy Wilkerson) a board-certified pediatric dentist in Charleston, WV.

I covered a lot of information about pediatric dentists.

So let’s recap:

Pediatric dentists solely focus on your child’s oral health from infancy to adolescence.

Now you’re ready to book an appointment with a pediatric dentist.

Get dentistry designed for kids at Children’s Dentistry

At Children’s Dentistry, I believe every appointment is special because every child is unique. Each treatment is adapted to your child’s age, needs, and comfort level when they come in.

I love getting to work and playing with kids every day. I love helping families create a lifetime of excellent dental health as a board-certified pediatric dentist.

I’d love the opportunity to see if I’m the right pediatric dentist for your child.

Book an appointment with me, and let’s chat.


I find it truly rewarding to make a real impact on the lives of families in our community here in Charleston, WV. My office happily serves our surrounding areas, including Beckley, Lewisburg, Parkersburg, & Huntington.

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