1. EDUCATION All dentists go through a ton of a training...high school, college, and four years of dental school. Dental school does a great job of preparing us to do general adult dentistry, but not so much kids' dentistry. A recent dental school graduate could have easily done only a handful of fillings on children vs. hundreds or maybe even thousands on adults. Because of this and so many other reasons, pediatric dentistry is a specialty within the dental field, meaning extra school...YAY! Us lucky few that can call ourselves pediatric dentists have gone through all of the schooling mentioned before and then some. After finishing dental school, we complete specialty training in a residency program that's 2-3 years long so that we can truly understand the best way to care for kids. Adding this 2-3 years onto everything else makes that about 22-23 years of school, from grade school through residency, in case you were wondering! 2. Experience Anyone can read a dental education book. You know you want to. But actually treating live, breathing, moving kids is a whole different world. The books obviously give the foundation to stand on, but when a 3 year old is crying and screaming while you're trying to clean their teeth or place a filling is no time to stop everything and think "Hey, I wonder what behavior type she is?" This is where experience kicks in. Because we pediatric dentists have seen and done so many various forms of treatment on kids of all ages, we're able to take in boat loads of information from a child in very, very short amounts of time, process it and spit it back out (not literally) in the form of efficient but caring dental treatment. And don't worry parents, because we have so much experience, even the kids who are super strong, nervous or "won't let anyone near their mouth" will do just fine. That's what I, and all the other pediatric dentists are here for...and we actually enjoy it! We have magical abilities to help each and every child have a positive dental experience, because we've seen and cared for all types of kids in all types of situations 3. Expertise When you think of an expert, you typically think of someone who has the education, training and experience to provide the most accurate information and/or services. That's exactly who a pediatric dentist is. I can, therefore, be considered an expert in kids' oral health. It's not just about filling cavities or cleaning teeth; it's about providing children with the information and treatment they need to achieve lifelong dental health..and not be a terrified adult dental patient. Think of how many times you've heard someone say that they hate going to the dentist. It's likely because of a bad experience they had when they were little. That's why we're here...to avoid that happening to any other child that will someday become an adult. Habits (good or bad) formed now will last a lifetime, and phobias can too. With our knowledge and experience described in the first two Es, and the excellent treatment that results, kids tell me that they love coming to the dentist!