Pediatric Dentist Salary

In recent years, of all the health scares faced by kids, tooth problems are one of the most aggravated forms. This is essentially due to improper or insufficient dental care. Kids are not as aware as the adults are, of the regimen that should necessarily be followed to ensure proper tooth care. Therefore, they tend to ignore it, giving way to tooth problems. This is when it becomes essential to use the advice and expertise of a pediatric dentist. Their core job is to diagnose the problem and suggest treatment measures to overcome it. It also includes providing tips on better dental care that will ensure that such problems are avoided in the future.

The salary relies on various factors such as education acquired, experience gained, number of working hours, and the location of work.

The following table shows the basic state-wise salaries of pediatric dentists. The salary range depends upon the location, size of the employer, volume of practice, your knowledge, and experience. These figures may also vary according to the individual’s education, qualification, and specialization. New York, so far, is the highest payer, with an average salary of around USD 215,000 – USD 250,000, while they are paid around USD 180,000 in Virginia, and around USD 170,000 – USD 180,000 in Wisconsin! Moreover, the career opportunities, too, in this field are excellent as there are many health care organizations and hospital job openings expected in the near future.

*All figures mentioned in this article are in US dollars, as per Indeed as of May 2014.

State-wise Salary Range

Alabama $206,000
Alaska $153,000
Arizona $169,000
Arkansas $204,000
California $219,000
Colorado $182,000
Connecticut $236,000
Delaware $180,000
Florida $191,000
Georgia $233,000
Hawaii $128,000
Idaho $138,000
Illinois $232,000
Indiana $197,000
Iowa $200,000
Kansas $187,000
Kentucky $175,000
Louisiana $178,000
Maine $181,000
Maryland $210,000
Massachusetts $245,000
Michigan $208,000
Minnesota $179,000
Mississippi $212,000
Missouri $200,000
Montana $182,000
Nebraska $150,000
Nevada $159,000
New Hampshire $202,000
New Jersey $221,000
New Mexico $180,000
New York $248,000
North Carolina $195,000
North Dakota $182,000
Ohio $196,000
Oklahoma $188,000
Oregon $196,000
Pennsylvania $197,000
Rhode Island $188,000
South Carolina $199,000
South Dakota $155,000
Tennessee $188,000
Texas $198,000
Utah $160,000
Vermont $182,000
Virginia $182,000
Washington $208,000
West Virginia $193,000
Wisconsin $183,000
Wyoming $170,000

Job Responsibilities

  • A pediatric dentist is the head of the department and, therefore, apart from treating dental problems in children, he shoulders the responsibility of many other duties and tasks. Some of them are mentioned below.
  • The most important job is to carry out an overall checkup of the patient’s teeth and then try to identify the problems through diagnostic procedures and generating X-rays.
  • Sometimes, the patient’s teeth are fine and require just a cleanup. In such cases, the dentist’s job is to clean his/her teeth and suggest measures for maintaining good dental health.
  • Filling cavities, placing bridges and dentures, and pulling out damaged and irreparable teeth also form an important part of the job description.
  • Other responsibilities include preparing case documents and preserving medical records associated with patient history, treatment measures, etc., for future references.
  • They also need to work on tooth care developmental plans in order to render a good level of patient care.
  • Using specialized lab equipment and taking proper care by maintaining and repairing them, whenever necessary, is also a part of their responsibility.
  • If employed in a health care organization, then going out for kids’ dental checkup campaigns is also an important duty.
  • They also need to communicate and counsel the child and parents about any problem in an effective manner and inculcate the importance of regular tooth care in them.
  • Managing day-to-day appointments and looking after administrative work in the office is also a part of their daily routine.

Educational Requirements

Pediatric dentistry is a specialized branch, and therefore, it requires expert training on the subject. The first step is to successfully complete the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and then seek admission in a dental school. Next, you need to complete a four-year program in general dentistry from a reputed college or university and earn a degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). This is followed by pursuing continued education from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This should be done to maintain the license of working as a pediatric dentist and also to keep yourself updated on the latest trends and advanced dental procedures. This field includes training and education on child psychology, craniofacial anomalies in children, child development, dealing and caring for children who need special care and attention, child-related pharmacology, and detailed study of oral diseases and problems in children. To obtain a license, it is absolutely necessary to pass the state board examination.

A job or career as a pediatric dentist is emotionally fulfilling and monetarily satisfying, but not an easy one. It requires a special understanding towards child psychology and a knack of dealing with children. So, if you are really interested and you think that you have what it takes, just follow your heart, because rest assured, you can develop a very promising career in this field.

Dental Insurance Plans With No Waiting Period

Dental insurance is indispensable since the cost of dental care is exorbitant. A plethora of alternatives are available to people desirous of maintaining good oral health. For a regular premium, the insurance company agrees to cover the cost of dental services. Although, people have the option of choosing either individual or group dental insurance, where the former works out very expensive. Hence, a majority are covered under their employer’s group dental insurance plan. Employers, again, have the option of providing coverage under one of the following dental plans:

  • Traditional Dental Insurance
  • Direct Reimbursement Plans
  • Managed Care Plans

For a long time, employers were providing indemnity or traditional dental insurance. Over time, most employers switched over to managed care plans, viz. Dental Health Maintenance Organization Insurance Plans (DHMO) and Dental Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO), since these plans were cost-effective. It would behoove the reader to note that direct reimbursement plans are the most expensive of the lot, although they provide a number of benefits that are not available to people covered under the other two plans. For instance, direct reimbursement dental insurance and no waiting period go hand in hand.

Dental Plans with No Waiting Period

Some dental plans provide coverage for routine care only and a major dental procedure is covered only after the insured individual has bought the coverage plan for certain time period. This period can be anywhere between 3 months to a year. Dental insurance companies invoke a waiting period, as a preventive measure, meant to discourage customers who will sign up for dental insurance, undergo a major dental procedure and then resign from the plan. This brings us to the importance of dental insurance with no waiting period, a couple of plans have been profiled below, for preventive, diagnostic, restorative, major and adjunctive services.

Direct Reimbursement Plans
Direct reimbursement plan is the most expensive dental insurance. No waiting period clause is an inherent feature of this plan on account of the very nature of coverage. The plan requires the insured to pay the dentist up-front for the services rendered. The coverage is typically employment-based and the insured/employee is expected to submit the bill to the employer and claim either a part, or the entire amount of money paid in lieu of the services rendered. In addition to the no waiting period clause, this is the only plan that covers even preexisting conditions. The insured is also allowed to visit any doctor of his/her choice and there is no pre-authorization requirement for any procedure. However, this plan is very expensive and employment based.

Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans are preferred to direct reimbursement plans since they are not employment based and are cost-effective, thus allowing the members to save as much as 60 percent on procedures like cleanings, fillings, braces and checkups. Since dental discount plans are not employment based, they are a good alternative to dental insurance for seniors. A person can become a member by paying a nominal membership fee. Being a part of a group confers collective bargaining power on the members, thus allowing them to receive substantial discounts. Hence, these plans are a cheaper alternative to dental insurance. No waiting period clause is also an important feature of dental discount plans that ensures instantaneous coverage for various procedures. Immediate coverage can be attributed to the fact that dental discount plans are different from dental insurance.

Note.: It would always be advisable to read the dental insurance offer document carefully. Conditions do apply and it is mandatory for one to understand the terms and conditions thoroughly. Ensure that you have understood the policy’s waiting period. Negligence in such cases may turn out disastrous for the insurer.

Waiting Period for Dental Insurance Plans

Traditional plans and managed care plans have a waiting period clause. As mentioned earlier, managed care plans are popular group dental insurance plans, since they are the cheapest. While opting for dental insurance, no waiting period clause is one of the most important features that one should focus on, in addition to the preexisting condition excluding period. Although, group plans can help in case of preexisting conditions, people may have to contend with the following waiting period requirement in case of traditional and managed care plans:

Dental insurance plans for individuals does not require a waiting period for preventive procedures, like cleaning. Some companies consider topical fluoride treatment for children, under the age 16 and space maintainers for children under age 12, as preventive oral care, while others term these as basic or restorative. Again, diagnostic procedures like oral exams and radiographic benefits do not have a waiting period. However, restorative services, like fillings, adjunctive services, complex and major services, viz. oral surgery with general anesthesia and emergency treatment, have a predetermined waiting period of 12 months. Missing tooth clause, in the insurance contract, ensures that the insurance company does not pay for dental bridge work before the waiting period elapses. Again, the cost of dentures is not covered by the insurance company for a certain length of time since most companies consider these as major services.

As far as group dental plans are concerned, there is no waiting period for preventive services while there is a short 6-month initial waiting period for basic or restorative services. For major services, the size of the group and the waiting period are inversely proportional. Some insurance companies waive the waiting period requirement even for major services, if the group size is over 10. People, who can afford the premium, can opt for the expensive direct reimbursement plan while others may be better off with dental discount plans.

What to Look for While Finding a Pediatric Dentist

Regular dental check-ups are an integral aspect of oral health care for children. When most of the adults cringe at the thought of visiting a dentist, what can you say about children. There’s no denying the fact that most children dread even the thought of going to the dental clinic. However, one way to make them feel better is to take them to an experienced, kid-friendly dentist. At times, people wonder what’s the harm in taking the child to their family dentist.

The fact that pediatric dentists provide oral health care only to infants and children should explain it. Pediatric dentists undergo two to three years of specialty training, after they receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from a dental school. To be able to practice, they need to take the written and clinical examination by the National Board Dental Examinations for state licensure. An experienced pediatric dentist has everything fine-tuned to the needs of the children, and is well-aware of the approach that he/she should follow while dealing with infants, and children of different age groups.

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Given the fear and uneasiness that a visit to a dental clinic usually arouses in the minds of children, it becomes extremely essential to find a dentist who is gentle and compassionate. Right from the ambiance of the dental clinic to the tone of the dentist’s voice, and the behavior of the staff; everything has to be such that the child and the parents feel extremely comfortable. It is always preferable to find a pediatric dentist, as the specialized training of pediatric dentists includes the study of child development and psychology.

Even better would be to find pediatric dentists who keep themselves updated with the latest procedures, techniques, and technology available in dentistry by attending educational classes or seminars. This enables them to provide the children with the best oral health care right from infancy through teenage years.

Finding a Pediatric Dentist
First of all, you have the task of finding dental clinics in your area. Pediatric dentists may work in medical centers, dental schools, or private dental clinics. Here’s what you could do.

➞ You could ask your friends and family members for recommendations.

➞ There’s always the option of consulting your child’s pediatrician.

➞ You could also find the location of dental clinics through the Internet.

How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Here are some pointers on what to look for while finding a pediatric dentist.

➞ It would be a good idea to find a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, or American Academy of Pediatrics.

➞ The pediatric dentist search tool of AAPD could help you locate the dental clinics in your area.

The most important task is to find a pediatric dentist who will make the dental experience for your child as comfortable as possible. Don’t take a hasty decision, as you need to find a dentist your child can see from childhood through his/her teenage years. Here are the things that you should keep in your mind.

➞ Don’t hesitate in scheduling a consultation with the dentist. Though a crowded dental clinic might imply that the dentist is good at his/her job, but his/her busy schedule must not make the task of getting appointments a difficult one for you. Do ask about the dental emergency hours.

➞ Look around to make an assessment about the ambiance. Is the clinic child-friendly? Do you see child-sized furniture in the waiting area? If the dental clinic has a play area, it certainly is a good sign.

➞ Children get bored easily, and you need something to keep them engaged. They will certainly feel good if they can watch cartoons on television, or have toys, coloring books, games, pillows, blankets, etc., to play with. The needs of the children of all ages should be addressed.

➞ Take a look at the dental equipment to see whether the equipment is appropriate for children.

➞ You must closely observe how the dentist interacts with your child, and how your child responds. Is he/she able to deal with a child who is crying or scared?

➞ It’s not just the dentist, even the staff should come across as friendly, and make your child feel comfortable. They should be able to put you and your child at ease.

➞ Does the dentist listen patiently to your queries? Does he/she understand and address your concerns immediately? These are questions you need to ask yourself.

➞ He/she should build up trust, and prepare the child before any procedure by telling him/her what should be expected. This way the child will not feel scared during the dental procedure.

➞ For any dentist to be able to encourage the children to follow an oral hygiene regimen, he/she should be able to establish a bond with children. The dentist should talk to children in an age-appropriate manner, telling them information on ways to care for their teeth in as simple and gentle a manner as possible.

➞ He/she should give demonstrations on the right way to brush and floss teeth. His/her job also includes telling the children how food and drinks affect their teeth.

➞ Besides assessing the condition of the teeth, and resolving dental issues, pediatric dentists also need to educate the parents of newborns on caring for baby teeth, and what to expect when the permanent teeth develop.

➞ They should also address the issues like bruxism (teeth grinding), thumb sucking, etc., besides providing preventive dental care and treatment for such dental problems.

Their most important task is educating children about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. A good dentist is concerned about the overall health and well-being of the child, and should ask the parents about the child’s medical history and other relevant questions. He/she should also be willing to address the concerns of parents.

On a concluding note, finding a good pediatric dentist is very important. So, do keep the aforementioned aspects in mind while looking for a pediatric dentist for your child. Though most dental associations recommend a dental check-up every six months, only a dentist can tell you how often you need to take your child to the clinic. While pediatric dentists can inform you if your child’s tooth development is taking place properly, or tell you about the dental problems that need to be fixed, parents also need to ensure that they contribute their bit by encouraging children to follow the suggested oral care regimen religiously.

Finding Cheap Dental Insurance for College Students

The concept of dental and medial or health insurance is interrelated, but is not synonymous. It means that, not all expenditures related to the dental health are covered under the health or medical expenditures. Hence, people need to take good dental insurance policies in order to get a proper coverage for all dental health related expenditures. The high cost of dental health care has promoted students to hunt for inexpensive dental insurance that has a low and affordable premium.

About Dental Insurance
As the name itself suggests, dental insurance provides coverage to the oral and dental health of the insured. A coverage means that the insured person will be provided reimbursement and compensation for expenditures that have been incurred as a result of dental health treatments. It must be noted that compensation is not provided for some expenditures such as braces, cosmetic correction, etc. Basically, if the expenditure occurs as a result of a preventive measure (cleaning and filling), or the procedure is as a result of a medical condition (such as root canal or tooth extraction), or is a first aid procedure (after an accident), then the insurance company reimburses the entire sum of money.

There are many medical insurance policies that partially cover some of the dental care expenditures. People who have such coverage take up a supplemental dental insurance policy. Others who do not have any medical policy covering dental care, take up Full Coverage Dental Insurance Plans. Many families take up a group or family policy. Alternatively, individual plans can also be availed, which have a comprehensive coverage.

Affordable Dental Insurance for College Students
Now, from the transaction point of view, there are two basic classifications of dental insurance―indemnity plans and managed-care plans. Indemnity plans are where you will have to pay the expenditure right out of your pocket, and the insurance company remits the compensation at a later date. In the second plan, the student can visit a particular chain of dental clinics where treatment is provided free of cost. That is, the cost is directly remitted to the clinic by the company. As a student, the best choice to have is managed policy, since it caters to periodic monthly expenditure of dental consultancy.

Before purchasing a policy, you will have consider the extent of the coverage. If the coverage is comprehensive enough, then you will need to just have a supplement to it with a small dental insurance policy. One of the best is the one that covers only the periodic dental checkups and all expenditures that occur in case of emergencies. Many such policies do not cover the expenditures arising out of preexisting conditions, or they also do not cover the expenditures that arise out of cosmetic procedures. This dental insurance plan is cheaper and has a more affordable premium. The positive point is that, periodic cleaning and prevention procedures would not cost a lot. The drawback is that, complicated dental procedures are not covered.

Before taking up any dental insurance policy, check a couple of things such as the dental care clinics with whom the company has a tie-up with, and the number of free checkups and procedures that can be availed per year.