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
New Hampshire $202,000
New Jersey $221,000
New Mexico $180,000
New York $248,000
North Carolina $195,000
North Dakota $182,000
Rhode Island $188,000
South Carolina $199,000
South Dakota $155,000
West Virginia $193,000
- 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.
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.