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NHS Wales Dental Referral Management System
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What is paediatric dentistry?

Paediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

All dentists can provide services to children – and most paediatric dentists who are specialists restrict their practice to complex treatments or children with complex medical conditions.

Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth. Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Today, early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.

Who provides the service?
Any dentist can provide dental services to children, however, for those with more complex needs then these services are often provided by specialists in community or hospital settings.

How do I access services?

Most referrals will be from general dental practitioners, but referrals can also be made from residential facilities, medical practitioners and other social care professionals.

What kinds of patients are seen?
  • Children with complex medical problems which may affect the provision of dental care.
  • Children who had trauma to their teeth
  • Children with not enough teeth, too many teeth or where a medical condition has impacted on their teeth
  • Children with cleft lip and palate and other cranio-facial anomalies.

This is not an exhaustive list – but provides an idea of the scope of children’s dentistry.  If you have any questions please ask your own dentist first, most problems can be managed in general dental practice!

 

 

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