India has 1.2 billion people. Children constitute about 35-40% of our population. India has only 850 Pediatric dentists!
The above mentioned facts speak volumes about the acute shortage of pediatric dentists in India and an unfulfilled need for pediatric dentistry in the populace.
Paedodontics/Pedodontics/ Pediatric dentistry all stand for the same branch of dentistry which looks after the comprehensive oral health needs of children from birth till adolescence.
The word paedodontics is derived from two words; Pais in Greek means child and dontics means study of tooth.
The department of pediatric dentistry offers training to both undergraduates and postgraduates. The training includes didactic interaction & exposure to all kinds of real life clinical situations & is based on evidence-based information and utilizes problem-based learning among others.
Pediatric dentistry deals with three sets of dentition (milk teeth, mixed dentition and permanent teeth) and hence it is a unique specialty which probably interacts with a child during the most critical age in a human’s life. A lot of stress is therefore laid on mastering psychological development of a child.
Another area of stress is prevention. As the old adage says, “Prevention is better than cure”. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and the best time to start focusing on prevention is before the disease process sets in and therefore pediatric dentistry specialists are best equipped to handle prevention. Childhood is the best time to inculcate good oral hygiene habits which last a lifetime.
Children are our future; we owe it to them to provide the best possible oral health care.