Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry (formerly Pedodontics/Paedodontics) primarily focuses on children from birth through adolescence.  The American Dental Association (ADA), recognizes pediatric dentistry as a specialty, and therefore requires dentists to undertake two or three years of additional training after completing a general dentistry degree.  At the end of this training, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry issues a unique diploma (Diplomate ABPD).  Some pediatric dentists (pedodontists) opt to specialize in oral care for children with special needs; specifically children with autism, varying levels of mental retardation, or cerebral palsy.

One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology.  Pediatric dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, social atmosphere for visiting children, and always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection.”  Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences and find their “dental home” as early as possible.

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

Pediatric dentists fulfill many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene.  They place particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and also hold space for permanent teeth.

Other important functions include:

Education - Pediatric dentists educate the child using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology; thus emphasizing the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy.  In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.

Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, pediatric dentists are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen.  Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.

Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of later tooth decay.  In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, pediatric dentists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb- sucking/pacifier/smoking cessation, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing.

Intervention – In some cases, pediatric dentists may discuss the possibility of early oral treatments with parents.  In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), space maintainers may be fitted, a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended, or reconstructive surgery may be scheduled.

If you have questions or concerns about pediatric dentistry, please contact our office.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

Dr. Leong is an amazing dental professional. I've been seeing her for a number of years and she has always been effective, responsive, personable and caring. She managed my Invisalign process and did a great job from start to finish. She's very gentle so pain is never in the equation during my visits with her. She's also just a wonderful person. I consider her both my dentist and my friend. I would recommend her to anyone who's looking for a skilled dental professional.

Linda S. June 10, '17

I have been consistently happy with how Dr. Leong and her staff have cared for my teeth. AND, I've had A Lot of Work for Dr. Leong to do with my teeth! Shortly after my first cleanings, I had cavities to fill, then a molar cracked and I had to get a crown, which Dr. Leong did really well (better than my last dentist for sure!)... Given these positive experiences, I trusted Dr Leong to create Veneers for 8 of my upper front teeth, to totally transform my smile! I am very happy with my smile, get lots of compliments, and have confidence that the work will last me a long time (probably longer than my teeth would on their own... She not only did expert work to prepare my veneers and my teeth, but she also went above and beyond to make sure everything fit and felt right for me.

Matt Apr. 9, '15

Dr. Leong is hands down the best dentist I've ever had. She is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. She educated me about the right way to take care of my teeth without being pushy or judgmental. She explained everything she was doing very thoroughly so that I understood my own health better. She never made me feel rushed and she was never pushy trying to sell me dental work I didn't need, which has happened to me many times with other dentists. She and her staff were top notch.

My appointment was exactly on time and Anna at the front desk had already gotten my insurance information without me having to fill out anything. Everything was very well organized and we started my exam right away.

S. Wang Jan. 06, 15

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Wanda S. Leong, DDS 291 Geary Street, Suite 300 San Francisco, CA. 94102 Phone: 415-433-6825
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