Wondering about the best pediatric dentistry residency programs in the United States? With job growth for pediatric dentists expected to increase by 20% between 2014 and 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has perhaps never been a better time for those considering a career in pedodontics. Add to these rosy forecasts the sizeable mean annual earnings associated with the profession (nearly $200,000), and you’ve got all of the trappings of a great career option. Beyond the job stability and financial incentives, however, those intent on becoming pediatric dentists can also delight in the knowledge that they’re providing a truly invaluable service to their community.
Pediatric dentists perform an integral service in encouraging the oral health of children, while also acting as a resource for parents. From the moment that a child’s first tooth comes in at around 6 months of age, it’s absolutely critical that they receive regular attention from a licensed professional to aid in the detection of early onset tooth decay, deter potentially harmful habits, such as thumb-sucking, and maintain a generally positive level oral health.
Working with a team of skilled oral hygienists, pediatric dentists oversee the day-to-day activities of a pediatric office, while also conducting planning for more complex procedures. Responsibilities can include diagnosis of oral disease, interpretation of x-rays or other diagnostic tests, repairing damaged or decaying teeth, monitoring adolescent dental progress, and formulating treatment plans for various stages of oral disease, decay, or development.
Performing these functions requires a very specific set of skills apart from those gained in dental school. For one, pediatric dentists have to be able to effectively communicate with their staff–in order to effectively carry out treatment plans–and with parents, to provide updates on child health and give recommendations for specific at-home care that will promote healthy gums and dental development while preventing the onset of potentially dangerous diseases.
Dentists must also possess immense calm and patience, as working with children in a context that requires their stillness while poking and prodding around using sharp objects can provoke considerable anxiety and fidgeting in patients. The ability to placate unnerved children whilst methodically carrying out oral inspections can ensure that an office doesn’t get bogged down with a potential time-consuming child whose inconsolable nature makes carrying out the appointment exponentially more difficult.
Assuming you have all of these qualities–or believe yourself reasonably capable of acquiring them before you become a professional, the logical step that follows involves consideration of educational requirements. For those that hope to become pediatric dentists, the first step would be to attain an undergraduate degree whose area of focus is in the sciences–ideally with some coursework in psychology or child development. Volunteer work that involves working with children would also be helpful. From there, a post-graduate dental program would be the logical next step, in which a dental candidate can receive the necessary knowledge and hands-on training requisite for a post as a pediatric dentist. There are plenty of programs capable of providing such training, but for those keen on putting themselves in prime position for job placement after graduating from a two-year program, the best bet of doing so is through an esteemed dental school with a renowned pediatric dentistry program.
Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best pediatric dentistry residency programs in the United States, by accessing an exhaustive list that takes into account factors such as acceptance rate, mean GPA of admitted candidates, class size, and average DAT score of admitted students.
With all of that in mind, we present to you our list of best pediatric dentistry programs in the US. If you find this information interesting, you may also want to consider checking out a few supplemental articles regarding the Top 10 Pediatric Residency Programs In America, as well as the top Emergency Medicine Programs in America. That should be enough med school information to keep you busy for a bit. Enjoy the list of best pediatric dentistry residency programs in the United States and don’t forget to floss!