Friday, June 26, 2009

A Typical Day in Pediatric Dentistry-Part 1

This is the first of a two part series on a Typical Day in Pediatric Dentistry. Part 2 here What is the framework of a typical day for a Pediatric Dentist? Well, usually quite busy. Most Pediatric Dentist's services are in great demand. So, here is a typical day:
Get to the office early, usually 7:10 or so. I look over the charts especially the morning conscious sedation patients. If needed, fill out forms and mix the drugs, as they usually need to be administered first thing. We have a morning meeting at 7:30 with all the staff to review new patients and announcements. The first patients begin their appointments at 7:40---we're off to the races!

Most of my morning consists of doing operative dentistry (fillings, crowns, etc.) and spending a large amount of time checking hygiene patients discussing treatment, etc. We see our sedation patients in the am, usually preschoolers. In fact most of the morning is younger patients. It is usually a long busy morning--it can be a noisy morning too. Sometimes we get behind if a young child demands more attention. Hey, kids are unpredictable. It may take 10 minutes to do a filling, or an hour. It often depends on the patient. In addition, nearly every day we have patients with emergencies.

We break for lunch at 1:00 (if we are finished with the morning patients). Back to work at 2:00. It's nice to have a mental break from the fast paced, sometimes stressful mornings we have. That long morning is worth it to have a short three hour afternoon. We are often spent from the morning and see the teens and older more cooperative patients in the afternoon. Usually this is a high demand time for orthodontic patients. We end the day at 5:00. I usually do not leave the office till 5:30 if everything is on track.

On Fridays we see our hospital patients, doing treatment under general anesthesia. Pretty intense work too but a change of pace from the normal workaday routine. Most Pediatric Dentists like doing OR cases. Now having said all this, we do take some Fridays off and the occasional vacation. I don't know too many of us that can go too long without a day off.
Is that it? Well mostly, but if you are an owner, you have after hours meetings in the evenings or on the weekends. Not to mention having to come in on the weekend for an emergency. No rest for the weary.


The Thorsrud Family said...

hi! I have a question for ya! I am keeping up with your blog. My 3 1/2 year old (4 in December) has a cavity between her 2 front teeth I was told. I can see it, now that I look for it, and I feel retarded that I didnt see this sooner. It looks like a dark line between her 2 front teeth. This was her first visit to the dentist, just recently when they discovered this. So, she is getting referred to a pediatric dentist, and has an appointment in October. I guess they are very booked up. I hate that she has to wait to long . Is this normal to get one so young? Also I was told by the dentist she went to that she is going to have to get it filled. Oh my! she fought me the whole time just GOING to the dentist, and now she needs a FILLING?! Is this necessary? I hear different stories from moms saying just watch it, fill it, pull it, that the space has to be "saved" for later. Can you tell me what you think, for another opinion? I realize you haven't seen her, but a vague answer would probably help me for another perspective.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

See my posts here They are just baby teeth why fix them?

Just Got an e-mail-Bad Decay on a Two Year Old's Teeth

There is a lots of other info on the blog too in regards to your concerns. Basically, a front baby tooth is going to fall out at around age 7 at the eariliest, so yes, we usually fix them unless the tooth is within 6 months of falling out because things can get worse pretty fast.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Oh, Pediatric Dentists are very much in demand. The busiest time of the year is right before school starts. It used to be it slacked off after then, but now, we are pretty much very busy year round!

Ling said...

Very interesting reading! Can't help but wondering at what time in your day you write on this blog, answering the hundreds of questions being asked? ;-) In the evenings? You are a wonderful doctor! I learned a lot of info on this site and how I wish I had known it earlier! Thank you!

Unknown said...

My son grinds his teeth alot in the day and night time? He recently chipped the front of his top and bottom tooth because of the grinding. Is there anyway to stop the grinding?

Thank you

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Read more here on my post on:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information! Pediatric dentists are incredible. This article makes me appreciate my child's dentist a lot more. I love the way he interacts with my kid. I hope everyone has as good of a dentist as you!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am currently a student at a school to become a dental assistant. I'm doing a project and I have some questions I hope you are willing to answer.
1. What kind of ways do you keep the anxiety level of children down in your practice?
2. Do you have any special decorations that would not be in a normal dentist office?
3. Any methods you would do differently because you are dealing with children?
4. Any personal stories that have stuck with you?
5. What characteristics does a pediatric dentist need to have?
6. What made you decide to become a pediatric dentist?
If you could answer these that would be amazing!!

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Answers to most all your questions can be found within the blog here. I know it's a lot to sift through, but if you are really interested, there is a lot on behavior management, office decor, etc. Yes, it's ok to quote from the blog, just give proper reference (that it is from my blog).

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Oh, look through the comment section of any given post too. Many people have asked the same questions you have.

Unknown said...

Hi. My seven year old looks to have been grinding his teeth. Although I have never heard it. His front teeth are flat and when I looked today it appears that there are holes at the back of them close to the roof of his mout.
Both teeth are wobbly and he says that they don't hurt. However it looks like it's uncomfortable. I am concerned. Do you have any advice please?
Many thanks in advance.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Some kids wear their baby teeth quite a bit. I'd get your pediatric dentist to take a look, especially if it looks strange to you.