Education

At UPD Dental Associates (University Pediatric Dentistry), we have an uncompromising promise to deliver dental education and awareness to the Western New York community. Below are some tips, articles and links to improve your family’s oral health. Also, make sure to come see us at local schools and events near you!

Education

A Guide to Dental Roles at UPD

Published on Monday, February 27, 2023

A Guide to Dental Roles at UPD

Specialization in Pediatric Dentistry

Maple Check-In

University Pediatric Dentistry started in 1989 as a way for pediatric dental residents to gain clinical understanding of advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures. While working at our offices, residents also gain knowledge of child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia. 

Since our founding, we’ve expanded to multiple locations throughout the Buffalo region specializing in virtually every aspect of infant to adult oral health care, from simple check-ups to complex oral surgeries. We are the Western New York dental health care experts.

At UPD, we have fifteen wonderful dentists, some of which are faculty and teachers at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. They are all highly trained in their area of expertise. Our team of dentists work together to ensure the oral health of our community alongside residents, dental assistants, dental hygienists, surgical technicians, clerical staff, and administration.

That being said, let’s talk about some of the roles you will see across our seven sites:

General Dentists are the main providers of dental care to people of all ages. These dentists are required to have four years of undergraduate college, four years of dental school, followed by a one-year residency.

Pediatric Dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children, from infancy through their teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child's teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.A pediatric dentist can diagnose early dental problems and perform dental operations.

Every oral health practitioner undergoes the same, basic education and on-the-job training. Many dental health practitioners will immediately go on to work in a practice after dental school, while pediatric dentists complete an additional two years of education. Not only does this education include the difference in growth and health of a child’s mouth versus an adult’s mouth, but it also includes an understanding of the differences in behavior, psychology, and emotional reactions.

A pediatric dentist also works with knowledge of special needs children (IDD), and understand the different types of natural defects and differences that can come with under-developed growth in various individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Other dentists may focus their specialty in prosthodontics, endodontics, or orthodontia.

Orthodontists at our office have two to three years of additional training after graduating from dental school. They focus on diagnosing and treating “bad bites” or malocclusion. Common orthodontic treatment might include braces, clear aligners, and retainers. The way your teeth fit together has a significant impact on your oral health.

Prosthodontists are dedicated to making replacements for missing or damaged teeth. Common prosthodontictreatment includes dental implants, crowns, and bridges. They have three additional years of training.

Dental hygienists don’t just clean your teeth... they work with our patients, encourage oral hygiene, and teach proper dental care to adults, children, adolescents and young adult dental patients. They work with parents to educate on the importance of oral health while growing and developing. They perform regular dental cleanings on children and may also take oral x-rays to show the dentist. At UPD, our pediatric dental hygienists are experts and trained in caring for children and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dental assistants assist our dentists, preparing patients for procedures. They may take x-rays or perform small procedures under supervision.

Front Desk and Administrative Staff are the initial face and voice of UPD. They are responsible for providing a positive environment for our patient and are expert multi-taskers. They answer calls, check-in patients, schedule appointments, monitor correspondences, and maintain our patient records.

Pediatric Anesthesiologists have experience and qualifications to assist in the treatment and to help ensure that children undergo their treatment safely. They are physicians who have finished medical school, have had an internship, and have completed a three-year residency and one more year to specialize in pediatric anesthesiologists.They are board certified to evaluate complex medical problems, plan care before, during, and after surgery, foster a nonthreatening environment, control pain, and perform sedation.

Questions about careers in dentistry. Feel free to contact us!

Sources:

Colgate: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-visits/general-dentist-vs-cosmetic-dentist-who-should-you-see (2023)

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/policies_guidelines/i_overview.pdf(2023)

Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/24285-orthodontics;https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23904-prosthodontics (2023)

American Dental Association: https://www.ada.org/resources/careers/dental-team-careers (2023)

American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthychildren.org: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/pediatric-specialists/Pages/What-is-a-Pediatric-Anesthesiologist.aspx (2023)

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