“We’re working to expand the services that we offer to the community,” co-founder Dr. Janet Roberts says.
“Want to ensure that people don’t have to leave the community as frequently for specialist services.”
In addition to providing snoring and sleep apnea treatment in conjunction with physicians and a sleep lab, as well as a plastic surgeon who can perform dermal fillers and other procedures, Roberts Dental is adding a pediatric dental specialist to its clinic.
Dr. Randa Soussou is a board-certified pediatric dentist who is committed to providing quality and evidence-based dental care for infants, children and adolescents. She is also a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia and an attending staff member at the BC Children’s Hospital.
Roberts was inspired by her own grandchildren to add pediatric dental services to her practice.
“My son and his wife have young children, as do many of their friends. When you have to go out of Tsawwassen to Richmond or Vancouver to see a specialist, it adds to the length of time you have to take your child out of school,” she says.
“It’s more convenient to have a specialist locally.”
Why should parents seek out the services of a specialized pediatric dentist? Roberts offers these recommendations:
Baby teeth and adult teeth are different
“Children’s dentistry itself is different from adult dentistry,” Roberts says.
“Pediatric dentists are trained specifically on how to treat children's baby teeth and their new adult teeth as they erupt.”
Children have different dental needs than adults do, which can be best addressed by a pediatric specialist specifically trained in their needs.
Baby teeth matter
Just because baby teeth are all destined to fall out, doesn’t mean that they don’t require special attention and care. They’re still important to maintain.
“Baby teeth are important for both comfort and function,” Roberts says.
“They also hold permanent space for adult teeth. If a child loses one prematurely, the space can close up and there won’t be room for the adult tooth developing in the jaw below the baby tooth, resulting in crowding and bite problems.
Pediatric dentists are trained in skills and behaviour management to help children relax, to develop relationships with children, and to help them have a positive dental experience. Early childhood experiences influence dental attitudes for the rest of one’s life.
They’re also trained in specific behavioural skills to help children cope with dental procedures and specially trained in sedation techniques for some children.
For example, for children who require more extensive dental treatment such as fillings or root canals, pediatric dentists have special training as it relates to providing sedation to children.
Coaching for parents
“Dentists who treat children should be seeing kids as soon as the first teeth erupt,” Roberts says.
“Not necessarily to do any treatment, but to educate parents on the right things to do to maintain healthy teeth.”
Coaching parents on proper hygiene, diet and oral hygiene procedures starting from when the child is an infant is very important.
“For example, not putting the child to bed with a bottle because the formula or milk stays on the teeth overnight and the child can end up with bottle decay,” Roberts says.
“If you don’t have regular care, small issues can become big quite quickly,” Roberts says.
“Gum disease and tooth decay can progress rapidly and teeth can deteriorate.”
Roberts has seen firsthand the effect that limited dental care during the pandemic can cause.
“For the last year and a half people haven’t been in for regular hygiene appointments and we see more deterioration and more intervention is required because the issues get out of hand,” Roberts says.
Gum issues and gum disease can affect our overall health. Proper oral hygiene is not just confined to the mouth, it has to do with overall wellbeing for children and adults alike. Dental disease can affect heart health and other problems such as diabetes.
For more information and to book an appointment with a pediatric dental specialist today, visit robertsdental.ca or call 604-943-3343.