1: Pediatric Oral Health and Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Oral Health and Pediatric Dentistry: The Perspectives

Sven Poulsen, Göran Koch, Ivar Espelid, and Dorte Haubek

Children are special

Pediatric dentistry is defined as “the practice, and teaching of and research in comprehensive preventative and therapeutic oral health care of children from birth through adolescence” [1]. The central element in this definition—and that which distinguish it from other clinical fields in dentistry—is children, further qualified as individuals from birth through adolescence.

In this book, we adopt the United Nations (UN) Convention definition of a child as “every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier” [2]. That children are different from adults has not always been recognized. Previously, children were depicted as “small adults” (Figure 1.1), but recent research reflect that health services for children need to consider that children are growing and developing individuals who are dependent on an adult caregiver. This requires oral health professionals with special competencies, so‐called child competency (Box 1.1).

Painting from a medieval church depicting the similarity of the facial features of the adults and the children.

Figure 1.1 Until the eighteenth century, children were considered to be small adults (sort of “miniature grown‐ups”) as shown in this painting from a medieval church. Note the similarity of the facial features of the adults and the children.

Source: Epitaph in Norra Sandsjö parish church, Sweden, of Johan Printzensköld and Anna Hård af Segerstad and their five children.

Apr 26, 2017 | Posted by in General Dentistry | Comments Off on 1: Pediatric Oral Health and Pediatric Dentistry
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