Like many things in this world...... it depends.
Pediatric dentists are an amazing tool in the dental community.
I send children to them all the time.
However, there are many many more children
that I never send to them.
Almost everything that a pediatric dentist can do for your child can be done by a general dentist. Placing fillings, straightening teeth, placing space maintainers, extracting teeth,
doing pulpotomies (baby root canals), cleaning teeth, etc.
All of these services are offered by both a pediatric dentist and the general dentist.
So what is a pediatric dentist for?
The thing that, I feel, pediatric dentists are best for is to treat the nervous child.
Children just don't like dentists, doctors, nurses, etc.
We are always the ones giving shots and swabbing throats and so on.
The pediatric dentist is licensed to sedate children.
Whether through I.V. or orally your child can be put to sleep at a pediatric dentists office.
I suggest starting to bring your child to the dentist with you when they are about 3 years old.
Bring the child in for YOUR cleaning. Let them sit in the corner and see that its not such a bad thing to be seen by the dentist. Do the same thing for you next cleaning. At that next appointment we typically will ask to see inside the child's mouth as they sit on the chair in the corner. We simply look around and get the child used to use being in their mouth. After that is done we congratulate the child for being so good and give them a prize. This exercise clears the way for them to be seen for their own cleaning and not be too scared about it because they have already been into the dentist on numerous occasions.