Hi, I'm Dr. Jimmy. Well, James Boynton is my real name, but my patients call me Dr. Jimmy, because I am a pediatric dentist, and also because I go by Jimmy, and I'm a doctor. So, I got that going for me. So, what is Pediatric Dentistry? Pediatric Dentistry is the best job in the world. I have the best job in the world. No one's got it better than me, because what my job is, is to either encourage children to stay healthy, or to make children who are unhealthy healthy. Can you think of anything better than that? I cannot. Well, maybe game show host, that'd be pretty cool job, but Pediatric Dentistry is up there. My job, Pediatric Dentistry is the comprehensive oral healthcare for infants, toddlers, school-age children, and adolescence, including those with special healthcare needs. It is a very fast paced, very rewarding career. Yeah. So, let me tell you about it. Pediatric dentists have two to three years of additional experience and training after becoming a dentist. So, this is a specialty of dentistry. We are a specialty that's not defined by a procedure or a structure of the mouth, we're defined by our patients. We are age-defined specialty, which I think is a pretty neat thing, in and of itself. So, the specialty starts off as being focused on people, instead of a thing that's in your mouth. So, we're an age-defined specialty. We are responsible for comprehensive oral healthcare for all children. As I said, including those with special healthcare needs. Pediatric dentists in their additional training, are trained to become experts in different areas which are specific to children. The first one is growth and development. We have to be experts on how the jaws and teeth are supposed to grow, when they're supposed to grow in, how they're supposed to look when they come in, and then where they're supposed to go after they come in when you're an adult. So, there's a lot of additional information, and knowledge, and experience, that we get in the area of growth and development. We obviously have to be experts on what to do when things go wrong in baby teeth. We have to be able to surgically repair primary teeth or baby teeth, when they're affected by tooth decay. We have to be able to take them out when they become abscessed or infected. We have to know what to do when the tooth decay gets into the middle of the tooth where the nerve is and make that problem go away, so the child can not be in pain and can pay attention in school, and sleep at night, and eat nutritious diet. So, we're really good at the operative and surgical care of decayed teeth. We are experts in prevention. It is our job as specialists in Pediatric Dentistry to try and not have any patients. We want tooth decay to go away. If it does, then maybe I can get that job as a game show host. We want to really focus on educating the parents of our child patients, and then our child patients themselves on the importance of a nutritious diet, of oral hygiene, of taking good care of themselves and their teeth. That coincidentally leads to children taking better care of themselves altogether. We get to do that passionately and enthusiastically advocate for the oral health of that child within their family context. We have to be experts at, let's call it cooperation encouragement. You're an adult, or a young adult, or an older adult, or an adolescent, or maybe, you're just a kid watching this trying to get dirt on your dentist. But most adults are able to go to the dentist, they go and they understand why they're going, they understand the benefits of getting dental care, they're able to open their mouth for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, they're able to cope with the anticipatory stress that comes with dental care. If you're a preschool kid who gets freaked out when Swiper the Fox comes on Dora the Explorer, you might not be able to cope in the same way with the stresses of receiving dental care that an adult does. So, a major part of our job it's psychological. I'm a psychologist and a dentist at the same time because I have to try and get a little kid to understand what's going to happen, to understand why it's going to happen, to understand that it's in their best interests if it happens, and then to have them cooperate with instruction, so we can deliver the dental care safely. You can imagine that if a kid is moving around, it becomes very difficult to perform surgery on that child, on that tiny little tooth if the tooth is moving around. So, we have to encourage the child to cooperate with instructions. That allows us to deliver dental care not only safely, but encourages the child to look at dentists as a friend, and not as a caricature mean guy, which you may have that opinion of us. So, that's considered, we call that behavior guidance, when we try and guide the behavior of children in our dental chair, in order to not just to provide safe care, but to build on positive attitudes towards dental care. So, we do that through communication. We do it by talking. We do it through psychological techniques that we use to communicate with children at their level. We do it nonverbally through posture and other nonverbal communication tricks. If that doesn't work, or if a child is too young to understand what's going on and then be able to cope through the procedure, then we will use medication. That's called sedation or general anesthesia. We're very much trained to safely provide care under those two circumstances as well for those kids who just can't cope. I think the most important thing we have to be experts on in Pediatric Dentistry, and this is a little nonscientific but critically important, is compassion. We have to compassionately care for these little people. I think the profession of dentistry does an excellent job of providing care compassionately. But as pediatric dentists, we have to be experts at it. One out of every five children are raised in poverty, the need is great. The hurdles that families have to jump over just to seek and receive dental care for their children can be astronomically high. It'll be really hard to take your kid to the dentist. As pediatric dentists, we have to understand that, and then we have to advocate for that child because the child is the most vulnerable of all dental patients. So, it's our job to not just be compassionate, but to be advocates for children's oral health. A child can't vote, a child can't go picket the court house, we have to do those things for the child. As experts on pediatric oral health, it's up to us to be their voice in the community, at the state level, and at the Federal level, to make sure that children have the resources available to receive high-quality oral healthcare. That's a little too different, then the hard science stuff that you may be hearing and other videos like this. But in the world of Pediatric Dentistry, that's just as important, because we need all children to be able to receive dental care and to receive a high level of dental care, and it's up to us to to be their voice. That's a role that pediatric dentists take with great pride. The future of Pediatric Dentistry, gaze upon my visible globe and it looks clear. No, the future is bright. Nothing stays the same, everything changes, and it's up to folks like me in academic positions to make sure that the change is positive. Positive change is called improvement. So, how is Pediatric Dentistry improving? Well, I think the fact goes back to what we first talked about, which was my goal is to never have a patient. We don't want tooth decay, we want to prevent these bad things from happening. So, the future I think of children's dentistry, is to see children earlier and earlier to try and counsel and educate caregivers on how to care for their child's teeth. When you have a baby and you take the baby home, there's no owner's manual for baby teeth. It's up to us to to teach people how to take care of babies teeth. I went to college for 10 years to learn how to do this. It can be difficult, it's not hard, but it can be, especially in the context of a stressful family situation. So, we look at prevention as being the future of Pediatric Dentistry. There are also some fascinating approaches on how we care for children's teeth, baby teeth, they have a known lifespan. So, you lose most your baby teeth by like age 11 or 12. By 12, all your baby teeth should fall out. But if you have a cavity at age two, that means you've got that baby to for 10 more years. So, you still got to do something with it, like you'd like to have it to chew up food, to smile with, and to hold the room for the adult tooth to grow up until when it's time for that permanent teeth to erupt. So, when we look at different approaches to carrying for children's teeth that have tooth decay, there are some interesting things coming on. Is it possible for us to arrest or stop the decay process? If we stop it, can we wait until that child is older to restore the tooth and put a filling in? That's really an emerging area in Pediatric Dentistry right now. There are risks with providing surgical care for kids, especially if they're awake and upset, we don't want that. So, these nonoperative, or these medical management of tooth decay ideas which begun, and which we're studying now is really exciting. Then maybe, if it all works, I'll be able to try and host the Family Feud. I think I'd be good at that, maybe not. Maybe I'd be weatherman though. I'd like to be a weatherman. One of those two. But in the meantime, if we don't eradicate tooth decay, I guess I'll have to have the best job in the world, which is a children's dentist. So, thank you for your time.