Woohoo! Our very own Dr. Kirby Goodwine is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. This means he’s officially board certified. And that’s a big accomplishment! We’ll be breaking down the path he took to get there and how it benefits the patients here at our Naperville practice.
What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Before board certification was even a thought, Dr. Kirby had to first become a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of the tooth world. This dental speciality focuses on the unique oral health needs of infants, children and teens, including those with special health care needs.
How to Become a Pediatric Dentist
After graduating from a college or university, a pediatric dentist like Dr. Kirby attends four years of dental school, where they obtain their Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DSD) degree. After passing examinations, a dentist can begin practicing general dentistry.
However, because a pediatric dentist is a specialist, they must attend a two-year residency program where they receive extensive specialty training and hands-on experience in children’s dentistry. Dr. Kirby did his residency at The University of Louisville/Norton’s Children Hospital.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, pediatric dental residents learn:
- Advanced diagnostics
- Advanced surgical procedures
- Child psychology and development
- Behavior management
- Oral pathology
- Conscious sedation and general anesthesia
- Management of oral and facial trauma
- Care for patients with special needs
With a successful residency under their belt and all exams passed, residents get their Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Kirby simultaneously achieved his Master of Oral Science degree too. How long does it take to become a pediatric dentist? All said and done, after high school, it takes a minimum of 10 years to become a pediatric dental specialist!
What Does Board Certified Mean for a Pediatric Dentist?
All pediatric dentists are specialists but not all pediatric dentists are board certified. Achieving board certification is an extra, voluntary step following residency and requires a whole lot of additional preparation.
Here’s what the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry certification process entails:
- Qualifying Examination – This four-hour test evaluates the pediatric dentist’s understanding of the biology and science of pediatric dentistry, as well as the current literature related to the field. Passing the exam demonstrates an in-depth, well-rounded knowledge of children’s dentistry.
- Oral Clinical Examination – After applying for board candidacy and passing the qualifying exam, pediatric dentists can then apply for the oral clinical examination. The clinical exam evaluates the pediatric dentist’s ability to solve clinical cases and successfully treat different types of pediatric patients.
During the exam, examiners present clinical cases to the pediatric dentist for discussion. The dentist then has to demonstrate that they can diagnose and treat the case using evidence-based therapy.
- Board Certification – If the pediatric dentist passes both examinations and has their credentials verified, they’ll become board certified and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
- Renewal – To maintain board certification, Diplomates have to complete an annual renewal process, which includes continuing education and continuous quality improvement modules. And, every 10 years, they have to pass another examination.
Here’s Why This Achievement is Awesome for Our Patients
Becoming American board certified is an intense (and voluntary!) process that comes on top of the extensive education and training Dr. Kirby already completed in order to earn his Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry. It really shows his knowledge and commitment to providing the highest quality pediatric dental care. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your child’s smile is in expert hands.
And, speaking of intense, have no fear about Dr. Kirby’s ability to face tantrums, fearful toddlers or kids who refuse to cooperate with patience and skill. After all, during his oral clinical exam, he stood in a room with examiners and solved clinical cases on the spot without breaking a sweat.
Board certification is also an indication of Dr. Kirby’s dedication to lifelong learning. To maintain his Diplomate status, he has to complete annual continuing education and other requirements. This ensures he remains on the leading-edge of the rapidly evolving field and that he constantly adapts his practice in accordance with the most current, proven scientific evidence and technology.
While the team here at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry has always thought Dr. Kirby was the best of the best, his achievement shows that the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry does too!
How Do I Find a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist Near Me?
If you live in the Chicagoland-area, Dr. Kirby Goodwine has you covered! Schedule a visit for your child at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry in Naperville today.
Not in the area? Find a board-certified pediatric dentist near you here.