Child is nature’s most benevolent creation. The child is not just a miniature adult but a dynamic organism undergoing constant mental, physical and emotional changes.

Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with providing comprehensive dental care and treatment for the child patient, making it the most satisfying and rewarding type of dentistry.

The Pediatric dentist has the privilege of being entrusted with the commencement of a lifetime of optimal oral health to the child patient.

The word pedodonties is made of two words i.e. pedo + dontics. Pedo is derived from “pais” which in Greek means child, “dontics” stands for the study of the tooth. It has become increasingly difficult to define exact boundaries and limitations of Pedodontics with continuous development and advancements.

Therefore, the need to acknowledge the definitions evolving with time is obligatory.


• Stewart, Barber, Troutman, Wei (1982): “Pediatric dentistry is the practice and teaching of comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care of child from birth through adolescence. It is construed to include care for special patients who demonstrate mental. physical or emotional problems.”

• American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (1985): Pediatric dentistry also known as Pedodontics and as dentistry for adolescents and children, is the area of dentistry concerned with preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children from birth through adolescence. It also includes special care for special patients beyond the age of adolescence who demonstrate mental. Physical or emotional problems.”

• Boucher’s Dental terminology’s (1993): “Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry, that includes having a child to accept dentistry, prevention, detection, restoration of primary and permanent dentition; applying preventive measures for periodontal therapy; dental caries prevalence, intercepting and correcting various areas of malocclusion.”

• American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (1999) “Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.”

• Therefore with the experience of the Author: “Pedodontics can be defined as a science which deals with laying down the foundation of healthy dentition and oro-facial complex from the prenatal period through adolescence”


1800 BC- Ancient Egypt No caries in children’s teeth

1563-64 Eustachius
Described and showed illustrations of both primary and permanent dentition

1737- Gerauldy
Writes about theories regarding tooth eruption and exfoliation

1763- Joseph Hurlock
Publishes l’ book on children’s dentistry

1764- Robert Bunon
“Father of Pedodontics” reiterates the importance of deciduous dentition

1926 – Detroit Pedodontics Study Club
Dr. Samuel D. Harris – “Father of Children’s Dentistry Organizations world-wide, starts the Detroit Pedodontics Study Club

Detroit Study Club is now named the American Academy for Promotion of Dentistry for Children

1940-AS DC
American Academy for Promotion of Dentistry for Children renamed as the American Society of Dentistry for Children

1947— AA.P
American Academy of Pedodontics is founded

1967- CDH
International Symposium on Child Dental Health is conducted at London Hospital Medical College

1969- MDC
International Association of Dentistry for Children is established

1984- AAPD
American Academy of Pedodontics it renamed to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry


In India the first Dental College, “Calcutta Dental College and Hospital” was started in the year 1920 by Dr. Rafiuddin Ahmed in his private chamber. Dr Ahmed, the Father of Dentistry in India is also known as “The Grand Old Man of Dentistry”.

He is credited with the first edition of “The Indian Dental Journal” in October 1925, foundation of the “All India Dental Association” in the year 1927, drafting and passing of the Bengal Dentist Act in 1939, and the passing of the Dentist Act in 1948.

Dentistry as a subject was introduced as a 2 years diploma course to “Licentiate in Deatal Science (LDSc)”. It was changed to the 3yr. course in the year 1926 and further modified to the present 4yr. B.D.S. conrsein 1935.

The foundation of Pedodontics was laid down in Government Dental College. Amritsar, in 1950. Pedodontics did not exist as an independent specialty in the initial years of development of Dentistry in India, but was included as a mere one or two questions in the Operative Dentistry paper.

Later it was recognized as the section – B of the question paper of Orthodontics. In the year 1988 as per D.C, rules it got its due importance and was treated as a separate entity. Following Amritsar the’next to introduce this specialty were K.G.M.C. Lucknow (1967), P.G.I. Chandigarh (1978) and G.D. C.Bombay(1982). The filth in succession and first in south India was the C.O.D. S. Manipal in the year 1985 under Dr. Shobha Tandon.

The Association of Indian Pedodontists held its first conference on the 24th of November 1979 where it was first named as the Indian Society of Pedodontia (now Pedodontics) and Preventive Denfistrv Its constitution was drafted by Dr. Mrs. Amrit Tcwari. Contributions made by Dr. B.R. Vaclier, the Father of Pedodontics in India. was recalled and thus he was unanimously made the life patron of the society.

M.L. Gauba was elected first president of the society; Dr. Mrs. A Tcwari the first General Secretary and Dr. H.S.Chawla was the first editor of the journal. In 1982 ISPPD became an affiliate member of IADC, the International Academy for Dentistry for Children.


Hippocrates in the 5th Century B.C. talked about the differences between the child and the adult. In the 4th Century AD. Celsius recognized that the child must be treated differently from adults. The discovery of childhood began around the 13th century. (By the Middle Ages, children started getting more attention especially as the heirs and sons of the ruling houses and had belief not die while tecthing”)…

Childhood compared to adulthood is a transitional stage characterized by many changes. Rapid changes in childhood affect every aspect of dental care beginning from the first step of diagnosis till the periodic recall following treatment. A child differs from an adult in various ways:

1. physical
2. emotional and psychological
3. consideration of behaviour
4. type of treatment (different dentition considerations)
5. dentist—patient relationship
6. parent-dentist relationship


In order to handle majority of the needs of the child, the Pedodontist requires interaction with many specialties. The scope refers to the range of activities considered in the practice of Pedodontics.

In addition to be knowledgeable about the dental needs of the child patient, basics in the pediatric medicine, general and oral pathology, growth and development and child psychology also need to be known.

Changing trends in the scope of Pedodontics

In 1942 when Pediatric Dentistry was recognized as a specialty, the common needs of the children were restoration of the carious teeth. Treatment of dental pulp, and maintenance of tooth space. Preventive modalities of treatment were limited in practice. Diagnostic techniques and materials for pediatric use needed to be developed.

With the changing trends and development there has been a tremendous increase in the scope of Pedodontics. Various factors responsible for this change are:

• Professional and public recognition of dental health for the general well being of the child. This indicates the increased knowledge in the public sector regarding child dental health care.
• Wide recognition of fluorides as the most effective health agent in the prevention of dental caries. This is gaining momentum even in India.
• Introduction of high-speed technology in the preparation of teeth requiring restoration,
• Great improvement of various anesthetic agents in clinical use.
• Introduction of the system of sophisticated plastics i.e. composites, ionomer cements, compomer, pit and fissure sealants – what are now popularly called “the invisible fillings”
• Radical changes to control virulent infections in any clinical content.
• Recognition of the child as an individual.

The present trends in Pediatric dentistry comprises of:

1. Preventive Dentistry
2. Public health dentistry
3. Child psychology and management
4. Clinical dentistry
5. Preventive and Interceptive Orthodontics
6. Special care dentistry
7. Child abuse and neglect (Forensic Pedodontics)
8. Genetics in Pediatric Dentistry.

Preventive practice has now become the dominant branch in Pedodontics. The characteristic that differentiates the pediatric dentist from the other dentists is the fact that he/she provides comprehensive health in total to the patient, prevents the onset of the disease tight from the beginning while considering the psychological need of the child patient thus instills a positive attitude to dental health in future years to come. With the increasing range of activities one must realize the need for knowledgeable and skilled practitioners as the Pedodontist.