Children’s Dentistry is a Highly Specialised Field

We choose to provide children with optimal care from a registered paediatric dentist when it comes to any of your children’s complex dentistry needs.


About Paediatric Dentists

Paediatric dentists are registered specialists who focus on treating and managing the special dental needs of babies, toddlers and children. At Smile Solutions our paediatric dentists work closely with our general dentists and dental therapists. 

To qualify as a registered specialist paediatric dentist in Australia, a practitioner must complete a general dentistry degree followed by a three-year clinical doctorate in children’s dentistry.  

Paediatric dentists can perform a number of dental treatments for your child, including preventative care, treating dental decay, applying fissure sealants and dealing with children’s dental emergencies (including dental trauma and broken or lost teeth).  

Our paediatric dentists are experienced in treating children. A significant component of paediatric dentistry involves understanding child psychology and establishing trust through child-friendly communication in a reassuring environment. At Smile Solutions we use an approach called “teddy bear therapy” to help make a visit to the dentist enjoyable and to enable your child to feel as comfortable as possible.

We can also provide patient sedation or general anaesthetic for the management of a child who is especially anxious or with special needs.  


Should My Child See a Paediatric Dentist or a General Dentist?

It is your choice whether you bring your child to see a specialist paediatric dentist or a general dentist, but in order to make that decision it is important first to understand the difference between the two kinds of clinician. 

Paediatric Dentists General Dentists

Paediatric dentists have a degree in general dentistry and an additional clinical doctorate.

General dentists hold a degree in general dentistry. 

Paediatric dentists specialise in the management and treatment of the dental needs of babies, toddlers and children. 

While some general dentists may have a special interest in paediatric dentistry, they do not have the same level of experience as specialist paediatric dentists.

Paediatric dentists treat children only and are experienced in treating children who require complex dental procedures as well as general procedures.

General dentists treat patients of all ages with check-ups and general dental procedures.


Your child can be seen by a general dentist or dental therapist for general check-up appointments, and a general dentist can perform any general procedures. However, if a dentist or dental therapist identifies any dental problems that require complex treatment (such as developmental difficulties or paediatric periodontal disease) or if a child presents with behavioural problems (such as a medical, physical or mental disability), the dentist or therapist may recommend your child be seen by a paediatric specialist. 

Also, if your child is particularly anxious, it is a good idea to take them to a paediatric dentist, as these clinicians are experienced in creating a calm and child-friendly environment. It is never too early to see a paediatric dentist. You do need a referral to see a paediatric dentist. 


Children’s Dentistry

It is important to create good lifelong dental habits from a young age. When your child turns three, you should book them in for their first appointment. We do recommend you introduce them to the process of going to the dentist from a young age by taking them with you when you have your own dental appointment. This will help them become familiar with the environment, and seeing you have regular appointments forms a positive attitude towards dental health and hygiene. 

Visit our children’s dentistry page to learn more. 


First Visit

When your child comes in for their first visit and subsequent check-ups, they can be seen by either a dental therapist or a paediatric dentist. Dental therapists are qualified and experienced in treating children. During your child’s first appointment their soft tissues, including tonsils, will be examined. Assessment of lip or tongue-tie will also be performed, and their teeth will be counted, examined and cleaned. 


Meet Our Paediatric Dentists

At Smile Solutions your child’s dental treatment can be carried out by one of our paediatric dentists. 


Charmaine Hall

Dr Charmaine Hall – BDSc (Melb), DClinDent (Melb)

Dr Charmaine Hall completed both undergraduate dentistry and her clinical doctorate at Melbourne Dental School. She worked as senior registrar and fellow at the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne for four years before joining Smile Solutions. 

Read Dr Hall’s bio page to learn more. 


dr Heshani Kellapatha

Dr Heshani Kellapatha – BDS (Adel), BScDent (Hons), DClinDent (Melb)

Dr Heshani Kellapatha is a graduate of the University of Adelaide, where she obtained a Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours, and the University of Melbourne, where she completed her Doctorate of Clinical Dentistry in Paediatric Dentistry. 

For more information visit Dr Kellapatha’s bio page



Why Choose Smile Solutions?

At Smile Solutions we understand how important it is to lay the foundation for good oral hygiene and dental health habits from a young age. We always strive to make your child’s dental appointments enjoyable and as comfortable as possible, and to provide him or her with a positive experience. 

With dental therapists, general dentists and specialists all in the one location, we are well placed to care for all your child’s dental needs, from their first visit right through to orthodontic treatment if needed.