Department of Dentistry

The Department of Dentistry at Boston Children's Hospital cares for children, adolescents, teens and people with special health care needs, like cerebral palsy. Our team includes pediatric dentists, orthodontists as well as specialists in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics and prosthodontics. We treat patients with a broad range of conditions—including common pediatric conditions like overbites and chipped teeth to more serious conditions that require complex treatment.

Boston Children’s specialists in different departments work together to ensure your child the most thorough and streamlined care. If your child has a cleft palate, for example, Children’s creates a specialized team to conduct the surgical and rehabilitation process, including dentists, plastic surgeons and speech-language pathologists.

Our expertise

  • About 60 percent of Boston Children’s dental patients have special needs, ranging from autistic disorders to bipolar disorder and to cerebral palsy. Boston ’s has years of experience treating children with special needs and has unique insight into this patient population’s physical and emotional needs.

  • Boston Children’s specialists pioneer new research. David Bellinger,PhD, MS, a neurology researcher at Children's, was lead author of New England Children's Amalgam Trial, a study that found no adverse health effects in children who received silver amalgam fillings.“None of the results provided any indication that the children were being harmed by amalgam," he says. He cautions, however, that this is just one study and it did not include children under age 6, who could be more vulnerable to mercury's effects.

Dental stats by the numbers

  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood – five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever

  • 28 percent of preschoolers have cavities

  • 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness

  • 108 million American children are without dental insurance, which is 2.5 times the number lacking medical insurance

  • The recommend age for the first visit to the dentist is 1 year old because dental cavities are almost completely preventable if the disease and risk factors are identified early

Patient stories

Making life better, one smile at a time

Sporting a t-shirt with the sign 'Be Someone,' Masconomet senior Brian Ake certainly proved he is that, and more, as he introduced a small audience in the library presentation room to a video he produced in Cambodia, several days before his graduation.


Man Wai Ng, MD, dentist-in chief, is undertaking one of the only quality improvement initiatives for pediatric dentistry in the country: redesigning the care delivery system based on the prevention and management of cavities. Instead of "drilling and filling," Ng advocates for treating cavities as a disease that can be reduced and controlled. In addition to office-based treatments, her project includes educating parents and giving them self-management plans. She's finding a marked decrease in new cavities and a reduced need for surgical treatments-costly endeavors that often require a child to undergo anesthesia. Read More

Quality and Safety

At Boston Children’s Hospital, we believe that patients and families deserve to know whether the hospital where they have chosen to receive their care meets the highest standards and is committed to excellence.  Through our Program for Patient Safety and Quality, we continually monitor and improve the care we provide to our patients. Since the diseases and chronic conditions that affect children and adolescents are quite different from those of adults, it is often not appropriate to use adult measures to evaluate the quality of pediatric care.  That’s why we have taken a leadership role in developing scientifically sound methods to measure the quality of care provided to all children and adolescents.

Did you know you can schedule a routine check-up with your dentist online?

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