Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be around the age of one, or when they get their first tooth. Taking your child to a children’s dentist is the best route for your child. But when you’re choosing a dentist for your child, you want the best dentist possible. So what are some factors to consider in a pediatric dentist?
If you’re searching for dentist options for your child, here are some things to consider.
A pediatric dentist typically sees children from infancy all the way through 18 years old. This range means they have lots of experience seeing children at different stages of their lives.
Pediatric dentists are general dentists, but in order to obtain credentials as a pediatric dentist, they need to complete an additional 2-3 years of school. They’re more knowledgeable about childhood behaviors and development, meaning they can spot dental issues before they become a problem.
While you can see a general dentist for your children, pediatric dentists have the advantage of understanding children at a deeper level. This allows them to give more precise care and diagnosis.
Additionally, if you have a child with special needs, a pediatric dentist is your best choice because they have the training to provide excellent care to these children.
When you’re choosing a dentist for your child, you want to ask questions about their credentials. For example, here are some questions you can ask:
- Where did you go to school?
- Are you board-certified?
- How long have you been in practice?
- How do you continue your education?
- Do you see patients with special needs or specific conditions?
Knowing that your child sees a reputable, qualified dentist, gives you peace of mind. You’ll want to ensure that you see licenses and certifications in view in the office.
3. Office and Proximity
The staff and cleanliness of the office say a lot about how the dentist handles their practice. If the office is dirty and unkempt, you should look elsewhere. However, if you find that it’s tidy, clean, and easily accessible, with a staff that’s friendly and welcoming, this is a sign that everyone in the office takes pride in what they do.
Proximity is also another factor when choosing a dentist. If you have several children, it’s a good idea to find a local pediatric dentist’s office so you can take all your children at one time for convenience.
4. Services Offered
When your child sees the dentist twice a year for an oral care check-up, they do an oral exam and deep clean their teeth. They may even provide dental care education and teach children and parents how to keep up with cleaning and caring for teeth. However, it may be worth it to find a pediatric dentist who offers other services as well.
Some services you might want to look for are fillings, sealants, and dental sedation.
42% of children under the age of 11 have cavities. Cavities are holes in your teeth caused by bacteria and cause tooth decay if they’re not removed. Dentists remove cavities and use fillings to fill in the place where the cavity was to prevent further decay.
Sealants cover the surface of the back teeth to prevent cavities. Sealants are highly recommended by pediatric dentists because children have a hard time reaching the back teeth while brushing.
Dental sedation refers to using a type of anesthesia during dental procedures like check-ups. If children suffer from dental anxiety or need sedation for other reasons, this option helps them stay calm and safe with no memory of the dental procedure itself.
5. Read Reviews
Reviews give you a greater idea of what the dentist is like and how other patients viewed their experience. You can read reviews online from the dentist’s webpage, or from other online platforms.
You can also reach out to friends and family with children and ask them about their experience with their pediatric dentist. Find out how long they’ve been going there and what they think of the practice.
When you find a dentist that works for your family, you’ll want to check and see if they’re in your insurance network. This will offset the cost of procedures, treatments, and cleanings.
In order to find out if your dentist is in your insurance network, simply ask your dentist if they accept your insurance or call your insurance company. If you reach out to your insurance, they’ll explain your benefits and what’s covered.
7. Comfortable Care
What your child thinks about your pediatric dentist makes all the difference. If you and your child seem to get along with the dentist and enjoy visiting the office for check-ups, things will go much smoother.
Visiting the dentist in their office before any appointments may put your child at ease. You can schedule a consultation with the pediatric dentist to see how your child reacts.
Most insurance companies cover the cost of annual check-ups, but they vary on other procedures like x-rays, sealants, or other treatments. Some of these may be covered by your insurance, or you’ll have to pay for them out of pocket.
You’ll want to discuss payment options with your pediatric dentist’s office. Many offices want to make paying for dental treatments affordable for families, so they’ll offer payment plans or financial assistance. Talk with the staff about financing options if you need to pay for treatments.
Choosing a Children’s Dentist
When you need to choose a children’s dentist, it’s not always the easiest choice. But when you find a dentist that you and your child love, and who meets all the requirements, you can have peace of mind that your child is getting the best care.
Are you looking for a pediatric dentist? Call us today to schedule your appointment for your kids.