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How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist

Choosing a Pediatric DentistA couple weeks ago, I wrote about ways to help your child enjoy taking care of their teeth. One of those ways was to find a great pediatric dentist so that the dentist visits are enjoyable and fun for your child. In this post, I’ll talk more about what a pediatric dentist is and how to choose one.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists, like myself, have not only been through the 4 years of college and 4 years of dental school, but have completed 2-3 more years of specialty pediatric training. This means that we understand the unique dental requirements that children have.

Children have different needs when it comes to not only their teeth, but how they are approached. The specialized training that pediatric dentists receive includes child psychology so that they know how to speak with children about dental and general health, and growth. By knowing how to interact with children, they can make the visit positive and fun for your child.

Questions to Ask

BeforePediatric Dentist Office

  • Is the dentist a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry?

  • Is the office kid-friendly? Are there toys, books, games, etc in the waiting room?

  • Is the dental office located near your home or child’s school?

  • Will they work with your dental insurance plan?

  • How available is the dentist? Is it easy to make an appointment?

  • How do they handle dental emergencies, both in and out of the office?

Pediatric Dentist OfficeAfter

  • Did the dentist ask for a complete medical and dental history for your child?

  • Was the dentist gentle but thorough?

  • Did the office speak with your child in encouraging ways about dental health?

  • Were you informed about your child’s tooth development, causes and prevention of disease, and how to care for their teeth at home?

  • How did your child enjoy the visit?

Not Satisfied with Your Pediatric Dentist?

1. Say something – Usually if you are unhappy it is an issue with communication. Talk to the dentist if you didn’t like or understand some aspect of their care. Often, the issue can be resolved simply by sharing your concerns

2. Get a second opinion – See what other people are saying about your child’s dentist. This may help you feel more comfortable with your decision.

Pediatric Dentistry and Assisting

All in all, knowledgeable pediatric dentists and their trained assistants are great for your child and their dental needs. Knowing they all have been trained specifically for pediatric dentistry will give you peace of mind when taking your child to their practice.

~Dr. Rhea Haugseth