The number of pediatric dentists in the US could increase by over 60% within the next decade. Already, the number of practicing pediatric dentists has nearly doubled between 2001 and 2018.
If you’re reviewing options for dentists in the area, it helps to have a plan. You don’t want to rush through the process, though. After all, choosing dentists for kids can set your child up for long-term success.
Prioritizing their oral health now could help them make better decisions as an adult. It’s also important to make sure you choose a dentist who can put your child at ease.
Otherwise, your child’s dental anxiety might lead them to avoid appointments once they’re grown.
Before that can happen, use these seven tips to find a pediatric dentist your child will love. Start your search with these simple tips today.
1. Training and Credentials
First, it’s important to make sure you find a qualified, knowledgeable dentist. Their expertise will ensure your child receives the best possible care.
Start making a list of options for dentists by heading online. You can also use the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website. Otherwise, visit HealthGrades.com to learn about each dentist’s professional history.
While you’re online, learn as much as you can about each dentist. First, determine where they received their education.
Make sure the dentist entered a two-year post-graduate residency to become a pediatric dentist. Determine if they studied any relevant courses, such as child development. Their additional training could help them provide better services.
How long ago did they graduate from dental school? If it was decades ago, they likely have years of hands-on experience. However, it’s also possible they’re using outdated techniques and practices.
Consider finding a pediatric dentist who prioritizes continuing their education. These dentists strive to become the best in their field. They’re likely up-to-date regarding new techniques and technologies, too.
A dentist who prioritizes continuing their education will stand apart from competing practices. They might even offer top-notch dental services that will benefit your child.
Determine if they encourage the team at their dental practice to continue learning, too.
Otherwise, make sure each pediatric dentist on your list is certified. Verify that their credentials are up-to-date as well.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing a qualified, well-trained dentist is helping your child.
2. Relevant Experience
Before choosing dentists for kids, it’s important to find someone with extensive experience with kids.
First, determine what age groups each dentist treats. You might find dentists who only focus on younger children.
Instead, consider finding dentists who will treat your child until they’re 18. Your child might feel more comfortable visiting the same dentist over the years. The familiarity could reduce their dental anxiety.
Consider each dentist’s pediatric dentistry experience. How long have they specialized? Choose someone with hands-on experience treating kids.
Choosing a dentist with relevant experience will benefit your child in the long run.
These dentists have experience soothing children who are nervous about going to the dentist. They’ll also have a better understanding of your child’s development.
A dentist who has worked on adults over the years, however, might struggle to help your child.
3. Pediatric Dentistry Services
Before you start choosing dentists for kids, visit each dentist’s website. Take the time to review the services they offer.
For example, you might want to find a pediatric dentist that focuses on preventative dentistry. Remember, establishing good oral hygiene habits early will benefit your child for years to come. You can teach your child how to prevent cavities with proper brushing and flossing.
Your dentist might also recommend dental sealants. Sealants can protect your child’s teeth from bacteria that would otherwise cause decay.
Consider looking for dentists that offer restorative dentistry services, too.
If your child has a cavity, they might need dental fillings. When left untreated, your child could experience pain or infection.
Restorative dentistry services can also include pulpotomies, extractions, and crowns.
Is your child anxious about going to the dentist? Ask the dentist if they offer sedation dentistry services.
Don’t worry; dental anxiety is normal. In fact, about 36% of the population experiences this anxiety. Sedation services can ensure your child still receives the treatment they need.
Reviewing each practice’s dental services will help you find the right dentist for your child.
4. A Nearby Location
Pull up Google Maps and determine where each practice is located. You might want to find a practice near your home or child’s school.
If there’s a dental emergency, you’ll have peace of mind knowing the dentist is nearby.
5. A Kid-Friendly Environment
Consider scheduling a consultation with one or two dentists on your list. You can use this appointment to determine your child’s dental care needs. You can also ask any lingering questions you have on your mind.
Look around the office. Is it kid-friendly? A kid-friendly environment could help put your child at ease before their appointment.
Consider the staff, too. Choose a team that’s friendly and professional. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your child is receiving the best care.
6. A Sparkling Reputation
Before making your final choice, consider reading online reviews. Gather referrals from parents you trust, too.
Reading online reviews and speaking with parents will help you learn more about each dentist. Make sure they’re professional and knowledgeable.
7. Your Child’s Comfort
Consider taking your child with you to the consultation appointment. Then, pay attention to how they respond.
For example, do they seem comfortable while in the waiting room? Are they comfortable when the dentist approaches them, too? Determine if the dentist is able to put your child at ease.
Choose a dentist you and your child feel comfortable around. Otherwise, you might struggle to bring your child to their appointments.
Squeaky Smiles: 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Dentists for Kids
Don’t rush to make a decision when choosing dentists for kids. Instead, keep these factors in mind when reviewing your options. With these tips, you can find the best dentist in town.
Eager to schedule your child’s first dental appointment? We can’t wait to see you both!
Contact us today to get started.