With 20% of children having at least one decaying tooth that hasn’t been treated, it’s important to get trips to the dentist started as early as possible.
Picking pediatric dentists, however, can be a challenge. With your child likely nervous at the prospect of going to the dentist for the first time, you want to pick the best of the best and make sure they’re looked after.
When picking a pediatric dentist, it’s important to bear all of the following factors in mind. If you do that, you should end up with a good one!
1. Their Reviews
The references and reviews are the first things you’ll want to look at for any pediatric dentist you’re considering.
Google, Yelp, and many other sources often have reviews available you can browse through. Avoid dentists with not many reviews, as the practice is either new or they don’t have many clients, and it’s important to pick someone you have confidence in from testimonials.
You can look at the one-star reviews and see if they’re reasonable, or complaining about things that aren’t really a factor for you (such as location).
Overall, they should have a pretty solid rating.
2. The Price
The price of services is something else you’ll want to look at. Comparing dentist fees is important when picking any kind of dentist, not just pediatric.
If prices for general services aren’t listed on their website, you can give them a call and ask.
However, it’s important to remember not to go with the cheapest — at least not without considering all other factors. While the cheapest may be the best, you have to look into everything and balance it out. Perhaps the cheapest has a two-star rating, and the slightly more expensive one has a five-star.
Still, although balance is necessary, price is an essential factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.
3. The Experience and Qualifications
Although every dentist must have certain qualifications, some have gone above and beyond for extra — and experience is also important. Pediatric dentistry experience is sometimes different from the experience of a general dentist, as it requires a little more care and compassion with children.
If it isn’t clear from their website, ask just how much experience they have with children. You’ll want to pick a dentist that has been doing this for a while, as children can be prone to anxiety in the dentist that should be dealt with as quickly as possible so it doesn’t develop into a phobia in adult life.
It’s also important to consider the referrals of friends. If you know other parents in the area, or bump into them on the school run, ask them about which pediatric dentists they’ve used.
Some of them might have a great dentist you can research on your own. Some of them might have had a terrible experience with dentists and be able to advise you on just who to stay away from.
Good referrals and red flags raised by others are both helpful, as you can take them into account while searching.
5. The Clinic Itself
You can ask if it’s okay to visit the clinic and have a look around to familiarize yourself with it. If the clinic feels cold and unwelcoming, or the front desk staff isn’t helpful, you might want to look elsewhere.
If you don’t feel comfortable in the waiting room, chances are, your child won’t either.
Pediatric dentists should go out of their way to make the environment a warm one. Some waiting rooms often have water and toys available to distract your child, which is exactly the sort of thing you should be looking for.
6. The Needs of Your Child
How important the experience of a pediatric dentist is, also depends on the needs of your child.
For example, you might have a child with autism. That requires more care, as they can be more distressed by the environment and new experiences.
Or you might have a bold child who doesn’t seem phased by the idea of visiting the dentist at all, which means you can be a little laxer when choosing.
The needs of your child are the most important thing, and you know your child best of all. It’s important to advocate for them.
7. How Comfortable They Make You Feel
All in all, how comfortable the pediatric dentist themselves makes you and your child feel is important. If they don’t deal well with any anxiety in your child or seem impatient, it might be time to find another.
Dentists should be cool, calm, collected, and comforting if need be. They should be willing to take the time to reassure you and explain any procedures necessary in great detail.
If they don’t, you shouldn’t feel bad about finding another dentist, especially when the wellbeing of your child is at stake.
You can learn more about how a great pediatric dentist works by checking out this example.
Picking Pediatric Dentists Can Be Hard, so Keep These Things in Mind
Picking pediatric dentists can be an intimidating task with dental anxiety so high in both children and adults. It has to be someone experienced, friendly, and good at what they do — and you might be worried you’ll make the wrong choice.
As long as you do your research and bear all of the above factors in mind, you’ll pick a great dentist for your child.
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