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Health

How to Select a Pediatric Dentist: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that there are over 9,500 pediatric dentists in the US alone?

Let’s be honest: Choosing your own dentist is one of the most challenging tasks. The process is even more daunting when selecting your child’s dental caregiver.

After all, whoever you choose will determine your child’s view of dentists. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll have difficulty getting your child to agree to dental care.

So, how do you select a pediatric dentist your child will love? Simple: create a checklist and assess all options for dentists against it.

Let’s look at some of the things that should be on your checklist.

Select a Pediatric Dentist That’s Reputable

The beauty of having so many options is that you can be as strict as you want. You can eliminate a dentist from your list simply because they have a bad reputation.

Ask your friends and family for opinions on their pediatric dentists’ professionalism. It’s always best to start with your loved ones because they can’t lie to you. Talking to them can help you dodge bullets.

You can also assess your options’ reputations by reading online reviews. Like your loved ones, they’ll give you an accurate picture of a dentist’s work ethic. Avoid any dentist with too many negative reviews as that may mean their services are of poor quality.

Credentials

You don’t want to take shortcuts in your child’s health matters. So, assess a pediatric dentist’s credentials before choosing them for your kid.

Is the school they received their training from accredited? Do they have board certification?

The right choices have all the certificates needed to prove their educational background. They’re also members of the American Dental Association or any other similar organization.

And they have certification from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This shows they’ve received special training on improving kids’ dental health.

Experience

We all want to give everyone equal chances to thrive regardless of work experience. But, pediatric dentistry experience is a factor you can’t afford to ignore.

Sure, a dentist who’s just completed training will have dental knowledge. Nonetheless, improving dental health requires more than just theoretical knowledge.

It requires practical knowledge you can only get from real-world experience. This is especially crucial when treating kids since they’re more delicate than adults. One wrong move may have your kids shuddering at the mention of the word ‘dentist.’

Range of Services

Kids enjoy stability more than anything else. The last thing they want is to adjust to multiple dentists for different services.

Focus on dentists who offer more than just general dentistry. After all, this isn’t the only service your kids will need. The right choice will also provide cosmetic services like teeth whitening.

This way, you don’t have to look for a new dentist whenever you need other services. Besides, your child doesn’t have to get used to an entirely new dentist. It’s a win-win situation.

Location

The US is home to many excellent pediatric dentists, but not all are easily reachable. The last thing anyone wants is to drive for hours for a dental visit. We can’t imagine your child would like that too much either.

So, limit your list of options for dentists to those near you. You can use Google to look up the location of each practice.

Cross off those far from your home or your kids’ school from the list. Choosing a convenient location means you won’t have to change your schedule.

Office Design

It’s easy to tell if a dentist is focused on meeting children’s needs by looking at their office. It needs kid-sized furniture, a play area filled with toys, and bright colors.

Look for dental offices with decorations that’ll ease your kids’ tension. The right office will also have a treasure chest filled with gifts for good behavior. Dental visits are daunting, even for adults, so you need an environment that can distract them.

Pediatric Dentist’s Demeanor

Did you know that roughly 9% of kids have dental anxiety? Sometimes, the fear results from unpleasant dental experiences, so you must be careful.

The right dentist will focus on improving dental health and making your child comfortable. They’ll use words your child can understand and congratulate them for keeping calm.

Ask your child what they think about your chosen dentist after your initial visit. Only schedule another appointment if they express a positive first impression.

Insurance Coverage

Check if your chosen dentist is in your insurance company’s network. You can get this information from your insurer’s website or by talking to your preferred dentist.

If they’re not, ask about payment plans that can ease the financial burden of regular visits. Some dentists even offer discounts on first visits and recommendations.

Cost

Comparing dentist Charges is essential if you don’t have dental insurance coverage. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the goal is not to find the cheapest option. Focusing too much on finding cheap dentists may have you losing focus on the most vital factors.

Instead, compare costs among dentists who tick all other boxes on your checklist. That’ll help you choose the best option while keeping dental costs down.

Staff

Your child will also interact with your chosen dentist’s staff. For that reason, look at how their staff treats your child on your first visit.

Are the employees friendly, and do they strive to offer a comfortable environment? If so, you can make that dental clinic your go-to for pediatric dental services.

Also, assess whether the employees treat you respectfully and answer all your questions. Remember, you’ll be interacting more with the employees than with the dentist. You’ll have easier time scheduling appointments and creating payment plans if they’re friendly.

Simplify Choosing a Pediatric Dentist by Learning the Right Things to Check

It’s difficult to select a pediatric dentist your child will love if you don’t know what to consider. Luckily, now you know the most crucial factors to have on your checklist.

Look at your potential dentists’ reviews, credentials, locations, and range of services. Also, consider how they treat your child and if their clinics are kid-friendly. Assessing them based on these factors will help you decide the right choice for your child.

If you’d like to learn more about oral health, check out the Health section of our blog for more content like this.

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