More than half of children with public insurance are visiting a dentist for the first time ever. Half still lack care. Without a qualified dentist, your child could develop dental disease or suffer from dental pain. They might need restorative treatment in the future, too. Instead, consider taking them to your local children’s dentist. The number of practicing pediatric dentists in the US has nearly doubled since 2001. When choosing children’s dentists, there are a few factors you should consider.
Here are seven tips that can help you review your options for dentists. With these tips, you can narrow down your options and find the care your child needs.
Start your search for children’s dentists with these tips today!
First, it’s important to find a children’s dentist who has the experience and expertise necessary to take care of your child. You won’t want to take shortcuts when focusing on your child’s health. Instead, find a knowledgeable dentist with years of hands-on experience.
You can start your search by speaking with other parents in the area. Their experience could help you when choosing children’s dentists.
Once you have a list of recommendations, learn more about each dentist on your list. For example, you can consider:
- Where they went to school
- Where they gained their training
- How long they’ve had their own practice
- How many patients they currently have
- If they prioritize continuing education
You might find peace of mind choosing a dentist who has practiced in the area for over a decade. A dentist who recently completed their training might have more relevant knowledge, though. Try to find someone who falls in the middle.
Look for an experienced dentist who focuses on continuing education. These dentists remain up-to-date with the latest techniques and procedures. They might use safer techniques when treating their patients.
Make sure to ask each dentist on your list for proof of their credentials and board certification. If they can’t provide proof, scratch them off your list. You can find peace of mind knowing your child is visiting an experienced, qualified dentist.
2. Areas of Expertise
Before choosing children’s dentists, consider each dentist’s area of expertise. Look for someone who specializes in treating children. Their specialty could benefit your child’s oral care.
A pediatric dentist will have a better understanding of your child’s development and oral health needs.
Dentists who want to become pediatric dentists need to complete a two-year post-graduate residency. Some of these dentists take pharmacology, child development, and psychology courses, too. Their additional experience and expertise could ensure they provide top-notch pediatric care.
Check the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website during your search. You can make sure the dentists on your list specialize in child care.
Choosing a pediatric dentist can ensure someone with the right expertise treats your child.
3. A Range of Services
When reviewing your options for dentists, consider the services your child might need in the future.
Above all else, it’s important to find a dentist they can visit twice a year for routine checkups. Without routine checkups, plaque and bacteria can build up, leading to cavity formation. Bacteria can also impact your child’s health in other ways.
About 17% of children have untreated dental caries. Regular checkups could help your child avoid a cavity.
In addition to regular dental exams and teeth cleanings, you might want to look for a practice that offers orthodontic treatment. Your child can receive their braces or Invisalign treatment from a team they already trust. Otherwise, you’ll have to take them to more than one office for treatment.
Try to find a dentist who offers a range of services for improving dental health. They can help your child for years to come.
Ask the dentist if they offer cutting-edge services or technology, too.
You can learn more about the dentist’s services by checking their website. See if they post before and after photos. You could learn more about their services from recent patients.
4. A Strong Reputation
When reviewing your options for dentists, look for a professional who has a strong reputation in the area. A dentist who’s gained the trust of parents in the area will want to keep that trust. They’ll keep offering high-quality services for their patients as a result.
Check the dentist’s Better Business Bureau and Google my Business listing. You can also find reviews on their website. Then, read a few reviews from each resource.
You might find one or two negative reviews. That’s normal.
If the dentist has an abundance of negative reviews, however, scratch them off your list.
Requesting references and reviews can help you feel more confident in your choice.
5. The Right Location
Before choosing children’s dentists, pull up Google. Look at each dental practice’s location. Try to find a practice that’s near your home or child’s school.
You can take your child in for an appointment, then drive them to school afterward. If the office is an hour away from your home or their school, the drive might feel tedious. Instead, try to find a dentist at a convenient location.
Make sure they’re located in a safe place, too.
6. Insurance Coverage
Comparing dental costs can help you narrow down your options, too. Check with your insurance provider. See if the dentists on your list are within your network.
If they’re not, check with the dentist’s office. They might have payment plans available.
7. Good with Kids
Consider bringing your child with you to meet at least three dentists on your list. A consultation appointment can help you determine if your child is comfortable with that dentist.
Try to find a dentist who knows how to speak with children. They should leverage their years of experience to put children at ease.
Don’t forget to consider your own comfort as well.
Start Your Search: 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Children’s Dentists
You don’t have to take your child to the first dentist you find online. Instead, use these tips when choosing children’s dentists. Keeping these seven factors in mind can help you narrow down your options.
You can find a children’s dentist equipped to improve your child’s oral health.
Want to take your child to a pediatric dentist you can trust? We’re here to help.
Schedule an appointment with our team today to get started.