Pediatric Dentists and Tips for Choosing the Right One
Plenty of children are treated by a general dentist who has already established ties with whole family. However, though not necessarily giving better care compared to family dentists, pediatric dentists do concentrate their practice on kids.
As opposed to a general dentist, a pediatric dentist has two to three more years of training after they have completed a four-year dental school course. This program of study and applied experience accentuates the physical and psychological development of a child.
Pediatric dentists are experts when it comes to examination and treatment of children — not the most cooperative of patients — using methods that promote comfort and a sense of safety. They use equipment designed and manufactured with kids in mind.
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Deciding on a pediatric dentist helps guarantee that your child will get the most modern and efficient care and treatments necessary from one phase of his development to the next. During infancy, for example, the thrust of your pediatric dentist may focus on prevention and education. At adolescence — when there is usually great concern for physical appearance and self-image — the emphasis may move to correcting or restoring problematic teeth and teaching oral health care.
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Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
When vetting pediatric dentists, there are a few important questions you must ask, such as:
> Is the dentist an AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) member?
> Does the pediatric dentist take continuing education classes and/or attend professional seminars, conferences and the like?
> Does the pediatric dentist use a child-friendly approach that is effective in putting your child at ease? What about the office staff?
> Does the dental office have a child-friendly design? Are the instruments and furniture sized for pediatrics?
> What is the office policy on parents and staying around while their kids are under treatment? In some pediatric dental offices, parents are required to come with their children so they can be appeased, and the parents can be educated as well. On the other hand, other offices want children to come on their own after the first appointment so the the pediatric dental team can begin building a sense of trust immediately.
> What policy is comfortable enough for you as well as your child?
> Will they accept your dental insurance?
> Did the dentist inform you about the development of your child’s teeth, and how problems can be prevented by practicing good oral care habits at home?
> Lastly, were all your questions and concerns addressed satisfyingly and professionally by the dentist? How about the staff? Most certainly, the way the staff treats you is important as well, considering they are generally your first line of communication with the pediatric dentist.