By Deborah Pinnock on Feb 9, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
Finding the right dentist is a big deal and must be given all the consideration you would give to a long- term relationship. And if you’re lucky, you will only see that dentist two or three times a year; however, if you have more complicated issues, the staff will know you by name and vice versa. But what if that dentist is going to be treating the most precious and treasured people in your life...your kids? Well, it becomes even more important that you know how to pick the right pediatric dentist.
So, what’s so special about a pediatric dentist?
Well, for starters, these dentists (also called pedodontists) have to complete a four year degree in dentistry, plus additional years specializing in children and their specific dental needs. They treat children from infancy through adolescence, as well as children with special needs. Pedodontists have completed courses that make them experts in the area of a child’s oral growth and development. Their background knowledge in child psychology, along with their knowledge of different behavior guidance approaches, helps them gain cooperation from children.
What should I look for in a pediatric dentist?
Both you and the office staff have a desire for your child to feel comfortable going to the dentist. The offices will have a theme that will interest a child, like jungle, circus, playground or aquarium themed. Other examples of how these dental specialists make their offices inviting to children include:
• Playing children’s movies in the waiting room
• Placing TV monitors at every dental chair and on the ceiling so the child is distracted when they recline to get their cleaning
• Having child-sized furniture
• Placing children’s games and books in the waiting room
Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff
We all know that while the dentist may be a major character in this story, he or she is not the only character; the office staff also plays a major role in you and your child’s dental experience. For starters, they are the first people you and your child will meet. Because of that, they set the tone for the whole experience. To make your child’s first dental visit and the following ones successful, both the staff and the dentist should be able to explain to you and your child what’s going to happen in the appointment in a way that helps the child to not be afraid. They should also be able to answer your questions.
Treatment Room Policy
Treatment room policies change based on the pedodontist’s preference and style; this means that if you are going to take your children to this specialist, you should be completely comfortable with the policy, whatever it may be. Some policies are:
• Parents are allowed in the treatment room to keep their child calm
• Parents may stay in the treatment room only on the initial visit
• Parents, right from the start, must stay in the waiting room until the visit is over
This part of the visit is generally a journey for both you and your child, especially if he or she is an infant. So, talk with the office before the visit to find out their policy and see which one you can live with.
Going to the dentist may not be on your top ten list of things to do. In fact, it’s one of the least favorite things for adults and kids to do. But having a great dentist makes the world of difference in how we feel about going to the dentist. For your child, it’s a pediatric dentist who understands and can relate to him or her. It’s one who has organized his or her practice so that the office, staff and their chair side manner communicates to your child, that dental health is important and taking care of his or her teeth can be fun or cool.