Finding a great pediatric dentist can take time, but if you know what to look for in a provider, it can actually become quite easy.
Here are some tips for finding a pediatric dentist who has the experience, skills, and tools to help your child maintain a healthy and gorgeous smile.
1. Talk To Your Neighbors
Talking to other families in your community can help give you a more personal impression of different providers. It is great to hear from different types of families about their experience and how the dentist helped their child be comfortable.
Once you have some names, you can narrow down the field further or prioritize choices by doing some online research. Read reviews and websites, and gather as much information beforehand as possible.
2. Look for Communication Skills
A pediatric dentist should be comfortable communicating with children so that they can understand every step of the appointment. They should be able to explain what they are about to do with kid-friendly language. For example, instead of using the term “suction tube”, they can say “Mr. Thirsty”. Counting and nursery songs help the exam go by quickly. Conversation can also focus on Disney movie characters, school sports, or family vacations.
3. Check for Modern Technology
Besides the ever-popular electronic devices children use, equipment used for dental appointments is often superior in a modern pediatric dental practice. An office should include digital x-ray imaging as it allows providers to monitor cavity-susceptible areas in a way that is more comfortable and safe for children. Digital x-rays reduce radiation by 90%. In fact, eating two bananas exposes someone to more radiation than a single digital dental x-ray.
4. Ask About Metal-Free Fillings
Composite resin fillings are non-metal, durable, fracture-resistant, and able to withstand chewing pressure. Not only do tooth-colored fillings offer an aesthetic alternative to “metal” or “silver” fillings, they also allow for a more conservative treatment method that preserves more of the tooth’s structure. Both scientific studies and clinical experience have shown that tooth-colored fillings are safe, reliable, and long-lasting. When you put these advantages together, it’s no wonder some dentists say we’re moving toward a “post-amalgam” era.
5. Request Tooth-Colored Caps
When the decay is too large compared to the size of the rest of the tooth structure, then fillings are no longer viable options. A dental “cap” is placed over the weakened tooth structure to allow it to look and function normally again. Tooth-colored crowns are durable and blend in naturally with the rest of a child’s smile. For parents or children that may be more conscientious about the smile’s appearance, this is a great alternative to stainless steel crowns.
Remember that all families and children have different needs, but a strong pediatric dentist should be able to find a way to make sure you and your child feel heard and well cared for with each visit.