You’ve decided that you want to take your child to a dentist. You want to book an appointment with the best paediatric dentist near you. But you’re thinking, “Which is the best kid dentist near me?” and, more importantly, “How can I pick the right one?”
Well, here are some ideas to help you with these questions.
What is a paediatric dentist?
As the name suggests, paediatric dentists are especially trained dental specialists. On top of dental school, they have to undergo two to three years of extra training that aims to make them children-friendly. This training not only introduces them to the technical details of small mouths, but also how to best comfort anxious little souls.
These dentists are experts in treating dental conditions that are more prevalent in children, which is why it’s better to see a paediatric dentist than a regular one for your child.
What makes a good paediatric dentist?
You might think, “If every paediatric dentist knows how to deal with children, then why not go to just any paediatric dentist?”
Well, while all paediatric dentists undergo similar education and training, not all are the same. And here are some things to consider when choosing one for your kid.
Before anything, check a dentist’s credentials. Make sure that they graduated from a prestigious institute and that they are board-certified. Board-certified dentists have to take even more exams relevant to their expertise, making them super-reliable.
If you can’t see these details on their social media pages or websites, don’t hesitate to directly ask them for it.
An experienced paediatric dentist would be better in handling children than a novice one. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for a dentist with enough hands-on experience.
However, experience may not always be the deciding factor. Consider this: a general dentist with twenty years of experience has recently switched to paediatrics. Would you still count his vast experience?
Probably not. This is why it’s important to look for a dentist with relevant experience. If you already know your child’s diagnosis, then looking for a dentist who has experience treating that specific condition would be even better.
Going to a dentist might not be something your kid wants to hear unless it’s a fun experience for him. An inconsolable child will make it very difficult for the dentist to treat her, which is why you want to pick a dentist with:
- Children-friendly decor
Visit their website and go to the pictures section. Notice if the office has a decor that your kid would love. This could include bright, colourful walls, stuffed toys, play area, or an entirely cartoon-themed office.
- Welcoming staff
Staff matters a lot. Even if the dentist is nice and friendly, rude assistants may scare your child away. A warm, welcoming staff will treat you like family and will win your kid’s trust.
Another important thing to consider is the equipment. Check whether the dental clinic is equipped with the latest instruments and machinery. Also, if your kid has special needs, make sure the dental clinic also has the essential tools to cater to it.
Having essential equipment and having clean equipment are two different things. You don’t want unhygienic stuff inside your kid’s mouth.
One last thing you need to consider is the kind of approach a dentist takes. Children are more prone to cavities and tooth decay than adults because of a sugar-rich diet. To prevent these problems, good paediatric dentists often take a preventive approach through regular check-ups, fluoride treatment, and sealants.
If the dentist you’re considering doesn’t take this ‘preventive approach’, check him off the list.
How can you pick the right one?
Now I know what to look for in a paediatric dentist, but can you please tell me how exactly am I supposed to do that?
Sure thing. Below are some ways you can use to find paediatric dentists with the above qualities.
The very first thing you’d want to do is read reviews online. You should not only read reviews on the dentist’s website but also on different social media platforms like Facebook. This will give you a clearer picture.
Also, read both good and bad reviews and keep an eye on how the office responds to negative reviews, which will tell you a lot about its culture.
Reading reviews will help you shortlist some dentists but you will still have multiple names on your list. The next sensible thing to do is ask around and investigate. You can talk to a few people who have already been to the dentist you’re interested in. Social media is a great tool to reach out to other patients.
Also, don’t neglect friends and family when it comes to asking for recommendations. They’re one of the most trustworthy sources of recommendations in these matters!
Visit and see for yourself.
Finally, don’t hesitate to book a consultation appointment with your top candidates. This will give you a chance to see which dentist keeps your kid the most comfortable and fulfils other criteria described above. Once you’ve identified the right paediatric dentist for your child, you can do all your future check-ups with them!