The number of pediatric dentists in the US is supposed to grow by 60% in the next decade.
An increasing number of parents are realizing the importance of bringing their children to dentists who specialize in the unique needs of children. Yet where can you find a pediatric dentist, and how do you know which one is right for you?
Let’s take a look.
Why Go To a Pediatric Dentist?
In the past, families went to the dentist together, with the same professional helping both parents and children. Today, however, pediatric dentistry allows families to take their children to dentists who specialize in the care of younger patients.
After completing four years of medical school, pediatric dentists complete another 2 to 3 years of residency in pediatric dentistry. Here, they will focus on things like child development, psychology, and special needs patients. They learn about sedation, advanced diagnostics, and surgical procedures as they relate to the unique needs of children.
Pediatric dentists are trained to meet the needs of children with many different types of personalities. Your child may be talkative, anxious, or shy. Pediatric dentists will know how to make the experience the most comfortable for them.
In addition, your pediatric dentist will be quite comfortable with common problems children experience. If your child isn’t flossing, for example, the right pediatric dentist will know how to talk to them about it.
When you visit a pediatric dental office, you’ll probably notice something different about its appearance right away. There may be murals on the walls and video games in the lobby. Kids will be given cartoons to watch while they’re treated and special flavors for their cleaning.
Kids who visit pediatric dentists may even be excited about their visit. The office, treatment, and professional demeanor are all designed to make children feel comfortable and happy. If you want your child to have the best possible initial dentist experience, it pays to visit an LA pediatric dentist.
Recommendations and Reviews
One of the best ways to begin your search for a pediatric dentist is to reach out for recommendations on social media. There are plenty of parents in the neighborhood who can likely speak honestly about their experiences.
If someone suggests the name of a professional, don’t be afraid to ask more questions. What in particular was positive about the experience? Was there anything that made them uncomfortable?
Once you’ve got some names, go online and check out what former patients are saying in reviews. Do many of them remark on the kind staff and helpful advice? Or do a number of them say that they felt like their children weren’t being listened to?
Remember that anyone can get a poor review once in a while. However, you’ll want to be on the lookout for patterns of similar negative comments. These can alert you that it may be time to find a different dentist.
Most pediatric dentists will take dental insurance, and many insurance companies will cover a pediatric dental cleaning twice a year. If you have dental insurance, make sure you choose a pediatric dentist who accepts it. Your co-workers might be a good place to start your search for such a dentist as they are likely on the same insurance plan as you.
If you don’t have dental insurance, talk to your employer about setting up a Health Savings Account (HSA.) These will allow you to put aside a certain amount of money each month that can be used for health-related expenses such as dental care. The money is tax-sheltered so you can keep more of what you earn.
If your employer doesn’t have an HSA available, talk to them about a Flexible Spending Account (FSA.) This is similar to an HSA in that you can put aside money for health expenses each month that will be tax-protected. However, unlike an HSA, you won’t be able to roll the funds over from year to year.
It’s important to choose a local pediatric dentist since your kiddos will be visiting at least twice a year. In the event of treatment such as a cavity filling or tooth-pulling, you could end up making extra trips.
Make sure your pediatric dentist is within a comfortable drive before you choose them. You may also be able to schedule an initial consultation.
You can make a visit and get a feel for the office and staff. If everything seems friendly, professional, and welcoming, you’re probably making a good choice.
You’ll also want to make sure that your dentist is emphasizing preventative care over expensive treatments. A true professional will want to help you keep costs down by making your child’s teeth as healthy as possible!
Before choosing a pediatric dentist, make sure you read up on the professionals that work there. What are their certifications, and where did they go to dental school? Are they involved in community and professional organizations that show their commitment to learning about the latest developments?
The right pediatric dentist for you will have training specifically related to the dental needs of children. You can rest assured that they will take excellent care of your child’s teeth!
It’s smart to choose a pediatric dentist for your child because of the unique expertise they can bring. With the right professional, your child will be enjoying a healthy smile for years to come!
For more information on a qualified Los Angeles pediatric dentist, contact us today.