It's difficult to pick a dentist, especially when you're selecting a dentist for your child. Children start going to the dentist between the ages of one and three, so the dentist you choose should be someone who understands children, has worked with pediatric patients, and who can make a child feel comfortable.
Knowing what to look for, how to prioritize one dentist over another, and what factors to consider when selecting a dentist can help you pick the right dentist for your child's needs.
Inquire About Experience
Call dentists in advance and speak to each candidate on the phone. Ask each dentist a list of questions, including:
- Do you have many pediatric patients?
- What do you to make pediatric patients feel comfortable?
- How does the way you treat pediatric patients differ from the way you treat adult patients?
The answers to these questions can go a long way to helping you pick the right dentist for your child. It's important to pick a dentist who can answer your questions to your complete satisfaction.
While you're talking to dentists, it's also a good idea to ask how long patients typically wait in the lobby. If you have a very young child or a child with a very short attention span, then it can help to find a dentist who has a reputation for moving patients quickly through the office.
Visit the Office
If you're able, go to the office of whichever dentist you're considering. In the lobby, look for toys and books that can help your child feel comfortable. You can always take some of your child’s toys to the dentist's office, but a dentist who supplies toys in the lobby is clearly a dentist who understands children.
Children are prone to accidents like slips and falls. Some children who fall can injure their teeth, or may even knock a tooth out of their mouth.
From the moment that a tooth is knocked out of the mouth, a countdown begins. If the tooth is put back into the mouth within 30 minutes of the accident, then there's a good chance that the tooth can be saved. When something like this happens, having a dentist nearby may save your child's tooth and beautiful smile.
Look at online reviews from other parents. Look for details about how pediatric patients felt about their trip to each dentist. Don't be deterred by one or two negative reviews, especially if the overwhelming majority of the reviews are positive.
Work With Your Insurance Company
Assuming you have dental insurance, you'll need to work with your insurance company to find out which dental providers in your area are covered by your policy. Ask for a list of names from your insurance company and then start calling the dentists on that list first. Your insurance provider may even be able to tell you which dentists take pediatric patients.
Get a Referral
Talk to parents of children that are about your child's age. Ask them which dentist they chose for their child and whether or not they would recommend that dentist to someone else. Referrals are one of the best ways to find out how a particular dentist runs his or her office.
Contact Us for More Information
It can be difficult to find the right dentist for a young child. If you're feeling stuck or have questions about the process, then consult with dentists in your area.
At Edison C. Louie D.D.S. Inc., we're happy to answer patient questions and help parents find a dentist for their child. To find out more, call us today.