Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
In a survey conducted by the National Library of Medicine, 42% of the subject children had dental fear. Moreover, the research also showed that this fear decreases with the increase in children’s age. Your child is most susceptible to developing dental fear between the ages of 10 and 14.
The fear usually makes them anxious and reluctant to go to the dentist. This can often lead to canceled appointments, late arrivals to clinics, and neglected dental care. However, it doesn’t have to be like this.
An excellent pediatric dentist knows how to handle such situations. In addition, such trained professionals can help your children overcome their anxiety and fear. Moreover, they can make a dental visit an enjoyable experience for your kid.
But, how do you go about choosing the right pediatric dentist in your area? It’s not as simple as just picking up your phone and saying, “Find the best children’s dentist near me.” In fact, you need to consider several factors before you dial the best pediatric dentist for your child’s next visit.
This article will help you identify important points that you need to keep in mind to ensure the best dental care for your kid.
Let’s get started.
Who is a Pediatric Dentist?
Before you get down to the factors that will help you identify the best pediatric dentist in your area, it is vital to understand who a children’s dentist really is and what their duties are.
Pediatric dentists are professionals dedicated to maintaining children’s oral health from infancy to teenage years. They are specifically trained to combat specific issues related to your child’s dental health. This includes ailments related to your child’s teeth, gum, and mouth during the course of their childhood.
Training of Pediatric Dentists
The following is the rudimentary training that an individual has to undertake to practice pediatric dentistry:
5 years of dental school education and practice
Three years of residentiary training. This includes learning about dental care issues related to teens, children, infants, and kids with special needs.
A trained pediatric dentist is well equipped and skilled to provide a whole bunch of dental care treatments. Some of the most prominent ones are as follows.
Dental health exam for your child
Fluoride treatment, diet, and nutritional recommendations to facilitate dental care protection
Dental health counseling
Treatments for teeth straightening and improper bite
Treatments for dental injuries
Curing gum injuries
Factors to Consider to get the “best pediatric dental clinic near me”
Now that you know what precisely a pediatric dentist does, let’s find out how you can choose one in your city. From location to the services offered, here are some of the most crucial points to consider while choosing a pediatric dentist in Gurgaon.
This point doesn’t mean that dentists who are just starting off with their profession are not skilled and trustworthy. It’s just that a good experience goes a long way toward getting the best possible treatment for your child.
If a pediatric dentist has been practising the craft for a considerable amount of time, then he/she must have stood the test of time. This means that they have been continuously learning and improving in their treatments.
More experience also brings in more time spent training in real-time scenarios. All this allows you to get the best dental care available for your child.
2. Take the Specialization into Account
You need to ensure that the dentist you consult specializes in children dental care. On the one hand, many families can benefit from having a single dentist for all of their family members. This allows them to reserve all the appointments for a single day and fix the dental problems of all the members in one go.
However, on the other hand, your regular dentist will lack a certain degree of specialization when compared to your pediatric dentist. These professionals have spent their entire careers and education learning the minute intricacies related to children’s dental health.
A pediatric dentist has to take up a special 3-year post-graduate residency program to specialize in children’s oral health. This is in addition to the already existing degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery
This additional educational and practitioner qualification makes all the difference. It means that you will get your child treated by someone who specializes in giving them the best pediatric care.
3. Take your Time and Analyze the Consultation
Your child’s first visit to a dental clinic basically counts as a consultation. The doctor will get to gather some information about you and your child and analyze their overall dental health and oral hygiene. The first meeting is merely an introductory conversation unless they find any significant dental issue.
However, this doesn’t mean that your child’s first visit to a dental clinic doesn’t hold any relevance. You need to take notice of the overall experience. You shall try to find answers to questions like how was the hospitality of the reception staff? Was your child comfortable with the setting of the dental clinic?
As far as the consultation with the dentist is concerned, you must pay attention to how they talk to your child. Do they care enough to explain to the child what’s going on? Do they make your child feel comfortable?
This will help you finalize the best pediatric dentist per your child’s needs.
4. Take a Look at Your Insurance
Dental insurance is as important as any other medical cover insurance you opt for. If you have one, analyze it thoroughly to check if it covers your child’s specific treatment. You must also ask your preferred dentist to take a look at your dental insurance policy.
What if you don’t have dental insurance? In such cases, you might land up in situations where you have to pay unexpected dental charges out of your pocket.
However, you can still save money on your child’s treatment by consulting with different dental clinics. You might have to pay the full price of the treatment, but you can compare the quotations offered by different clinics and go for the most viable option.
5. Realize the Power of Reviews
There is no bigger validation than that of customers. Pediatric dental clinics can go about advertising their own facilities and specializations, but if you really want to know if a pediatric dentist works well with kids and offers good treatments, then you should go through customer reviews.
Almost every dental clinic allows customers to write reviews online about their experiences. Reading these reviews allows you to understand how a clinic actually treats its patients. You can also get an idea of what the majority likes or doesn’t like about a particular pediatric dental center.
Think about this? If the dental clinic is at a convenient location, your kid and you are likely to visit it on a regular basis. For this very reason, you should find a dental clinic close to your house, or even better, close by to your child’s school.
You should also take into consideration factors like traffic and road congestion while booking your appointments. Does the chosen clinic about optimum parking facilities? Is it located on a bustling street? These are the questions you should find answers to.
7. Clinic Décor and Ambience
It would be best if the dental clinic was specifically curated for children. This means that the clinic should be well light, welcoming, and clean. The theme-based office can just be the ideal motivation your child needs to show up for their regular dental checkups.
To start off, you can look for an office that is brightly decorated to attract the young ones and make them feel at home. This is where a pediatric dentist clinic can be leaps and bounds ahead of a regular dentist’s clinic.
A kid-friendly office can be the key to your child’s immaculate dental hygiene.
8. Customer Care Services of the Clinic
You must keep in mind that you will have to interact with the office staff more than the dentists themselves. You will need to contact them to book appointments and check up on medications.
Therefore, the clinic staff must treat you and your child in a friendly and respectful manner. You should be able to get all your doubts and questions answered by the clinic staff, who are able to assist you with any other issue.
9. Variety of Services Offered
If you search for the “best pediatric dentist near me,” you’ll find zillions of options. However, very few of them are able to provide you and your child with well-rounded facilities. This will allow your child to keep visiting the same clinic for different treatments even in the near future.
You must ensure that the children’s dental clinic you choose is able to provide preventive care as well as restorative treatments to your child. Moreover, the pediatric dentist should be able to accommodate any special needs that your child has.
10. The Approach to Treatments
In the ideal setup, the pediatric dentist should follow preventive measures to any treatment to prevent any further damage to your child’s teeth. Some dental problems like cavities and root canal treatment can be extremely painful. Therefore, having a pediatric dentist who takes all the required preventive measures will save a child from going through a painful ordeal.
This is where reading reviews can help. It can give you a lot of information on the kind of approach a dentist takes for treating several dental health ailments. On top of all this, you must ensure that your chosen dentist has the ability to calm your child down and make them feel at ease after the treatment.
11. Compare Dental Costs
The comfort and convenience can just go into the backseat if the dental cost doesn’t align with your budget. If you don’t have any insurance cover, you need to ensure that the dental treatment costs are affordable for you.
The best way would be to draw a comparison between different shortlisted dental clinics. However, you must make it a point that the dental cost is not an obstacle in case of an emergency.
12. Certification of the “Best Pediatric Dental Clinic Near Me.”
There is nothing wrong with asking a dentist to show their license and certification before you dial down on them as your pediatric dentist. In fact, any professional would be happy to do it for you.
As discussed above, pediatric dentistry requires some different training than regular dentistry. You need to ensure that your chosen professional is certified to work on your kid’s tiny teeth. In addition, if your ward has any special needs, you must also ensure that the dentist is trained specifically in that regard.
Some Facts About Pediatric Dentistry
The segment highlighted all the factors that you must consider while selecting the right pediatric dentist for your ward. These varied factors must make you realize the gravity of the responsibility that a children’s dentist holds.
However, here are some points that might make you get more cautious while you look for the “best children dentist near me.”
Most kids get all of their teeth by 2-3 and lose them by 13-14
It is very normal to see your kid getting their first tooth even before their first birthday. In fact, your kid must have at least 20 teeth by the age of 2-3 and must start eating and chewing whole foods.
The full set of teeth doesn’t last for too long because they soon start breaking off individually. These teeth are replaced by adult teeth. In most cases, molars are the last set of teeth to be replaced. They don’t fall off until the age of 12-13.
You need to get in touch with a pediatric dentist earlier than you think
You might have a conception that your kid will only need a dentist when they have a full set of teeth. But, according to experts, you must start taking your ward to the dentist much earlier.
Ideally, you should bring a child to a pediatric dentist when their first tooth comes out, or when they turn one year old, whatever happens first.
You should get you child an orthodontic consultation by the age of 7
It is a great idea to get your child an orthodontic consultation in Gurgaon before the age of 7. This is the perfect middle ground where your child starts losing temporary teeth and gets permanent ones.
If an expert doctor is able to spot any prominent issue with your ward’s bite and smile at that age, they can recommend the appropriate orthodontic treatment. This will improve the oral health of the child and reduce the requirement for orthodontic treatment in the future.
Summing it Up
All the above factors and facts must have made you realize that choosing the perfect pediatric dentist for your child is not easy. Moreover, it comes with a great deal of responsibility because of the importance it holds in your child’s dental health.
Here is a small recap and summary of the mentioned factors that will help make your job easier.
Go for an experienced dentist.
Go for a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry.
Take note of your consultation.
Analyze your dental insurance. If you don’t have one, it is best to get one.
Read online reviews to know what other customers think about different clinics.
Make sure that the clinic is at a convenient location.
Prefer clinics that are specifically curated to make a child feel more comfortable.
Take the behavior and communication skills of the staff into account.
Go for a clinic that offers well-rounded services.
Make sure that the dentist follows a preventive approach to treatments.
Compare the dental costs and make sure that they align with your budget.
Ask the chosen dentist for their license and certification.