How to Find the Right Pediatric Dentist


One of the many important choices parents must make involving young children is of a good pediatric dentist. A child's first dentist and first dental experiences can be very important to that child's oral development and dental health.

There likely are many students in Concorde's Dental Assistant and Dental Hygiene programs facing the same important choices about their children's future dental health.

There are many factors that come into play when choosing a proper pediatric dental office. We enlisted the guidance of two Concorde Dental Assisting faculty members on what to consider when choosing the right pediatric dentist for your toddler.

Selecting a comfortable and warm dental environment

When choosing a pediatric dentist, it is important to have an office environment that is inviting and soothing to the child patient, according to Debbie Fritcher, who directs the Dental Assistant programs at Concorde's campus in Aurora, Colo.

"First impressions are everything," Fritcher said. "An office that really caters to children will have fun décor and an open bay concept to the office."

"It is equally important that the staff, from the front office to the back, is patient and kind as both the parent and the child will be nervous and excited for their first visit. The very first visit should be informative. For example, show the patient the instruments in a fun way will help reduce the anxiety that often comes from an initial visit."

Fritcher said a parent should do some research about the practice they are considering. Read reviews. Make a determination based on others' experiences in that office as well as asking friends and family for recommendations.

"The first visit is so important to the child patient because it can set the tone for all future visits," she said. "Making the patient and parent comfortable immediately upon arrival to the office will ensure a successful appointment for all."

Other methods for finding the right dental experience

Dahlia Brown, Dental Assisting Instructor at Concorde's campus in Jacksonville, Fla., suggests the best source of information when researching a good pediatric dentist is your child's current pediatrician.

"If the family is relocating, ask their current dentist if he or she has suggestions that could be options in the new city," Brown said. "Families also can search the internet by zip code or specific organizations which support the specialty, such as and"

Things to review pediatric oral experiences, Brown said, include the pedodontist's disposition toward handling children with special needs and handling difficult patients. Do they treat intensive cases in a hospital setting? What are their policies about premedication for challenging and anxious children? Conduct a personal visit and evaluate whether the office suits your child's needs. Does the office cater to all age groups with interactive activities - books, toys, stuffed animals?

Finally, see if the office accepts your insurance. While not the most important element of giving your child a positive dental experience, it certainly will relieve some anxiety for you.

Dental hygiene

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