What happens when you choose the best pediatric dentist in Austin, TX? Your child will have healthy teeth and gums all the way to adulthood.
On the other hand, visiting a less favorable dentist could scar your child for life. Specifically, this experience could teach them to fear the dentist. And it won’t teach them good dental hygiene habits.
So, how do you decide? To answer this question, we’ve written you this comprehensive checklist.
This guide lists the 8 most important questions to ask when choosing a dentist for children. Use these criteria to find a pediatric dentist that your child will love.
1. Pediatric Dentist or Family Dentist?
The first question is, are you better off just taking your child to your current dentist? Technically, most dentists have the training required to treat children as well as adults.
But the main difference between family dentistry and pediatric dentistry is not the quality of the work. It’s the atmosphere.
Family dentists market primarily toward their adult patients. They have calm, grown-up waiting rooms filled with magazines about business news.
Your kid may already be nervous about his/her dental visit. Walking into a quiet, serious environment like this will make him/her even more uncomfortable.
In contrast, a pediatric dentist’s office is full of bright colors, entertainment, and happy, playing children. This is far more likely to calm your child’s dental anxieties.
2. Are They Covered By Your Insurance?
Next, make sure that the dentist you choose accepts your insurance. Typically, you can get a list of in-network dentists from your insurer. Otherwise, you’ll have to call each dentist and ask.
Also, find out which treatments are covered by your insurance policy and which are not. Then, find a dentist that offers good pricing on any treatments you have to pay for out-of-pocket. Even if you don’t need these treatments now, you might need them later on.
If you can’t get dental insurance for some reason, you’ll have to choose a dentist you can afford. There should be at least a few low-cost or free dental services in your area.
3. How Close Are They to Your Home?
Choosing a dentist who’s close to your home is more important than you’d think. That’s especially true if you need emergency services from a dentist you trust.
But, aside from this, a lengthy car trip is sure to make your child’s dental anxieties worse. Try to find a dentist that’s less than 30 minutes from your house.
4. What Age Range Do They Serve?
Normally, baby teeth begin to emerge 6 months after birth. So, it’s suggested that your child’s first dental examination happens by their first birthday. This way, the dentist can detect/correct any dental development problems early on.
However, some pediatric dentists don’t accept patients until early childhood, around age 6. This is when children start losing their baby teeth and gaining their adult teeth. Likewise, other pediatric dentists won’t accept patients over the age of 6.
Furthermore, most pediatric dentists stop treating patients after age 12, when all baby teeth are gone. At this point, children begin seeing regular dentists.
In any case, it’s always best to choose a dentist that treats children of all ages. Then, if you have multiple children or are planning to have more, they can all see the same dentist.
5. What Experience Do They Have?
Many important aspects of pediatric dentistry are learned through experience. It’s imperative, then, that you find out how much relevant experience your dentist has.
Ask the dental office how many years their dentists have practiced pediatric dentistry. 3 years or more is sufficient.
6. What Do Their Patient Testimonials Say?
At this point, you should have a decent list of local dentists who are qualified to treat your child. So now, see what their previous patients have to say about them.
You should be able to find testimonials on their website. Also, check online reviews from search engines and business review sites. It’s a good idea to research the Better Business Bureau, too.
7. Are They Friendly?
Unfortunately, none of this research can tell you whether the staff has a positive, kid-friendly attitude. For this, you’ll need to visit the dentist’s office in person. Schedule a consultation so that you and your child can get a feel for the experience.
Remember, a friendly atmosphere is the primary reason to choose a pediatric dentist for your child. It will give your child a positive association with dental visits and dental health in general.
8. Are They Available?
Here’s another reason to speak with an actual staff member. You need to find out how easy it is to get an appointment.
For instance, they may tell you that the next available appointment is 3 months away. It shouldn’t be this hard for them to fit you in.
Also, this isn’t likely to change. Any time you make or change a future appointment, you can expect significant delays.
You’re much better off choosing a dentist who doesn’t have quite so many patients. Specifically, you should be able to get an appointment within 3 weeks, not 3 months.
Do You Need a Pediatric Dentist in Austin, TX?
With this checklist, you’ll have no trouble at all finding the best pediatric dentist in Austin, TX. For that matter, you might find everything you’re looking for right here.
We at Grow Pediatric Dentistry strive to make children feel safe and comfortable. At the same time, we provide fast, effective dental care, including emergency treatments. Learn more about us here or call 512-434-0965 to make your appointment.