The number of pediatric dentists in the US nearly doubled between 2001 and 2018. There are now over 8,000 pediatric dentists across the US. If you’re searching for an Austin pediatric dentist for your child, it’s important to have a plan.
Otherwise, you could make these common mistakes when choosing a pediatric dentist. The dentist you choose might lack the experience and expertise that will benefit your child’s oral health.
Don’t let that happen! Instead, use this pediatric dentist guide to find the best dentist for your child today.
Not Checking Credentials
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a pediatric dentist is neglecting to review their credentials. A license permits the pediatric dentist to practice in the state. They need to have their license approved and issued by the Texas state board.
Each state’s dental licensing board has a set of conditions prospective doctors must meet. These expectations go beyond their examination requirements or degree.
For example, some states require:
- Basic Life Support certification
- Documentation of hepatitis B vaccination
- A background check
- Proof of having taken courses on specific subjects
Before a dentist can take their dentist licensure exam, the Texas State Board of Examiners determines if applicants have met specific requirements. The dentist must have:
- Passed a clinical examination administered by the regional examining board
- Received a DDS or DMD degree from a CODA-accredited dental institution
- Passed Part I and II of the ADA Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations
You can learn more about the general qualifications here.
While board certification isn’t a requirement, finding a licensed and certified dentist will give you peace of mind. Their certification can speak to their level of training and experience.
Your pediatric dentist should remain honest and transparent about their credentials. If you can’t find this information, call the practice. You might also see their certifications and licenses displayed at the office.
Choosing Dentists Without Experience
While there are over 8,000 pediatric dentists in the US, some have more experience than others. As you use these pediatric dentist tips, make sure to look for someone with years of experience. Determine how long each Austin pediatric dentist has practiced dentistry.
Then, consider how long they’ve owned and operated their own practice.
An established practice has likely worked out operational kinks over the years. These dental teams also know how to work together as a unit. As a result, you’re less likely to experience operational issues (billing, scheduling, etc.) that might impact your experience.
A pediatric dentist with years of hands-on experience in the industry will have a better understanding of your child’s needs. They’ve likely encountered every oral health issue within that time frame, too. Finding someone with experience will ensure your child receives help from a dentist with the right expertise.
Neglecting to Consider Specialties
It’s not enough to find a general dentist with years of experience, though. Instead, consider how long the dentist has specialized in treating children. Otherwise, they might struggle to help your child.
After all, you wouldn’t choose a general practitioner as your child’s physician. Don’t choose someone who lacks a specialty in pediatric dentistry, either.
To become a pediatric dentist, professionals are required to complete two to three additional years of specialized training. The additional training allows dentists to learn how to deal with children’s behavior. They gain a better understanding of how to help children feel comfortable.
These dentists will have an easier time creating a pleasant experience for your child.
Pediatric dentists will also understand how to comfort fussy children or soothe dental anxiety. A dentist who lacks this experience might struggle to help your child, though.
Not Reading Reviews
If you want to find the best Austin pediatric dentist, turn to parents who were once in your shoes. Take the time to read reviews from other parents in the area. Make sure the dentists on your list have a strong professional reputation.
Reading reviews will help you determine which dentists to trust versus avoid.
A dentist who has earned a strong professional reputation will also want to maintain their reputation by offering the best services to every patient.
Choosing a Dentist That Isn’t Fun
Remember, a pediatric dentist should know how to put a child at ease. Otherwise, your child might not receive thorough care, which could compromise their oral health. With that in mind, look for a dentist that’s fun and welcoming.
Your child will feel more comfortable visiting the dentist if it’s designed with children in mind. For example, they can play games and read books in the waiting room.
If the office is designed for adults, it might look cold and sterile. Your child might feel uncomfortable in that environment.
Consider visiting the office before your child’s first appointment. Determine if the environment will put your child at ease. If you feel uncomfortable, your child likely will, too.
Neglecting to Catch Red Flags
As you use this pediatric dentist guide, there are a few red flags you should look out for.
First, avoid dentists who aren’t up-to-date with new technologies, trends, and procedures. The dentist should prioritize continuing their education while running their practice. After all, the medical field is constantly evolving.
A dentist who tracks changes will offer the best standard of care.
Determine if the dentist takes a proactive approach, too. If not, they won’t help your child avoid tooth decay. Instead, they’ll wait until there’s a problem to fix.
Avoid choosing a dentist who isn’t open to communication. Look for a dentist you can build a trusting relationship with.
Avoid these red flags to find a dentist you can rely on.
Find the Best Austin Pediatric Dentists: Avoid These Common Mistakes
Don’t rush when choosing an Austin pediatric dentist for your child. Instead, use these pediatric dentist tips to find the best dentist in town. They’ll ensure your child’s oral health.
Eager to schedule a consultation appointment with a pediatric dentist your child will love? We can’t wait to see you!
Contact us today to get started.