Did you know that cavities are the most common childhood disease in the U.S.? More than half of all kids between the ages of six and eight have had a cavity in at least one tooth! Because these cavities often go unnoticed, it can be hard for parents to tell when their kids are at risk. That’s why finding the best dentist for kids is crucial.
The right Nicholasville children’s dentist can help protect your child’s smile, whether they have baby teeth or permanent teeth.
If you’re not sure how to find the right kids’ dentist, we’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look at how parents can narrow down their options to choose the perfect team for their child’s oral care.
Ask for Recommendations
One of the best ways of choosing a dentist is by asking around for recommendations. See if your friends, family members, or coworkers have had a good experience with their pediatric dentist. If so, this dentist is worth considering!
Your child’s pediatrician may also be able to give you recommendations. These medical professionals often have a shortlist of dental clinics they trust. Your current general dentist may also have a Nicholasville pediatric dentist they often refer patients to.
In addition, you can try checking with your insurance company. This is a great way to find dentists in your network where you live, but you might end up with a long list that needs narrowing down.
Last, dental school staffers may offer recommendations. These dentists are often recent graduates with less experience, but they will still offer excellent care.
Do Your Homework
If tapping your social network hasn’t turned up any recommendations, online searches can help. You can develop a shortlist of candidates by searching for reputable pediatric clinics in your area.
Once you have a few pediatric dentists in mind, it’s time to check out the website of each Nicholasville children’s dentist. To whittle down your options, you’ll want to consider a few factors:
Insurance and Costs
Many dentists have a list of the types of insurance they accept. Some won’t accept Medicaid or CHIP, for example.
If you can’t find this list of insurance options, be sure to call the clinic. You can also contact the phone number on your insurance card if you aren’t sure.
Look for any details about the cost of treatment, and don’t hesitate to call the clinic to ask for estimates. Some dentists also make it easier on patients by offering payment plans. This makes it easier to afford unexpected or emergency oral care treatments.
Look for dentists whose clinics are near where you live or where your child goes to school. Make sure the clinic has hours that work well with your family’s schedule. These details make it more convenient to manage your child’s dental care when you need ongoing visits.
Check out the dentist’s medical background before you book an appointment. Pediatric dentists should have years of education and experience. They should also undergo continuous training.
Many kids’ dentists are also associated with major industry organizations. Look for an affiliation with the American Dental Association or the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, for example. Both of these organizations hold members to high standards.
Reviews and Testimonials
If the dentist’s website lists any reviews from past clients, be sure to check them out! These can help you see trends in parent satisfaction with their child’s care.
Don’t forget to check out third-party websites as well. Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews will often provide more neutral ratings and testimonials.
Visit the Office
Before hiring a dentist, give yourself time to ask any pressing questions.
You can do this over the phone, but we also recommend visiting the dentist’s clinic before booking an appointment. This helps you get a feel for the environment. Feel free to bring your child as well if they are old enough to help you make a decision.
Note that you may want to call in advance before visiting to make sure a member of the clinic’s staff will have time to speak with you.
When you first walk in, look for an office that feels welcoming, comfortable, and kid-friendly. Age-appropriate toys, colorful decor, and warm office staff members always help.
Does the waiting room feel crowded? Is the area clean and tidy? Do the receptionist’s desk and any visible areas beyond the waiting room seem organized?
Next, meet with the clinic staff and ask your questions. You should feel like the staff member answers your questions in a kind, polite manner. Here are a few things worth asking:
- What ages do you treat?
- Can you do oral care and risk assessment for infants?
- What is your approach to preventative care?
- Do you wear gloves, protective gear, and face masks?
- Can I come into the treatment room with my child?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What can you do to make kids feel more comfortable during appointments?
- How often do you recommend visiting for check-ups?
- What kinds of sedation services do you offer?
- How do you educate kids on dental care?
- Do you work with children with special needs?
You should also ask any specific questions you have about your child’s oral care.
It’s also a good idea to talk with the clinic staff about what to do in dental emergencies. If the clinic has an emergency pediatric dentist, they may be able to help your child with broken or knocked-out teeth, severe pain, and other issues. If not, they can often help you find someone to keep on speed dial.
Find the Best Dentist for Kids
Searching for the best dentist for kids isn’t something to take lightly. The right Nicholasville pediatric dentist will help you protect your child’s beautiful smile for years to come. Even better, they can help your child feel comfortable and safe at every visit.
That’s where our clinic comes in! Our kids’ dentist, Dr. Wheeler, has decades of experience providing excellent oral care to Nicholasville children. To see what we can do firsthand, call us today at 859-885-0086 to book an appointment.