Within the next decade, the number of US pediatric dentists might increase by over 60%. Focusing on your child’s oral health now can set them up for the future. It’s essential you find a local pediatric dentist they’re comfortable around first.

The best child dentist can help put your child at ease. If your child feels anxious, they might not receive adequate care. Their oral health could suffer as a result.

Here are six tips you can use when looking for a local pediatric dentist near me. With these tips, you can find a qualified dentist with ease.

Start searching with these tips today!

1. Gather Parent Recommendations

Turn to the people who were once in your shoes: other parents. Ask the parents in your area for recommendations. They could point you toward the best child dentist in town.

As you begin gathering reviews, have a list of questions you want to ask each parent. Learn more about each pediatric dentist they recommend. For example, you might want to ask:

  • Is the dentist experienced and knowledgeable
  • Do they specialize in pediatrics
  • Was your child comfortable around them
  • Did the dentist ease your child’s anxiety
  • What services do they offer
  • How much do they cost

Ask each parent you speak with if they encountered any issues with the dentist as well. If so, ask if the office strived to resolve those issues. Find a dentist that offers the highest standard of care.

If you’re unable to gather referrals, that’s okay. Head online and search for a local pediatric dentist near me. Then, pull up Google Maps to determine where each practice is located.

You might want to find a practice that’s near your home or your child’s school. Make sure they’re conveniently located. You won’t have to worry about the stress of making it to appointments on time. 

2. Check Their Credentials

Once you have a list of dentists, it’s important to learn more about their professional history. First, make sure each dentist has the proper credentials. You can feel confident knowing they’re qualified to care for your child.

Determine where each dentist graduated from and how long ago they graduated. If they graduated a few years ago, determine if they continued their education. How does the dentist remain up-to-date with new dental technologies?

If they’re not up-to-date with technologies, procedures, and techniques, they might use outdated practices. They could struggle to offer your child the highest standard of care.

Instead, make sure the dentist is knowledgeable as well as experienced.

Before choosing a pediatric dentist, check their Healthgrades.com listing. Make sure their credentials and board certification is up-to-date. If they’re not licensed to practice in the area, scratch them off your list.

3. Consider Their Reputation

If you want to find the best child dentist in town, look for someone who has a strong reputation in the local area. In addition to personal recommendations, you can also hear from other parents by checking online. Visit the dentist’s Better Business Bureau and Google My Business listing to find online reviews.

Reading online reviews can help you learn more about each dentist. It can also give you peace of mind that you’re choosing a reliable dentist.

If you find one or two negative reviews, that’s normal. If there’s an abundance of unhappy parents, however, look elsewhere. Instead, find a dentist you can trust with your child’s care. 

4. Look for Experience With Kids

Determine how long each dentist has worked in the industry. It’s important to find someone with years of hands-on dental experience. Otherwise, they might struggle to offer your child the help they need.

It’s not enough to find an experienced general dentist, though. Instead, look for someone with years of experience as a pediatric dentist. Determine how long each dentist has worked with kids.

Pediatric dentists complete a two-year post-graduate residency before they can specialize. Some learn about child development and psychology as well. 

Check the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website. Make sure the dentist you choose specializes in caring for children.

These dentists will have an easier time putting your child at ease.

If your child has dental anxiety, consider finding a dentist who offers sedation dentistry for kids. Child sedation dentistry will ensure your child still receives the care they need.

5. Explore Their Services

Schedule a consultation appointment with two or three pediatric dentists on your list. Before the appointment, look around. Is the waiting room kid-friendly?

A child-friendly environment could help put your child at ease before their appointment.

Consider the staff, too. Are they friendly and professional? Are they able to answer your questions?

During your consultation appointment, ask any questions that are still on your mind. Discuss your child’s needs, too. Ask the dentist what services they would recommend.

They can outline your child’s needs based on their age or stage of development. For example, your child could benefit from fluoride treatment. Make sure to talk to the dentist about preventative care, too.

Make sure the services they offer align with your child’s needs. Remember to ask about sedation dentistry for kids as well. 

About 36% of the population has dental anxiety. It’s normal. Unfortunately, 12% suffer from extreme dental anxiety. Easing your child’s anxiety early on could prove crucial to their long-term dental care. 

You can learn more about the benefits of child sedation dentistry here.

Before leaving the appointment, ask the dentist for an itemized list of their services. Determine if they fall within your insurance network as well.

6. Consider Comfort

During the appointment, consider your comfort around the dentist. Are they professional and easy to talk to? If you’re uncomfortable around them, chances are your child will feel uncomfortable, too. 

Review your notes before making your final decision. Then, choose a pediatric dentist with your child’s needs in mind. 

Brush Up: 6 Tips for Finding the Best Local Pediatric Dentist

Finding the best local pediatric dentist doesn’t have to feel time-consuming. Instead, use these six tips to get started. Make sure you’re choosing a dentist your child will love. 

Finding the right dentist can set their oral health up for lasting success.

Ready to schedule your child’s first appointment? We can’t wait to see you both.

Contact us today to schedule your first visit!