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Finding a good dentist/Referrals

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
My son is 17 months and I am afraid he is having problems with his teeth. He chews his hands constantly and he bites me during nursing. I know he isn't teething because he has all his teeth! But they seem awfully crooked, and there are big spaces between some of them and none between others. I'm really not sure what baby teeth are supposed to look like, and I would like a dentist to check them out.

The problem- he freaks out when we try and put anything in his mouth. He never let us spoonfeed him or put a toothbrush in his mouth, although he is happy to use these things himself. I clean his teeth with a rag around my finger, but I don't think I'm doing it effectively. How could he possibly make it through a dental exam? Will he have to be sedated?

I live in Santa Cruz, CA but I am willing to drive to the Bay Area to find a good dentist. I checked a few web sites and so many of them said weaning before 12 months is essential for oral health. I DO NOT want a dentist who tells us to wean or blames nursing for all his dental problems. But I also need someone who is gentle and sensitive to his fears. Can anyone recommend a dentist in my area, or tell me how I can find one?
post #2 of 81
Check with the moms in the local La Leche League. The League does not endorse practitioners, but the moms can!

Good luck!
post #3 of 81

finding smilemomma 'clones' : )

any suggestions for folks that want to find a new dentist and avoid the 'terror by trial' experiences??

i'm guessing that older dentists arent as likely to know new technique and be as compassionate? but i could be very wrong about that : )
post #4 of 81
Aw, thanks for the compliment!

There are some other threads around here that discuss it, but my suggestions are

ask friends

ask around at the local whole foods store

ask a periodontist (gum specialist) who he sees, or has a good referring relationship with

check with the local LaLeche League. They cannot refer, but the moms are allowed to have opinions

Good luck!
post #5 of 81

dentist recommendations?

I've just joined and have been poking around on this board and see lots of stories describing positive (under the circumstances) experiences having dental work done on kids under 4. I am wondering if anyone can recommend a good pedodontist who can help me avoid sedation for my 3.5 yo in either the Pacific NW or northern California? The yellow pages have not yielded a whole lot for me yet.

post #6 of 81

airfares cheap for Second Opinion Now!

I can highly recommend Dr Bruce and Dr Charlie Toillion, a father/son practice in Spokane, WA. (509) 755-5437.

I flew there and stayed in a motel two nights to have work done on my 2.5 year old. No other dentist would work on her because of her age, weight and "lack of cooperation from her". She had a wonderful experience at the Spokane office (also helped that I stayed in the waiting room and her behavior was better without mom there which was my choice). We avoided going to a hospital and all the things associated with that option.

I hope all works out for you. I know I was in a panic as a mom feeling terrible that my daughter had such bad dental problems at such a young age and terrified of the financial ramifications of her treatment in a hospital.

Best Wishes!
post #7 of 81

How do I find a GREAT pediatric dentist?

Our general dentist referred our 22 month old ds to a pediatric dentist last week. Like so many threads I've read here, he said that ds has baby bottle mouth and would need to have some work done. UUUGGGHHH! We've been so very stressed out about this. More on that later.....
We took ds to the ped. dentist today, it was really AWFUL!!!!! First, it was a FILTHY office, it smelled and the receptionist was just plain unhelpful and definately not friendly. We were nervous as it was and this definately made us feel more unsettled. We waited for forty minutes past our appointment time, and still nothing. Meanwhile we hear another small child screaming, yes, screaming at the top of his lungs, the ENTIRE forty minutes!!!! Poor thing! We just got a bad vibe and ended up walking out. So now we don't really know how to find a GREAT pediatric dentist. Where do we start? This one was referred to us because they accept our insurance, but at this point we'll try anything. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
post #8 of 81

Got a second & better opinion on dd's teeth

I took dd to another dentist & he does not want to cap her teeth. We are going to fill the decayed spots & put sealant on the rest. He is going to give her something to make her sleepy & will not use anesthesia. Our goal is to make her baby teeth last as long as possible. Capping will be a last resort only. He said he would rather the teeth have some minor defects than put her through having her teeth capped.

Also have to add he was very supportive of bf. Did not blame night nursing for the problem & went on & on about the benefits of bf. His wife bf all their 5 children. Thank you all for your advice.
post #9 of 81
Hi bayoumom and smilemama if you are there,
my son is 17 months, and has a range of decay in a number of teeth(4 front and 4 molars). both dentists we have seen would not consider anything but GA etc., though the second doctor did not blame BF and wanted to wait as long as possible. I guess i was wondering if you could describe how decayed your baby's teeth were. also, did you have to suggest different course of treatment to your dentist, or did you shop arround until you found the dentist who wanted to treat this way? i would love to be able to get sammy the kind of treatment you got for your child.
ps, you can email me at aviva1@pacbell.net if you prefer
post #10 of 81
I just went to the yellow pages from lots of cities and talked to the dentists and asked lots of questions. Finally found a practice that said that they treated kids with the kind of decay my 2.5 yr old had in office. See my thread "told GA only way". good luck!
post #11 of 81
Hi, sandbox! Welcome to the Mothering boards!

So sorry to hear about your awful experience; I'm surprised you lasted 40 minutes! Good decision to flee, IMHO!

Your dilemma in finding a caring practitioner has been discussed several times on the Dental board, and elsewhere. You can either scroll down and read the topic titles for the posts (you may need to adjust your settings at the bottom of the page to view all pages) or use your search button in the upper right hand corner to be directed to the appropriate posts.

Good luck!
post #12 of 81
Oh, bayoumom, that's fantastic! I'm so happy for you and your dd! Thanks for coming back to let us know!

And sammymom, good luck to you! There are some threads on here that discuss finding a good, simpatico dentist; you could read a while, or use the search button in the upper right corner to send you directly to the information you need. I think if you read the posts on here (there's only 4 pages, not counting the Archives), you will have a much better feel for what is possible and for the types of questions to ask of a potential practitioner. If there's anything we can do to help, please post back!
post #13 of 81

Looking for a pediatric dentis on the East coast

My 5 yo has been through 2 full anaesthesias already (she's had caries since she was 2 yo). I think this year she is ready to get her 2 small fillings without full anesthesia. (I certainly am not ready for another ordeal!).

I have a wonderful "grownup" dentist (holistic, uses homeopathy, etc. etc.) However, he is not good with small children. She has had bad experience with dentists (more than 2ce) and needs time and attention, so that she can trust the doctor.

Anybody knows of a good ped. dentis on the East Coast? We are in VA, but I would travel I need a good doctor so badly!
post #14 of 81
You might want to check out Dr. Starr in Bethesda, Maryland. He's been recommended to me, but I haven't had a chance to check him out yet. Good luck!
post #15 of 81

I have a great dentist!

I just took my 3 1/2 yo dd to a new dentist (our insurance changed) and I was so pleased. Dd's teeth were perfect too, so that also makes me feel good. The dentist is Dr. Kennedy in Decatur, GA on N. Decatur Road if anyone is interested. My dh has been to him too and been very pleased.

The hygienist (who really did all the work), was pleasant with dd, funny, kept her giggling. They ASSUMED that I would come in the exam room with dd instead of staying in the waiting room (like another dentist we have seen in the past). They didn't want to do x-rays or flouride treatment. I have nothing against flouride and we use a flouride tooth paste, but they were concerned that she would swallow it and it felt good that they were taking a conservative approach.

My own feeling is that some dentists use x-rays and flouride as an substitute for a real dental exam. When I was preg I had trouble finding a dentist who would treat me because they said they couldn't do x-rays. "Can't you look in my mouth?" I said. "Can't you clean my teeth?" And they would just repeat, "But we can't do x-rays so what's the point." But that's a different issue, I guess!
post #16 of 81

Great Dentist? List them here!!

I am looking for a great dentist in St. Louis, MO and would love to hear of any recomendations. I thought it would be nice to have a list of great dentist's everywhere!! TIA, Ashlea.

My idea of a great dentist: gentle, uses homeopathy & other natural approaches in addition to traditional approaches. Great w/ children, but not necessarily pediatric specialist. I usually prefer a family doc/dds.
post #17 of 81
Dr. Mark Barren in Montgomery Village, MD! Excellent pediatric dentist, and I am definitely hard to please. No homeopathy, but we think he is great.
post #18 of 81
Dr. Roger Reckis in Bellows Falls, VT. Highly recommended for adults AND kids.
post #19 of 81
Don't know how far you are willing to travel, but Dr. Richard Spence, in Claremont, NH, is a highly recommended pediatric dentist. He is the only pediatric specialist for MILES around, and lots of folks travel great distances to see him. My 6yo ds has been a patient of his, and if you need more info, please let me know. Good luck!
post #20 of 81
I just added our pediatric dentist to the "List great dentists" thread the other day. He is in Montgomery Village, MD (DC burb outside Gaithersburg). His name is Mark Barren. We love him and trust him completely. My kids actually look forward to their appointments. He is not one who uses homeopathy though, so if that is important to you, he's not your guy.
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