Would u suggest a pediatric dentist for small children? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-16-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I am embarrassed to say my 3.5 year old has never been to the dentist. I would like to take him somewhere where he will feel comfortable and not scared. Is a ped. dentist a better idea than a regular one? thanks

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#2 of 11 Old 02-16-2010, 03:52 PM
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I took my dd to a pediatric dentist for her first visit a few weeks ago (she's 2) and I'm glad we went there because a kid-friendly place makes it more pleasant and fun. The place we went to had plenty of toys in the waiting room, and all the dental seats had flat screen t.v.s up on the ceiling playing cartoons that the kids could watch while they're getting their dental work done. All the dental seats were lined up right next to each other, so all the kids can see each other while they are getting their dental work done (there wasn't any individual rooms, from what I could see) For the flavors of toothpaste, they had a big board of all the flavors of Baby Bling toothpaste (chocolate, orange, vanilla, etc.) so the kid can pick out which flavor he/she wants. At the end, the kid goes to the "party favor" toy area and picks out a little toy to keep, and then the kid gets a nice big balloon attached to a large toy toothbrush. My dd got a magic princess wand and a pink balloon, so that made her happy, after she had been crying the whole time she was getting her teeth cleaned.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-16-2010, 03:56 PM
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I take my children to a pediatric dentist, they tend to be a lot more gentle and kid oriented. Their dentist's office has fun murals on the walls, silly animals on the ceilings and a lot of other things to make it less scary.

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#4 of 11 Old 02-16-2010, 03:59 PM
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I usually say yes but it really depends on the pediatric specialists you can find in your area. some people who specialize in pediatrics have no bussiness treating children.

that said I do that my kids to a pediatric dentist. Their staff (and past ped. dentists) tend to be more child/family oriented. They also have resources/affiliations with other doctors if they require procedures done (for instance a pediatric anestheologist if the boys need it for treatment) I have seen the difference between a "regular" dentist and pediatric dentist, nothing glaringly different but very subtle. For instance our current dentist is WONDERFUL, has a very gentle voice and lots of experience with young children. DS didnt even cry when he had an injection in and he is TERRIFIED of needles. That alone was worth the $$ out of pocket above my insurance coverage. In fact DH who is somewhat scared of dentists because of past procedures actually asked him if he could see him well it was his bedside manner or the free toy, either way DH wants to be his patient too!
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#5 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 12:41 AM
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Not necessarily. We tried a ped. dentist at first but he was just not nice at all. He was not kid friendly. The other dentist in the office was not friendly at all either. They didn't even speak to my children or make any attempt to make them feel relaxed or comfortable. He wanted to do a very aggressive treatment on my son under general anesthesia.

Then we were given the recommendation of a general dentistry office and we switched and we all go there now and we are much happier. The general dentist just filled my son's couple of cavities with novacaine and my son never flinched at all. It was a piece of cake. We are much happier. The hygienists are great too.

I think it really just depends on the dentist. I'm sure some (probably most??) ped. dentists are great with kids but the one we tried was not. The general dentist has been great for us.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 12:47 AM
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I had the best luck with a family dentist. The ped. dentist around here all have the no parents in the room thing and I am not OK with that. The ped. dentist also kinda seemed to me like they where so used to kids being upset and crying that it wasnt a big deal to them any more. So instead of comforting they tended to just push onward despite my kids being so upset.

The family dentist is fine with me staying with the kids and he is really good with them.

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#7 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 12:55 AM
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Absolutely, if there's a good pediatric dentist in the area. There are certain standards I hold any dentist to: I can go in the exam room with my kids, no hassle. I can ask questions about proposed treatments and get intelligent answers. No mercury in my kids' fillings. Appropriate pain relief is provided, and no restraints are used.

Assuming those standards are met (and they really should be anyway), I would go with a pediatric dentist over one who generally only sees adults. In fact, we've been turned away by a regular dentist for my daughter because the dentist felt so strongly that my daughter would have a better experience -- and get better quality treatment -- with a dentist who specialized in working with kids.

Ours has a very colorful, welcoming, and engaging office, from the waiting room to the treatment room. The treatment rooms have butterflies and other shiny things on the ceiling for kids to focus on while they're in the chair. The chairs are kid-sized, but big enough for me to sit in if my children feel more comfortable on my lap. The sunglasses and other equipment is all child-sized, as well. There's a box of toys for siblings under every chair in the treatment room because they just assume that a parent won't always be able to find a sitter for siblings. They don't even ask that we do. Siblings are welcome. And the office is well stocked with prizes and positive reinforcement for after appointments, regardless of how the appointment goes.

In contrast, every adult dentist office I've been to has been pleasant, neutral, aseptic, tastefully decorated . . . nice, but really not kid-oriented at all. It's just not their focus, and a lot of things that an experienced kid dentist would do as a matter of course, an adult-focused dentist might not even think of.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-21-2010, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nataliachick7 View Post
I am embarrassed to say my 3.5 year old has never been to the dentist. I would like to take him somewhere where he will feel comfortable and not scared. Is a ped. dentist a better idea than a regular one? thanks
I guess I'm just jumping in to put my 2 cents worth in. I have to agree with the mommas who said the family dentist was great/I'm a single mom with 2 sm kids. My ds had really severe ECC, I took him to a highly recommended ped. dentist and sad to say this guy did not have a great little kid manner - but just recently my ds was evaluated as being mildly SPD, hence the reason for his terrified reaction.

I then tried another ped. dentist who was like the first, same reaction. One family dentist, same. And then a small town family dentist and instant calm.

Fortunately we, my mom and I, were taking care of his teeth with Xylitol and homeopathic cell salts, so by the time we discovered his present dentist, all his ECC was healed except for one tooth extracted and one cavity filled. He's been cavity-free since.

But my dd is going to this dentist, not a ped. dentist.
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#9 of 11 Old 02-21-2010, 01:24 AM
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Well, my dad is a dentist so here is my personal opinion...most small children are going to see a hygentist more than a dentist, unless there is some sort of problem. Generally the appointments here are with the hygentist and the dentist only comes in to check things out. With that in mind, it should matter less if the office is geared towards children and more about the personality of the ones doing the cleanings. The one at my dad's office has two little ones at home and works great with young children. Of course, we live in a small city/large town and I think that recently the only ped dental office opened, so for many it isn't an option.

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#10 of 11 Old 02-21-2010, 01:30 AM
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With have done a family dentist and a pedi one, the family one has been far better for us. There was only one pedi dentist in my entire area, no siblings were allowed to come even in the waiting room, I have 3 children. There were a whole list of rules, and honestly the staff was NOT child friendly. The family dentist has been the complete opposite, I have had everyone piled into the exam room, the dentist doesn't care, DD2 sits on my lap the whole time, that was not allowed at the pedi dentist.

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#11 of 11 Old 02-26-2010, 10:00 PM
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We use a regular dentist and she is wonderful. I like that it isn't overly cartoonish and that TVs aren't everywhere, although there is one in the exam room I am offered the remote to decide what to put on..if on at all. I choose off everytime.
She is very friendly in an adult way toward the kids. People who talk silly make DD very nervous and she just can't handle the over topness of those people. She lies people who are genuinely friendly and this woman is. I recommend her all over the place.
Oh and her dog sometimes wanders around to the delight of my children.

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