One of the first places to start looking for a great pediatric dentist is with your dental insurance, which should be able to tell you which dental practices are covered and conveniently near you. But that only narrows down your options so much—and there are different factors to consider when choosing between pediatric dentists and adult dentists.
What’s the difference between pediatric and adult dentistry?
A pediatric dentist completes an additional 2-3 years of schooling beyond the undergraduate degree and four-year dental school that all dentists must complete. This training helps a pediatric dentist better understand how to work with children and how to specialize in preventative care that helps children’s teeth develop well throughout their lives.
Pediatric dentists also tend to run practices that are more welcoming for children. They might offer an abundance of toys in the waiting room, more kid-friendly posters and videos, and even different flavors of toothpaste.
HOW TO SEARCH FOR A GREAT PEDIATRIC DENTIST
Use your insurance provider’s directory
The best way to find a pediatric dentist covered by your insurance is to use their directory. You can often search by zip code, name, and specialization to find the right pediatric dentist for you and your children.
Ask for referrals
Sometimes it’s helpful to ask other parents about which pediatric dentists they take their children to. It’s always a great question to ask in a Facebook group for parents in your area, as other parents likely have the same question and everyone can easily share links to the practices they like. You could also likely find out from people who work at your child’s school or daycare, such as the school nurse, PTO leader, or anyone who has children that live in your area.
Check online reviews
Good online reviews are always a good sign of a well-respected pediatric dentist. When you search for the name of their practice, you should be able to see reviews on sites like Yelp and Google that give you an idea of what to expect. You’ll want to look for reviews that talk about how the children experience the dentist–any time you see a parent writing about how their kids look forward to coming back, that’s always the best sign you’re looking at a great pediatric dentist.
A great pediatric dentist cares about their patients and will often be involved in the community in some way, whether they sponsor a local baseball team, run charity events, and/or have an educational social media channel of sorts. It’s also perfectly reasonable to see a dental practice focusing more on dentistry than other things, but community involvement is always a good sign that the dentist and their team care deeply about their patients.
The Bottom Line
A great pediatric dentist understands how to work with children. They know how to make their practice kid-friendly, and they understand how to give children preventative care that will help their teeth develop properly. You can usually find out what insurance covers from your insurance company, and it never hurts to get the opinions of other parents in your area. At the end of the day, great parents tend to find great pediatric dentists.
Source: iQuanti, Inc, via Newswire