When you have a child, there are numerous decisions that you must make, from decorating the nursery to selecting just the right school. No decision, though, is more important than choosing your child’s health care providers. At first glance, a pediatric dentist might seem like the best choice. After all, you probably have a pediatrician on speed dial. However, while pediatric dentists generally do great work, there are a number of advantages to taking your child to your family dentist instead.
1. Family History
Your family dentist already has a working knowledge of your family’s oral health and past issues. He or she knows if a tendency towards cavities or gum disease runs in your family, and the office is familiar with your scheduling and insurance needs.
Likewise, you are already familiar with your dentist and staff. You know whether your dentist has a conservative or aggressive treatment style. You know how long you have to wait for an appointment, how many people are usually ahead of you in the waiting room, and what to expect in the treatment room.
This mutual knowledge and understanding makes it easy to simply add one more person into your dental routine. You do not need to interview dentists or take your child to a new place that is also unfamiliar to you.
If you are happy with your family dentist, it is reasonable to assume that the office hours, scheduling policies, and so forth work well for you. The location is presumably easy for you to access from home or work, and your appointment times fit well into your life.
In many cases, we can schedule back to back appointments for you and your child. Rather than setting up separate appointments in separate locations, you can simply plan to make a morning or afternoon of it with your child.
3. Lifetime Service
The biggest drawback to pediatric dentists is that, by definition, they do not serve adults. Each office sets its own age limit policy, but many try to transition patients out of the practice by their mid-teens. Even if a particular office is willing to see adolescents and young adults, many kids go through a phase in their pre-teen or early teen years when they start to perceive pediatric services as “babyish.”
While many kids do successfully transition from a pediatric dentist to an adult dentist, it means starting the process of finding the right dentist all over again. You might also face additional challenges if your child happens to be in the middle of an extensive procedure, such as braces or Invisalign, when he decides he is “done” with the pediatric dentist.
By definition, family dentists serve patients for a lifetime. It is not uncommon to see grandparents and even great-grandparents who have visited the same office since childhood. This continuum of care is a true benefit that only a family dentist can provide.
4. Existing Trust
New parents are often, and understandably, very nervous about making the right decisions for their child. Trusting another person with your child’s health can be particularly frightening. When you take your child to your existing family dentist, however, you already have an existing relationship. You know that the dentist is caring, concerned, and skilled. There are so many “firsts” with a new child, so it only makes sense to go with a dentist that you already know and trust.
We recommend bringing your child in for her first official appointment by the time they are two.The first visit is an opportunity for your child to meet the staff, check out the equipment, and even have her first exam (if she is feeling brave). It also gives your dentist a chance to make sure your child’s teeth are coming in without any issues. The goal is to set the stage for a lifetime of good oral health by building a positive relationship with your child.
Conveniently located in Woodbury, MN, Creekview Dental provides a progressive yet conservative approach to dental care. Our innovative, highly personalized procedures are focused on maintaining tooth structure and providing you with the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. Call us today at 651-738-8204 to take the first steps on the road to better dental health.