Imagine your child having a dental emergency, only to realize there isn’t a single pediatric dental care clinic nearby. It helps to recognize your pediatric dental care options before there’s an emergency. Otherwise, you may feel even more panicked during an already stressful time.

About 9% of after-hour pediatric dental emergencies require referral to an emergency department for treatment. The rest are addressed in dental settings. Knowing where to go can help you avoid a visit to an ER.

Not sure how to choose an emergency dentist in Lexington, KY? Read on for nine tips to help you vet your options. 

1. Talk to Other Parents

Learn from people who were once in your position: other parents. Ask if they can recommend a local dental care clinic. Determine if each clinic offers emergency dental solutions.

There are about 71,000 people employed in the pediatric dentistry industry. The industry has grown by 3.2% since 2018. Newer professionals lack years of hands-on experience.

Instead, find a pediatric dentist that Lexington parents have trusted for years. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask about their patient experiences. For example:

  • Is the dentist knowledgeable?
  • Do they specialize in treating children?
  • Are they good with children?
  • What dental problems did you encounter?
  • What services do they provide?
  • Was there a long wait?
  • Would you visit them again?
  • Did you encounter problems?

Learn about the emergency dental solutions the clinic provides. This will help you prepare the next time there’s a dental emergency. Knowing what to expect will help you remain calm and focused.

Determine if the parent encountered problems at the local dental care clinic. For example, perhaps the staff was unfriendly and unprofessional. Maybe there was a long wait time or a packed waiting room. 

Look for issues that repeat between patients. Check online for more parent reviews. You’ll find more on Yelp, Healthgrades, and BBB.

Choose an emergency pediatric dentist who has a strong, positive reputation in Lexington. You’ll feel more confident choosing a dentist other parents know and trust. 

2. Check Credentials

Once you have a list of Lexington pediatric dentists, review each professional’s credentials. Confirm that they have an active license.

Visit each dentist’s profile to learn more about their education and training. Confirm that each dentist graduated from an accredited dental institution. Consider what classes they completed before graduating. 

Dentists can choose between a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) and a Doctor of Dental Surgery. These require a minimum of four years of study at a dental school.

After graduating dental school, they must complete a two-year residency to specialize in pediatric dentistry. This allows them to gain clinical experience. The dentist should have specialized skills for treating young patients. 

Their studies may have involved:

  • Child-related pharmacology
  • Radiology
  • Advanced surgical procedures
  • Advanced diagnostic procedures
  • Dental care for special needs patient
  • General anesthesia and conscious sedation
  • Child development
  • Child psychology

After completing a certification exam, they can become a Diplomate of Pediatric Dentistry.

Consider when each dentist graduated. Did they continue their education afterward?

Dentists who complete continuing education courses offer a higher level of patient care. They consider new techniques, procedures, and treatments. You can feel more confident choosing a dentist with up-to-date knowledge.  

3. Evaluate Experience

Consider how long each dentist has practiced and specialized in pediatrics. Remember, the industry is growing. Newer dentists lack relevant, hands-on experience.

Look for dentists with decades of patient experience. These dentists will know how to treat and calm your child. A less experienced dentist may make a mistake.

Choose a dentist who has encountered many different dental emergency situations. Their broad experience will ensure they know how to respond to any emergency. 

4. Review Emergency Dental Solutions

Consider what emergency dental solutions each dentist offers. Common dental emergencies include:

  • Toothaches
  • Dental abscess
  • Mouth sores
  • Knocked out teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Infections
  • Soft tissue injuries

Dental trauma is one of the most common issues for young children with primary teeth. Common types of tooth injuries include luxation, crown fractures, and avulsions. 

Determine what solutions the dentist recommends for each of these dental problems. They should customize your child’s care based on their needs. If the dentist offers limited services, keep searching. 

5. Consider Office Environment

Visit each local dental care practice. Consider the office environment. Is it clean and sterile, yet inviting to children?

Choose a pediatric clinic for your child. This will ensure their comfort. An adult practice may trigger their dental anxiety, especially during an emergency. 

6. Determine Communication Skills

Schedule a consultation with three pediatric dentists. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask ahead of time. During the appointment, consider how the dentist communicates.

They should know how to put your child at ease. If you feel uncomfortable around them, your child may as well. 

7. Discuss Sedation

Look for an emergency dental practice that offers sedation services. Pediatric sedation will help your child relax. This will make it easier for the dentist to provide them with adequate care.

Ask the dentist about the sedation options they offer. Review the pros and cons of each one. 

8. Consult a Map

Consider the location of each practice. During an emergency situation, you’ll need to get your child to the dentist quickly.

Find a practice near your home, work, or child’s school. Make a note of the practice’s hours for emergency services. 

9. Compare Costs and Coverage

Determine if the practice accepts your dental insurance. If not, ask about their prices and financing options.

Look for a practice that will work with you to ensure your child receives the care they need. Choose a practice that offers flexible plans for out-of-pocket expenses.

Find a Pediatric Emergency Dentist in Lexington, KY

Don’t wait until there’s a dental emergency to find a local dental clinic. Instead, use these tips to find a great emergency dentist in Lexington, KY. With these tips, you’ll feel confident your child is receiving the best possible care. 

Beaumont Kids Dentistry is the leading kids’ dentist in Lexington, KY. We’re dedicated to providing the best care in an environment that makes dentistry fun. We can alleviate your child’s fears and anxiety.

Trust our state-of-the-art technology and specialized training. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.