Imagine taking your child to the dentist only for them to run out screaming and crying. Your child needs dental care, so you look for a better Lexington pediatric dentist.
The right dentist can work with your child and be patient with them. That way, your child can feel calmer during their appointment, and they can get the care they need.
Read on to learn how to choose the best pediatric dentist in Lexington.
Start With the Distance
The first step in finding a Lexington pediatric dentist is to narrow down the distance. Lexington isn’t very big, so you should be able to consider all dentists in the city.
However, small surrounding towns may be a bit too far to drive to for dental care. Consider how far you’re willing to drive your child to visit the dentist.
If your child also gets carsick, you may want to stick with pediatric dentists on your side of the city. Then, you can reduce the potential that your kid will get even more anxious about their appointment.
Check Your Dental Insurance Network
Another thing that can help you find the best pediatric dentist is your insurance network. If you have dental insurance, review your plan and get a list of dentists that accept your plan.
You don’t have to stay in network, but doing so can lower your costs. Many plans cover preventive care, so you can get your care for free.
Meanwhile, if you visit a dentist outside of your network, you’ll have to pay out of pocket. That’s another excellent reason to stick to dentists in and around Lexington rather than traveling far out of the city.
Read Reviews Online
To help find the best dentist for kids with anxiety, do some research. You can look up “pediatric dentist near me” and find tons of results with a Google search.
Go through the list and look up each dentist or office to find online reviews from other parents. Some review websites let you filter for words like “anxiety,” so you can see what others have to say about that.
Pay special attention to any reviews from parents of children with dental anxiety. If you find more bad reviews than good, avoid that dentist.
On the other hand, if a dentist has a lot of good reviews, you contact them to schedule a visit or consultation.
Request a Consultation
Even if the reviews look good, you should make sure someone’s a kid-friendly dentist yourself. Contact the office and ask for a tour or consultation where you can meet with the hygienist and dentist.
Bring your child with you to the visit so that they can meet the dental team and see the office. During your tour, ask about how the dentist makes kids more comfortable.
They may allow children to hold a stuffed animal or squeeze a stress ball. You can even ask if your child can hold the suction tool so that they can be in charge of sucking up extra spit and water from their mouth.
When children are old enough, giving them some control may make them feel better, whether that’s with a tool or a toy.
Think About Their Experience
During your online research or the consultation, figure out what experience the dentist has. Specifically, consider how long they’ve worked as a pediatric dentist.
When you meet the dentist, ask them how much experience they have working with kids with dental anxiety. If you get a chance to meet the hygienist, ask about their experience in these areas, too.
While you can take your child to a new dentist, they may not have had a chance to help patients with dental fears. So the first few visits may be more stressful than necessary for your child.
Watch How the Staff Acts
Throughout your tour or consultation, pay attention to how the staff acts around you and your child. Consider if they have a welcoming demeanor or if they’re more standoffish.
You can also watch to see if the employees explain what they’re doing before they do it. Explanations can help ease your child’s anxiety since it helps them know what to expect.
Also, pay attention to the words that the hygienist and dentist use. Think about if your child can understand those words or if they’re out of your child’s vocabulary.
A good Lexington pediatric dentist will be able to make your child feel at ease, and their attitude can have a huge impact on that.
Consider the Office Decor
Another thing to keep in mind during and after your consultation is the decor and overall environment of the office. The best pediatric dentist will have a welcoming environment with kid-friendly colors and art on the walls.
For example, an office may have Dr. Seuss-themed decor on the walls. Maybe the waiting room has toys or crayons and coloring books for your child to play with while they wait.
However, consider if the exam room is welcoming as well. See what sorts of colors are on the wall and if there’s any art. Sometimes, the visuals can make your child feel more comfortable.
Talk to Your Child
After you leave the consultation, talk to your child about their experience. Ask if your child felt safe or if they think they’d be comfortable getting dental care there.
Of course, a younger child may not be able to talk, so in that case, you can pay attention to their body language during the visit. If your child tends to stay close to you, they may be scared.
You’re in charge of deciding where to take your child to the dentist. However, it can help to include your child in the decision, especially if they feel more comfortable at one office than another.
The Best Lexington Pediatric Dentist
Choosing a Lexington pediatric dentist can be difficult, particularly when your child has a dental phobia. Fortunately, you can find a dentist who’s able to work with anxious patients.
Be sure to read reviews and get a consultation or tour of the office. That way, you can make sure your child will feel better about going to the dentist.
Are you ready to schedule a pediatric dentistry visit? Learn more about our services.