A Pediatric Dentist is ideal, especially if you have a child with special needs. There are many children who have ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and other disorders, that may make it difficult for them to be at a dentist office if the experience is not comfortable for them. For example, a child with cerebral palsy may need to be scheduled early in the day as it may take extra time.
Children with ADHD may be excitable, and a Pediatric Dentist and his staff will have the proper techniques to keep the child calm. Children who are on the Autism Spectrum, or who have Sensory Processing disorder may be very sensitive to the noises of the tools, or the light that is lowered down to their mouth. Pediatric Dentists and their assistants have the training and skills to work with children and talk them through any fears they may have.
During the child’s dental exam, a Pediatric Dentist will explain what they are doing as they go along. A Pediatric Dentist will have a technique in doing this so that they do not scare the child, such as using “funny” terminology, child-geared conversation, or asking the children questions about their day to distract them. The dentist may let them choose the flavor of the toothpaste they will use to polish their teeth. A really good Pediatric Dentist can often distract a child so well that they will have no idea they are getting a cavity filled.
Many dental office secretaries will tell you that they have a General dentist that will see your child, even if they do not have a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist working in the office. Remember that even though they will see your child, it does not mean that they have the additional training and experience working solely with children. If the child has an unpleasant first experience the at the dentist, they may be unwilling to go to the dentist again, or may develop a fear of the dentist office and their staff.
One advantage of seeing a pediatric dentist is the environment of the office. Pediatric Dental offices will have most likely have child sized chairs, brightly colored walls doting favorite childhood characters, toys and books in the waiting area and more. A warm, welcoming environment is always better for a child. The dentist shouldn’t have to be scary or intimidating.