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Four Questions To Ask A Pediatric Dentist Before Booking Your Child’s Visit
Choosing a pediatric dentist is a huge deal. If chosen correctly, it could be the dentist your child sticks with until they are an adult. It’s where they will learn a lot about oral hygiene and proper dental care. It can also help them form a positive opinion about the dentist’s office instead of a negative opinion that follows them into adulthood.
You shouldn’t rush into booking a child with a pediatric dentist. Instead, take some time to consider all of your local options. When you find a dentistry office that you like, then you speak with the dentist and ask them a few important questions. Here are a handful of questions you should consider asking the pediatric dentist before booking your child.
1. Will You Be The Primary Dentist My Child Visits?
It’s not uncommon for dental offices to employ multiple professionals who rotate according to a schedule. While that does make it easier to schedule visits to the office, it also means that your child could see one dentist this week and a completely different person next week. That’s not an ideal situation for a young kid.
Instead, you should strive for consistency during your visits. That means you want to work with a single popular pediatric dentist. If the practice does utilize a rotating schedule, then you will need to find out when your preferred dentist works and plan your visits around those times. On the other hand, if you can find a practice where a single dentist will handle all of your child’s needs, then you have nothing to worry about.
2. Do You Accept My Insurance Plan?
This is a question that should be asked of any dental practice. Unfortunately, every dentist does not accept every possible insurance plan. It’s a good idea to ask this question early on so that you don’t get too attached to a dentist who won’t accept your insurance.
If they do not accept your particular insurance provider, then you should ask whether or not they offer any financing plans. Some practices offer plans that work very similar to insurance plans. It will still be more expensive than if insurance had covered the costs, but will be considerably more affordable than dental care without insurance.
You can also use this time to ask about any potential deals or savings. There may be new patient promotions or other limited time offers available.
3. Do You Provide Emergency Dental Services?
This will depend heavily on the practice’s booking preferences. Some dentists require their patients to book weeks or months in advance. This means they won’t be able to handle walk-in visits, last minute scheduling, or emergency visits. If your pediatric dentist cannot handle emergency cases, then you’ll have to find a second dentist just for emergency visits, which can be a bit of a burden.
Some dental practices leave open slots in their schedule each day. Those slots are often for handling emergency situations or walk-in visits. In either case, you’ll need to ask in advance and figure out what their policy is. They may only allow certain types of visits. For example, some practices allow walk-in visits, but they are not able to handle dental emergencies.
4. Who Will See My Child If You Are Not Available?
Pediatric dentists are people with lives outside of work. Sometimes they take vacations or unable to make it to work. In those cases, you want to know exactly who will be handling your child’s dental visit. It’s likely they have a colleague at the practice who will handle their visits in such a case.
You should find out who that person is and learn a bit about them. You can also learn about their vacation policy. It may be that they can reschedule your child’s visit if the pediatric dentist is away or on vacation. That depends on whether or not you are comfortable with your child seeing a temporary dentist while the primary dentist is away.
Big First Steps
Your child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist is their first step towards a lifetime of dental care. It’s important that you choose a local dentist who is capable, reliable, and who can handle emergency situations. Use these questions to find the right pediatric dentist for your family.
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