Finding a dentist is easy. In many cities and towns, people practically trip over local dentists’ offices. But it takes a special kind of person to become a pediatric dentist, specializing in the oral health needs of children. This leads many parents, especially new parents, to ask “How do I find a pediatric dentist near me?”
Does My Child Need a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist specializes in treating children. In addition to the usual course of study at an accredited dental school, a pediatric dentist will spend two to three years getting additional training on serving the needs of children and teens.
Because of their training, pediatric dentists are more likely to recognize problems that are common in children, but maybe not adults. For example, they can spot developmental issue, or signs that a child is not brushing well. Pediatric dentists also tend to be better at age-appropriate communication—they know what to do and say to get your kid to sit calmly while they work.
All that said, a child does not necessarily need a pediatric dentist to tend to their dental health. It’s better to have a trained and licensed dentist work with your child even if they are not technically a pediatric dentist, than to have noone look at your child’s oral health. In other words, some dentistry is better than none.
Finding the Best Pediatric Dentist in Your Area
Chances are that you started your search for a pediatric dentist by typing “Pediatric dentist near me” into Google or a similar a search engine. That’s not a bad first step. But it will reveal many dentists near you, without any regard to their experience, service, or quality.
To find a quality dentist near you, we suggest the following steps:
1. Use our online search tool.
Our own “find a dentist” search tool is designed to find quality dentists near you with a commitment to customer service. You can start your search there for offices near you.
2. Ask for referrals from those you trust.
Friends, family members, and neighbors can all be great resources for finding a pediatric dentist in your area. You can also ask for referrals from your child’s pediatrician.
Of course, you will want to get referrals from people who have kids of their own, and whose opinion you trust.
3. Read online reviews.
Doing a quick online search will provide you with reviews from websites like healthgrades.com, yelp.com, and many others. Reading online reviews can help you get a feel for whether a dentist is reputable, and how good they are with kids.
For example, if you notice consistently strong reviews from happy patients, it’s a good sign. However, if you notice a large number of complaints or negative reviews, that should be a red flag that that particular dentist is probably not someone who will be a good fit for your child.
Once you find a pediatric dentist that you think will work for you and your child, it’s time to start thinking about that first appointment.