Frequently Asked Questions
Is a pediatric dentist different from a general dentist?
Pediatric dentists do more than clinical dentistry. They are educated in behavioral management techniques, child psychology, and early childhood development. Pediatric dentists have two years of additional training after dental school focusing on child growth and development, special healthcare needs, and various treatment techniques in hospital settings.
What does "Board Certified" mean?
A board-certified pediatric dentist has successfully completed voluntary examinations that demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills. As a board-certified dentist, one is committed to providing exceptional patient care through lifelong learning.
Do you offer prenatal visits?
NHPD offers complimentary prenatal consultations with expectant parents. While not a clinical exam, we will review the importance of oral health throughout pregnancy and into early infancy.
What about children or adults with special needs?
Providing dental care to individuals with special health care needs is an integral part of pediatric dentistry. At NHPD we specialize in delivering maximum oral healthcare regardless of developmental disabilities or other special health care needs.
Will I stay with my child during the visit?
While our youngest patients will need their caregiver’s help during the dental visit, we suggest that after the initial visit older children participate independently. This establishes a sense of trust between the team and the child. The dental team and child need to focus on each other and that can be challenging for everyone with additional adults present. In addition, children may often perceive parental presence as protection against potential danger and this can actually increase anxiety. Our goal is for every child to trust us and feel safe!
What time of day should my child be seen?
The younger patients should be seen earlier in the day, avoiding nap and meal times so we have the best chance of catching them at their happiest! After-school appointments are always in high demand. These are generally given to older patients and those needing less invasive procedures.
My baby isn’t even walking. How will they sit in the dental chair?
Lap Exams are generally done when the patient is too little or unwilling to sit in the dental chair. See the pictures below.
What if my child is extremely anxious about their visit?
For our most anxious patients, we recommend a “dress rehearsal” or desensitizing visit. The child is welcome to visit the office and not have any treatment! They can sit in the waiting room, talk to our staff, take a quick tour and get familiar with the atmosphere! Just give us a call to schedule!
When should my child have X-rays?
Taking X-rays is not based on age but rather on each patient’s individual circumstances. X Rays will be recommended when we are unable to visually examine all the surfaces of the teeth. For example, when the primary molars begin to touch, we will use X-rays to rule out dental decay. To see is to know. Not to see is to guess. We don't guess about your dental health.
What should my child expect when visiting the office?
A dental office can be an alien place for a child. There are strange smells and noises. Strangers in uniforms carry sharp shiny metal instruments. Other grown-ups sit or pace around looking worried. It is hardly surprising that dentistry provokes anxiety in children.
Factors associated with dental anxiety:
- The attitude of parents towards dentistry
- Child’s medical and dental experiences
- Dental experience of siblings and friends
- Type of preparation at home
- The child’s own perception that something is wrong with their teeth
Here are some ProTips on how to get your child ready for their dental visit:
- Avoid saying anything negative about the dentist or your own dental experiences
- Don’t use a trip to the dentist as punishment for eating candy or forgetting to brush their teeth
- Try not to promise a reward for good behavior prior to the visit. All kids get a surprise when the visit is over
- Pay special attention to the kinds of words you use when talking about the dental visit
What if my child cries?
Crying is allowed and quite honestly, expected. Fear of the unknown can be a scary thing for a kid (and adults too!). At NHPD, our goal is to keep the kids and parents at ease during your entire visit. We speak a very special language at New Heights Pediatric Dentistry. We use special words and descriptions that are kid-friendly and relatable. For example:
- X-rays are pictures
- The handpiece is NOT A DRILL it's our “special toothbrush”
- Nitrous Oxide is Happy Air
- Needle/Injection is Medicine to make your tooth sleepy
Try to avoid using words such as “needle” with your child. We also suggest that you try not to tell the child “nothing will hurt” unless they ask. When we say the “H” word it puts the idea in their little heads.
I'm having an emergency right now! What do I do?
If an emergency happens outside regular office hours please call the office and you will be transferred to the doctor on call.
IF A PERMANENT/ADULT TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT OF THE MOUTH: PLACE THE TOOTH IN MILK OR SALIVA. CALL THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.