Question: Should I take my child to a pediatric dentist?


Answer: This depends on several things. If the child has severe dental problems that require substantial amount of chair time, then a pediatric dentist might be better. Certainly, if the child has a great deal of anxiety, or a history of combativeness, or unwillingness to cooperate for simple tasks such as a cleaning, then a pediatric dentist is warranted. One major advantage of a pediatric dentist is that they can sedate children at a more concentrated level than the general dentist (oral sedation or general anesthesia)--this is a great treatment modality for children that are very young, require an extensive amount of work or have a complicated medical history. I always recommend bring your child to the general dentist first and then we can make a decision together whether or not a pediatric dentist is needed. Have faith in your child as they may do better than you think! I typically will perform exams on children as young as 3 years old but any younger, they definitely would be better for a pediatric dentist. I refer out less than 10% of the children that enter my practice because most children will do very well given the right environment.