Why You Should Have A Separate Dentist For Kids And Adults
There’s a lot to be said for finding a dental clinic that can treat the entire family. Such a clinic will have dental professionals who focus on procedures adults may need while others base their practices on treating children and adolescents. Even if your family chooses to go to the same practice, there’s wisdom in having different dentists for various members of the family. Here are some points to consider.
Relating to the Patient
Dentists who tend to focus more on providing services to adults will relate to patients differently from dentists who offer services to children. It’s all about being able to establish rapport and communicate effectively. The dentist who takes care of you will use a different vocabulary and phrase things in ways that an adult will easily grasp. Attempting to use those same words with a child would not produce anything other than confusion.
Professionals who practice dentistry for children know how to talk with kids. They understand the importance of using words that children relate to with ease. It’s not unusual for a pediatric dentist to provide some examples that draw on images or events that the child knows well and understands. The ability to establish rapport may be different with children than with adults, but it’s just as important.
Making the Patient Comfortable
What does it take to make you comfortable in the exam room? Is it the fact that the space is clean, quiet, and the room is well-lit? Those things matter to you, but they may not be as important to a child.
Exam rooms for younger patients often include elements designed to put the child at ease. Instruments are tucked away discreetly until they are needed. The wall colors may be brighter and more in line with what a child enjoys. Even the dental chair may be colorful rather than something more neutral. Best of all, the dental team who prepares the patient may wear scrubs or lab coats that are colorful.
Waiting rooms are different too. With adults, it’s more about utility. Comfortable chairs and something to read are important. Kids like colorful walls, games they can play, and toys that help pass the time. Creating this type of atmosphere for a kid helps to calm fears and make the visit less intimidating.
Dental Care at Different Ages
With pediatric dental care, a lot of the dental services focus on helping the child develop healthy habits and making sure the emerging permanent teeth are straight, strong, and coming in properly. This may be the time to talk about braces, what it will be like to wear them, and how they will make a difference in the future. Pediatric dentists know that kids are more focused on the here and now, and will emphasize how proper dental hygiene and actions like wearing braces make things better sooner rather than later.
With adults, there is often more emphasis on maintenance. There may be cavities to fill, veneers to install, crowns that help protect chipped teeth. Ideally, the adult already understands basic dental hygiene, although the dentist may provide some refresher training for those who have developed poor habits.
While dentists of all kinds seek to provide the best possible support, patient needs do change over time. If you are looking for a practice that can treat every member of the family, make sure you find a dentist for the kids and a different dentist to take care of the adults. Everyone will be happier and find they don’t mind seeing a dentist after all.