Learn How to Be Choice # 1 for Pediatric Dentist in Your Area
Depending on your demographic, pediatric dentists can be a dime a dozen. Pediatric dentistry is a popular field among specialists because it offers a great work-life balance and many dentists enjoy treating younger age groups and watching them grow. How can you stand out to families to be the number one choice as a dentist in your area? If your office is outdated or you’re not up-to-date on the latest pediatric dentistry trends, your practice probably needs a make-over so that you can be the office parents can’t stop talking about.
1. Child Friendly Environment
The dental office may not initially be a child’s favorite place to go—the smells and sounds can be overwhelming for a younger child (and even older children too). Create an environment that is friendly, warm, and distractive. One of the number one reasons pediatric dental practices are decked out with kid themes like under the sea or a safari is because it easily distracts frightened children from dental equipment and materials.
2. Preventative Focus
Pediatric dentists should focus a majority of their care and treatment on preventative services like dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatment, and space maintainers. This is because the goal of pediatric dentistry is to teach good oral care habits, and also help preserve primary teeth until they naturally fall out.
Offer silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for small, incipient caries instead of using a traditional dental filling. Parents will appreciate the extra effort and rave to friends and family that you avoided more invasive treatment for their child.
Orthodontics is heavily involved with pediatric dentistry because we monitor the development of a growing child. Some children need orthodontics for functional purposes, while others need it for cosmetic reasons, and some need it for both. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends every child have their first orthodontic consult by age seven.
Take a continuing education course like the Basic Straight Wire Course with Williams GP Orthodontic Seminars. It will benefit you by gaining you continuing education credits, enable you to learn a new skill, and be able to offer patients treatment in an environment they know and trust that would otherwise be referred out.
4. Maintain a Dedicated Dental Team
Dental employees who are motivated and empathetic to children will be more valuable to your practice than ones who are not as committed or passionate about pediatric dentistry. Train your staff to be attentive to all parents’ concerns and understand that a lot of the stress comes from parents’ anxiety over their child’s dental needs. Have a team that is dedicated and loyal and it’ll pay you back in the form of many, many patient referrals—not to mention a happier and more energized workplace.
5. Offer Teledentistry
It can be difficult for a parent to take time off work to come in for advice on their child’s stubborn baby tooth or on their oral hygiene habits. Offering teledentistry makes it convenient for the parent and child to avoid leaving work and school early. It also helps set your office apart because it shows that your practice is advanced with communication technology, and that you understand and respect families’ busy schedules.
6. Family-focused Treatment
Have shared vision with your patients and families. Sometimes a parent may agree to treatment, but not really understand the reason it is needed. When you communicate and educate families about treatment and how to prevent tooth decay, they will feel like they’re involved in their child’s care and appreciate the extra effort you put into explaining it to them. It also demonstrates that you are all a team, working together for what’s best for their child.
7. Conservative Treatment
There are many treatment options for children when they have tooth decay. It can range from simply monitoring and observing a small cavity to a full mouth rehabilitation under general anesthesia. While you want to treat tooth decay and infections, try to also be conservative with treatment, such as monitoring teeth that will soon fall out on their own and offering sealants and SDF.
8. Flexible Schedule
Between a parent’s work schedule and a child’s school and extracurricular activities, it leaves little time for dental appointments. You need to have after-school office hours and even the occasional weekend available to accommodate parents who may not be able to schedule a morning appointment. Some offices have policies where younger children need to be seen in the morning, but this can be a major turn-off for parents who really need the after-school hours.
9. Social Media
Set your practice apart by being present on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. Facebook is a great way to get referrals from other parents, Instagram is useful to show before-and-after pictures and update families on your office policies or new staff members, and Tiktok is a fun way to be relatable and show how patients enjoy coming to your office.
10. Give Back to the Community
If you want to be the pediatric dentist the majority of your community goes to, make sure to get involved in that community and give back. Donate to local school events, give a raffle for a complimentary cleaning to a religious group, and opt to have your name out there by helping out community members if they need dental care. When you show your practice is dedicated to giving back to the community, you’ll notice local homeowners and business owners flocking to your office for their child’s oral health needs.
Choosing a pediatric dentist for their children is an important task for parents, as your practice becomes their child’s “dental home.” If you create an environment that is welcoming and child-friendly, it’ll go a long way to making kids (and their parents) feel at ease. Remember to always educate families on the importance of dental prevention and offer orthodontics to improve a child’s malocclusion. When you go the extra mile to build a family-orientated practice, you should have no problems becoming the most popular pediatric dentist in your area.