Everyone’s saying my daughter needs to move away from a pediatric dentist. But, we have a good relationship with our pediatric dentist. He lets parents come back into the operatory which helps me feel safe about her being treated. I’m not sure I want to let my sixteen-year-old loose with an adult dentist who may or may not allow me back with her. When do we have to leave?
There isn’t a universal rule for when your child, son or daughter, should switch. Each pediatric dental office usually has their own policy. I’d talk to them and see what their policy is.
One thing I don’t want you worrying about is the safety of your daughter with dentists. I know there have been some stories in the news that would make any parent nervous, but those are very rare indeed. If you’re afraid, many general dentists will also let parents back into the operatory. When you’re calling around, simply ask them.
Are General Dentists Qualified to Treat Children?
If you’re looking for a sort of transitional period, there are general dentists who treat children. They’re perfectly qualified. All of them did a pediatric rotation during dental school. They just didn’t do the extra time to specialize in it. By the time they’re sixteen, you rarely have to worry about something coming up totally pediatric related that they’ll need to give you a specialist recommendation.
In fact, their jaws are developing more into an adult’s, so things like crowns and composite fillings may be better suited to an “adult” dentist. Teenagers also start getting interested in procedures such as teeth whitening, which most pediatric dentists don’t offer. Be aware, though, that their bite is still developing so don’t listen to a dentist who suggests that they’re ready for something like porcelain veneers.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.