How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist in the greater Rockville and Gaithersburg area

Whether you have a little one and are searching for a pediatric dentist for a 1st visit, you're new to the Rockville area and want to establish care for your kids, or you are looking for a change, we're here to help you get the dental care your kids need in an environment you will love.

1. Find a Pediatric Dentist, Not a General Dentist

There is an important difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist or family dentist. General or family dentists typically provide care to patients of all ages, but do not have the advanced training to provide specialized, child-focused care, the way that pediatric dentists do. A pediatric dentist is not just a dentist who enjoys working with children. A pediatric dentist is a specialist who has an additional 2 years of post-graduate training specifically tailored to meet the oral health care needs of child patients. 

Just like you take your child to a pediatrician, it makes sense to take your child to a pediatric dentist.  Pediatric dentists have advanced knowledge and experience regarding pediatric oral health issues, growth and development, behavior guidance, trauma, sedation, special health care needs, and many other pediatric topics.  ‍

In contrast, family and general dentists do not undergo this additional specialized training and do not possess the same level of expertise in diagnosing and treating child-specific oral health concerns.

A word of caution here when you are searching the internet for a pediatric dentist.

A recent online marketing trend seems to be that general dentists who want to see children are also using the term “pediatric dentist” or “pediatric dentistry” so that they are found via search results. This can make the distinction difficult to discern for the public. If you intend to take your child to a real pediatric dental specialist, it is best to find out if the dentist you are considering has completed an accredited pediatric dentistry residency program, and better yet, is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.  

A board certified pediatric dentist has demonstrated, via a rigorous examination process, their expertise and specialized knowledge in the field of pediatric dentistry. According to the American Board of Pediatric Dentists, less than 38% of all pediatric dental specialists in the United States hold this title.

2. Ask Friends, Neighbors, and Work Colleagues for Recommendations

Word-of-mouth is a great way to identify the best pediatric dentist that will fit your needs. Local friends, family members, or acquaintances with children similar in age to yours can be a great resource, and getting their recommendations is a great way to get a list of options to explore. There is no shortage of pediatric dentists in Montgomery County, and each will have their pros and cons. You’ll have to decide what is most important to you and search for an office that will be in alignment with your needs and wants. 

3. Check Out The Office’s Website And Online Reviews

You can tell a lot about an office by their website. Once you compare and contrast a few different ones, you will most likely connect with one over the others. That gut feeling is telling you something. Read the content. See how it’s written. It’s a reflection of what else you can expect from an office. 

Online reviews are also a great way to get a general overview of the service you can expect from a particular pediatric dentist. Positive reviews on Google, Facebook, or other social media platforms can be a great sign that an office knows how to make families happy.  You can read about other parents’ experiences to get a better idea of what type of feedback people are sharing. Be sure to read our wonderful reviews to learn more about what you can expect at Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry.

4. Set Up An Initial Visit With Your Top Choice

Most first visits for new patients consist of an exam, an age-appropriate type of cleaning (this will look different depending on the age and needs of the child), and an application of a topical fluoride treatment. Radiographs (x-rays) at our office are taken on an “as needed” basis and are not necessarily a part of every child’s first visit.  If your child has recently been seen at another dental office and treatment was recommended, and you would like a 2nd opinion, we can also offer a consultation only type of visit. Either way, when you visit us, you’ll see how child-friendly our team and office is.

Need a Pediatric Dentist In or Near Rockville? Give Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry a Try!

At Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry, we provide pediatric dentistry with an enthusiastic, friendly, and collaborative approach. We don’t just treat children’s teeth -- we treat children! We put great emphasis on coming up with treatment plans that are customized and make sense for each individual child and their particular circumstances. We also screen for sleep-disordered breathing and offer the HealthyStart system for improved airway health. The HealthyStart system was designed to promote proper oral and facial growth and development, improve sleep quality, and eliminate harmful oral habits like teeth grinding. 

The best part is that by addressing these issues early on, not only do we have happier and healthier children, but we also often eliminate the need for traditional braces later in adolescence, because the HealthyStart system can guide newly erupting teeth into their ideal positions, creating beautiful smiles. Dr. Bana Ball is a board certified pediatric dentist and certified HealthyStart provider who is passionate about giving parents the tools they need to help their children reach their full potential. Schedule your visit today!


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