New Patient Visits

Questions about New Patient Visits

1: What age should my child visit the dentist?

2: What can I expect at my first dental visit?

3: What happens if my child needs dental treatment?

4: Can I accompany my child during their dental appointment?

5: How often will my child have to come back for regular check ups?

Q: What age should my child visit the dentist?

A: At Riverbend Pediatric Dentistry we follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatrics and advise parents to bring their children in for their first dental visit no later than their 1st birthday (12 months of age).  Our goal is to create a dental home for the child throughout their young years, providing a place where parents can bring their children for regular well child dental check-ups, restorative dentistry (filling) appointments if needed, and also serve as a resource if there are any concerns with the child’s dental development or a traumatic dental event is experienced.

Q: What can I expect at my first dental visit?

A: The first visit to our office will not only give the child a chance to become more familiar with our office and staff, but for us to become more familiar with them as well.  Regardless if this is your first time seeking dental care for your child or if you have been referred to us by another office, our first visit will typically involve collection of the child’s medical and dental history and an exam to determine what treatment, if any, is indicated.

Please remember that we want to make this a positive experience for your child.  We avoid any words or phrases that might inject anxiety or fear into a child concerning their visit.  Words like shot, needle, pain, etc. may create unnecessary worry into a child and should be avoided if possible.

Q: What happens if my child needs dental treatment?

A: If upon examination it is determined that your child will need to return for care (fillings, extraction, etc.), we will discuss options with you, the parent, to determine what route will be best.  Children can be very accepting to restorative dental procedures, many times they handle these appointments better than the parents do!  We will evaluate each individual patient and schedule appointments for treatment based on what we feel will give them the most positive experience at our office.

Q: Can I accompany my child during their dental appointment?

A: At Riverbend Pediatric Dentistry we have an open door policy, meaning that you are able to stay with your child during their dental appointment.  However there are a few things to consider regarding your child’s dental appointment. 

First, during the dental procedure it is important that the dentist and his staff feel like they are in primary contact with the patient.  Parents wishing to be present must agree to maintain a passive role during the appointment so that effective communication between the staff and child can be maintained.  If there is any interference, parents may be asked to wait in the waiting area.

Many times during treatment, the anxious patient may view the parent as an “escape route”.  If they know that you are present in the room, they may try to “convince” you to delay or stop the procedure.  Many times the child will behave in a more cooperative manner and allow our TEAM to finish the necessary treatment once the parent has left the room.

Again, you are welcome to be present during your child’s appointment as long as that presence does not interfere with the delivery of treatment.

Q: How often will my child have to come back for regular check ups?

A: For most patients, a maintaining a regular 6 month interval between dental check ups is adequate.  At each appointment we will evaluate each individual and provide necessary care based on their risk for cavities.  For example, a child at low risk for developing cavities may only require radiographs (dental x-rays) to be taken once every 12-18 months, while a child at a higher risk may require radiographs to be taken once every 6 months until it is determined that they no longer fall into the “high risk” category.

Children that are determined to be at high risk for caries may be required to return at an increased frequency (i.e. recall visits every 3-4 months) to adequately treat and prevent the cavity process.