Are you having trouble finding a pediatric dentist near you that accepts Medicaid? Worried about how you might cover the cost of your child’s dental services?
Less than half of all dental providers accept Medicaid, and that number is likely lower for specialists, including pediatric dentists. With Kool Smiles’ network of general and pediatric dentists, your child can have the dental care they need at a price you can afford. We have over 120 locations across the nation, and we accept Medicaid at each one.
Our offices are typically located in areas with the greatest need, and we have extended hours. Our mission is to make affordable dental care accessible and convenient. Call us today at 254-781-0553 to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss your options for dental treatments and payment plans.
There is a lot of confusion about what makes a pediatric dentist different from a general dentist. The biggest difference comes down to this: A pediatric dentist is required to complete two more years of dental school than a general dentist. It’s during those two extra years that a pediatric dentist learns how to care for young children.
What many parents do not realize, however, is that their child may not require the expertise of a pediatric dentist. In fact, going to a general dentist who works with children rather than going to a specialist can actually save them more money. This is especially true for parents looking to use Medicaid for their child’s dental services, as fewer pediatric dentists accept Medicaid than general dentists.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, “Most children are treated by general dentists. A general dentist often has a relationship with the entire family and therefore has a great deal of family history knowledge, which may apply to your child.”
That said, a general dentist might recommend you see a pediatric dentist if your child requires special attention.
There are certain situations when it’s helpful to see a dentist who works exclusively with children. These include:
You child’s procedure requires anesthesia. As the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists likes to say, pediatric dentists are the “big authority on little teeth.” They know all the ways in which children’s mouths and teeth are different from those of adults and are equipped to treat them, particularly when anesthesia is involved.
Specialization requirements can vary from state to state, but Adam Shisler, DDS, a pediatric dentist, says in an interview with the American Student Dental Association that pediatric dentists are able to “deliver sedatives and certain drugs that a normal dentist cannot administer straight out of dental school without training.” Pediatric dentists will also have experience treating children with emergency dental needs, thanks to their experience in hospitals.
Your child is very young. It may be best to have a toddler see a dentist who specializes in the care of children. “Some kids can be seen by a general dentist,” says Shisler, “but when kids are two or three or four, they don’t sit still in a general dentist’s office.”
You’re unsure of how to best teach your kids proper dental care. Not only are pediatric dentists experts at making children feel comfortable during their appointment, but they can provide helpful advice and education on how to care for your children’s oral health as they grow up. Pediatric dentists are extensively trained in parent and guardian education, and can explain problems, treatment regimens and general dental care to parents.
Your child has special needs or health issues, or requires a unique approach. Pediatric dentists are equipped to apply special care instructions or create a particular environment for your child’s needs. At Kool Smiles, we want to make every child feel at ease, no matter their situation. That’s because we understand that your child’s experiences at the dentist matter. Their early experiences at the dentist’s office can often shape their attitudes toward visiting the dentist for the rest of their lives. Surveys show that while 5–6% percent of the general population has a fear of dentist, 16% of school-aged kids do as well.
You want a dentist who loves working with kids. Shisler told the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) that pediatric dentists find out pretty quickly whether they enjoy working with children. That’s because they work with children early on in the education process and in many challenging situations. As a result, many who go into pediatric dentistry do so because they discover they love it. “You don’t get into pediatrics unless you really, really love what you do,” says Shisler.
You see braces in your child’s futures. Braces and other orthodontic practices are a common area of expertise for pediatric dentists, so it might be good to form a relationship with a dentist early on who’s knowledgeable in those areas. Research shows that “a friendly relationship with the dentist can help patients cope with identification specific stimuli … which have been shown to provoke anxiety.” Working with the same dental professional throughout a kid’s childhood can make for a much calmer adolescent experience.
At Kool Smiles, we pride ourselves on our ability to make the dental experience comfortable and welcoming for both you and your child. Your child will receive treatment in a brightly-colored, fun environment. Almost all of our waiting areas have playgrounds and games for children to enjoy while they wait.
On top of that, every Kool Smiles dentist is familiar with treating young children and helps to make it a positive experience for them. We also have pediatric dentists that accept Medicaid at many of our locations.
Kool Smiles is a network of general and pediatric dentists that offer low-cost dental care to families across the United States. We accept most major insurance plans, including Medicaid, TRICARE and other state health insurance plans (SCHIP).
If you want a dentist who has experience working with children and accepts most dental insurance plans, Kool Smiles is the perfect place for you. We’ll work with you to try to make your treatment as affordable as possible.
Finding a pediatric dentist that accepts Medicaid can seem exhausting. But at Kool Smiles, Medicare coverage is not a problem. Unlike some other dental clinics, we never limit the number of Medicaid patients we accept, and our kid-friendly dentists and pediatric dentists can handle all your kids’ dental needs. Call Kool Smiles today at 254-781-0553 to make an appointment and learn more about our payment options and dental services.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/#37
Academy of General Dentistry: knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=d&iid=296&aid=3808
American Academy of Pediatric Dentists: http://mouthmonsters.mychildrensteeth.org
American Student Dental Association: asdanet.org/utility-navigation/career-compass-home/grad-career-options/Life-of-a-Dentist/Pediatric-Dentistry
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3075993/
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