My son is almost 16. My husband thinks he should be going to an adult dentist. But, the pediatric dentist really caters to him and makes him comfortable. I’m afraid an adult dentist wouldn’t be as friendly. But, my husband is worried we’re coddling him. What’s the normal age a child should leave a pediatric dentist?
No matter how old our children get, they will always be our children. I bet when you look at your almost 16-year-old you still see a little boy. As to a normal age, there isn’t one. Every child is different and each pediatric clinic has their own policy.
If you’re concerned about the transition, there are some ways to make this go simpler.
Transitioning Your Child From a Pediatric Dentist
I would start by looking for a general dentist who enjoys working with young children. Why young children if your child is a teenager? Because they’re generally more friendly and good at working with people. They’re also usually more patient and gentle.
Another thing to consider is whether or not they offer sedation dentistry. Some procedures are more frightening than others, even for brave male adolescents. Because of that, you’ll want the option of giving your son the most comforting and relaxing option for treatment.
Do make sure you check their reviews though. You want to make sure those who’ve been to their office have come away with positive experiences.
Benefits to using a General Dentist
As your son gets older, his dental needs change. I’m assuming he’s responsible for his own oral health care at this point in his life. If not, he should be. But, even at his age, many boys tend to neglect their oral care.
If he gets to a point where he needs a root canal or a dental crown, you want a dentist with a great deal of experience performing those procedures.
Additionally, he’s getting close to the age where wisdom teeth can become an issue. That’s more a general dentist/oral surgeon procedure.
I hope this helps. I know your husband is anxious he not stay child-like and you may have trouble seeing him as anything but your little boy. Finding a general dentist who meets the above requirements is a way to bring both of you peace, while ensuring your son gets the best care possible.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Murphree.