For a child, a trip to the dentist’s office can be anything but routine. They might experience anxiety due to the possibility of cavities and maybe some overall fear about the dentist. For parents, their child’s trip to the dentist can be anxiety-inducing as well, with any parent wanting to know all they need to do to ensure their child has optimal dental health.
It takes the right kind of dentist to meet the needs of children and their parents and Alaska is no exception. This is why the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) offers a wide-range of pediatric dentist services.
What a Pediatric Dentist Does
Like a dentist who primarily serves adults, pediatric dentists attend dental school to earn their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM.) The difference in pediatric dentists is that they have a two-year residency where they work exclusively with children. As SEARHC notes on its website about pediatric dentists:
“Their professional education includes two to three years of specialized study after becoming a dentist, emphasizing child psychology, special health care, and growth and development. They also take many continuing education courses each year to provide the latest and the best oral care treatment for your child.”
A good pediatric dentist cleans a child’s teeth and determines how often cleanings should occur, just as dentists do for adults, but pediatric dentists do so much more. They must have a special sensitivity to the needs of children, helping them manage their behavior at the dentist’s office and teaching them healthy habits. Good pediatric dentists also help parents learn how to care for their child’s teeth.
The stakes are high. Without appropriate dental care, kids can face tooth decay and oral disease. Early childhood tooth decay — an infectious disease — is five-times more common in children than asthma and seven-times more common than hay fever.
On the other hand, help a child establish good oral health habits early on and you can be setting them up for a lifetime of dental success.
Pediatric Dental Services Provided by SEARHC
Children are welcome at SEARHC’s dental clinics in Juneau, Haines, Sitka, Klawock and Wrangell. For those able to make travel, SEARHC also provides a Children’s Dental Clinic in Juneau, welcoming a spectrum of youth – from those with budding baby teeth to young adults about to celebrate their 18th birthdays.
The Juneau clinic features board-certified pediatric dentists and the latest in pediatric dental technology. The three providers there — Kim N. Hort, DMD; Kevin McCoy, DDS; and Lauren Sanzone, DDS, MPH – offer a wide-range of services, including:
- Nitrous oxide
- Restorative care
- Soft tissue laser
- 3D CT technology
Children’s Dental Clinic Location and Contact Info
The Children’s Dental Clinic is located on the first floor at 3245 Hospital Drive in Juneau, with patients seen Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic processes all insurance, including Denali KidCare.
To schedule an appointment for your child, call 907.789.KIDS (5437).