In 2001 The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) adopted a policy defining and supporting a “dental home” for children, which states that pediatric dental care is best delivered where comprehensive, family-centered, compassionate care is available and delivered or supervised by qualified child dental specialists. In this model, the pediatrician or primary health care provider refers the infant to a pediatric dentist based on their individual risk assessment, as early as 6 months of age, six months after the first tooth erupts or no later than 12 months of age.
The AAPD contends that children who have a “dental home” are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care, thus reducing the risk and incidence of caries (dental decay). Dr. John Culp’s experience over the past 16 years as a pediatric dental specialist supports this finding. When parents bring their children for a first dental visit as an infant and follow up with subsequent visits (check-up) at six-month intervals they aid in creating positive non-invasive delivery of dental services for their children. By the time the child has matured to the point where they can tolerate and benefit from a full prophy (cleaning) they are confident, comfortable and trusting of their dental care providers in the place they recognize as their “dental home.” Establishing Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics as the “dental home” for your child will help create fun and fond childhood memories of visits to the dentist.
The first dental visit of an infant age 12-18 months is designed to be non-invasive, educational and informative in nature. It provides the perfect opportunity for parents to ask dental developmental questions related to their child and begin to build a relationship of trust between parents/child and Dr. Culp.
After being welcomed by our receptionist, the parent/parents are invited to enter the Jungle area with their child. A certified dental assistant meets with the family to review their child’s medical history, discuss any concerns and notate any questions the family may have. The dental assistant introduces Dr. Culp to the parents and child in a room designed especially for young children. The examination of the patient is accomplished with the child seated in the lap of the parent. Teeth are counted and developmental milestones noted. Dr. Culp provides important educational information regarding oral development and answers any additional questions parents may have.
Much like the initial visit for infants ages 12-18 months, the first dental visit of a toddler 18 months to 3 years of age is designed to be non-invasive, educational and informative in nature.
In addition to the intake process of the infant’s initial visit, X-rays are taken for children who are able to cooperate. Dr. Culp utilizes information gained from diagnostic x-rays to conduct a comprehensive oral examination. If the child is willing to lie down independently Dr. Culp accomplishes the exam in a standard operatory room, otherwise, the exam is accomplished with the child seated in the parent's lap. Results of the examination are discussed with the parent.
Topics for discussion include tips on developmental milestones, hygiene strategies, fluoride counseling, and risk factors for decay.