There are many adults who avoid going to the dentist; in fact, only around 60% of adults visit the dentist once per year. The number for children is higher at around 80%, but still many children either don't visit the dentist regularly or don't follow through with needed dental care. This four-part series is designed to address some of the common excuses for not visiting a dentist regularly. The first reason we will explore is "I don't visit the dentist (or take my child to the dentist) regularly because it is too expensive
For around the average price of a "cut and color" at the hair salon (assuming this service is in the $150-250 range), or a monthly cell phone bill, you can have your child visit a pediatric dentist for an exam, x-rays, cleaning, and fluoride treatment. While the prices for these services are comparable, the value received by both you and your child for visiting the dentist is much higher. At our office, our pediatric dentist, Dr. Richard Facko, spends time at each visit with both you and your child. Each visit includes a review of your child's medical and dental history, an evaluation of your child's oral hygiene, a thorough examination of both your child's teeth and soft tissue, and most importantly an assessment of your child's risk for future cavities. The last part, called a "caries risk assessment", is likely the most valuable part of the visit. Based on your child's risk for cavities, Dr. Facko will make recommendations for home care, including diet and nutrition counseling, oral hygiene instructions, a cleaning interval that is appropriate for your child, as well as the time interval necessary for x-rays. We hope that the information gained at your child's cleaning appointments will both give you the information you need to keep your child's teeth healthy, and give your child the motivation to brush effectively twice per day.
Our goal with regular visits is to keep your child's teeth healthy and reduce the need for fillings and other more invasive dental treatment in the future. There are, however, other side-effects of seeing a dentist regularly. By establishing our office as your child's "Dental Home", you have access to after-hours services should the need arise. Dr. Facko is available to his current patients for after-hours emergencies including dental trauma. This resource could prove to be quite valuable if it keeps your child out of the emergency room (think of the savings!) for broken teeth.
Another side-effect of regular visits is that your child will become quite comfortable with all of the easy visits to the dentist. Visiting a dentist only when your child is in pain or "needs something" makes the experience very difficult. Building a foundation of happy cleaning visits will give your child confidence that dental care is easy and exciting. Hopefully your child is more likely to seek regular dental care as an adult with a strong foundation built as a child.
We look forward to being your child's Dental Home, and to establishing a long-term relationship based on regular cleanings and prevention. If you have questions about the many services we provide, please don't hesitate to call our Palos Heights dental office!