First Visit

Office fish tank for Pediatric Dentist Dr. Michael Leach

We are delighted to welcome you and your child to our dental practice. We would like to acquaint you with pediatric dentistry and point out some important office procedures and policies.

Pediatric dentistry is as important to a child's health as is their medical care. This specialized branch of dentistry takes an additional two to three years of residency to become board qualified. This training includes general care, preventative dentistry, interceptive orthodontics, growth and development, and the care of children with special needs.

Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that your child visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill" or "hurt". The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

How are appointments scheduled?

The office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher and we can work more slowly with the child for their comfort. School children with a lot of work to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason. Dental appointments are an excused absence. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.

Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient we ask that you please notify our office 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment. Another patient who needs our care could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them. We realize that unexpected things can happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard.

Since most of our patients are school age, we ask your cooperation in alternating check-up appointments in and out of school times.

Do I stay with my child?

Usually around the ages of 2 ½ to 3 we recommend your child have their first prophylaxis. At this visit we will take any necessary x-rays, clean their teeth, apply topical fluoride and perform a comprehensive examination. The age of the child, as well as, the existence of previous x-rays will determine which radiographs are necessary. It is extremely important that we take x-rays, because without them we may fail to diagnose a variety of dental problems. If you have any questions about x-rays, please discuss this with us prior to your first appointment. After our examination the parents are asked to join their child for a consultation. We will then discuss your child’s overall dental health, growth and development, treatment needs, preventative measures and any present or future orthodontic needs with you.

We do allow parents to accompany small children to the working area, but ask that they return to the reception area after the child is seated. For small children (under 2 years old) or children with special needs we may ask the parent to remain present. Occasionally, there are a few tears or a parent who is reluctant to allow us to care for their child without their presence. Please remember that we do love and care for all children and the parents’ cooperation and understanding help us provide the best possible care for your child.

We will see any child for a true emergency, and someone is on call night and day. A true emergency is a permanent tooth knocked out, a child with a swollen face due to an infected tooth, pain that is not controlled for a few hours by medication, a cut that requires sutures, the possibility of a broken jaw, or a fall where teeth are mal-positioned.

We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!