Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health and unique needs of young people. Just like a pediatrician is a medical doctor who has additional training to specifically treat children, a pediatric dentist completes additional training to specifically treat children. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training is required to become a pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares pediatric dentists to meet the unique needs of your infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs.
Positive visits to the dental office promote the establishment of trust and confidence in your child that will last a lifetime. Our goal, along with our excellent team, is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth. From our special office design, to our communication style, our main concern is to create a pediatric-focused positive dental experience for your child.
What is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist?
Upon completion of specialty training, pediatric dentists can voluntarily seek the personal quest for professional excellence through an evaluation and critique of their abilities by their colleagues. Pediatric dentists are eligible to be examined by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, a board of five peers elected by the membership of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.
This rigorous examination is voluntary and is for the purpose of validation and improvement of the pediatric dentist’s clinical and diagnostic abilities. Successful completion of the examination permits one to be designated a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and to become a member of The College of Diplomates. Board Certified pediatric dentists are committed to life-long learning to provide excellent care for your child. Dr. Raymond Ramos, Dr. Cheryl Willett, Dr. Frank Hodges, and Dr. Austin Nuñez are specialists in Pediatric Dentistry and all Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and members of the College of Diplomates.
Creating Positive Dental Visits
As pediatric dental specialists we understand each child is an individual. Often new places and experiences can be intimidating for young children. We believe in creating a positive experience for each child to promote a life-long positive attitude toward oral health. Techniques we use to help children feel comfortable with the new dental experience are:
“TLC-” Tender, loving, care: This includes having a kid-friendly environment and team, using terms that are age appropriate such as a “water whistle” to clean a “sugar bug” off their tooth rather than a “drill to clean a cavity.”
“TSD”- Tell-show-do: We engage children in the process by telling them what we are going to do, showing them the materials we use, and then doing it. This helps decrease the child’s fear of the unknown.
We use “positive reinforcement” to verbally praise children for good behavior.
“Distraction” through story-telling and televisions on the ceiling with listening headsets.
Age specific “casual conversation” helps the children feel at ease.
Some children are unable to cooperate in the dental setting due to young age, special needs, medical complications, or dental anxiety. To provide a positive experience for these children we offer “laughing gas” (Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen). All of our pediatric dentists are licensed to provide oral conscious sedation. In addition, we have a dental anesthesiologist who provides in-office general anesthesia. For children requiring dental treatment under general anesthesia at a hospital Dr. Ramos has privileges at Kaiser Hospital Santa Rosa.