Pediatric Dentistry

How early can I bring my child in for their first visit?

The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends scheduling your child’s first dental appointment when the first tooth comes in, which happens usually between 6 and 12 months of age. The earlier the dental visits start the better the chance of having a cavity-free healthy smile (AAPD).

What should I expect for our first visit?

The nature of your child’s first visit at Penn Dental Medicine will depend upon their age. For very young children, this initial visit will help them to get comfortable with the idea of visiting the dentist, and they can sit on their parent’s lap during the evaluation.

After evaluating your child’s oral health, a program of home care for your child will be designed. This will include brushing and flossing recommendations, diet counseling, fluoride application, and frequency of dental visits.

Who is performing these procedures?

These procedures are performed by pediatric dental residents and predoctoral students. Pediatric dental residents are dentists who are receiving training for become pediatric dentists. All of our predoctoral students and pediatric dental residents work under the supervision of trained pediatric dentists to ensure the highest quality of care.

How will my children’s treatment change as they grow?

Penn Dental Medicine will care for your children and provide age-appropriate treatments as they grow. They will be treated within our pediatric dentistry program up through adolescence; then, they will be transitioned into the General Dentistry area of our clinic to continue their care.

What type of procedures do your pediatric dentistry students perform?

Our pediatric dentistry residents are trained and equipped to provide all procedures and necessary care for our young patients. These may include:

  • Cleaning
  • Topical fluoride application
  • General screenings
  • Sealants
  • Fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Orthodontics

For the very young patients and patients with anxiety or special health care needs, we offer the option of treatment under sedation (at Penn Dental Medicine or Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) or under general anesthesia at CHOP).

What Type of Payment Options Are Available for Pediatric Dental Services?

At Penn Dental Medicine, we accept most types of health and dental insurance. If, however, you do not currently have insurance for your child, we encourage you to apply for Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP—in collaboration with Keystone Health Plan East, Inc.—determines your child’s eligibility for medical, dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug coverage. And, no family makes too much money to enroll.

As a state- and federally-funded health insurance program, CHIP provides either free, low-cost, or full-cost options (depending on eligibility results) for families living in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

To determine your family’s eligibility for Keystone HMO CHIP insurance, click here.

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