Welcome to our pediatric dentistry office
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that children should begin to visit a pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday. Although this might seem young, it is extremely important that newly erupted primary teeth receive proper dental care from the very beginning.
Initial appointments are primarily used to help educate parents on proper cleaning methods, to discuss nutritional information, to create a plan in case of future dental trauma, and simply to begin familiarizing children with the dentist and dental office.
It's been shown that non-threatening visits at an early age also help to build your child's confidence, provide a foundation for hygiene awareness and begin to create a trusting relationship between your child and our dental team.
During your first visit
During your first visit to Hendersonville Pediatric Dentistry, you and your child will become familiar with our office, our staff and our methods. We will make a great effort to ensure that you and your child feel comfortable in this new environment. We encourage parents to accompany their children during the initial visit. This introduces parents to our treatment surroundings, allows Dr. McKenzie to discuss his initial dental findings, and provides parents with a general idea of our philosophies.
Depending upon your child's response during this initial visit, Dr. McKenzie will provide recommendations for the following visits. If you accompany your child into the treatment area during subsequent visits, we suggest that you act as a silent & supportive observer only. It is very important for us to establish cooperation and trust directly with your child, as this will help your child begin to form a long lasting relationship with our team, which should precipitate a positive outlook on children's dentistry.
Reviewing treatment options
Once Dr. McKenzie establishes his findings, we will discuss our treatment plan and recommendations with the accompanying parent or legal guardian. We encourage parents to take an active role in deciding which treatment options are best for each individual child. After treatment options have been thoroughly explored, you will receive a detailed treatment plan, which includes all recommended treatments, costs and insurance information. A treatment and financial coordinator will then carefully review this information in detail and will explain how your specific dental insurance benefits work. Lastly, all payment options will be explored, any final treatment questions will be answered, and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled.
Helping your child prepare for their first visit
- Always speak positively about dentists and going to the dentist. In spite of any negative encounters that you may have had to experience, your child is going to enjoy coming to our office! Hearing parents, siblings and friends speak negatively, even the slightest comments or tone of voice, makes appointments more difficult for your child. You are your child's greatest hero and positive role modeling is considered the most important facet to ensuring a positive visit.
Children love to play and pretend. Practicing a visit to the dentist at home can be a source of pleasure and a wonderful time of togetherness for you and your child.
- Practice counting your child's teeth. Let your child know that the dentist will do the same. Lay your child back with their head in your lap. When on their back, have your child practice opening wide for the dentist. Use props such as toothbrushes; spoons make a perfect "dental mirror". You can even let your child pretend that they are the dentist examining and counting your teeth. In this way, you are providing your child with enough information to prepare for their first dental visit.
- Explain that you think it's fun to go to the dentist and that having your teeth "polished" feels good to you. By explaining the visit in this way, you help your child better understand the purpose of the visit through your personal experiences. As humans we relate better - even as a child - to this, rather than someone telling us how we are going to feel about the experience.
- Let your child know that when you went to the dentist as a child you typically received a special prize from the dentist for cooperating at this visit.
- Trust your pediatric dentist and the dental staff. Your child will sense if you mistrust and will transfer that to their dentist. Be positive, have a positive attitude and look on your face for your child. Remember your dentist and our staff are experts in the pediatric dental arena.
After the first visit, offer your child specific praise about anything they did well.
- Reward and praise for every dental appointment. Things like "I'm proud of you, you really tried hard today" or "You did a great job opening wide for the dentist" or "You did a great job listening today". We all love praise; the more we get the more we want to hear it. The fact that your child wants to please you is your most effective tool in providing your child with a positive dental experience.
For our very young patients
The first visit with a young child is typically completed with your child sitting in your lap while facing you. Dr. Andy or a staff member will sit with their knees touching yours, while your child lies back onto our lap. This position is known as a "knee-to-knee examination" and allows for the young child to remain in direct contact with their parent, while providing a reclined position for the caregiver to easily evaluate the oral cavity. We also recommend that this position be used when brushing and flossing your child's teeth at home.
Encouraging a fussy child to complete these noninvasive visits semi-annually will quickly allow them to develop confidence and an overall understanding of what to expect during these visits.
For young children coming to our office for their very first dental experience, parents can expect some children to show outward signs of anxiety stemming from a new and unknown surrounding. During this visit we may encourage your child to take radiographs, complete a dental cleaning, and apply professional topical fluoride. Completion of all these tasks is greatly dependent upon your child's cooperativeness, the acuteness and degree of any visible dental decay, and your underlying comfort level.
During the knee-to-knee exam, the dental assistant will request that you hold your child's hands to facilitate the examination and to prevent injury secondary to grabbing a dental instrument. It is extremely important to remember that nothing during this visit will cause pain to your child. Usually after 3-4 visits, if your child is anxious, this will resolve after 3-4 visits and it is at this time that most children are able to sit in the dental chair unassisted.
Supporting your child
Please be aware that parents who stop a visit because they become upset by witnessing their child behaving defiantly and/or crying will unintentionally reinforce the event and greatly increase the likelihood of the same reaction being repeated at future visits to the dentist. Ultimately, your child's ability to cope with this situation may be hindered. It is very important that your child have a successful experience at their first dental visit to our office because we want your child to be able to have routine examinations at least twice a year for the rest of their life.
As pediatric dentist, Dr. McKenzie has received extensive training in pediatric development and child psychology, which provides him with insight on a child's behavior.
Feel confident in knowing that Dr. McKenzie have successfully worked with thousands of children and has been confronted with many personality types. We do not expect children to act mature beyond their age; we expect your child to exhibit age-appropriate coping skills. If you are not completely comfortable with the management of a particular situation, we desire your input. It is important that you freely and openly discuss the management of your child's behavior. We truly want what is best for your child!
Financial and insurance information
We appreciate you allowing us to provide dental care for your child. As leading providers of pediatric dental care, we wish to attract parents that take an active role in their child's dental health and remain financially responsible. Because we value our relationship with you and believe that the best relationships are based upon understanding, we offer these clarifications on methods of payment and insurance reimbursement.
Prior to your first visit, we will request all pertinent insurance information, at your first visit we will ask for a copy of your dental insurance information to allow us to file your claim for this and all future visits. Please remember to bring all dental insurance information, as well as insurance card to every dental visit. We also ask that you contact us immediately after making any changes to your dental coverage, so we can keep our records current to help provide expeditious reimbursement of your benefits.
Methods of payment
For your convenience we accept cash, money orders, cashier's checks, personal checks, Care Credit, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. All returned personal checks will be assessed a $38.00 processing fee.
After attempts to collect outstanding funds and a 90-day grace period from time of service, parents/guardians not fulfilling their financial obligation will be sent to collections, as stipulated by our accountants.
Prior to completing any pediatric dentistry treatment, we will provide you with a cost estimate indicating our total fee, what we anticipate your insurance coverage to be, and your estimated out-of-pocket portion. Please remember that this is only an estimate based upon generalized information provided by your dental insurance company. An additional billing or possibly a refund may be subsequently required should information provided be inaccurate or if your insurance company pays an alternative benefit not specified to us.
We will always do our best to maximize the insurance benefits that you are eligible to receive.
We appreciate your prompt settlement of any charges that may be incurred during your child's treatment process.
We look forward to years of close association with you, as we work together to maintain your child's oral health! Hendersonville Pediatric Dentistry makes every effort to see patients in a timely fashion. Because we are limited by the number of patients we are able to treat during any given period of time, our schedule quickly becomes full. In an effort to provide all our patients with timely, cost-effective care, we ask that you have the courtesy to honor our 48-hour cancellation policy, this way we have time to fill this void within our schedule. This in turn will allow us to provide treatment for another patient in great need.
No charge will be made for rescheduling your appointment, provided that 48 hours notice is given so that your child's time can be given to another patient.
Thanks for your understanding and as always, Hendersonville Pediatric Dentistry intends to attract parents that share a common interest in providing their children with the best possible dental care available and take an active role in their child's long-term dental success.
New Patient Forms
HPD understands how valuable your time is and we never want to keep you waiting for your scheduled appointment. By completing the new patient information, provided on our web site, and arriving 15 minutes prior to your appointment time, you will be able to relax and help your child become acclimated to the new surroundings.