What We Do

What to expect

  • We will treat your child the same way we would treat our own children.
  • Our #1 goal is for your child to have a good experience. We believe that any dental treatment can be accomplished without fear or tears.
  • We first will work to make your child comfortable in the dental setting and will address and concerns or worries your child may have. Only after your child is comfortable will we worry about the teeth.
  • We will explain things to your child in a fashion that’s appropriate for their age without using and scary sounding words.
  • We want your child to leave our office happy. Sometimes that may mean we don’t get everything done that we intended to get done, but the most important thing is that your child leaves feeling accomplished, happy, and ready to come back to the dentist.  If there’s any way we can avoid it, we will not push your child just to get a procedure done.
  • Thom will be happy to see your infant, your toddler, or your teenager. We also specialize in treating special needs patients of any age.

What happens during the first visit

  • Parents are encouraged to come back for the first appointment. This is a good time to explore the office and get to know Dr. Thom and the staff.
  • Thom and the staff will review tooth brushing, diet, health history, and any age specific items relating to your child’s oral health.
  • Some children may not be ready for a cleaning and dental exam on their first visit. They may simply come in for a chance to look around, sit in a dental chair, and then pick out a prize.  We will determine your child’s comfort level and will use that to determine what treatment we’ll do that day.

What can I do as a parent to help prepare my child

  • If you dislike the dentist, your child will pick up on that. If you act nervous or anxious, your child will too.  Your child can read you well, so even if you’re nervous for your child, try to act excited and upbeat about your child’s appointment.
  • Word choice, word choice, word choice! Please do not use any scary sounding words when referring to the dentist.  Please make sure that there’s no relatives or friends who use scary sounding words.  Word choice is critical to the success of your child’s visit.  It’s all about setting the expectation that there is nothing to be concerned about.  If the child is not afraid when they first come to us, we can typically create and excellent experience for them.

Can I accompany my child for subsequent visits?

  • Yes! Parents can definitely be back for first visits and cleanings.  Or, if you prefer, you can relax in the waiting room and enjoy a coffee!
  • Sometimes it’s ok for parents to accompany their child for treatment visits like a filling or an extraction; other times it may be better if the parent is not back with the child. We’ve all seen kids who behave great for their teachers at school without their parents, but as soon as the parents come around they start misbehaving.  You’ve also seen kids that will behave well for one parent but not so well for the other parent.  Every child and parent is different, so you and Dr. Thom will work together to help figure out what scenario works to make sure your child has the best experience possible.