What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentistry is one of nine ADA recognized dental specialties. It involves 2-3 years of additional post-doctoral training at an accredited institution (aka a residency). This includes intensive studies in child growth and development, caring for medically and developmentally compromised patients, behavioral guidance, sedation and hospital dentistry and many other facets particular to the care of children. Dr. Zocher completed his pediatric residency in 2002 at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Importance of Baby Teeth
The baby teeth (aka primary teeth) are crucial for many reasons. In addition to chewing and appearance, primary teeth are responsible for guiding and maintaining the appropriate space for the succeeding permanent teeth. Premature loss of primary teeth can cause harmful shifting of remaining teeth and can create, or certainly complicate, future orthodontic problems. Additionally, primary teeth decay more aggressively than their permanent replacements and if not treated appropriately, can become infected/abscessed. Abscessed primary teeth are a serious matter and can cause emergent medical conditions as well as potentially damaging the permanent teeth underneath.
First Dental Visit
"At what age should we begin seeing the dentist?" We concur with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and suggest scheduling a child's first visit around the age of one. Establishing a relationship at an early age promotes patient and parent education, early detection of any potentially harmful conditions, and acclimates the children to the dental office and staff. Although most of our tiny patients (1-2 years) are too young to comprehend or fully cooperate, many do amazingly well and quickly learn to enjoy the entire experience! Initially, most begin with a comprehensive exam, typically sitting on mom or dad's lap. As time progresses and the children gain experience the dental team will begin introducing them to all of the interesting and exciting things each visit has to offer.
Utilizing a "Tell-Show-Do" education ensures that each child is informed, comfortable and happy. All procedures are explained in a non-threatening manner using kid-friendly terminology. Please keep in mind that terms such as needle, shot, pinch, tooth poker, drill, pull, yanking can create significant anxiety and potential behavioral issues. Terminology such as sleepy juice and sleepy juice machine, tooth counter, tooth washer and "..wiggle the tooth" are much better alternatives and still enable the children to fully understand and participate.
Parental Separation Policy
As many of you are already aware, most children behave much differently when interacting with other in the presence of their parents/guardians. Generally speaking, most children will respond very positively, during their visit, when his/her parent is not actively participating. This is why the vast majority of pediatric dental offices exercise a parental separation policy. Certainly, attentiveness, and communication will improve as well as your child's confidence and ability to cope with common dental procedures. In some instances, separation is absolutely paramount to establish any communication between the DDS/Assistant and your child.
For these reasons, we encourage and invite you to remain with your child during the initial dental visit. However, during subsequent visits, we suggest that you allow the dental team to help your child through the dental experience (children ages 3 and up). Our hope is that this environment will help nourish independence and confidence that will benefit our child patients now and throughout their dental experience for life. We greatly appreciate your trust and cooperation with this policy.
If you have any questions or have extenuating circumstances please feel free to discuss this with Dr. Zocher or our pediatric staff.
Dr. Kent Zocher
Dr. Zocher is a certified pediatric specialist at the West Bend Dental Center. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1999 from Marquette University School of Dentistry and then completed his pediatric dental residency at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW). He has been practicing at the West Bend Dental Center since 2002 and his practice is limited to children, adolescents and to those with special needs and/or health considerations.
He maintains operating room privileges at CHW and is a member of the American Dental Assocaition, Wisconsin Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Wisconsin Society of Pediatric Dentists, and the Chicago Dental Society.
He presently resides in Campbellsport with his wife, Stacy and two children. He is an avid outdoorsman and musician. He was recently nominated and awarded, by his peers, a recipient of The Best Dentist 2016 - Milwaukee area, by Milwaukee Magazine Lifestyles. "I could not imagine myself in a more rewarding and enjoyable career! Working with children is wonderful, fun and each day is fresh and fulfilling. I'm blessed to have met so many wonderful families and amazing kids and I look forward to meeting yours."
Call Us Today At ♦ (262) 338-0022
West Bend Dental Center, S.C.
Fax: (262) 338-7982
1500 S Main StPhone: (262) 338-0022
West Bend, WI 53095
West Bend, WI 53095
Fax: (262) 338-7982
In Business Since 1978
Mon: 07:30 AM - 08:00 PM
Tue: 07:00 AM - 08:00 PM
Wed: 07:00 AM - 08:00 PM
Thu: 07:00 AM - 08:00 PM
Fri: 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed