Dr. Michael Healey is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist who has been serving Atlanta families since 1981 with quality dental and orthodontic care. Our office is conveniently located in the Roswell/Dunwoody area of Atlanta, Georgia. We look forward to serving your family and maintaining your child’s healthy smile for years to come. We will be posting articles relating to dentistry for children on a regular basis, so please check our website frequently.
Dr. Healey’s Office Philosophy
Pediatric dentistry expands far beyond diagnosing a dental problem and treating a tooth. The dental experience of a young child can determine their outlook on dentistry and taking care of their teeth for their lifetime. Therefore, when we make a dental diagnosis, the child’s age, personality and attitude towards medical and dental experiences all influence our recommendations regarding how to approach treatment.
Our dental office does not practice procedures rooted in child intimidation. Such practices include parent separation, use of papoose boards and negative verbal manipulation. Although an intimidated child may be a compliant dental patient, the long term needs to establish a confident and trusting relationship can too easily be compromised.
Gaining a young child’s trust and confidence often takes a series of several small dental visits. These visits may be an exam, a cleaning, an x-ray or Happy visit.
By having a parent present during the dental visit, the parent learns our child friendly terminology and is able to reinforce positive experiences at home. Our dental hygienists and assistants along with Dr. Healey, place the highest priority on proper brushing techniques and encouraging healthy food choices so that many dental problems are prevented. As part of the dental visit, parents and children can learn about new habits which they can work together on at home. Many parents appreciate our introduction to the child of the parent’s role as “coach,” something that helps morning and evening dental routines run more smoothly.
If a child requires dental treatment many do very well being treated in the office with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and a local anesthetic for numbness. Young children and children with extensive needs may do better if given a medicine to help them relax. Some parents lightly refer to this as a “kiddy cocktail.” Other children with either medical concerns, high anxiety or extensive dental needs do well to be treated at a nearby hospital where they can be sleeping during dental treatment. These options are discussed in consultation with parents after thorough examination, determination of dental needs and understanding of the child’s temperament.
Atlanta families have been pleased with our child-friendly office philosophy, which helps make children’s dental care a welcomed part of a child’s life.