San Diego Pediatric Dentistry
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Our Story How A Passion For Dentistry Was Born

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

At Our San Diego Pediatric Dentistry Office

Parents routinely ask, “when should my child first see a dentist?” The short answer is, “first visit by first birthday.” That’s per guideline and a result of evidence of cavities in preschool-aged children reaching epidemic proportions. We can and want to win the battle against cavities through early intervention, education, and prevention. Scripps Pediatric Dentistry is the only practice in Southern California to be certified in Baby Oral Health Program (bOHP), developed by the authoritative University of North Carolina Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

However, cavities aren’t all that there is for parents to know about when it comes to their toddler’s oral health.

Our bOHP program for toddlers involves education and guideline-driven care, including:

  • Examination and professional cleaning
  • Preventing and dealing with oral trauma
  • Positively introducing the toddler to the dental setting
  • Recommendations on fluoride and proper hygiene and diet
  • Education on techniques to brush and care for your toddler’s mouth
  • Anticipatory guidance on teething and oral habits (like pacifier/thumb)

    Preparing Your Pre-Schooler

    Our pediatric dentists in San Diego want to make sure your child has a fun and memorable experience when they come to see us. Before arriving for their appointment, you can help get their mindset right by talking with your child about the positive aspects of dentistry. By conveying good feelings about dental visits, you can help ensure they develop healthy oral care habits in the future. Be cautious that children are very good at reading their parents, so if you are at all nervous about dental care, its best to let us do the introduction when your child arrives.

    New Patient Forms

    What Should My Child & I Expect at Our First Visit?

    In order to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible, you can fill out our required forms online. Alternatively, you can arrive at our dental office 15 minutes prior to the start of your scheduled appointment to fill out all health and insurance forms.

    The first exam will take about an hour. We encourage the participation and presence of our patients’ parents throughout the entire visit (in most instances). At the start of the appointment, our staff will want to learn about any and all concerns you may have and we will then review your child’s health information with you. Your child will be given time to get to know our care team, become familiar with our office, and get comfortable before the examination begins. Depending on the need, we may take diagnostic radiographs in order to determine your child’s current dental condition.

    Toddler Time

    We have an amazing program called Toddler Time for our first-time patients who are three and under. Those kids who are older will be evaluated and, if no treatment is needed, the teeth will be cleaned and a professional fluoride solution will be applied. The doctor will complete the examination by evaluating the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and perform a head and neck examination. If needed, additional services will be scheduled for a later visit. At that time, any existing dental problems and proposed treatment will be discussed and oral hygiene instructions will be provided along with suggestions to help care for your child’s teeth.

    Which Doctor Will You Be Meeting at Your Visit?

    We’d like to thank you for giving us the privilege of providing the highest care possible for your child/children. It is exceptional to be able to find a team of doctors who can manage the same way, exhibit identical clinical skills, and have the same treatment philosophy. While Dr. J Shahangian is our founder and CEO, we can proudly say that all our doctors are specialist and Board Certified (or eligible) Pediatric Dentists (Click here to find out more). We are longtime friends and have worked together for many years.

    Our San Diego pediatric dentists are an awesome leadership team. Our whole staff is dedicated to the care of your child/children and we provide that excellent care by getting to know every single parent and child and bringing all patients to become a part of our Scripps Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics family. We feel it’s important that every child is able to develop a relationship with our doctors. Being able to have that level of trust and familiarity with our doctors ensures a successful and smooth appointment, should one of the doctors be out of the office or an emergency comes up that would require your child to be seen after hours.

    Our Appointment Policy

    Our office policy is to schedule your appointments by your unique need and procedure, not by doctor. When your child comes for their six-month cleaning and well-child appointment, we will schedule you with the first available doctor. We do try to accommodate your family by seeing siblings at the same time. We appreciate your understanding and support with our scheduling policies.

    Being able to have numerous doctors in our office gives us the opportunity to offer more availability in scheduling appointments for your child/children. We sincerely hope you will give us your support in upholding this course of action as we continue to expand and grow.

    Call Scripps Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (858) 252-0577 to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentists in San Diego.

    Insurance & Billing

    We are committed to the best care for your child while helping you maximize your insurance benefits. You are expected to pay for your office visit cost-share by cash, check, credit, or debit card at the time the service is rendered. The parent or guardian who brings the child for the visit is responsible for payment.

    We are very knowledgeable about most of the dental insurance offered in our area. We help by estimating your coverage to the best of our ability and submitting the insurance claim on your behalf. We are proud that our practice accepts nearly all PPO insurance policies, which allow us to provide the highest level of care with the least amount of restrictions placed on our doctor and staff when serving our patients. We do NOT typically have contracts with insurance companies.

    We also offer healthcare financing through Care Credit. This program requires an application and becomes a contract between you and the financing partner. For more information, visit Care Credit.

    HMO vs. PPO Insurance

    Many people ask us about the difference between HMO and PPO dental insurance.

    HMO insurance typically assigns you to a dentist. These are general dentists who are paid per head to manage a large number of patients. If you have an HMO plan, of course still consider our office, but you would not be able to receive any benefits.

    PPO insurance typically allows you to go to any dentist—within or outside your network—and will cover a portion of the work that you get done. As long as your dentist is willing to work and submit to the PPO policy, you can see a pediatric specialist rather than an assigned general dentist, but the dollar amount that they cover may vary.

    What Makes Us Unique?

    1. Dr. J Shahangian is board-certified and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
    2. We have treated infants, children, and teens for more than a decade
    3. We have specialists in Orthodontics, Anesthesia and Oral Surgery
    4. We offer patients comprehensive oral health care from 0 to 18 years old
    5. We treat our patients like family, giving them the same standard of care and treatment we give our own children
    Take The First Step Toward A Great Smile
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    Our Patients Make Us Smile!

    • “I was so grateful and he was extremely reassuring to a scared boy and an even more-freaked out mother.”

      Hope G.

    • “Excellent team and service!”

      Lil S.

    • “My 1 yr old did not cry once during examination and teeth cleaning.”

      Leti R.

    • “Both my kids who are pretty fearful of doctors/dentists and they both love it here.”

      Krysie S.

    • “I’m so glad I found this dentist for my kids.”

      Nicole F.

    • “Our daughter has never complained about going to the dentist's office.”

      Beth M.

    • “My son actually looks forward to coming to the dentist.”

      Jana S.

    • “They always leave happy. Nice job!”

      Julie W.

    • “I don't believe there could be a better dentist for kids.”

      Den W.

    • “Always a great experience and there's no one better with the kids.”

      Erika B.

    • “Everyone was approachable and we never felt rushed.”

      Lyn C.

    • “Our daughter who is normally a little apprehensive around strangers felt right at home and left the office saying "I had a SO much fun at the dentist!"”

      Andrew T.

    • “My kids don't hate going to the dentist so I feel like we've won.”

      Briana W.

    • “It immediately corrected her silent reflux, gas and constipation issues!”

      K.M.

    • “I wish they took adult patients because my husband & I would go there!!”

      Verity P.