The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement further states that "Despite all efforts to predict children at high risk of caries, patients can and do fall outside of statistical expectations ... Whenever possible, the ideal approach to early childhood caries prevention and management is the early establishment of a dental home."
Children should be referred to a dentist who is willing and capable of providing a dental home. This could include a pediatric dentist or a general dentist who is comfortable with children.
Pediatric dentists are specially trained and capable of treating children of all ages.
Referrals to a dentist should begin with documentation of the problem in the medical record. They should be treated like any other referral to a health professional, such as a cardiologist or psychologist.
Ideally, this referral would involve a pre-existing pediatrician-dentist relationship, a call from the pediatrician’s office to the dentist’s office to set up the appointment, ongoing communication between the pediatrician and dentist, and follow-up on the oral health issue, just like any other health issue.