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Protecting All Children's Teeth (PACT): A Pediatric Oral Health Training Program
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AAP Policy on Referral to a Dentist

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.

Referrals to a dentist should be treated like any other referral to a health professional.

Ideally, this referral would involve the following:

  • A pre-existing pediatrician-dentist relationship
  • A call to the dentist’s office to set up the appointment
  • Ongoing communication between the pediatrician and dentist
  • Follow-up on the oral health issue
Fast Facts
Pediatric dentists are capable of treating children of all ages, and are ideal for children age 3 and younger.
Referrals to a dentist should be treated like those to any other health professional.
Ideally, dental referrals will involve a pre-existing pediatrician-dentist relationship.

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