Dr. Douglas Warner has a reputation for singing to his patients. He’s the first to admit he doesn’t sing well, but it’s one of his favorite ways to help them take their mind off of what’s happening. Dr. Warner is a pediatric dentist.“Pediatric dentistry is more than just fixing teeth,” he says, “it’s about getting kids to like and trust their dentist.” A lot of the methods Dr. Warner uses for easing fears and creating a positive dental environment were learned in his two year pediatric residency post dental school. “Pediatric dentists learn behavior management techniques specific to treating children and are better equipped to keep kids happy.”Dr. Warner gained much of his experience practicing in the Air Force where he was chief pediatric dentist at Misawa Air Base, Japan. In fact, he was beginning treatment on a patient when the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake hit.
About a year ago, after fulfilling his commitment to the Air Force, he opened his own practice in Encinitas which gave him the chance to be closer to extended family in his dream locale. He says his wife Emily and their four boys have loved every minute of living here. His wife has also enjoyed helping decorate the office which exudes a very retro-modern vibe.
From the moment you walk in to the building on Encinitas Blvd. (right next door to Jack in the Box), you immediately feel comfortable in the clean, friendly atmosphere where the slogan is “Home of the Happy Teeth.” The staff is welcoming and friendly and “Happy” is just how it feels. Of course, Dr. Warner has the latest technology including flat screen tv’s mounted on the ceiling, and specialized equipment built just for kids.
But the biggest factor contributing to Dr. Warner’s success is the way he interacts with kids and teens alike. They feel safe and happy while in the office and leave looking forward to their next visit. “We’re really friendly; we don’t try to push or force them into doing anything. We work with them psychologically and emotionally to help them feel comfortable and make it a safe and inviting place.”
When it comes to finding the right dentist for your child, Dr. Warner says a specialist is the way to go. “Any dentist can fill a cavity. But not just anyone can turn a dental visit into a positive experience. When a child arrives in my office, I approach them with a confident and happy attitude. This makes a big difference.”
Parents can also contribute to the dental experience being a positive one. “If you act excited about visiting the dentist, your kid will pick up on that. Try to avoid ‘preparing’ them with descriptions which might scare them. A lot of parents are afraid for their kids because they have had bad dental experiences. But it’s totally possible your child can make it through childhood loving the dentist!”
“Many patients are referred to us from general dentists after the child has had a negative experience.” Dr. Warner says this can usually be avoided by starting out with a specialist in pediatric dentistry and in most cases no referral is necessary.
“I’m a big believer in prevention and conservative dentistry. You want your kids to have positive dental experiences and we can help accomplish that. That’s why I think choosing a specialist is so important. We do everything we can to help these kids, as young as one year old, avoid fearful dental associations.” He says, “The singing helps with that…”
Warner Pediatric Dental is located at 1443 Encinitas Blvd in Encinitas. Call (760) 942-1570 or visit href=”www.warnerpediatricdental.com”>www.warnerpediatricdental.com for more information. After school and Saturday hours are available.