Finding the right Dentist

. October 30, 2015.

Going to the dentist can be uncomfortable for any of us, but for some children, the sights, sounds and sensations of a routine dental visit can be challenging. Dr. Elizabeth Barber, Pediatric Dentist and instructor at the University of Michigan Dental School, is passionate about helping children find a dental home so they have a healthy future. “It is so critical that kids are established early so they don’t have cavities. Dental pain can lead to difficulty in school, difficulty with eating, infection, early loss of teeth… When we can work with families to get children established early we not only make it easier because they are seen more frequently, but we can monitor for potential issues that typically are easier to address when they’re smaller, than over time when the issues have progressed.”

Getting children to routine dental visits can be a struggle. Dr. Barber recalls one child in particular who needed space and time to feel safe in the dental chair – “I had a little girl [come in] at the initial visit, [and] she wouldn’t enter the waiting room. I sat in the hall with her and she held a toothbrush… The next visit she entered the waiting room, and the next visit she sat in the chair. By the next visit we were able to get in there with a toothbrush. It takes time. Not everybody is able to allocate that time, but that’s part of our job as pediatric dentists to work with patients and parents to figure out what the best treatment modality is going to be for their kids.” For children who are sensitive to sound, Dr. Barber encourages parents to bring headphones to their appointment. Sunglasses can help filter the bright lights used. Overall, Dr. Barber aims to, “Identify with each parent what may result in positive or negative experience for child depending on their specific needs.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Barber at Ann Arbor Dental Specialists, 3100 Eisenhower Parkway, call (734) 971-3368 or visit