Emergencies   |   New Patient Forms

Before the First Visit
Please discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with your child. One way to convey good feelings to children about dental visits is to remind them that going to the dentist is a sign that they are growing up. You can explain that Dr. Shapter and his helpers will take pictures of his or her teeth with a special camera.

Please do not tell your child that “the dentist will not hurt” as this may never have entered their mind. Instead, you may wish to assure your child that the doctor will be gentle and friendly. Also, please avoid talking about “ needles, shots, pulling” or using words that suggest unpleasantness. The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

We sincerely trust you and your child will find the first visit to our office comfortable, fun and rewarding!

The First Visit
Our Office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that you and your child visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination visit. During future appointments, we suggest that you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension.

We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome anxiety. Separation Anxiety is not uncommon in children, so please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior at first. This is normal and will soon diminish. Studies and experience have shown that most children over the age of 3 years react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own and in an environment for children.

Our staff will review your child’s health history form with you at the first visit. You and your child will be together in the treatment area during the initial exam. This will give you’re the opportunity to see our team in action and allow Dr. Shapter to discuss dental findings and treatment with you directly. We will perform a head and neck examination and then evaluate the health of the mouth, teeth, gums and bite. Dental radiographs (x-rays) are taken only when Dr. Shapter feels it is necessary. Additional services will be scheduled for a later visit.

If you bring other children, who are not being treated, with you to the office, they must remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.  Our staff can not babysit your other children during the appointment.

Most Children Cry - they cry at the pediatrician's office, when they get a haircut, when they get new shoes... They will probably cry here. do not get upset over this, as it is short lived and will end when they select their new toothbrush and prizes.

Try not to schedule appointments at nap-time. Just as you and I dislike being disturbed from our rest, so do the little ones. Bring the after their nap or in the early morning so they can return to pre-school. Most school administrators agree - A child can miss 30 minutes of pre-school twice a year for a dental visit.

If you know your child is not feeling well, bringing them here is not good judgment for 2 reasons...

  1. Your child will be miserable and not have a very good experience.

  2. Your child will probably infect the other kids in the practice.

As new situations arise in your child's young life, i.e., new siblings, new house, new school, toilet training. Scheduling a visit with us becomes strategic. We try to be very sensitive in that regard.

Emergencies are a common occurrence in Pediatrics and our office responds to these events promptly. Kindly dial the office number and you will be directed to the Beeper service. Your child's emergency is handled 24 hours a day.

We strive to make every visit to our office a fun one !

New Patient Forms

For your convenience prior to visiting our office, please click on the below listed links to print and read the New Patient Forms, complete the information and bring them with you to your first visit.

Permission for Treatment of a Minor

Patient Consent Form

New Patient Information Form

Financial Policies

Patient Policies

To print the form you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, please click here to download it for free to your computer.

Welcome to Our Office   |   Meet the Team   |   the First Visit   |   Office Policies   |   Dental Topics
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Erie, PA Pediatric Dentist ~ Dr. David Shapter

Erie, Pennsylvania


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