Dr. Kevin Clifford opened his pediatric dentistry practice in Old Trail Village at the end of August. Clifford had been with a pediatric practice in Charlottesville since 2009 and has now hung out his own shingle. He and his family—two young kids—moved to Crozet in 2011. He is a graduate of the VCU School of Dentistry and did his residency at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
“We love Crozet. We have a lot of young families here. There’s a need for this service where people can stay local,” Clifford said. Appointments started coming immediately after he opened.
Pediatric dentistry is based on that premise that just as you take children to pediatricians for medical care, you take children to a dentist who specializes in dental care for baby teeth through the transition to adult teeth, he said. Pediatric dentists are also more trained in sedation for children and in dealing with children’s behavior problems.
“I want to change the perception of dentistry. I’m not going to berate somebody over a cavity.”
Clifford’s office, with a play area set up to one side of the waiting room, also features a prize wall. Children who consistently show good dental habits and good behavior, have no cavities, and participate in sports or community activities are awarded points and will periodically—about every third visit—be able to claim prizes off the wall.
“I want them to want to come to the dentist and to keep brushing. It’s mostly for small kids,” Clifford explained. “I didn’t want Mickey Mouse murals on the wall, but a clean environment with their parents involved.”
There are televisions mounted high to be in view from the chairs so kids can be distracted. One room has two chairs in view of each other because siblings sometimes do better when they can see each other and because a well-behaved patient will generally inspire better behavior in others who are watching, said Clifford. There are also rooms with one chair.
“To me it’s about teeth and about keeping people healthy,” he said.
The waiting area has an iPad counter with stools and free wi-fi for waiting parents.
All record keeping is digital, and he is using a digital X-ray machine that runs on less power and emits very little radiation. He has a sterilization area with the latest equipment. He handles all insurance claims and said he will maximize benefits for his patients. Crozet Pediatric Dentistry’s hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30. For appointments, call 434-205-4594. The office website is crozetpediatricdentistry.com.