New pediatric dentist office opens in northeast Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A new pediatric dentist office is set to open its doors in Fresno this month.

Kids2Dentist is hoping to change how children feel about going in for an appointment, which can sometimes be overwhelming for young patients and their parents.

Drivers can't miss the animals and bright colors on Kids2Dentist along Shaw Avenue in northeast Fresno.

The fun starts as soon as you walk into the building.

"He's always had a vision and a mission to create an atmosphere where kids feel welcome, where parents feel safe bringing their kids in, and the kids know they want to come back," said operations manager Marisa Rodriguez.

Dr. Jerry Lanier is leading Kids2Dentist and promises families a one-of-a-kind experience -- from the lobby's play area with a big yellow school bus to the iPad waiting area.

There are also separate rooms for patients who need a little extra dental work. Otherwise, they'll get their teeth checked and cleaned in an open area.

In order to get the kids comfortable with the sounds and equipment. staff will do a 'show and tell.'

"We will show them the light. Mr. Sunshine will come on, and what we're going to check their teeth and count their teeth with," explained Rodriguez.

By making the appointment less scary, the office manager said kids won't mind coming in for check-ups.

She added that it's an important mission because kids who miss those appointments are at greater risk of developing long-term oral health issues.

"They either already have a mouth of decay, and they're starting to have abscesses, and the decay is starting to spread onto the permanent teeth," Rodriguez said.

Kids2Dentist aims to serve families in underserved communities.

The Fresno location opens on April 20. Visalia is already open. They plan to open two more in Porterville and Delano.

"We take MediCal, we take private insurances, but if you don't have insurance as well, we will also tend to those patients as well," said Rodriguez.

Appointments can be made online or by phone.

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