Step into the office of Lake Mary Pediatric Dentistry, home to board-certified pediatric dentist Dr. Nicholas A. White, and your kids will feel like they’ve entered a theme park of sorts.
From the colorful parrot that greets you at the front door and the giant turtles swimming in the surf over the entrance, the entire office is themed to resemble a beachside retreat.
Check-in through portholes at the reception desk, then the kids can play in the waiting area under a hanging biplane with a working propeller. Upright surfboards and tiki statues hold TVs and video game screens, and a classic Woody with a surfboard on top features more touch-screen games waiting inside the car.
When your child’s name is called, follow the pebble floor past the lighthouse and treasure island, and the kids will have their teeth cleaned under an enormous pirate ship. Brightly colored and decorated treatment rooms with large windows open onto the main cleaning area to promote an open-air feel and foster communication between staff, parents, and Dr. White.
The private practice recently celebrated 10 years of service to the Lake Mary community. In that decade, it’s grown from four staff members (who are affectionately known as the crew) to 18. The physical space has grown, too, from an original 2,400-square-foot office to the current, massive 5,000 square feet of bright and colorful space off International Parkway. While the office and the number of helpful staff members may have expanded, Lake Mary Pediatric Dentistry still maintains an intimate, caring feel amid a super-fun environment.
The main benefit of being a private practice is that “Dr. White has complete quality control,” explains Jennifer, the practice manager. “He doesn’t cut corners. We want quality, and we give 110 percent.You’ve got to do the right thing, for our patients and our staff. If you do, everything falls into place.”
The office sees kid clients only.
“This is not a general dental office,” explains Jennifer. “It’s all kids, all the time.”
Dr. White, a graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry, also graduated from the internationally recognized Pediatric Dental Program at the University of Florida/Shands Hospital. What many don’t realize is that a pediatric dentist studies an additional two years after general dental school.
“Being board-certified for pediatric dentistry makes all the difference,” says Dr. White, who is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. “The training is very specialized because the treatment of young dental patients is completely unique. As with any medical specialty, it’s important to seek out a board-certified provider.”
His list of credentials is long – he is a past-president of the Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and this expertise allows him to treat children in a special way. Some of the kids who visit the practice may have special needs, may be medically compromised, or may have anxieties about treatment. In unique cases, Dr. White has hospital privileges at Florida Hospital. Dr. White and his staff are excellent with children, especially those needing a little more TLC. They take their time and offer careful exams and gentle cleanings.
“We get a lot of referrals from pediatricians, and we sometimes have to do a lot of magic to get the teeth fixed,” Jennifer says.
The practice is also active in the community, visiting many preschools and elementary schools in the area, donating dental hygiene products, and sponsoring school programs.
Cassie Hunter and her four-year-old daughter, Harley, are big fans of Dr. White and his staff.
“We came to Dr. White when my daughter experienced a painful tooth abscess,” explains Cassie. “He immediately had a plan to resolve the issue and fix her pain. We loved that the staff is so caring and comforting to us. Everyone that we have met is always cheerful and finds any way to make the kids smile.”
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children begin seeing a dentist by the age of one, and Lake Mary Pediatric Dentistry is ready to treat little tykes all the way up throughout their childhood.
“Then there are the adolescents who just keep coming back,” Jennifer laughs. “They go to college and they want to come back and see us.”