13 Feb For Kids Only
BY JAMIE ENGLE
PHOTOS BY QUINTANA PHOTOGRAPHY
Early childhood experiences shape reactions, likes, and dislikes that last well into adulthood; perhaps especially so with dentist office visits. It’s something the professionals at Just for Kids Dentistry of Forney keep top of mind all the time.
Just for Kids Dentistry of Forney was opened in 2008 by Drs. Jon Ousley, Ronald Garza and Diane Colter. Dr. Joe Parker joined the practice in 2012, and Drs. Garza and Parker continue the tradition today as the only all pediatric dental practice in town.
“We live and breathe children’s dentistry,” Dr. Parker said. “Younger kids are very new to the dental office and we make it as positive an experience as we can for them. That way, when they get older, they can keep their teeth healthy and have a lifetime of great smiles.”
Dr. Garza added, “It’s important to get an understanding of where the child’s comfort levels are and what they are willing to tolerate. There might be anxiety issues or neurological sensory issues, perhaps with smell, taste or touch.”
One example is a child might not like to be reclined in a dental chair. “When that happens, we sit the child upright. It may take longer to do what we need, but it allows the child to get comfortable, and that’s our main priority. Working with children teaches you to be very patient, understanding and compassionate.”
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia are all options available for anxious children. Just for Kids recently began using a new, non-toxic, metal-free type of zirconia crown called EZ Pedo to complement the esthetic, tooth-colored fillings already used in the office. When crowns are needed, parents can choose between the stainless steel standard and the zirconia crown.
Providing a safe, comfortable, non-intimidating environment is a top priority. Everything is kid-friendly, from the ocean-themed decorations to the TVs, toys and videogames in the waiting area. While getting treated, patients can listen to headphones and watch a movie – and their parent can be with them. Especially for parents, Wi-Fi access is also available. Drs. Garza and Parker are on-call 24 hours for new and existing patients.
“One of our favorite things about specializing in pediatric dentistry is watching how the children change as they grow up,” said Dr. Parker. “When you first see them, the kids can be unsure and apprehensive about the new experience. Then, in a few years, the kids are talking about school and sports and friends … you really see their personality come out!”
“Our staff is amazing too. They love kids and are very friendly and experienced,” Dr. Parker said. “It’s a blessing they get along so well with each other, our patients, and the patients’ families.”
Dr. Garza agrees. “Our staff is friendly, mature and perfectly in tune with our philosophy of treating patients. They are very interactive with our patients’ families and make them feel at home.”
Included on staff are a hygienist, four dental assistants, and an office manager who also wears the dental assistant hat as needed. Drs. Garza and Parker stress the importance of honest, respectful parent communications.
“It’s an extension of being parents ourselves – we want to be fully informed and communicated within a respectful manner in all matters regarding our children, and we bring that to our practice,” Dr. Parker said. “We want parents to be comfortable and fully informed when making any decisions about their child’s dental care.”
Appointments can be scheduled online (JustforKidsForney.com), where you’ll also find patient forms available for download, tips for a successful first visit, insurance information, information on a variety of dental topics, and directions to their office at 215 S. FM 548, Suite B in Forney (75216). Just for Kids Dentistry of Forney uses technology to keep communications fluid and two-way. Appointment reminder options include email and texts, and review sites like Yelp provide additional feedback on how they’re doing.
“Feedback is important; we want to know the good and the bad – it makes us better,” Dr. Parker said.
Dr. Ronald Garza has practiced for more than 25 years in the Dallas area. He takes into consideration the sensory issues and emotional needs of each of his patients. He completed his hospital residency in pediatric dentistry at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. He holds staff appointments at Children’s Medical Center and Park Central Surgical Center, where he provides dentistry to patients through hospital sedation. Dr. Garza volunteers his time in dental education for primary schools and at health fairs and is very involved in his church. He received his D.D.S. from Baylor College of Dentistry; M.S., Baylor University; and B.A., University of Texas. Dr. Garza was named a Best Dentist in Dallas specializing in Pediatric Dentistry in 2007, 2010, and 2013, and was chosen as a “Mom Approved” Dentist by Dallas Child Magazine in 2012 and 2013.
Dr. Joseph Parker grew up in Forney and received his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Texas A&M University Commerce. After graduating from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2007 and practicing general dentistry, he realized how much he loved working with children. He went to Denver to complete a pediatric dental residency at Children’s Hospital Colorado. While there, Dr. Parker received extensive training with special healthcare needs children and comprehensive dental care under both general anesthesia and oral sedation. Then he moved back to Forney and joined Just for Kids Dentistry of Forney with Dr. Garza. Dr. Parker is a board-certified diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and maintains memberships with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Greater Dallas Pediatric Dental Society, the American Dental Association, and its state/local chapters. Dr. Parker has staff privileges at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
In everything they do, their love of children comes through. You’ve probably seen Marvin the Molar and the Tooth Fairy, the Just for Kids mascots, at the Unity Bowl mascot race, or the office staff having fun at community events like Trail of Treats and Christmas on Main Street.
“We want to be as active as we can in our community. And, we host a summer bash in our parking lot with a bounce house, dunk tank, food and drinks. Dr. Garza and I get dunked a lot!” laughs Dr. Parker.
For more information about Just for Kids Dentistry of Forney, visit JustforKidsForney.com, email info@JustforKidsForney.com, or call 972.564.2222.