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Kitfox Pediatric Dentistry: Treating Patients with Special Needs

Special Needs Pediatric Dentist

Kitfox Pediatric Dentistry: Treating Patients with Special Needs

The dentist can be a frightening place for any child, but for those with special health care needs, it can be even more stressful for the child and the parent. At Kitfox Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Thom Akins sees patients with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other conditions that require specialized medical management. Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of training in order to provide quality care for their patients. This training includes treating children with special health care needs.

Dr. Thom and his staff work to make each patient feel comfortable when visiting the dentist. They learn the specific needs of each patient – whether that is having a parent present during cleanings, scheduling a patient at a particular time of day, or knowing how to best communicate with a patient. At Kitfox the goal is to create an environment where kids are happy and not intimidated. It’s about patience and understanding. It’s about treating the child first and the teeth second.

The office uses special software that allows them to keep notes on patient preferences, allergies, and the patient’s treatment plan so that the staff is informed before each patient arrives. The practice also schedules free appointments that allow patients to come to the office, become familiar with the environment, meet the staff, and learn about how their teeth are cleaned. They get to pick out a prize at the end, and the purpose of the appointment is solely to make the child comfortable and ready to come back to the dentist.

 

Miss Ashlyn With a Patient

Dr. Thom’s philosophy is that every child should have a good experience. He explains, “We believe that any dental treatment can be accomplished without fear or tears. We want every child to leave our office happy. Sometimes, that may mean we don’t get everything done that we intended to get done. The most important thing is that your child leaves feeling accomplished, happy, and ready to come back to the dentist. If there’s any way we can avoid it, we will not push your child just to get a procedure done.”

Kitfox Pediatric Dentistry is located at 1395 Silver Bluff Road in Aiken. The practice sees patients from birth through college-aged kids, and they are now accepting new patients. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child see a pediatric dentist within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, or by the age of 1. For more information, call the office at 803.393.4550 or e-mail smile@kitfoxdental.com.

About Dr. Thom

Dr. Thom Akins grew up in the small town of Dublin, Georgia. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, he worked as an engineer at a paper mill for nearly 7 years. He then decided to attend dental school at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. It was while in his pediatric dental residency in Augusta that he met his wife Anna – she was assisting him during a dental procedure. After working in a dental practice for several years, Dr. Thom and Mrs. Anna decided to move their family to Aiken to open their own pediatric practice. 

Dr. Thom is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentists, the South Carolina Dental Association, the American Dental Association, a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentists and a member of OKU National Dental Honor Society.

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