New Patient Information


A Safari Dental provides the most comprehensive pediatric dental services to the Trinity / New Port Richey / Odessa / Hudson / Palm Harbor / East Lake / Spring Hill / Tarpon Springs / Holiday areas. Whether your child visits the children's dentist for the first time at A Safari Dental or you are looking for a new pediatric dental care provider, here is some information for our new patients.

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What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

The pediatric dentist has an extra two years of specialized training and is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens and teenagers all need different approaches to how you deal with their behavior, how to guide their dental growth and development, and efficient ways to help them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs.

Your Child's First Dental Visit

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and his or her staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do you make the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle," "pull," "drill" or "hurt". Pediatric dental offices make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

Why Are The Primary Teeth So Important?

It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems that affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect speech development and add to an attractive appearance. While the front four teeth last until 6 or 7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until ages 10 to 13.

Learn more about the pediatric dentist services we provide, as well as the orthodontic work we perform at A Safari Dental.

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Meet Your Dentist!

Dr. Frank Pettinato II
  • Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
  • Masters in Science Degree
  • Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry