This year, Atkins, Maestrello and Associates celebrates its 25th year of serving the dental needs of Richmond area kids. After completing his pediatric dentistry residency at VCU, Dr. Carl Atkins, or “Dr. Carl” as most refer to him, began his solo practice in 1985 on the second floor of a professional building (Gaskins Center) near the corner of Gaskins Road and Patterson Avenue. [pullquote]Dr. Carl began his practice with three dental chairs and one employee, who functioned as both assistant and receptionist.[/pullquote] In 2003, after 18 years in solo practice, Dr. Carl’s practice had grown enough to add Dr. Christopher Maestrello. Dr. Chris is a pediatric dentist and certified dental anesthesiologist who began to offer in-office general anesthesia for extremely apprehensive children, very young children, medically compromised children and children with special needs that would not respond well to conscious sedation. With the addition of Dr. Chris and these anesthesia services, the practice out grew the office Dr. Carl opened in 1985. From 1985-2006, the practice was able to grow in its original location, expanding four times without moving. Eventually, the original location could no longer adequately serve the needs of our patients so in 2006, Drs. Carl and Chris decided to move into a new, state-of-the-art facility at the corner of Gaskins and Three Chopt roads. The office now has 18 dental chairs, 17 assistants, 5 receptionists, and one office manager. As Richmond-area parents and children welcomed the expanded facility, the practice continued to grow. In 2005, Dr. Art Mourino, also known as “Dr. Mo,” joined the practice. Dr. Mo was a faculty member and director of the postgraduate Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program at VCU’s School of Dentistry from 1974-2004 and has presented more than 50 dental publications and presentations. After leaving VCU, he couldn’t leave his practice of pediatric dentistry and began to work with two of his past students, Drs. Carl and Chris in their new and improved pediatric dental practice. In January 2010, Dr. Elizabeth Miller, also known as “Dr. Liz,” joined Drs. Carl, Chris, and Mo as the practice’s first female pediatric dentist. Dr. Liz recently completed her pediatric dentistry residency training at the University of Michigan and returned to her hometown of Richmond to practice dentistry. The practice came full circle once Dr. Liz joined the practice, since she and her sisters were patients of Dr. Carl at his first office. The mission of Atkins, Maestrello and Associates is to improve the oral health of children by teaching our patients and their families how to prevent tooth decay, and to provide appropriate dental treatment when needed. Drs. Carl, Chris, Mo, and Liz offer all pediatric dental services including oral health appointments, preventive treatments, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and behavior management techniques including nitrous oxide, oral sedations, and general anesthesia. [pullquote]We welcome the opportunity to help your family create a lifetime of healthy smiles.[/pullquote] One way we hope to help families in the Richmond area, throughout Virginia, and nationwide understand the importance of oral health is through this blog about pediatric dentistry. I (Dr. Liz) will post about topics in pediatric dentistry that seem to be “hot topics” asked frequently by parents or children in the practice. This blog will serve to inform parents about issues concerning children’s oral health and will not take the place of visiting your pediatric dentist for needed consults, exams, or treatment.