When T. Roy Nakai chose dentistry as a profession, he did not realize the challenges that lie ahead from an academic point of view.
The complexity and regimen required for the Doctorate in Dentistry is difficult at the very least. After four years of additional study at the University of San Francisco, he became a dentist and began working with adults with an emphasis on children.
His enjoyment with being around children added to his love of dentistry and he soon realized that he wanted his practice to reflect these desires. But to reach that level, he required a lot more study and hard work, as well as a professional designation beyond DDS. However, the specialty for Board Certification in Pediatric Dentistry with emphasis on children with special needs, became more of a passion than a burden.
Pediatric Dentistry, which was also known as Pedodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that covers the evaluation, detection, treatment and prevention of tooth problems in children from birth through adolescence. It is one of the Specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, and as such allows those who participate and pass the additional 2 or 3 years of formal post-doctoral study to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
Because of the nature of Pediatric Dentistry and it’s focus on children, the relationship between the dentist and their patients must be built on trust, understanding, and confidence. A most important part of the pediatric training is the emphasis on child psychology. T. Roy Nakai created his offices with the young person in mind, to reflect this important strategy in order to allow the children to feel welcome and more comfortable in the environment.
The clear goal was to make the dental visits enjoyable for the children. But it was just as important to make the parents feel comfortable as well. Most dental visits for children with special needs, or for that matter, children in general, last for an extended period of time. Since all of the little patients are almost always accompanied by an adult, it made sense to take their needs into consideration as well. Allowing the visitor to sit comfortably was an important aspect of developing a loyal patient base for the dental office.