Already with patients scheduled, Dr. Alvin Amante is beaming these days as he prepares to open his pediatric dentist office in Culpeper. He’ll have a booth at the Culpeper Fiesta and he attended the recent Business, Industry and Education Day held at Eastern View High School.
“This community has been very welcoming,” says Amante who has been using Raven’s Nest on Davis Street as his operating headquarters. “I’ve been doing interviews there,” laughed Amante who is big into outreach and wants to meet as many folks as he can…particularly parents with children.
“I’d like to become their dental home…just like you have a doctor for your overall health needs…I want to be that for your oral health,” says Amante who has spent a great deal of his dental career focused on the less fortunate.
Along his dentistry career path, Amante spent time working in Seattle, Washington with Medical Teams International, a Christian organization that provides low-cost or free medical care. It was during that time that Amante decided to shift focus from general dentistry to pediatric dentistry.
“After seeing so many adults with oral problems, I felt my calling was to work with the very young and emphasize prevention and education,” said Amante whose practice is geared toward children ages 1-18.
“Children get their first bottom molars around 18 months…the top molars around age 3…while they will lose their other teeth, the molars are with them until around age 12…it’s so important to keep those teeth healthy,” says Amante. “One of the major childhood diseases stems from cavities.”
Amante described a typical first visit where he talks with the parents usually with the toddler sitting on their laps. He’ll share risky habits and best oral habits with lots of emphasis on prevention. Dr. Amante smiles as he shares his belief that going to the dentist for children doesn’t need to be a traumatic experience and the sooner young patients and their families get to know him and establish a comfort zone the better their overall oral health will be.
One of eight children, Dr. Amante hails from the Philippines where he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines College of Dentistry in 1993. He completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at the University of Rochester in 2000 and finished his Pediatric Dentistry Residency at the same institution in 2010.
Married and with three young children, Dr. Amante lives in Haymarket.
“My wife works part-time as a nurse practitioner in Georgetown so Haymarket is about in the middle for her commute there and mine to Culpeper,” says Dr. Amante who has been working as a dental care professional at Smilez Pediatric Dental Group in Gainesville. Family oriented, their move to Virginia brings them closer to her brother’s family.
Accepting most insurances, Dr. Amante has privileges with several area hospitals including Culpeper Hospital, a part of Novant Health UVA Health System.
Anxious to become familiar with area pediatricians, Dr. Amante sees his practice as a partner in the care of children.
“I’m excited,” says Dr. Amante about opening his own practice – Culpeper Kids Dentistry – in an area that he believes will welcome his focus on children and their oral health. “It’s all about the patients and their access to care.”
Dr. Amante is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association.