How Kennedy’s Outpatient Services Are Revolutionizing Children’s Dental Care

In the realm of pediatric healthcare, the oral well-being of our children is very important. The introduction of complete oral and dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia for pediatric dental patients within our community marks a significant advancement in ensuring that our youngest members receive the dental care they need most comfortably and safely possible.

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is at the forefront of this innovative approach, offering state-of-the-art facilities that cater to the unique needs of children requiring dental procedures.

The Kennedy Outpatient Center includes three procedure suites. These are large enough to accommodate multiple staff members, allowing various services in a highly efficient outpatient setting. These suites are designed for immediate use and are fully equipped to function as operating rooms, underscoring the hospital’s commitment to adaptable and forward-thinking healthcare solutions.

“There are six anesthesia classification levels when considering using the surgery center at Kennedy Outpatient Center. Levels one and two can be performed at the surgery center, but level three is still performed in the operating room at Children’s Hospital across the street.” Says Dr. Dean Walker of Associates in Pediatric Dentistry here in Chattanooga.

Who Benefits From the Center?

Children, especially those who are very young, children who are physically and mentally challenged, and those who are medically compromised, stand to benefit immensely from this dedicated space. Dr. Walker adds, “The most at-risk children and children in greatest need are treated at the Kennedy Center. Dental decay, if left untreated, can lead to localized infections, loss of bone, sepsis, and even death.”

Moreover, by relocating these services to a specialized outpatient setting, the hospital effectively makes better use of its operating rooms. Allocating them to schedule more complex surgical procedures in the OR. This strategic move dramatically reduces wait times. Dr. Walker and other pediatric dentists have mentioned that children were waiting 6 – 8 months for their dental procedures. These extended wait times made it so that these kids were on antibiotics for extended periods, living with daily pain and failing to thrive.

Children treated at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and at Erlanger Kennedy Center are treated in the safest environment possible. A child’s complete oral and dental rehabilitation is provided under general anesthesia with a “protected airway” by the Erlanger Anesthesia team. Pediatric Dentists specifically appreciate the incredible care Dr. Patel and all the Anesthesiologists of ACE provide daily for these children.

Why is the Center Important?

Being able to offer these procedures in a timely fashion for the most at-risk children gives them a clean slate. Parents of children who have had “failure to thrive,” chronic pain, etc., frequently share their child is now eating better, doing better in school, and is happier.

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger’s investment in dedicated pediatric dentistry facilities is a testament to the community’s commitment to advancing pediatric healthcare. It acknowledges the diverse needs of our children, providing a tailored approach that respects their individual experiences and challenges.

Click HERE to view our full list of services at the Kennedy Outpatient Center.