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Dentist brings vines and tigers to Evergreen

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

A jungle has taken over All Kids Dental.

Trees, vines and animals are everywhere — in the reception area, in the treatment rooms, in the checkup area. This is not just a couple of pictures on the wall. This is the jungle. Really.

The new pediatric dental office at El Rancho is built with a jungle theme. The dental office’s décor makes it appear to kids and adults alike that this is not your ordinary dental office. And that’s the way dentist Brianne Pyszka wants it.

In the reception area are huge trees with seats cut into them. In fact, the room has been painted so it looks like the trees just broke through the ceiling. There’s a slide coming out of a tree and a tooth god guarding the fireplace. In the halls and rooms are jungle scene panoramas. A special lighting system makes it appear that butterflies are flitting across the ceiling.

Pyszka and her dad, dentist Robert Henry, have opened the doors of their 3,500-square-foot office in the Honka Log Homes building to try to make going to the dentist a fun experience for children.

“We want the office to help decrease the anxiety and fear that is common among kids visiting the dentist,” Pyszka said. “One of our goals is to get kids excited to come to the dentist and have a fun time.”

The jungle theme is Pyszka’s idea. “I have always loved wildlife and nature,” she said. “I was a biology major at Colorado College and spent a semester in Ecuador studying ecology. We spent a few months living in the jungle near the border of Peru … and that is where I fell in love with the jungle.

“So, when I came up with the theme, I wanted to pick something that was special to me and something that the kids may not have had the chance to experience before.”

The panorama mural is 600 square feet, and it’s been cut into pieces and applied to walls and ceilings to make it appear that the walls have broken away, and you’re viewing the jungle. Nine hundred feet of artificial vines meander through the office. The trees in the reception area are hard-coated foam that was hand-sculpted and painted.

Custom-designed mobiles hang in each room, with animal themes that include elephants, monkeys, frogs, tigers and hippos.

While the décor in and of itself is something to talk about, Pyszka and Henry hope the dental care will generate even more buzz.

“We want excellence in everything we do,” Pyszka said, “in the materials for construction and in the clinical care.”

The office will have the latest technology in X-rays, sedation techniques and other dental issues to provide quality care for all patients ages 1 to 18. Pyszka said the latest research shows children should make their first dental visit at age 1, when it previously was thought that age 3 was appropriate.

“About a quarter of 3-year-olds have cavities,” Pyszka said. That’s why All Kids Dental emphasizes prevention. One way to do that is to educate parents on how to take care of their children’s teeth. Parents will be able to watch computer slide shows to learn more about proper children’s dental care.

In addition, the dentists have been trained in child psychology so they have methods to get children to cope with their fears of the dentist.

Pyszka said she’s excited to move to Evergreen. Though she went to Minturn High School and Colorado College, she has spent the last several years in Wisconsin at the Marquette University Dental School. She and her husband, Michael, have bought a house here.

“When I had to choose a place to live after dental school, I chose to move to Evergreen,” she said.

Her dad and partner, Robert Henry, and her mom, Carol Henry, who now works as the office manager, also have moved to Evergreen. Robert Henry has been a pediatric dentist for more than 25 years and sold his practice in Glenwood Springs to go into this partnership with Pyszka.

“Our vision is having something special for the community,” Pyszka said. “It’s definitely going to be unique.”

For more information, visit www.allkidsdental.com or call 303-670-KIDS. Visit the office in the Honka Log Homes building, 908 Nob Hill Road in El Rancho.

Staff writer Vicky Gits contributed to this story.

All Kids Dental Open House

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 17-18, in the Honka Log Homes building, 908 Nob Hill Road in El Rancho. Website: www.allkidsdental.com. Phone: 303-670-KIDS.