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Gage County now has an option for children who are ready for their first visit to the dentist.

Skyline Pediatric Dentistry opened a satellite office in Beatrice this week, and specializes in exams and procedures for children.

Skyline is owned and operated by Nick Woodward, a Beatrice native who saw a need for a pediatric dentist in the area.

“Beatrice was probably the largest city in the state left without a pediatric dentist,” he said. “You start to get a population this size and it’s certainly something that I felt like would be a good thing for the community and I think there’s definitely a need for.”

Skyline’s main office is located in Elkhorn. Woodward is renting space at Gleason Dental Clinic, at 204 Crest Drive, where he’ll see patients. Woodward graduated dental school with dentist Dan Gleason, and said plans to lease space at Gleason Dental date back years to when Gleason’s practice moved to a new building.

Additionally, Woodward’s father, Rich Woodward, is a dentist at Beatrice Medical Center.

Woodward said there’s not an issue of competition since he works with younger ages.

“My goal is not to compete with the dentists around here,” he said. “It’s more to be a specialty service. The closest pediatric dentist now is Lincoln. I just felt like it would be a good service for the area.”

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Bringing his practice to Beatrice also required working with the hospital, where he’s work from once a month. Initially, Woodward plans to see patients in Beatrice two Tuesdays a month, though that schedule could change based on demand.

“Going from there the vision is to see how that goes and takes off,” he said. “We can add days as needed… This area, I have a personal connection to. That’s one of the main catalysts for me looking into this. It’s my hometown. I have a personal connection to it and to the dental community here.”

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Woodward said being a pediatric dentist requires another couple years of school after dental school where you learn advanced behavior guidance techniques.

“You learn a lot about growth and development for children,” he said. “Sedation techniques and hospital dentistry where we’ll do dentistry under general anesthesia for kids that can’t get it done otherwise.

“What I’ve said a long time about pediatric dentistry is we do some of the simplest procedures on the most difficult patients. It is a challenge. I’ve been doing it for 10 years now and I’m much more comfortable seeing kids. I love it, my staff is very well versed at it. That’s all we do, all day every day.”

Woodward finished his residency in 2009 and moved to Chicago for five years. He bought Skyline Pediatric Dentistry four years ago and moved to the Omaha area.

Woodward said it’s recommended that children see at dentist at 1 year old or six months after their first tooth comes in. His patients have ranged from a few days old to 18 years, though he said most patients are under 12.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Skyline Pediatric Dentistry at 402-228-3384.

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