As a mother, Dr. Amanda Begue understands how intimidating a dental visit can be for parents, particularly the first time they bring their child in for an appointment.
The new addition to the Thorson Dentistry for Kids staff is the proud mother of a two-year-old, Benjamin, and six-week-old, Eugenie. Because of that, she understands both child and parental points of view and aims to make these visits comfortable and productive by providing a kind, gentle environment and through excellent communication.
Begue was introduced to Dr. Elizabeth Thorson by a mutual friend, and the two decided their skills would mesh well together at the Destrehan practice, which is the only dental office specializing in pediatrics in the River Parishes.
Thorson sees children up to 18 years old with a special focus on preventative care, and like Begue, she makes it a priority to establish dental visits as nothing to fear and as a positive experience for each patient at a young age. A walk through Thorson’s office reveals as much, with child-friendly imagery and toys abound.
Begue has always worked with children, dating back to her own days in school while growing up in Asheville, N.C. She taught preschoolers during the summer when she was an 8th grader before going on to major in elementary education at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte—another similarity with Thorson, who herself planned on becoming a school teacher before moving into dentistry.
Begue began her transition into dentistry by graduating from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.
“I knew children would be part of my future job and I feel pediatric dentistry is my calling,” Begue said.
During dental school she was very active with extracurricular activities with children and oral health. She assisted her mentor in creating a newsletter for the Baby Oral Health Program, traveled to Nepal to serve villages in need of dental care, and was active in the Pediatric Dentistry Club serving as the Vice President.
Begue completed her residency training and masters of science in dentistry at LSU School of Dentistry and Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. She received specialty training in advanced behavior management techniques, sedation, trauma, general anesthesia, and special needs patients. She also completed her research project on moderate sedation practices and education in residency training.
Her husband Paul grew up in Mandeville and from Begue’s first visit, she said she took quite a liking to the region.
“I always knew I’d love to live in an area so rich in culture and amazing, personable people,” Begue said. “I’m happy to make Louisiana my home away from home.”
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental visit at age one. Begue said she aims to educate families early to provide guidance and education to keep their children cavity free.
Thorson Dentistry for Kids is located at 159 Longview Drive Suite A in Destrehan. To make an appointment, call (985) 307-0072.