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Treating the person, not the molar
Ripon dentist has young son calm nervous children
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Ripon dentist Dr. Navid Fardanesh and his wife Cindy praise their children for their help around their Ripon Dental Plaza office. Blake, 7, comforts frightened children and Hope, 11, has learned to do some filing and is in charge of keeping the waiting room organized and the magazines current. - photo by GLENN KAHL
RIPON - Fear of a dentist is conquered in different ways.

One solution came from a young boy volunteering to put other children at ease before they climb into the chair.

Anxious children going to the dentist for the first time are often comforted by Blake Fardanesh, 7, as they sit waiting to see Dr. Navid Fardanesh in his Ripon Dental Plaza office.

After catching the eye of his mother and office receptionist Cindy that he is needed in the lobby, Blake quickly goes up front and settles down next to the frightened child.  “The dentist is a nice man – he won’t hurt you – he’s not just the dentist – he’s my dad,” the boy proudly tells the young patients.

Cindy Fardanesh said it’s amazing how comforting a 7-year-old can be and how effective he is in reaching out to other children.

Both Blake and his 11-year-old sister Hope are Parkview Elementary School students where Dr. Fardanesh conducts dental assemblies in February for National Dental Week.

Hope has also grown up in her dad’s dental office where she does some filing and is in charge of keeping the waiting room neat and the magazines organized and updated.

Dr. Fardanesh served as president of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce for three terms and is involved in the Ripon Lions Club as well.  Community involvement is something that is most important to him, he said.

During his three years as president his kids always went to the chamber events with him and were calling themselves, “The Chamber Kids.”  Son Blake has been a regular at the Lions Club pancake breakfasts where he helps out where he finds he is needed.

The doctor remembers his first grade teacher in his native Iran who was so caring and who made the school environment so comfortable.  His office reflects that lesson that he apparently learned so well.  

“I wanted the office to be like that, too.  I don’t like it to be hectic and chaotic,” he said.  “I knew I wanted to be a dentist at 14.  It made it easy knowing what classes to take,” he said.

The Ripon Plaza dentist made it through U.C. Davis in his biology major in just three and a half years.  He completed his school of dentistry at (UCSF) University of California, San Francisco.  His wife Cindy said her husband “doesn’t have an ounce of procrastination” in his being that he demonstrated in completing his education.

Kids are special in the Ripon dentist’s office where they often get to play with the water pic and the suction device.  They always leave smiling, one staff member said.

Dr. Fardanesh said the UCSF dental professors taught him to be very detailed in his training.  “We were taught we were treating a person, not a molar,” he said.  He finds it very important to sit down and to talk with his patients before treating them.

During a procedure, he said, he always tells his patients to raise their hand if they want me to stop – that puts them in a sense of control, he said.

In his off-time at home, he and his family do quite a bit of gardening.  He and his daughter Hope raise flowers – cosmos to be exact.  Son Blake and his wife join him in the vegetable garden growing such things as tomatoes, squash, and eggplant.

“Dentistry has allowed me to spend a lot of time with my family – that was my intent,” he said.

“I like to stay involved in the community,” he said.  His seat on the Ripon Planning Commission is just a small part of that involvement.  Navid and his wife Cindy have participated in a couple of half marathons – some 13 miles – keeping in shape by jogging a lot together.