Zooka! Kids Dentist Makes Toothcare in Central Oregon Fun

Fun Toothcare for Kids in Central Oregon

Would you believe that you could use the words "dentist" and "fun" in the same sentence? Well, at Zooka! Super Toothcare for kids, Dr. Rex has employed a unique approach that minimizes fear of the dentist and maximizes good health for the entire family.

We've been going to Zooka! since moving to Bend, Oregon in 2006. We love the staff, the detailed attention and the fun atmosphere for children of all ages.

Brightly painted yellow walls with red accents are just the beginning when you walk in the door. Free video games are offered in the lobby, along with streaming movies, comfortable seating and even carnival fun mirrors next to the bathrooms. Once the kids head into the back for exams, they can watch televisions mounted in the ceiling with headphones to minimize distress and calm nerves.

The art decor is completely unique to Zooka! Hand-drawn cartoons of a superhero fighting cavities (Dr. Rex vs. the Cavity Cretins) adorn the walls. Inspiration strikes even the youngest patients who hope to battle the sugar bugs that may be hiding in their teeth!

Zooka! toothcare in Central Oregon

Why is Zooka! a great pediatric dentist?

While we love all the dental hygienists at Zooka! we keep coming back because we believe in Dr. Rex Gibson. Since 2000, Dr. Rex has been a leading pediatric dentist in Central Oregon. We have been to his office for a number of dental emergencies, and he has successfully performed several tooth extractions for my own children.

According to the Zooka! website:

After graduating from Kansas State University in 1994, Dr. Rex received his dental education from the university of Nebraska. After dental school, Dr. Rex completed a two year advanced training residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for Pediatric Dentistry where he graduated 2nd in the nation.

Dr. Rex is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Oregon Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Rex also enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering his time with the Kemple Clinic, a local non-profit children’s dental clinic.

On a personal level, Dr. Rex is great to chat with and will take all the time that you need. Maybe it helps that he has young children of his own. We always end up chatting about my kids (his patients) and what is going on in our lives for a bit. He offers advice as far as their development, what to expect in the 6 months ahead before their next visit, and even beyond that.

For example, two years ago, we noticed that my youngest son had an extra adult tooth in his upper jaw. At the time, he was not yet 5 years old. But we already knew that Sam would need surgery to remove the additional front tooth. At each subsequent appointment, we looked at X-rays and determined when it would be best to remove the tooth - which required early extraction of his two top baby teeth.

Zooka! has an annual buy-back of Halloween candy
Zooka! has an annual buy-back of Halloween candy
Children and parents enjoy video games while waiting for a dentist appointment at Zooka!
Children and parents enjoy video games while waiting for a dentist appointment at Zooka!

Dr. Rex in the Central Oregon Community

Bend, Oregon is only 80,000 in population. Redmond, to the north, is about 45,000 people. The entire region east of the Cascade Mountain range is much smaller and more intimate - if you will - than Portland, Oregon and the Valley. That's why its even more important for businesses to participate in community activities.

Dr. Rex has made a significant impact in the Central Oregon community. Each year, Zooka! collects Halloween candy to donate to U.S. troops. Children are paid for their contributions.

The pediatric dentist office participates in Children's Dental Health Month each February, too. In fact, February is the month in which Dr. Rex dunks into the icy Deschutes River for the annual Polar Plunge to raise money for local charities!

In July, Dr. Rex and the staff at Zooka! take part in the Saving Grace Children’s Festival in Drake Park. The annual event raises funds for domestic violence and sexual assault services, including the confidential shelter in Bend, and children’s programs.

Fun Zooka! toothcare commercial

Bottom Line for Pediatric Dentistry in Central Oregon

I've enjoyed the ease of billing and ability to contact the office at just about any time. For example, my daughter's 2 bottom adult teeth started coming in before she had lost the baby teeth. I snapped a photograph with my cell phone and emailed it to Dr. Rex. Within 1 hour, I had an appointment for tooth extractions that day!

Convenience and communication are two important aspects for any local business. When it comes to your kids, you want the best for their health care. That's why Zooka! pediatric dentistry is such a good business and value for your time and money in Central Oregon.

Zooka! is open Monday-Thursday during regular business hours, and can also be contacted in the event of a dental emergency.

Where to Find Zooka! in Central Oregon

show route and directions
A markerZooka! Bend, Oregon -
1245 SE 3rd St, Bend, OR 97702, USA
[get directions]

B markerZooka! Redmond, Oregon -
710 SW Highland Ave, Redmond, OR 97756, USA
[get directions]

Contact Information for Zooka!

Zooka!

Bend Office

1245 S.E. Third St, STE A-1
Bend, OR 97702

Redmond Office
710 SW Highland
Redmond, OR 97756

Phone: 541-318-5688
Fax: 541-322-5581
E-mail: teamzooka@zookadental.com

© 2010 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 16 comments

Psalmist4M profile image

Psalmist4M 6 years ago from the Shelter of His Wings

Wow, not at all what I expected. This was a great article. Well written, informing & downright fun. If it were in Georgia, I'd definately take my family. Thanks for the cool write.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Psalmist4M - even my older boys still enjoy going there - everyone grumbles about seeing the dentist, but the atmosphere and Dr. Rex's relaxed professional style puts everyone at ease.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

Hahaa, they should make a version of this for teens and adults... heck, they should make ALL places for medical-like procedures more attractive and fun! You're lucky to have such an amazing place nearby. Quite the local treasure!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

LOL - I agree Simone! I was thinking of my good (but boring) dentist as I wrote this hub. Going to the dentist is hard enough, so making it fun helps take the edge off. :)


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 6 years ago from California

Steph- What a great job on this Hub... I contemplated writing about a dentist... but boring! Not so with Zooka! You and Zooka amaze me! lol


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Diana - I agree! Dentists are usually a boring bunch, but Zooka! was just perfect to write about ;-) Cheers, Steph


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America

Yes, all medical facilities should have superheroes and the like. The very atmosphere would help people get well. Great Hub!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Patty - it was easy and fun to write! Cheers, Steph


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I've seen those places and thought my kids would have appreciate them much more than where THEY went! Great hub as always, Steph!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

This was so interesting and brilliantly researched. thoroughly enjoyed reading it..


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Audrey - when we first moved to Bend, they were called Cascade Kids Dental - no superheros. I think it was a brillant move to re-brand as Zooka! a few years ago. Cheers, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you Eiddwen - I appreciate the comment. Steph


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Finally, pleasant Dentistry! Starting out as children, they will associate dentistry with fun instead of Pain, thank you for Sharing!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Excellent observation LillyGrillzit! Fun, not pain. Dr. Rex really knows how to make that approach work. :)


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

I wish there had been a dental office like Zooka when I was a kid! Seeing my dentist was the opposite of fun. Thanks for sharing this. It was an enjoyable read. :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you Om - I agree! I remember my dentist from when I was a child. Certainly nothing like Zooka! ;-)

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