Safari of Smiles

3.20 (5 reviews)
7807 Baymeadows Road East, Jacksonville, FL, United States

At Dr. Alvarez’s Pediatric Dental Practice, children feel like they have embarked on a safari adventure. Dr. Alvarez has created a child-friendly environment complete with a playroom, jungle animals and wall murals that provide you and your family with an enjoyable experience.

Dr. Alvarez and her staff develop one-on-one relationships with patients and their parents. She offers state-of-the-art treatments to satisfy each child’s comprehensive dental needs. The worries of apprehensive patients are eliminated by carefully chosen behavior management techniques. She designs preventive dental care programs that meet the individual needs and expectations of each patient and family.
Monday – Thursday
 8:00am to 5:00 pm

Disappointed in the level of care and customer service

4.19.18: Yesterday, my son who is now 10 years old went in for a repair on a molar. We have been going to Dr. Alvarez since he was 3 years old. We love the nice clean office, and my son thinks she is the prettiest doctor he has ever seen. A couple years ago, he had bit down on some ice and fractured the surface of the tooth. Sometime during the week, his bonding/sealant chipped off and needed to be repaired (for the 3rd time) and he was sensitive to cold and heat. While we were in the office, I updated information on their ipad and had some issues with it restarting on me and when I presented the issue to the receptionist, Tiara (?) she blew me off nicely and said it still needs to be completed and I started over for the 4th time. Minor inconvenience..
Well, they took my son back and observed his issue, and brought me into the billing office where the doctor traded chairs with the billing clerk and proceeded to rudely defend herself as though I was interrogating her about her quality of work. (My automatic thought was, does she have me confused with another parent). She pulled up x-rays to validate why the sealant chipped off and how nothing is permanent or perfect and she wasn’t perfect(Awkward). In efforts to escape an uncomfortable conversation, I explained that I don’t understand dental terminology or x-rays, that I trust her as a professional to repair the tooth and I’d let her get back to work, and I’ll just pay my co-pay. After that, I got a laugh and a “Oh, honey we don’t take any form of insurance here and we haven’t for sometime.” So, I re-word my statement, and said, “OK, well let me square up with billing so that you can get to work?” Thank god the billing clerk was professional. As I was paying an arm and a leg for sealant, I realized they didn’t plan on using Novocain or laughing gas before they started drilling. I suggested they ask my son if he wanted it because I knew he was sensitive to hot/cold. She said well it’s $90 and I said, I don’t mind – just don’t hurt my kid. (jokingly)
After it was all said and done, we are driving home and my son proceeds to tell me they started drilling on his tooth and of course he blames me saying how horrible it was and that “you said it wouldn’t hurt”. He tells me he raised his hand up and asked for them to numb him, and ‘then’ they gave him some laughing gas. He tells me he didn’t breath right away when they put the mask on him because his eyes were closed and he asked to do it again and they tell him no, and of course he gets emotional, because the drill is hot and painful. So my son was in pain with a headache after his visit. (This is just wrong)
I’m not sure what happened to the quality of care and customer service there, but it has gotten bad. My husband took our son last year, and he stated that the rates were ridiculous. $75 if you need to reschedule or cancel w/o a 24 hour notice, $75 late fee if you don’t pay the invoice within 30 days (that happened once to us – I just pay in the office now), $90 for laughing gas, and since they don’t take insurance, $45 fluoride, $250 resin composite (sealant). It’s expensive, but sometimes parents don’t mind as long as the quality of care is service is good. I was one of those, but now I will go elsewhere after my son complained he was in pain and had such a bad experience. I was ready to just let the awkward conversation go with the doctor as though she was having a bad day, but for her to hurt my son – I’m not happy about his level of care. I will not take my son back there, and I strongly recommend other parents to read all blogs first before taking their kids to Safari of Smiles.

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Only the best

Dr. Alvarez and her staff were extremely professional, personable, knowledgeable and kind. I am so over the moon happy about switching to this pediatric dentist office. She took her time explaining things to us and stayed with us as long as needed. She never made us feel like a burden but instead she made us her priority. I was personally impressed with the care, dedication and knowledge of Dr. Alvarez and her hygienists, especially Hannah.
My children love going here!! I feel like I need to reiterate this… my three girls LOVE LOVE LOVE this dentist office!!! We will be referring business and coming back again!!!
Thank you Safari of Smiles for the smiles you put on my sweet girls faces!! ❤️

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Wonderful dentist, we have had only great experiences

Wonderful dentist, we have had only great experiences. Both of my children went there at the age of 2 and up. My kids do not mind going to the dentist at all. Beautiful lobby, Jungle themed, with games and a beautiful salt water tank. Prizes for the kids afterwards. The baby (2 year old) toothbrushes double sided are adorable and also if you breastfeed she gave me a cute cloth you put on your fingers you can rub there teeth clean in between brushings. We love Doctor Alvarez.

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I highly recommend this establishment.

I highly recommend this establishment. Dr.Alverez has compassion and truly cares about her patients. I witnessed her with a child with autism and I was moved to tears how she calmed him down and then calmed his mother. She is wonderful and a great gift to Jacksonville.

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There are other "fun" dentist offices in Jax

The decor is nice for the kids, yes! But they were very rude when it came to billing. I had been going here for 3 years for only cleaning then all of a sudden I received a bill for over $100. This was for a yearly cleaning! What happened is she raised her prices without notification. If I was notified that her price for A CLEANING would allow me to pay over $100, I would’ve chosen another “kid friendly” dentist. I requested to speak with the Alvarez and my next notification was a letter from a collection agency and a letter saying they were no longer my son’s dentist. Very rude!

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