Ocean Pediatric Owner Cited Among NJ Elite Dentists

10th Year for Autistic Child Specialist Elisa Velazquez
Aug 15, 2018
Supplied Photo Dr. Elisa Velazquez

Each year 7,000 New Jersey dentists are surveyed and asked who they consider to be top in their field, whom they would personally use, or whom they would recommend to a family member or friend. Dr. Elisa Velazquez, owner of Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates, is among 635 dentists chosen for this Top Dentist award, her 10th year with that designation.

Velazquez was also selected to the 20-member Professional Advisory Board for dentists in the state.

Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates has offices in Manahawkin at 1301 Route 72, Suite 305, and on Lakehurst Road in Toms River.

One of the reasons Velazquez is widely known is due to her creating a free program for autistic children and their parents. Dental Orientation for Parents and Autistic Children teaches dental hygiene skills to help the kids daily at home and to desensitize them for future cleanings. Instead of coming twice a year for a cleaning, they now can come once a month, so it becomes repetition and common for them.

“Many parents are afraid that their kids won’t stay in the chair, so they feel it will be a waste of time and money. So I wanted to remove that burden,” said Velazquez.

“During this open house in our office, they are around like-minded parents and children and can relax and just spend time with one another and getting comfortable with the office,” the dentist said.

Velazquez said that after 15 years in dentistry, she has seen a rise in the number of autistic patients. “It became a passion of mine to learn as much as I can. It’s not formally taught in dental school, so a lot of it was hands-on training and learning from their parents and teachers and putting all those skills together to help patients with autism feel comfortable when they come to the office.”

The board-certified pediatric dentist provides comprehensive preventive, restorative and orthodontic treatment for all children, including dentistry for special needs children in her practice. Other doctors in the group include Linda Insano, Matt Sones, Ernest Wang and Mimi Furlong.

Velazquez is on staff at Community Medical Center and currently serves as president of the NJ Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

The website is OceanPediatricDental.com, and the Manahawkin office phone is 609-597-9195.  —M.S.

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