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Meet Dr. Monica Kennard

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Monica Kennard, DDS

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

I have been practicing dentistry for 30 years, most of which has been with kids. I officially became a pediatric dentist in 1990, but I’ve been working only on children since 1984. When I first started out as a dentist, I realized that the stress and anxiety experienced by my adult patients almost always related back to a bad dental experience as a child. My goal was clear; I wanted to create future adults who didn’t have a phobia for dental treatments, and the only place to start was when they were kids!

Talking and being with kids has always been so natural for me. Kids come in with no preconceived notions of what a dental visit is supposed to be like. I found that I had a knack for making their treatments something that they didn’t have to fear.

I love to be around people of all ages and that’s why I like to work with kids. They remind me that in everyone there is still a part of you that has eyes wide open to new experiences. You just have to remember it’s there and let it take you to new and wonderful places!

Education and Experience

Following my formal pediatric dental education, I completed a fellowship emphasizing craniofacial disorders and hematology/oncology patients also at CHMC. The experience was tremendous and quite literally shaped the rest of my life.

I enjoy working with children with medical issues and mental disabilities. In my years as hospital-based dentist and in private practice, I’ve seen hundreds of children with autism, craniofacial disorders, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, various types of cancers, hemophilia, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cardiac malformations, etc. I enjoy lecturing to other medical professionals about pediatric dentistry because they have so little exposure to the topic in their medical training. I rely on them to give me information about children with medical issues so that I can handle their dental needs in conjunction with their medical needs.

Professional Affiliations

Outside the Office

I am originally from Cincinnati, OH, and now live in southwest Portland, on the south side of Council Crest. I moved here in 2010 after living in Minnesota for 17 years. I am married to Tom Kennard and we celebrated our 23rd anniversary on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day!  We have a ten-pound bundle of puppy named Maggie; she’s a silly, crazy rescue Malti-poo.

We moved to the Pacific Northwest for the next part of our lives because of the amazing food, wine, and scenery of Oregon. After years of “zone envy,” I love to be out in the garden. I’m sure our neighbors think I’m crazy when I’m out pulling weeds or pruning or raking in what is considered winter here! Compared to Minnesota and other parts of the Midwest, there really isn’t much bad weather.

I feel very strongly that art in all its forms contributes to the quality of a community. It challenges everyone to expand their thinking. It opens your eyes and ears literally and spiritually to beauty all around. I love to sew and even after a lifetime of doing it, I’m learning more all the time. There are so many creative people here in Portland and I’m learning to let myself go with the things I make.