My professional career is a big part of my life. After high school, it took ten years of education to get to my specialty and I’ve spent an additional 11 years practicing my craft.
However, the last year and a half of being a mother – and now with another bun in the oven – has given me a new perspective, has deepened my empathy, and has rounded me out as a healthcare provider. I was empathetic before, but now I can really see and feel how parents experience things, first-hand: a parent’s love for their child is beyond comparison and every parent wants the best for their child.
Creating a Team and Encouraging Communication
As a pediatric dentist, I am most passionate about the opportunities to meet families, to see their family grow, and to tend to their children’s oral healthcare needs. I am attentive to each child’s comfort and wellbeing, and equally attuned to you, their parents. I know that sometimes hearing that your child needs a procedure can be stressful, particularly if your child is younger or if they are just nervous around doctors. It helps to have someone who is “in your shoes” to discuss all options before deciding what treatment route is best for your child.
I am here. I listen, I care, I want to help you help your child and I aim to treat each child like I would if they were a loved one of my own.
As an oral healthcare specialist, I recognize that I help lead the team but it’s common for most to forget that the parents are a big part of the team. I can share what I know and I can share my recommendations but I engage parents to help determine what’s most appropriate for their child. As a parent, I appreciate when I’m part of the conversation and part of the decision-making process. It puts me at ease to know all options and understand what to expect. When I’m informed I’m less anxious, and that lets me do a better job of helping my child feel more comfortable.
When I do my job right, I ensure you are empowered to do the same for your children.
Education, Experience, and Ongoing Studies
A person’s smile is the first thing I notice when meeting someone; naturally, I gravitate to a career that allows me to help create and maintain healthy smiles. I majored in Chemistry during my undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas. I was accepted into the Reserved Admissions Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, where I received my Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS). I completed two terms with the National Health Service Corps in rural Missouri, providing general dental care for the underserved population after graduation.
After 5 years, I made the commitment to return to school to specialize. I matched into my pediatric dental residency, at Temple University Hospital, one of the top pediatric residencies in the country. There, I completed my Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Pediatric Dentistry. I am now a Diplomate of and Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
During my residency in Philadelphia, I was exposed to a high volume of the most challenging cases of children with rampant decay and dental neglect, and children with complex behavioral and developmental challenges. I also received extensive training in oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia, and all areas of behavioral management, habit intervention, and guiding proper growth.
I continue to challenge myself in everyday practice and keep myself sharp through continuing education. As a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, I have access to the latest developments in the specialty.
In addition to keeping up with the literature published by the AAPD and ABPD, I take courses to keep up with the current trends and newest approaches to dental care for children.
Modern dentistry has come a long way. Advances in modern dentistry give me the ability to offer more treatment options and tailor care to each individual child’s specific needs. The answers are not always black and white, and what works for one child may not be appropriate for another.
Outside the Office
I was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas, and now live in Frisco with my family. Elias, my husband, is also a board-certified pediatric dentist working in the DFW area. Julian, our toddler, and our two five-pound Morkies, Olli and Tumi, keep us busy when we’re home. We’ll be even busier in a few months when our second child is born!
If I’m home, I’m usually found by Julian’s side, doing toddler things like snacking, singing Cocomelon songs, hanging out on a playground, and then putting him down for a nap so I can finally do adult things, like laundry, tidying up, meal prepping. I used to have real adult hobbies, like running (I have run three half-marathons and numerous 5Ks), cooking adult meals, exploring new restaurants, volunteering, and riding the Peloton, but all of that is on hold right now. My whole world is my growing family right now. They are the center of my universe.