My pediatric dentist encouraged me to shadow him and learn about the field of dentistry when I was in college. I started working in his pediatric dental office and loved seeing him interact with children and their families. I knew I wanted to build relationships with people the way he did and care for children into adolescence.
As a pediatric dentist, I specialize in infant oral healthcare and caring for children, adolescents, and adults with special healthcare needs. I enjoy meeting and getting to know each child and their family. I want to learn about each child's goals and challenges in achieving optimal oral healthcare and help them reach those goals.
I also strive to understand and address any anxiety toward oral healthcare so children can learn to receive care with minimal or no anxiety. I hope to impart a positive outlook on oral healthcare.
I work as the pediatric dentist for the craniofacial anomalies team, and I enjoy seeing these children from infancy through adolescence. I am also on the Professional Advisory Board for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, and I enjoy working with these children and families at Cincinnati Children's. I see each child as an individual and evaluate each child's needs based on their unique medical and dental diagnoses. My approach involves a range of options based on each child's needs and consultation with medical colleagues as needed.
My research focuses on behavior-guidance techniques and helping children manage anxiety in the dental clinic. I am investigating Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), which utilizes therapy dogs in the dental clinic. We evaluate to see if this therapy is successful in alleviating anxiety and perceived pain during the dental visit.
I also focus my research on patients with special healthcare needs. We want to understand their oral health conditions and challenges in receiving oral healthcare. Part of the study involves evaluating children with tuberous sclerosis complex and assessing whether oral diagnostic criteria are validated in young children.
Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter and dog. We like to visit national parks and hike regularly. I also love quilting, crocheting and traveling to other countries.
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Dentistry and Orthodontics, Tuberous Sclerosis, Craniofacial Disorders