Credentials, experience, and associations are extremely important aspects to look for in a pediatric dentist. What makes one stand out from the other? WHO they are. Our Doctor Spotlight series allows our tiny patients and their parents to get a glimpse into the doctors’ lives. Come get to know us!
Dr. Moore is our wonderful leader and the owner of Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry. For over 25 years, he has passionately promoted healthy lifestyles of children and their families while partnering with the community for pediatric smiles. He believes in providing optimum dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special healthcare needs. Committed to giving back, Dr. Moore established the Moore Family Fund to support pediatric dentists in training.
Why did you decide to focus on pediatric dentistry rather than general dentistry?
Within the first 2 weeks of dental school, I used to go on runs with Dr. Bill Vann and his group. At the time, Bill was an associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Outside of this active relationship, he invited me to assist him and others on a research project involving a new dental material for children, and I accepted the offer.
Over the next 4 years, I was able to treat hundreds of children in the school’s research center and through extramural rotations at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. I fell in love with the challenges and the results. I realized that a pediatric dentist could have a profound effect on a child’s outlook of their world, whereas in my perspective, an “adult dentist” was generally focused on providing a service.
The net result of my exposure to these children was that I knew I wanted to continue this course of work. With the continued support and guidance from Dr. Vann and others at the UNC School of Dentistry, I pursued a residency in pediatric dentistry at The Ohio State University and Columbus Children’s Hospital to work with Dr. Dennis McTigue. The rest, as they say, is history!
Do you have kids?
Yes, five! I’m so grateful to have a wonderful partner, my wife Michelle, in the parenting gig.
Kayla is 21, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, and majoring in Biology. To our excitement, she was recently accepted to dental school, and at this time, she plans to become a pediatric dentist. Perhaps in 7 years, she’ll be a social media feature for the practice too! Kayla developed a love of running this past year and competes in local and regional running races.
Kenzie is 19 and a freshman at the University of South Carolina, where she is part of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and is majoring in molecular biology. Kenzie uses her natural artistic talents in the office by occasionally dressing as the Tooth Fairy and painting fun faces for the kids!
Ryan Alexa is a junior at Cherry Creek HS in Denver. She is active in her school in various clubs and sports. Ryan moved to Colorado with her mother when she was one and has been skiing since she was 3. We’re all very interested in her college choices and hope to see her closer to Charlotte!
Caroline is a sophomore at Myers Park High School in Charlotte and recently signed to a national contract with Next Modeling Agency. She’s currently featured on Kohl’s website for Juniors Sleepwear!
Michael is our only son and is an 8th grader at Alexander Graham Middle School. His interests gravitate to drama and computer games. He also plans to participate in spring track again for his school. Michael has played the role of Super Tooth for various practice functions and has gone head-to-head with such notable mascots as the Gastonia Grizzlies’ “Chisle” and the Chick-Fil-A cow!
What are some of your “tricks” to help ease kids’ fears about their dental visits?
I think the first trick that I was taught continues to be the most effective and that is to Tell, Show, Do. Through it, we are guiding and teaching the child how to experience dentistry in a very supportive environment. Today, we have movies playing on screens above the dental chairs and headphones with the movie’s sound playing in the patient’s ears. This combination serves to distract the children and reduces the sounds that can potentially be frightening to them.
What’s the best part of your day?
When I get to talk with kids who have been in the practice for years or parents who have a long time history with the practice or, as it now becomes more common, I see the children of children that are former patients.
What’s your favorite kid’s show?
We have movies and shows playing in all our offices all the time, BUT my staff never lets me watch any of them! So I really can’t claim a favorite. However, I do have a favorite kid’s holiday show and that’s “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” As you might suspect, it is all because of Herbie, the elf who aspires to be a dentist and is the real hero of the show!
What’s your favorite color?
Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, what’s your favorite sweet?
I really don’t have a sweet tooth. I’m more inclined to salt than sugar but when I do look for something sweet, it is often dark chocolate!
Have you always wanted to be a dentist? If not, what did you want to be as a kid?
Oh no! I really didn’t have such a positive experience as a child that would propel me to see dentistry as a career. Rather, I was certain that I would be an attorney. So much for that certainty!
Do you have a role model or a mentor? Why do you look up to them?
Yes. Dr. Bill Vann at the UNC School of Dentistry was the first pediatric dentist that I really knew, and he introduced me to his world of practice and research. Later, Dr. Dennis McTigue, who was the program director of pediatric dentistry at The Ohio State University, exposed me to hospital dentistry and children with special healthcare needs. These men are great educators and leaders and are equally passionate about our profession.
Over their careers, both served as president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and on countless national advisory committees that determined policies and procedures for our profession. Today, they both are officially retired but continue to offer time to teach young residents at their respective schools.
What is your favorite sports team?
Carolina Panthers! However, I would call it a love/hate relationship over the years because I’ve been unsuccessful at not letting their success, or lack of it, affect my Monday mood!
Finish this sentence: When I was a kid…I would play outside as long as I could and would dream of life outside the neighborhood.