Pediatric dentistry requires additional training (beyond general dentistry schooling), a passion for helping kids achieve and maintain good oral health, and a patient and approachable temperament. In short, it’s not for everyone.
But, it is a field that Dr. David Moore embraced. His early dental school experiences (the first few weeks, in fact) led him to a mentorship with an associate professor in the pediatric dentistry department of the school. Dr. Bill Vann, Dr. Moore’s mentor, played a big role in helping to introduce him to the field. Through their relationship, Dr. Moore gained department experience by assisting Dr. Vann (and others) on a research project. The project led to four years of hands-on experience for Dr. Moore. He provided treatment for hundreds of children through the schools’ dental research center, as well as through extramural rotations.
Dr. David Moore Finds a Love for Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. Moore discovered a passion for the challenges and rewards offered in pediatric dentistry. “I realized that a pediatric dentist could have a profound effect on a child’s outlook to their world whereas in my perspective, an ‘adult dentist’ was generally focused at providing a service. The net result of my exposure to these children was that I knew I wanted to continue this course of work.”
Dr. Moore pursued a residency at The Ohio State University and Columbus Children’s Hospital, where he worked with Dr. Dennis McTigue. Dr. McTigue, the program director of Pediatric Dentistry at The Ohio State University, College of Dentistry, exposed Dr. Moore to hospital dentistry and children with special health care needs. From there, the path was set. Dr. Moore had found (and made real) his calling to be a pediatric dentist.
Dr. David Moore Passes the Pediatric Dentist Inspiration Torch
Just as Dr. Moore was inspired by a mentor during his dental school days, he is hoping to inspire others, who may also be a good fit for the pediatric field, to enter schooling to do so. In fact, he has worked to be this example with his own children. His eldest daughter, Kayla, is currently a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill and is an aspiring pediatric dentist.
Dr. David Moore Helps Ease Kids’ Fears
Beyond showing his children the joy this career has brought him, Dr. Moore tries to be an example to all of his patients. By helping to ease kids’ anxieties about their visits, he is helping children to build and maintain a healthy relationship with their pediatric dentist. Some of his “tricks” to help accomplish this goal include a Tell, Show, Do method.
To help create a positive experience for first-time patients, Dr. Moore takes the time to explain what he will do. He then shows the tools and processes to the patient so they can associate what they’re seeing with what he told them. Finally, he does what he talked about and uses the tools he showed the patient. This method has proven to work with most newcomers and allows children the time they need to process new ideas and places.
Of course, Dr. Moore also uses distractions to help place children at ease. Movies play above the dental chairs, and we play the sound through headphones to distract from the other noises of the tools in the exam room.
Though, as a child, Dr. Moore originally thought he would enter the legal field, his true home is in the world of pediatric dentistry. Showing children the way to happy and healthy smiles, while inspiring and educating others, is his life’s work.