I truly love my profession. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to make a positive difference in a child’s life.
Many children are afraid of the dentist. I feel it is my responsibility to do everything I can to help children not be scared and actually look forward to caring for their oral health. I go home happy if I have had a positive impact on a young patient: whether that was a worry-free first visit, improving a little boy or girl’s self-esteem with a restored smile or a fixed broken tooth, or relieving a throbbing toothache. Each day allows me to change children’s lives and their perceptions of dental care.
I don’t know of many jobs where I can literally act like a kid all day long. I can make animal noises, sing made-up songs, give frequent high-fives, and talk with each youngster on his or her level, using superhero or princess analogies to connect and explain.
I absolutely love when we finish a procedure and the child is full of grins, saying, “I didn’t feel anything!” — that always makes me smile!
Education and Experience
I grew up here in Lakeland. Dr. Harry Bopp was my pediatric dentist and mentor. He had the biggest impact on my decision to become a pediatric dentist and I am honored to follow in his footsteps. He founded our practice in 1976 and I strive every day to show my patients the same expertise and compassion that Dr. Bopp exemplified over his 43 years of practice.
I attended Davidson College for my bachelor’s, and the University of Florida College of Dentistry for my Doctorate of Dental Medicine. I remained at UF College of Dentistry/Shands Hospital for my pediatric dental residency, and have practiced since 2007.
Continuing Education and Professional Affiliations
I feel it is important to stay up to date with current research and treatment modalities, from an academic and clinical perspective. It is crucial that treatment is successful and long-lasting, in order to reduce the number of future procedures.
While I study all aspects of pediatric dentistry, I am most interested in new behavior management techniques, nitrous oxide, and conscious sedation.
I am a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and an active member of the:
- American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry
- Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- American Dental Association
- Florida Dental Association
- West Coast District Dental Association
- Polk County Dental Association
- University of Florida Pedo Gators
Through these organizations, I take a number of in-person and online courses. I also attend local dental gatherings and annual meetings, learning from the leaders in pediatric dentistry.
Beyond the Office
I was born and grew up in Lakeland; I am blessed to have an awesome family with my wife Shea, our son Ward, and our two Goldendoodles, Kona and Dotty. I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy the water, aviation, listening to U2 (my favorite band), and all things Gators.
I am blessed to be a pediatric dentist and to be able to make positive differences in children’s lives by showing enthusiasm for good oral health.
I firmly believe all children should be treated with kindness and compassion, as if they were members of my own family.