Pediatric dentistry is a calling. It is a job that pulls at your heart, because we desire to make every child healthier, happier, and excited about oral care.
It is humbling to be trusted by parents to care for their most valuable gift: their children. In turn, my staff and I are resolved to treat each child as our own. We are kind, patient, gentle, and empathetic; always taking the time needed to make sure the youngster is comfortable and at ease before proceeding with any care.
I chose healthcare, then dentistry and the pediatric dental specialty, because I love helping people. It is a wonderful feeling to remove pain or discomfort, restore smiles, and improve people’s confidence. Even better, I get to provide these services for children and, in doing so, help set them on the path to a healthier and happier life!
Education and Experience
I grew up here in Alabama and attended Xavier University of Louisiana for my bachelor’s degree. Dental school came next, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry, where I obtained my Doctorate of Dental Medicine. Remaining at UAB, I completed a rigorous multi-year pediatric dentistry residency.
In 2010 I opened my practice, Pediatric Smiles, here in Bessemer. Since welcoming my first patient, I have loved every day of my career!
I love the joy a child brings to a room. Their unique and blossoming personalities, their curiosity and genuineness, and their smiles and laughter are among the best things in the world!
It is rewarding to talk with and get to know my patients and their family. I want parents to know that I am here for them, that I want their input, and that I am happy to answer questions and address concerns. Most of all, I want parents to know their son or daughter is safe and I am caring for the child to the best of my ability.
Professional Affiliations and Continuing Education
In addition to being a Diplomate of and board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and adjunct faculty member at the UAB School of Dentistry, I am a member of the:
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- Alabama Pediatric Dental Academy
- Birmingham District Dental Society
Through these organizations I have access to numerous meetings, lectures, seminars, and other avenues to learn from leaders in the specialty. Though as a board-certified pediatric dentist, I am required to meet certain continuing education (CE) standards to maintain certification, I enjoy the learning process. Keeping current on the latest innovations, emerging trends, and new research, techniques, and materials is exciting!
It’s fun to learn new things and then share that knowledge with patients, families, and my staff. Likewise, active CE ensures I am providing patients with the most up-to-date treatment and care: they deserve only the best, and I’m constantly furthering my abilities in order to deliver that!
Beyond the Office
As a wife and a mother, family is my passion and priority. My husband Ronnie Gatrey and I have two boys, Noah and Abraham, who bring so much light and love to our lives. I spend my free time with my family: watching movies, doing art work, and going to Disney.