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New faces and new roles in paediatric dentistry
Left to right: Drs. Shannon Fitzpatrick, Heather Dyment, Evan Shaw, Tracy Doyle, and Jennifer MacLellan
The members of paediatric dentistry team are a well-kept secret. They teach in the Dalhousie Faculty of Dentistry and supervise students at a weekly paediatric clinic there, but they spend the majority of their time tucked away in a brightly-coloured, toy-filled clinic in the IWK Health Centre. This is where they see most of their patients and carry out surgeries.
After long-standing chief of the Dentistry Department Dr. Ross Anderson retired, Dr. Heather Dyment stepped into the role on an interim basis before being appointed chief for a five-year term in July 2018.
“Being able to work at the IWK and the Dalhousie Faculty of Dentistry is a dream come true for me,” says Dr. Dyment. “I feel happy to work with a fabulous team of co-workers. We are fortunate to give students a glimpse into life as a hospital-based paediatric dentist and it is exciting to see them exploring a different type of life as a dentist.”
Since Dr. Dyment’s appointment, there have been a few role changes, so it’s a good time to introduce the team and the work they do.
The paediatric team
Dr. Heather Dyment has been a paediatric dentist at the IWK since October 2001. She completed her dental degree (1993) and diploma in paediatric dentistry (1998) at the University of Toronto and her internship at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1994. Dr. Dyment is head of Division of Paediatric Dentistry and an assistant professor in paediatric dentistry at Dalhousie University. In addition to her teaching and clinic duties, she is an examiner with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (of which she is a fellow), past-president of the Society of Dental Specialists of Nova Scotia, and past-president of the Oral Health Section of the Canadian Pediatrics Society.
Dr. Tracy Doyle received her DDS at Dalhousie in 2004 and continued her studies with a dental residency program at Toronto’s SickKids and a MSc in paediatric dentistry at the University of Toronto. In 2008, she returned to Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry and the IWK Health Centre as a staff paediatric dentist and educator. In September 2018, she was appointed the director of the Dalhousie paediatric dentistry undergraduate curriculum and the associate chief of dentistry at the IWK Health Centre. On April 12, 2019, the CDA presented Dr. Doyle with its Oral Health Promotion Award in recognition of her work in this area.
In addition to teaching, conducting research, supervising student research projects, she serves as an examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (of which she is a fellow). Dr. Doyle is the faculty advisor for the annual Sharing Smiles Day event, which brings together individuals with intellectual disabilities with dentistry and dental hygiene students to foster understanding. She was the clinical director for the Special Smiles station at the 2018 national Special Olympics in Antigonish and continues to support the Nova Scotia Special Olympics at its winter and summer events. On April 12, 2019, the CDA presented Dr. Doyle with its Oral Health Promotion Award in recognition of her work with Special Olympics.
Dr. Jennifer MacLellan received her DDS degree from Dalhousie University in 1994 and practised general dentistry in Truro for eight years prior to completing her MSc and certificate in the specialty of pediatric dentistry at the University of Michigan. Since 2005, she has been a staff paediatric dentist at the IWK Health Centre and associate professor at Dalhousie University. Dr. MacLellan is an NSDA Governing Council member, vice-president of the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, and she serves on the NDEB and American Board of Pediatric Dentistry written examination committees.
Dr. Shannon Fitzpatrick completed her dental degree at Dalhousie University in 2000, practised in Ottawa for three years as a general dentist, and then moved to Prince Edward Island to work in Health PEI’s Dental Public Health Children’s program. She completed a two-year residency in paediatric dentistry at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health in Rochester, NY, in 2017. Later that year, she joined the team of paediatric dentists in the Dental Department at the IWK Health Centre. She is also an associate professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie University. Dr. Fitzpatrick is a fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Evan Shaw received his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 2009 and a certificate of advanced graduate study in paediatric dentistry from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine/Children’s Hospital Boston in 2011. In 2017, he moved to Halifax to join the IWK/Dalhousie team. He is now an associate professor in paediatric dentistry at the Faculty of Dentistry and was appointed director of the paediatric dentistry general practice residency program in September 2018.
Dr. Shaw has carried out research into the dental findings of children with Down syndrome. Prior to moving to Halifax, Dr. Shaw worked as a full-time associate paediatric dentist in a group private practice setting. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
The Faculty of Dentistry paediatric clinic takes place on Tuesday mornings, 9:00-12:00. To make an appointment for your child, please call 902.494.2101. A dentist or physician needs to refer patients to be seen at the IWK paediatric dental clinic.
Drs. Jennifer MacLellan and Tracy Doyle at work in the Dalhousie dentistry clinic.
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