Keri Miller, DMD
On Being a Pediatric Dentist
The COVID-19 pandemic has made me realize now, more than ever, how much this profession means to me.
I have always enjoyed the clinical, technical aspect of dental practice and pride myself on being able to deliver excellent dental treatment. Eliminating disease and pain, bringing beauty and function to where there was once decay – these are wonderful callings.
But the real treasure of pediatric dentistry, for me, comes from the lives my staff and I touch:
It’s the smiles we receive when we tell a corny tooth joke.
It’s the high-fives we get after easily wiggling out a tooth on a nervous patient.
It’s a teen’s sigh of relief after rebuilding a tooth fractured by a baseball.
It’s the hug from a toddler who had their first cleaning with the tickle toothbrush.
It’s the tears of relief shed from the mother of a special needs child, who we were able to provide with minimally-invasive treatment in our office rather than in a hospital setting.
We try to make dentistry fun and educational, but these lives – these interactions and these moments – make our days worthwhile.
Working with kids is simply the best!
We get to be silly and have fun all day long.
We tell jokes.
We listen to stories they tell about their school day or their home or their donkey named Applesauce.
We get to help choose fun prizes after a job well done in the dental chair.
We get to hold their hand when they are nervous and give high-fives and hoorays at the end.
And, my favorite of all: We get to see these kids grow from toy-toting toddlers to bright young men and women with healthy smiles and aspirations for the future!
Education and Experience
- Bachelor of Science, Troy State University (now Troy University)
- Doctorate of Dental Medicine, University of Alabama School of Dentistry
- Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry, University of Alabama School of Dentistry/Children’s Hospital of Alabama
- Sparks Fellowship in the Treatment of the Special Needs Child, University of Alabama Birmingham
I have been in private practice since 2002 and in this practice since 2008. I had braces as a kid; the experience fascinated me and sparked an interest in dentistry. Then my summers, during college, were spent working for an orthodontist.
It was during dental school I realized that while orthodontics was amazing, I had a love and gift for pediatric dentistry. I love seeing children grow up and I love the artistry of making damaged teeth – from decay or trauma – whole again. Most of all, I love treating all ages of children, from tots to teens, and being a small point of light and encouragement for them. My hope is that as they grow to adults, my patients have a positive attitude toward dentistry which leads to a lifetime of good oral health.
Continuing Education and Professional Memberships
I am very active in and attend various conferences of the:
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentists
- American Dental Association
- Alabama Dental Association
- Ninth District Dental Society
These organizations offer numerous courses that keep me at the forefront of advancements in pediatric dentistry. I am always looking at treatment options that will make my patients healthier and that are simpler and less invasive. I also look for new ways to provide high-quality care at a reasonable cost to our families.
In addition to regular continuing education, I volunteer at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry. I participate in their annual Ethics conference and have spoken, several times, to residents in the school’s Pediatric Dentistry program.
Beyond the Practice
I’m from Montgomery and have lived with my family in Auburn since 2008. My husband Brent and I have been married since 1995. We have two children: Brooks is in college and Mary Helen is in high school. We also have two Yorkie-poos, Allie and Sophie. Our family loves to travel, whether we’re on a vacation or traveling in service to others.
Weekends often find me resting at the beach, where I’m reading and watching the waves, or at home in the kitchen, undertaking a baking project.
A Bit More
I am a woman of faith in Jesus Christ. All of my life passions cascade from my hope and faith in Christ.
That said, dentistry is a relatively rare skill. Not many people know how to treat dental disease, yet oral pain and disease is a worldwide problem. I feel strongly that, because I have been gifted these abilities, I should use them to help others.
I absolutely love going internationally and helping people with little or no access to dental care. It has been a huge joy to serve children and many adults across the globe, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, and India. I feel the blessing is mine.
I also feel strongly about supporting children and families. I am a supporter of local organizations that work toward those goals, including foster care, special needs organizations, and organizations that help enable women to keep their babies and thrive.