With eminent skill, extensive training and a state-of-the-art office, Dr. Susan Vickers of Seaside Smiles has a practice that patients actually want to go to
Dr. Susan Vickers of Seaside Smiles in Salisbury is something of an anomaly. She has the uncommon distinction of being dual-trained and accredited in two different dental disciplines: pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. This means, as is often the case, that her patients can come to her as young as one year old — as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry — and remain in her exclusive care all the way until age 21, representing an ideal in the continuity of patient care.
“I knew I wanted to do this with my life back in 9th grade, when I’d had the opportunity to see how rewarding and how much fun it could be to work with kids every day,” said Dr. Vickers, a Stephen Decatur High School graduate who picked up her undergrad degree as a Maryland Terrapin before earning her honor’s degree in dentistry from Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She then headed to Dallas, where she completed a two-year residency at Baylor College of Dentistry and received her certification in pediatric dentistry. From there it was on to the University of Louisville, where she received her Master of Science degree and became certified in orthodontics after a two-year residency program.
Somewhat predictably, Dr. Vickers made a B-line for her Eastern Shore roots when the time came to open her own practice, which she did in 2006. That practice, Seaside Smiles, has had a positive community impact and been a resounding success from basically its inception.
Upon entering the modern facility off Deer Pointe Drive, the vibe can be fairly described as sophisticated beachy fun. The open, airy space is adorned with bright pastels, murals, multiple surfboards and a fish tank. The pleasant and friendly staff of 15 includes three Registered Dental Hygienists, each with her own operatory equipped with a flat-screen TV for the patient’s comfort and convenience. There is also a separate operatory for pediatric dental restoration, discreetly tucked away in a corner of the facility, for optimal privacy.
The overall floor plan is designed with efficient patient flow in mind, as expressed by the office’s six-chair “ortho bay,” where up to a half-dozen patients, set in a kind of theater-in-the-round format, can be attended to simultaneously. The ortho bay also features a two- station gaming center, where kids can pleasantly kill some time on PlayStation or Xbox.
Seaside Smiles has made sure it is fully equipped to provide state-of-the-art orthodontic care for all their patients, many of whom are actually the parents of the children they treat. In addition to having their own onsite lab and sterilization facility, they boast a OP200D panoramic x-ray machine and, as of January, the coveted iTero 3-D digital scanner, which replaces with much greater accuracy the goopy alginate molds that had been the standard for decades. Studies show that the high-precision instrument delivers much better results for applications such as Invisalign, which the practice also offers.
“Our goal at Seaside Smiles is to create an atmosphere for kids that establishes a positive relationship with the dentist that will accompany them throughout their lives,” said Dr. Vickers, who is an avid triathlete and 12-handicap golfer. “And the kids really pick up on that; in fact, many of them say they’re actually eager to come for their appointments.”
Seaside Smiles also maintains an office in Berlin.
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