May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Donor Profile: Dr. Danielle Goldstein, Phoenix, Ariz.

November 2013 Volume XLIX Number 6

 Editor's note: This is one in a series of occasional interviews featuring Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children donors.


Dr. Danielle Goldstein was born and raised in Scottsdale, Ariz. Goldstein attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate degree and received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. She completed a two-year pediatric dentistry residency at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. While her husband was finishing his residency in New York, Goldstein was an associate clinical professor in the pediatric dentistry department at NYU College of Dentistry.


Goldstein is married to a fellow Wolverine and fellow dentist, Dr. Tal Masserman. They met at the University of Michigan and moved to LA together for dental school. He took a different path and went onto receive his training in orthodontics. They work together in a group practice in Scottsdale, Ariz. Affiliated Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. If they are not working, you can find them traveling or exploring the outdoors.


Goldstein shared some of her views on pediatric dentistry and why supporting charitable causes are important to her.


Q: What was the defining moment in which you knew you wanted to become a pediatric dentist?  
A: I always knew I wanted a career working with children. Throughout my childhood, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible mentors in the dental field, including my father and my childhood pediatric dentist. I saw first-hand how dentists have the ability to build meaningful relationships with their patients and leave a positive impact on the community. These aspects inspired me to explore a career in dentistry, which I quickly fell in love with. My experiences with underserved children throughout dental school further solidified my desire to become a pediatric dentist. 

Q: Has anything surprised you about pediatric dentistry?

A: The wonderful thing about pediatric dentistry is that I am surprised every day. It is amazing how brave and comfortable young children can be in new situations. Kids' spontaneity keeps the days exciting and entertaining, as you never know what may come out of their mouths.


Q: What do you feel are the biggest barriers to children seeing a pediatric dentist?

A: Access to care is an on-going barrier to a child's ability to visit the pediatric dentist. I experienced this first hand while volunteering at University of Southern California's monthly Mobile Dental Clinics in rural areas of central California. Another obstacle we face is the caretaker's lack of awareness that a child's dental home should be established by 12 months of age. Prevention and education should be the primary focus of our field and can only be effective if the child is seen at an appropriate age.

Q: From your perspective, how is pediatric dentistry making an impact on the underserved?

A: Every pediatric dentist has the ability to act as an advocate for the health and well-being of each child they encounter in the office. However, there are a number of children who do not have access to a pediatric dentist. Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children is one of the organizations that remind us of our obligation to provide each and every child with the opportunity to thrive through good oral health. Therefore, supporting activities that occur once a year is wonderful, but a more sustained presence is needed. I am very proud of the fact that a majority of pediatric dentists donate their time and finances to local community health centers, mobile dental clinics, and organizations like Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children to fill the void for those children in underserved communities.


Q: Why do you support Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children?

A: Establishing a dental home is a critical factor in the prevention of dental caries. The earlier the patients and parents become educated about proper oral hygiene and diet modifications, the more effective the preventive regimen will be. Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children is a wonderful organization that I am proud to support. This foundation provides a meaningful and long-term impact on the communities they work with and allows children to have a place to call their Dental Home.


Q: Please describe a notable favorite pediatric dentist moment.

A:  My young career in pediatric dentistry is filled with many favorite moments. Some of my most meaningful experiences occurred while working with patients during residency at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. It was extremely fulfilling to be a contributing member of the patients medical team, providing oral health care to medically compromised and special needs patients. The warmth, gratitude, and genuine smile from each patient I worked with in these hospitals are a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be a pediatric dentist.