Meet The Team at Shelby Pediatric Dentistry
Richard Baxter DMD, MS
Dr. Baxter finds great satisfaction in working with children and helping them have a positive dental experience. He attended Vanderbilt University for his
undergraduate studies where he met his wife, Tara. He graduated magna cum laude, studying human and organizational development with a focus on health and human services, as well as pre-dentistry. He finished a semester early and spent that time as an inner-city school teacher in Nashville.
Dr. Baxter then attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry where he graduated at the top of his class and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society. After he decided to pursue a specialty certification in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Baxter and his wife chose to move to Columbus, OH so that he could attend the residency program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one of the nation’s top-ranked pediatric hospitals and busiest pediatric dentistry clinics. During his residency, he worked alongside the program’s world-renowned faculty and received extensive training in preventive and restorative care, dental emergencies and trauma, orthodontics, dental sedation and general anesthesia, and care for children with special needs. Dr. Baxter is a Board Certified pediatric dentist and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Alabama Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.
Dr. Baxter enjoys spending time with his wife, who is a nurse practitioner, and their twin girls, Hannah and Noelle. They’re excited to be back in Birmingham. They are members of The Church at Brook Hills and both have a passion for using medical and dental skills for local and international missions. They enjoy spending time with family, running, and outdoor activities.
Dr. Taylor McFarland
Dr. McFarland is passionate about helping children and their families feel valued, loved, and cared for when they visit the dentist. She was born in Austin, Texas, but as the eldest child of an Air Force officer she spent her young life moving every few years. She has lived in Alaska, England, and many places in between. After graduating from high school in Virginia, she decided to add North Carolina to the list of states she called home. She attended Duke University (Go Devils!) where she met her husband, Andrew, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in biology.
Dr. McFarland decided to stay in North Carolina for her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (the weight of this decision will not be lost on college basketball fans). She graduated from UNC with distinction and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society. She then returned to Texas with her husband in order to complete her residency in pediatric dentistry at the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, where she earned both a Master’s of Oral Biology and a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry. Her training encompassed preventive and restorative dentistry, dental emergencies and trauma, growth and development, dental sedation, hospital dentistry under general anesthesia, and care for the special needs child. Dr. McFarland is a Board Certified pediatric dentist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Alabama Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.
Dr. McFarland and her husband moved to Birmingham in June of 2016 for her husband’s job. In May just before the big move they welcomed their precious son, Wes, into the world. They enjoy walking their three dogs together and traveling to visit their extended family in Texas and Virginia. In her spare time, Dr. McFarland loves to read, play board games, and try new delicious foods. Dr. McFarland and her husband are getting plugged in to a local church and hope to see you out and about in Birmingham!
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who exclusively treats children. He or she has been trained (beyond dental school) to communicate with, educate, and treat children of all ages. Pediatric dentists are also well-trained and prepared to work with children with special needs and/or behavioral concerns. Board certification is an extra step involving a written board exam and oral board exam.
Children are not just “little adults.” They require dental care that is uniquely tailored for their personality and their dental needs. Pediatric dentistry is about more than just bright-colored chairs and a fun atmosphere. Dr. Baxter makes sure all of his patients not only enjoy their dental visits, but also feel comfortable and safe. He helps children understand the importance of taking care of their teeth and encourages them to practice good oral hygiene at home.