We figure that working together as a convivial, professional team for ten to 25 years is quite an accomplishment, particularly in this day and age. We’ve shared the pleasure of really getting to know our dental patients well over the years and of watching their children grow into adults and become our patients on their own. Whether you’re an old friend or new in town, you can be sure that when you come to our office you’ll be warmly welcomed by our staff, including:
Carol Gowder, Office Manager and Financial Coordinator
Carol has more than 25 years of dental office experience with Dr. Sylvan. She is a charter member of the Atlanta Dental Office Managers Association (DOMA) and is very knowledgeable about treatment options, insurance benefits and payment plans. She is always willing to work out financial options that meet patients’ needs and happy to answer their questions. Carol is a dog lover who puts in hours of supportive work at dog shows. She also makes the best Texas chili in Atlanta.
Julie Shackelford, Patient Coordinator
Julie got to know Dr. Sylvan when her mother was his patient. After working in a medical office, Julie joined our practice part time in 1995. Her many years of experience in both medical and dental offices equip her to work closely and professionally with patients in scheduling appointments, checking insurance benefits and handling record transfers. In her spare time, she loves traveling with her family and friends.
Dana McCollum, Dental Assistant
Dana has been a part of our office for more than 12 years and has more than 20 years of experience. She graduated from the Medix School, where she won the President’s Award for excellence and she’s been excellent ever since. Dana earned her expanded duty certification, takes frequent continuing education courses to stay on top of advances and loves her work. She lives with her extended family, a dog, a cat and a bearded dragon. She also loves traveling, going to the beach, riding motorcycles, making jewelry and exploring new cuisines. Dana is a member of the Georgia Forensic Dental Association.
Laurel Blackinton, Hygienist
Laurel began working in Dr. Sylvan’s practice in 1987, so she’s another long-time veteran. A graduate of Columbus College, she holds an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene and a Bachelor’s in Health Education. She is an active member in many dental hygiene professional organizations and a select member of Sigma Phi Alpha, a national honor society. In January 2005, she joined the faculty at Georgia Perimeter College as a part-time, adjunct clinical instructor – right in line with her dedication to educating our patients about their oral health. Laurel is also devoted to her family, including her three children and three grandchildren.
Debbie Hamilton, Hygienist
Debbie joined Dr. Sylvan’s office in 1989, and has worked in dentistry since 1975. Debbie puts a particular focus not just on being a great hygienist but also on educating her patients about good oral hygiene. She received her hygiene degree from Macon State and holds biology and chemistry degrees from KSU. An animal lover, she volunteers at Zoo Atlanta and also spends her spare time fishing, camping and traveling.
Mishon Kilpatrick, Hygienist
Mishon is from Ft. Wayne, IN and has been living in Atlanta since 1987. She received her Dental Hygiene Degree from Indiana University and has been practicing since 1989. She enjoys many aspects of dental hygiene including: patient education, restorative dental health and getting to know her patients. She has been working part time with Dr. Sylvan and his team over the past 20 years. She enjoys the camaraderie of the team and Dr. Sylvan’s approach to patient care. She lives in East Cobb with her husband and two teenage children. Besides managing a very busy household, she finds time for her hobbies, which include running, working out and restoring furniture.
Tai Johnston, Dental Assistant
Tai is the first new member of our team in 11 years. When Dr. Stephen Sylvan called us from New York and said he worked with an excellent assistant who was moving to Atlanta, well – our gain. Tai has an associates degree from Hostos Community College in New York and has 18 years of dental experience. She enjoys dinner and movies with her family and is getting adjusted to Atlanta life.