Matt Tillman

  • Murrells Inlet, South Carolina



Name of Practice:

Seaside Pediatric Dental Associates


Pediatric dentistry


DDS, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Why He Was Nominated:

Dr. Tillman says being a pediatric dentist is more than just dental work—it requires teaching parents and kids preventative oral health and how to feel comfortable going to see the dentist. To help build his patients’ trust in him, Dr. Tillman goes beyond just treating teeth—he coaches Little League baseball and soccer in his South Carolina community.

Why He Became a Dentist:

A third-generation dentist, Dr. Tillman knew that dentistry allowed one to build “relationships within the community while also providing a comfortable life. I’m a task-oriented person and enjoy working with others, and dentistry provided that opportunity.”

Tool He Can’t Live Without:

The DryShield isolation system. “We call it the ‘mermaid tail’ or ‘dolphin tail’ for the kids. It helps with visibility, keeping the mouth comfortably open, suction, keeping a dry working environment and avoiding unpleasant tastes. Most kids tolerate this well.” Also, Fender wedges for Class II composites, sodium bicarbonate buffer for local anesthetic and SonicFill composite.

Biggest Challenge:

“How young I look. I get asked daily by parents how old I am, or if I’m old enough to be doing this—although now with a mask on the entire time, it happens less frequently. When I first started practicing in 2011, it made me question the patient’s trust and confidence in me as a provider, but I’ve learned to laugh it off and take it as a compliment.”

Something People Don’t Know:

 “Aviation fascinates me. Before having kids, I was very into flying and was close to getting my pilot’s license.” He put off that dream when his daughter was born in 2013 but hopes to pick it back up eventually.


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