Matthew Dahar

  • Simpsonville, South Carolina



Name of Practice:

Smile Place — A Pediatric Dentist


Pediatric dentistry


DMD, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health; pediatric dental residency, Medical University of South Carolina

Why He Was Nominated:

This year, Dr. Dahar opened a pediatric practice alongside Dr. Leanna Shetler, but the business partnership was decades in the works: The duo’s fathers played football together at the University of Pittsburgh and were later together in their orthodontic residencies. Dr. Dahar, who lost his mother to cancer while he was a freshman in college, has dedicated his life’s work in her honor and spearheaded a partnership between Smile Place and Clement’s Kindness, a local pediatric-cancer organization.

Why He Became a Dentist:

“My father was a big inspiration, but I found my niche in pediatric dentistry through my mentor in dental school, Dr. Joseph Creech. He’s the director of pediatric dentistry at ASDOH, and the Michael Jordan of pediatric dentistry. He has all the tools you need to be the best: a kind heart, exceptional clinical skills, patience and a calming, fun presence. I am eternally thankful for all his guidance along the way and strive to make an impact in my community the same way he was able to.”

Something People Don’t Know:

“During my senior year of undergrad, I was able to travel the world via a Semester at Sea. During that trip, our ship hit a bad storm. A 60-foot-wave took out the captain’s deck window, and all power was lost. We were told that had another wave like that hit, we would have capsized. I took that as a sign that you need to live each day to the fullest.”


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