A pediatric dentist is dedicated to the oral and dental health needs of infants, children, teenagers, and special needs patients. In providing dental services for these patients, the pediatric dentist becomes an integral part of the total health of the patient, and will work with pediatricians, other medical and dental specialists to ensure optimal care is given.
Our concern is your child’s total health and establishing a “dental home” early provides our group a means to implement preventive dental practices and assist in the prevention of dental disease, as well as its early detection and treatment.
As important as the technical aspects of dentistry, it is equally important that the child have a good experience in the dental setting. It is our priority that our patients have good experiences at our office. Whether a child, teenager, or an individual with special needs, each child requires a unique approach in providing dental care. As a pediatric dentist, we are trained and prepared to meet these needs.
Diplomate: American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. Paul Herer has been practicing pediatric dentistry for over thirty years in the Lake County area. He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey in 1972 with a BS degree in Biology, followed by a DMD degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry in 1974. His pediatric dental specialty training was completed in 1976 at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a Masters of Science degree from Northwestern University that same year.
Dr. Herer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. His many years involved in teaching, research, and clinical practice lends a vast knowledge to provide excellent dental services for the patient and important dental/oral health information to their parents and caregivers.
Melissa J. Patenio, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Patenio started her dental career as a dental assistant, working in a pediatric dental office for four years. Upon graduation from DePaul University with dean’s list honors, she completed her dental degree at the University of Illinois in 2007. Her love for children led her to a residency in pediatric dentistry, also at the University of Illinois along with a master’s degree in oral sciences, which was completed in 2009. Dr. Patenio is Illinois Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry, a Board Candidate to the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Illinois State Pediatric Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society and the American Dental Association. She has been involved with Colgate Mobile Dental Screenings for children, Give Kids a Smile Day and Healthy Smiles Day.
Betty attended the College of Lake County where she received a CNA certificate. Entering the dental field, she worked as an orthodontic dental assistant and followed by assisting in a general dental practice. She has a certificate in Coronal Polishing and Sealant Placement. She has two grown boys and her love of working with children brought her to join Children's Dentistry Group.
Lauren went to the College of Lake County where she received her associate of arts degree, then transferred to Roosevelt University in Chicago to obtain her bachelor’s degree. Lauren has been a long time patient of Dr. Herer and worked with him as an assistant for three years prior to working at Children’s Dentistry. She is certified as a coronal polisher. Lauren’s love for pediatric dentistry stems from her work with children when she was a swimming instructor and camp counselor.
Taylor currently attends Grayslake North High School. She is on the Poms dance team as well as the honor roll. She greatly enjoys school, especially her science classes, and has a love for the health care field. She aspires to become a doctor. Taylor has been a long-time patient of Dr. Herer. She is excited to begin gaining experience in the medical field. She loves dancing, spending time with family and friends in addition to working with children.
Amy has worked with Dr. Herer for eight years prior to joining him at Children’s Dentistry Group. She has worked in dental office administration for the past ten years, including Rock Valley College’s Dental Hygiene Program. Her education and experience span the healthcare field from emergency medical technician to pediatric dental business office over the past fifteen years. She loves to watch our patients grow into happy, healthy, smiling young adults! Amy and her husband have two beautiful children and have lived in the Lake County area nearly all their lives.
Administrative Assistant and Receptionist
Cheryl has been working in the medical field for over twenty-five years. While living in California, she received her dental and medical assistant certification. Upon moving back to Illinois, she worked at Condell Medical Center Hospital for several years. Cheryl took a leave of absence to become a full-time mom. She then returned to Condell and worked for the Home Health division as the scheduling coordinator. She finds pediatric dentistry rewarding and challenging.