Dr. Tara Cash is a dreamer. Through hard work and dedication, Cash is the only female orthodontist in the Springfield area and one of very few father-daughter orthodontic teams in the nation.
“Any dream is possible,” she says.
Cash is particularly proud of her work with newborn babies with cleft lip and palate, some of whom as young as seven days old. As a cleft lip and palate specialist, she is one of only two or three in the state trained in nasovascular molding for infants.
Cash uses a specialized device to encourage tissue growth and reduce the number of surgeries required during a child’s life. “It’s tremendously rewarding to know the work we do with those newborns will affect them now, two weeks from now, two months from now and 20 years from now,” she says.
Cash has seen four cleft lip and palate babies and their families during the past year, with patients often traveling from Kansas City once a week for several months.
Working with her father since 2011, Cash says she also believes in the importance of family businesses.
“My father and I have always agreed that designing smiles is a fabulous job. While we might not always agree on everything, we definitely agree on the end goals,” Cash says.
She counts the move of the family practice from its long-time location to a new facility among her many accomplishments. “After more than 30 years in our former location, my father and I decided to relocate our practice into a more efficient facility for our patients. As the practice’s leader, I was actively involved in the entire process and design. We recently moved our team into our new space on Dec. 3,” she says.
Cash serves on several local professional boards, including the Greater Springfield Dental Foundation, Ronald McDonald Tooth Truck, Springfield Dental Society and the organizing core of a local chapter of American Association of Women Dentists.
During Children’s Dental Health Month, Cash organized local dental professionals to conduct free screenings within 37 Springfield schools during a two-month period.
Mentoring young dental professionals is important to Cash, and she has not forgotten what it was like to be a new practicing professional.
“I want to be approachable and a resource to young dental professionals,” Cash says. “My father and I give presentations at Ozarks Technical Community College and regularly host students from several local dental programs to shadow through our office working with our team and patients.”
In addition, she is actively involved outside her profession in Kingsway United Methodist Church, Crosslines, Harmony House and Angel Tree.[[In-content Ad]]