Hartselle Family Dentistry owners from left, Maggie McKelvey and Ashley Holladay. |Lauren Thornton Tobin

Hartselle women drilling into oral healthcare

By Lauren Thornton Tobin

On Halloween day, children and parents alike were busy dressing up and hoping for a bowl full of sweet treats. Meanwhile, Hartselle dentists Maggie McKelvey and Ashley Holladay were busy opening Hartselle Family Dentistry and hoping to fight the good fight for oral healthcare.

McKelvey said the town’s first women owned and operated dentists’ office differs from others because of the providers’ experience with children.

“Both of us have experience with children and half our practice is devoted to kids,” she said, adding that she and Holladay wanted to make the office more kid friendly by adding features like TVs on the ceiling. “We let parents come back and we don’t hold the kids down. It’s very much of an open environment here. We want parents and kids to be comfortable and see there’s nothing to be scared about.”

The dentists have 12 years of experience combined and one of their main goals is to provide a caring environment for children in which they feel welcome. The two dentists are striving to make sure that families always feel welcome when they come through the doors at Hartselle Family Denistry.

McKelvey, a Hartselle native and Holladay, a Danville native, worked together in a Decatur clinic before deciding to open their own.

“Both of us, at the same time, decided we wanted to start our own practice,” McKelvey said. “I don’t think anyone goes into dentistry wanting to work for someone else their whole lives, and being a female and having a family, you want to be able to schedule your own hours and be on your own time.”

While oral healthcare may seem out of reach for those who may not have dental insurance or a lump sum of money to pay up front, that’s not the case at Hartselle Family Dentistry.

Child patients with Medicaid are covered and adults can set up payment plans for services.

“We will work with adults, especially if their children come here,” McKelvey said, further explaining that her and Holladay’s goal is to treat the entire family.

McKelvey graduated from Hartselle High School in 2002 and then from the University of Alabama in 2006. She went to the University of Alabama-Birmingham for dental school and graduated in 2010. She still lives in Hartselle with her husband and three sons.

Holladay graduated from Danville High School in 2004. She then graduated from the University of Alabama in 2008 and then from the University of Alabama-Birmingham dental school in 2012.

The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but those hours are subject to expand with the business.

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