Dr. Michael Browning grew up in Winfield, Kansas, where he graduated from Winfield High School. He attended Kansas State and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. While at Kansas State, Dr. Browning started the KSU pre-dental club. He was its president for two years before graduating.
Then, Dr. Browning attended dental school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in Lincoln, Nebraska. Between his third and fourth years of dental school, he married Sarah, a dental school classmate. In 2005, both graduated from Nebraska with Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degrees.
Dr. Michael has always enjoyed working with children, which naturally led him into the field of pediatric dentistry. Immediately after completing dental school, Dr. Browning was accepted into the two-year pediatric dental residency at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. This residency is partnered with two Dallas hospitals: Children’s Medical Center and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. In addition to his training at the dental school and in community dental clinics, he gained valuable experience at these hospitals, which are both recognized nationally for their children’s medical care. He graduated in the summer of 2007, receiving his certificate in pediatric dentistry. Then, he and Dr. Sarah moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to work in private practice.
While in private practice, Dr. Michael undertook the board certification process with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He successfully completed the two-part board certification process in March of 2008, at which point he became a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Browning received national recognition from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry as a recipient of the Pugh Award. This is an annual award given to candidates who scored in the top 3 percent on the written qualifying examination. Additionally, Dr. Browning has been recognized as an active member with fellow status within the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
Both doctors, Michael and Sarah, are Kansas natives. Naturally, they were drawn back to Kansas when Dr. Michael decided it was time to open his own office. After moving back to Kansas Dr. Browning worked with the Douglas County Dental Clinic’s pediatric patients while he waited for the construction to be completed on Sunflower Smiles.
They have also been blessed with two wonderful children Carina and Miles. Other than spending time with his family, his interests include photography, traveling, archery, hunting, scuba diving, backpacking, and camping. Doctors Michael and Sarah have also enjoyed volunteering their dental skills. They have volunteered at nine of the Kansas Mission of Mercy’s (KMOM) dental projects. Most recently volunteering with the Sunflower Smiles staff at the KMOM in Kansas City, KS. The couple has also volunteered with five international dental missions: twice in Honduras, once in Guatemala, and twice in the Dominican Republic.
Dr. Laura Vaughn is originally from Grand Island, NY (near Niagara Falls), but after living in many different cities across the country, she and her husband Matt have made Topeka their home. Dr. Vaughn earned her BA in Biology and History from the University of Rochester in 2002 and her DDS from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland (magna cum laude) in 2007. She completed a one-year general practice residency at Illinois Masonic Dental Center in Chicago in 2008, where she then practiced general dentistry for four years working with both adults and kids. The opportunity to work with both populations helped shape her decision to specialize in pediatrics, because she realized that children make the BEST dental patients! Dr. Vaughn earned her pediatric certificate in 2013 from Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver—a fully accredited two-year, hospital-based program known for its comprehensive care. Dr. Vaughn is board certified and is currently an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
Many people have a fear of going to the dentist. Dr. Vaughn wants to do everything she can to make sure your child enjoys visiting the dentist. She aims to use her expertise and her own personal experiences to educate parents and help children make the most of their oral healthcare. Dr. Vaughn is a firm believer that promoting good oral health at an early age is incredibly important; it reduces serious complications both now and as a child grows. Regular visits allow for the assessment of the development of young children and address issues (if there are any) as they arise. Our staff gets to know your family and it helps increase everyone’s comfort of coming into the office. It’s fun to see the excitement so many of our patients have!
Working at Sunflower Smiles, Dr. Vaughn is able to provide a trusting, safe environment that fosters positive attitudes towards dental health. She joined Sunflower Smiles in late 2015 after many great discussions with Dr. Browning and learning about what he is doing for the Topeka community. She loves the practice philosophy and style and the great work Dr. Browning does. She values continuing that tradition and providing you and your child the best care possible.
The Vaughns have two children, Nolan and Callie, who are alternatively making them laugh out loud and pull their hair out. They are often out and about in the Topeka area, hanging out at the zoo or the library. While not with her family or at the office, her interests include music, traveling, swimming, and (sometimes) cooking. She can be found at community service events, using her skills to participate in KMOM and mission trips. But mostly, Dr. Vaughn enjoys staying active and promoting whatever it takes to get kids to smile.
Tammy is the Clinical Coordinator and has been with our team since we opened in May 2009. She brought five years of prior assisting experience as well as four years of laboratory experience, including a degree in dental laboratory technology. When Tammy is away from work she stays plenty busy with her daughters Rhys and Marley and husband Ryder. Tammy also enjoys gardening and photography in her free time.
Amy joined our team as a dental hygienist in July 2013. She grew up on a farm and there fell in love with animals of all sorts. You can typically find her spending her free time outdoors with her four furry children. She also loves Jayhawk basketball and restoring/remodeling anything she can get her hands on!
Keri is our Scheduling Coordinator at Sunflower Smiles. She brought with her 15 years of previous administrative experience. In her spare time Keri enjoys spending time with her husband Randy and their three children. They love to travel, hike and spend time outdoors.
Janae joined our team in 2014 as a dental hygienist. She grew up in Emporia where she attended Flint Hills Technical College and received her dental hygiene degree. She loves to shop and watch the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas City Chiefs! Janae also loves spending time with her family and friends.
Shawna is a dental assistant for Sunflower Smiles. She grew up in Topeka, KS and joined our team in September 2015. In her free time, Shawna loves to spend time with her husband and their two boys, Jaxon and Braden. She also enjoys reading and playing softball.
Kadie is a dental assistant for Sunflower Smiles. From an early age, she always wanted to be in the dental field. Kadie joined our team in August 2015. She is also a recent transplant from Kansas City, where she met and married her husband, Darrell. They have two children, Bryant and Myla.
Jill is a receptionist for Sunflower Smiles. She loves spending time with her husband, family, friends, and of course her 2 dogs. Jill also enjoys Kansas Jayhawk Basketball, Kansas City Royals, exercising, and decorating her home.
Tasha joined our team as a dental assistant in October 2015. She grew up in Valley Falls, KS, where she is currently raising her son, Zac. She enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her son, family, and friends.