Meet Dr. Barbara Merlo

Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Merlo grew up in Calumet City, IL and graduated from Lake Forest College with a B.A. in Biology. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (D.D.S.) from Loyola University School of Dentistry where she earned clinical honors in pediatric dentistry and received the Certificate of Merit from the American Society of Dentistry for Children for demonstrated excellence in pediatric dentistry. She completed her residency in pediatric dentistry at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now known as Lurie Children’s Hospital) in Chicago, where she served as Chief Dental Resident and concurrently, earned a Master of Science (M.S.) in Pediatric Dentistry from Northwestern University.

During her residency and post-graduate studies, she received the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Graduate Student Research Award for her master’s thesis. Dr. Merlo had served as an attending dentist at Children’s Memorial Hospital, as well as an assistant professor of pediatric dentistry at Loyola University School of Dentistry. Dr. Merlo has extensive dental experience in treating patients with a wide variety of physical, medical, developmental, and emotional conditions, as well as the treatment of dental injuries and traumas.

Dr. Merlo is a board-certified pediatric dentist, a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, Indiana Dental Association, Indiana Society of Pediatric Dentistry, Northwest Indiana Dental Society, and Chicago Dental Society.

Dr. Merlo and her husband Dr. Anthony Hirschenberger, a general dentist in Munster, IN, have two sons and reside in Saint John, IN. Dr. Merlo is an avid sports fan (Go Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks!) and enjoys traveling, golfing, cooking, and reading.

What is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist?

Not all pediatric dentists are certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). The ABPD certifies pediatric dentists based on standards of excellence that lead to high quality oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special healthcare needs.

A pediatric dentist that is board certified has gone through a rigorous examination process with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Certification by the ABPD provides assurance to the public that a pediatric dentist has successfully completed accredited training and a voluntary two-part examination process designed to continually validate the knowledge, skills, and experience requisite to the delivery of quality patient care.

Through this accomplishment, a pediatric dentist has earned the title of Diplomate of the American Board Pediatric Dentistry. A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry is a pediatric dentist whose credentials have been verified, who has successfully completed voluntary examinations, and who demonstrates specialized knowledge and skill. A Diplomate is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care through a voluntary commitment to lifelong learning.