Elise W. Sarvas, DDS, MSD, MPH

Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences

Elise W. Sarvas

Contact Info

Certificate, University of Washington (Pediatric Dentistry), 2015

DDS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012

MSD, University of Washington (Pediatric Dentistry), 2015

MPH, University of Washington (Health Services), 2015

BS, Duke University (Biology and Biological Anthropology & Anatomy), 2007

Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry


Dr. Elise Watson Sarvas is a clinical associate professor in the Division of Pediatric Dentistry. She currently serves as the pre-doctoral program director and teaches pre-doctoral dental students, dental therapy students, dental hygiene students, and pediatric dental residents at the University of Minnesota. She maintains hospital privileges at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital where she provides pediatric dental and oral health care services to infants, children, and adolescents with complex medical conditions. She also serves as an attending dentist in the operating room, for the pediatric dental consult service, and for the pediatric dental after-hours emergency call.

Dr. Sarvas serves as the Minnesota Public Policy Advocate for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Minnesota Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She is also proud to be on the executive committee for the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, the national organization for all board-certified pediatric dentists. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Section on Oral Health and a pediatric dental advisor to local, national, and international organizations focusing on public health and maternal and child health. Dr. Sarvas is passionate about advocating for social justice reform through a Health-in-All-Policies approach as a means to achieve health equity.

In her spare time, she enjoys podcasts, supervised neglect of her garden, marathons of the TV show variety, and traveling with her husband.


Research Summary/Interests

  • Children with special health care needs
  • The oral-respiratory ecological relationship
  • Pediatric dental materials
  • Dental pedagogy
  • Access to pediatric oral health services
  • Maternal and child health


Stull CL, Freese RL, Sarvas EW. Parent Perceptions of Dental Care Providers' Role in Human Papillomavirus Prevention and Vaccine Advocacy. The Journal of the American Dental Association. August 2020; 151(8):560 – 567. Cover Story.

Stull CL, Sarvas EW. Educating Patients About Human Papillomavirus and the HPV Vaccine. Decisions in Dentistry. May 2020; 6(5):36 – 39.

Stull CL, Sarvas EW. The Role of the Dental Provider in the Prevention of HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancer. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. December 2019; 17(11):30 – 35.

Olake, BA, Scott JM, Sarvas EW, Nelson TM. A Retrospective Study of Dosing Weight and Outcomes for One Pediatric Dental Sedation Regimen. Pediatric Dentistry. 2018:40(5):346 – 51.

Chi DL, Rosenfeld M, Mancl L, Chung WO, Presland RB, Sarvas EW, Rothen M, Alkhateeb A, McNamara S, Genatassio A, Virella-Lowell I, Milla C, Scott JM. Age-Related Heterogeneity in Dental Caries and Associated Risk Factors in Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis Ages 6-20 years: A Pilot Study. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. 2018 Jul 10. pii: S1569-1993(18)30642-8.

Sarvas, EW.The History and Use of Silver Diamine Fluoride in Dentistry: A Review. Journal of the California Dental Association. January 2018; 46(1):19 – 22.

Sarvas EW. Caries Risk Assessment in Children with Special Needs. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June 2017; 15(6):42 – 47.

Sarvas EW.Assessing Caries Risk in Children with Special Needs. Decisions in Dentistry. March 2017; 3(3):48 – 52.

Sarvas EW, Schwantes SA, Karp JM. Preparing the Pediatric Dentist for Palliative and End-of-life Care. Pediatric Dentistry.2016;38(4):295 – 9.

Sarvas EW, Chi DL, Kim AS. Managing Caries Risk in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Decisions in Dentistry. August 2016; 1(08):34 – 36, 39.

Sarvas EW, Huebner CE, Scott JM, Aps JK, Chi DL. Dental utilization for Medicaid-enrolled children with cystic fibrosis. (2016) Special Care in Dentistry. Nov; 36(6):315 – 320.

Sarvas EW, Kim AS, Chi DL. Supporting Oral Health in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. May 2016; 14(5):45 – 48.


Board Certifications

Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry