Being a pediatric dentist is an incredibly fulfilling – professionally and personally – career. We have a unique opportunity to build our offices around our young patients: this means we work in colorful, themed décor, with latest kids’ movies playing and enjoy the pure joy of children’s happiness!
One of the most important roles of a pediatric dentist is establishing good habits and laying the foundation for good dental care as the child matures. With a fun, safe, and kid-friendly atmosphere, our office is able to minimize anxiety and create a trusting bond with children.
Dr. Khani, our team, and I all work hard to connect with children in a positive manner, figuring out what they need to feel safe and at home. We are patient, kind, and very adaptable, approaching each child on their level and always respecting their unique needs.
It is a great feeling to welcome a new child to our office and see them quickly feel at ease in our environment. Being part of the child’s life, and helping them grow up being confident in taking care of their smile’s health, is a joy!
Education and Experience
I studied Biology at UC Irvine and then graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry with my Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1995. While in dental school I volunteered for the USC/UCLA mobile dental clinic, which offered dental care to the children of migrant farm workers; that experience and exposure to the specialized concerns of children, spurred my interest in pediatric dentistry.
I completed a general practice residency at the Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center. I also worked as a general dentist at two non-profit clinics: The Boys and Girls Club of Buena Park Dental Clinic and the Dr. Earl R. Crane Children’s Dental Health Center.
Moving across the country, I next obtained my Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine in Florida.
I chose to work in the oral healthcare field because I wanted to help people understand the importance of good oral hygiene and the connection to overall wellbeing. I specialized in pediatric dentistry as it allows me to offer additional information and tools to assist in creating habits that will benefit each patient’s health and wellbeing now and in the future.
Continuing Education and Professional Affiliations
I make sure I am retaining my knowledge and keeping up-to-date with new developments in dentistry and the pediatric specialty. By participating in continuing education, I explore new horizons in dentistry with the goal of improving and expanding the quality of care I provide.
I am an active member of the:
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- American Dental Association
- California Dental Association
- Tri-County Dental Society
Through these organizations I participate in seminars, lectures, and meetings, locally, regionally, and nationally. Studying the latest research and evaluating new technologies and techniques keeps me ready to provide quality care to each patient I am privileged to welcome to the office.
Beyond the Office
Raised near Chicago, Illinois, I moved to California to study at UC Irvine and found myself at home in the region. I now live in Riverside and love this community, though I also love traveling, especially to Hawaii!
Much of my free time is spent enjoying the company of my two amazing children, Nickolas and Mia. I also treasure being with our office pup, Penny, who is not only hypoallergenic but went to training. She is a great addition to our office team, keeping our patients company and providing reassurance during procedures!
As a pediatric dentist, I want to feel like what I am doing is meaningful, that it helps people and makes a difference in their lives. Compassion is the foundation of a good relationship between a dentist and the patient, which creates a bond making communication effective – and thus, is especially important for young children and those with special needs.
Patients can feel vulnerable and desire to have a connection, which reassures them and then they feel safe.
My goal is to build that connection, based on trust, empathy, and communication, in order to empower my patients. Each child means the world to me, and I want them to graduate from my care knowing they matter, they are important, and that taking care of the dental health is something to take pride in!