As talented as they are, our dentists can’t do it alone. They rely on assistance from a highly-qualified and compassionate team to provide dental treatment in Phoenix with a difference – the difference is a winning attitude.
Kelli, Registered Dental Hygienist
Kelli says she feels privileged to work with the highly-skilled doctors at Life Smiles Dental Care because she is part of a team who truly care about their patients. Their integrity, passion for the craft, and level of personal attention is an inspiration for Kelli. She brings a wealth of experience and skill to the treatment room, as well. Kelli has been a practicing dental hygienist for more than a decade and she loves the profession. As a firm believer in preventive care and education, Kelli shares her knowledge to help patients enjoy healthy, attractive smiles.
When she is not caring for patients, Kelli is usually enjoying family time with two daughters and a yellow lab dog. She loves to laugh, and enjoys the outdoors, road trips, swimming, and treats.
Maryellen, Registered Dental Hygienist
Maryellen is a graduate of Rio Salado College, and has been a dental hygienist for over 14 years. She knows that many people are not aware of the mouth-body connection, influencing their oral health and overall wellness. She takes special interest in educating patients in the areas of prevention and oral diseases, and answering questions. Why? Because those patients are friends and neighbors and she wants to see them live long, happy, healthy lives.
If you ask Maryellen what she likes about Life Smiles Dental Care, she will tell you about being part of a unique team that genuinely enjoys serving others with enthusiasm and commitment to excellence.
Maryellen lives in Phoenix, but frequently travels to Florida and New York City to spend time with her family – many of whom are fire fighters. She cites swimming, snorkeling, and fishing in the Florida Keys as some of her favorite pastimes and treasured memories. She has two grown children and some wonderful close friends. Maryellen enjoys dining out, daily walks at Phoenix Mountain Preserve, yoga, and reading.
Jackie, Registered Dental Hygienist
Jackie’s career with Life Smiles Dental Care began when she was in high school! Shadowing the hygienists a few days a week and watching the dentists work stimulated her interest in the field, sparking a passion for dental hygiene. She earned a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene at Northern Arizona University, and was excited to fill an opening on the Life Smiles roster. Jackie says she absolutely loves her daily work, as well as opportunities to attend continuing education and dental conferences. Most of all, though, she enjoys getting to know patients to help them feel comfortable in the chair.
As an Arizona native, she is naturally into hiking (with her two energetic dogs), rock climbing, skiing, yoga, and spending time with family.
Hilary, Registered Dental Hygienist
With a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT and an RDH degree earned at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, Hilary was a natural addition to the Life Smiles Dental Care team. Hilary has been practicing dental hygiene for more than 15 years and enjoys the work immensely. She says, “The best part of my day is getting to be with a different person each hour.” She loves to learn about patient’s lives and families, knowing that they will see one another again soon. Her enthusiasm for being part of the Life Smiles team stems from confidence in the quality of care the dentists provide.
Outside the office, Hilary is a wife and a mother to four children. She has been a contestant on two televised game shows! She loves Neil Diamond and has seen him and the tribute band Super Diamond in concert many times. Her hobbies include running and international travel.
Mya, Registered Dental Hygienist
Originally from San Diego Mya’s dental career first started at Life Smiles Dental Care as a dental assistant over 7 years ago! She learned many skills working chairside with Dr. Nielson and Dr. Schmidt. She is passionate about dentistry, building relationships with patients and helping them achieve optimum oral health. In 2015 Mya enrolled in Fortis College’s Dental Hygiene program and graduated with a degree of Applied Sciences in Dental Hygiene. Mya is now one of our registered dental hygienists! No longer assisting the doctors chairside, but providing your dental cleanings.
Mya enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her young nephew. She is an amazing Auntie! She also enjoys traveling around our beautiful state and beyond seeing live music, hiking and going on adventures with her German Shepherd. Last but not least, Mya would like you to know she is a devoted Seahawks fan.
Heide, Dental Assistant
Heide has nearly 25 years of experience in dentistry and joined the Life Smiles Dental Care team in 2007. Her duties include assisting the dentists, inventory control, and coordinating care with dental laboratories. At Life Smiles, she is known as the whitening expert – a role she embraces because of the joy patients feel when they see their smiles gleam. She likes to answer questions about products and services offered at the office, and to help anxious patients relax for treatment.
Born in Germany, Heide moved to the US in 1985. She is married, and the couple have an adult son and two dogs. Her spare time is spent watching mystery and game shows, and reading.
Mayra, Dental Assistant
Mayra takes her role seriously, in assisting the dentists with a broad range of procedures, and in overall organization and cleanliness of the office setting. What does Mayra enjoy most about the position? Learning about the lives of patients! Her workplace passion stems from seeing the impact that effective dental treatment has on the lives of patients. She is excited to be part of the Life Smiles Dental Care team.
Mayra has a daughter and says that the experience of raising a child has been life-changing in the best possible way. When motherhood duties allow time, Mayra likes to hike, go to the gym, and watch movies.
Tori, Dental Assistant
Tori joined Life Smiles Dental Care in 2015 and couldn’t be happier in this setting. She is part of a team unified in their passion for the wellbeing and overall health of patients. As a dental assistant, Tori works at the elbow of experienced, dedicated dentists, expanding her own knowledge of the science of dentistry, daily. What is Tori’s favorite aspect of the job? Helping patients feel better and achieve the beautiful smiles they’ve always wanted.
When she is not at the office, Tori enjoys spending time with her husband and one year old daughter. She also enjoys working out, cooking, walking their dogs, and master of DIY projects.
Erin, Dental Assistant
Erin got her start in the dental world as an intern here at Life Smiles. She spent countless hours shadowing our talented team while attending My Dental Assisting Institute. She attended the institute’s hands-on program where she learned both the technical skills and communication skills to provide assistance to our doctors and comfortable, quality care to our patients. You may also find Erin working as part of our front office team. She has over 10 years of customer service experience and her favorite part of her work day is interacting with our smiling patients and getting to know them on a personal level.
Erin is a Midwest girl from Kansas. She moved to Arizona in 2017. She is a big foodie, so if she’s not at work, she’s usually eating. If she’s not eating, she’s shopping and if she’s not shopping she is at the pool enjoying the amazing year-round weather- You can’t do that in Kansas!
Janet, Dental Assistant
Originally from California, Janet started her dental assisting career in Arizona in 2012 and became a Life Smiles Dental Care team member in 2017. We are so happy to have her as part of our team! She is also one of our fluent Spanish speaking team members (both of our doctors are bilingual too!). Janet works closely with both doctors, assisting them chairside. She feels lucky to work with the best doctors and team in the Valley using state-of-the-art equipment and technology. She is a busy mother of two young children and on the weekend enjoys spending quality time with them and her family.
Mari, Treatment Coordinator
Mari has over 15 years of customer service experience in the dental industry. She truly loves meeting new people and helping our patients achieve optimal oral health and the smiles of their dreams. Mari works closely with Dr. Nielson and Dr. Schmidt to customize each patient’s treatment options and to maximize your insurance benefits. She really enjoys being a part of the Life Smiles Dental Team. Loving what you do and spending it with an amazing group of people is a dream come true.
Originally from California, Mari moved to Arizona in 1989. She loves exploring all that this beautiful state has to offer by hiking, going on road trips and taking full advantage of the amazing weather. Mari has been married for over 13 years and has two beautiful children, Giuliana and Anthony. Mari is an animal lover too and shares her home with 5 cats and her lucky dog, Dockett (all rescues).
Meg, Treatment Coordinator
Meg has over 20 years-experience working with dental patients and navigating dental insurance. She really enjoys meeting new people and is a bright, positive addition to our team! Among many other duties, Meg helps submit our patients’ insurance, presents treatment plans and coordinates financial options making it easier to fit needed dental care into your budget.
She is a proud Arizona Native and graduate of Northern Arizona University. She is also the proud mother of twin girls! On her weekends she enjoys hiking, reading and everything baseball. Meg is so excited to be a part of the Life Smiles Dental Team and we are just as excited to have her too!
Viviana, Patient Coordinator
Viviana is an Arizona Native and one of our newest members of the Life Smiles Dental Care team. She has over 10 years of customer service and dental experience. She is a vital element of smooth workflows in the office. As our patient coordinator she answers calls and schedules appointments. She verifies insurance information and follows up on outstanding claims to help patients maximize benefits. She thoroughly enjoys being part of this hard-working team! The most rewarding aspect of her role, though, is getting to know patients and ensuring they feel welcome and comfortable.
On the weekends Viviana loves spending time with her 13 year old daughter and is very close to her large family. In her free time, she likes to hike, cook and watch football.
Janie, Patient Coordinator
In her role as patient coordinator, Janie schedules appointments, verifies insurance information, welcomes patients, answers their questions, and helps them check out efficiently. While she embraces technical characteristics of the position, helping people is the most important part of her job. She makes new and loyal patients feel equally valued from the moment they walk through the door.
Janie feels blessed to be part of the Life Smiles Dental Care team – a group of talented, hard-working individuals that make office time enjoyable.
Janie and her husband of over 40 years have two children and three grandchildren. She loves family time with them on weekends, as well as traveling and golfing.
Karle, Patient Coordinator
As a patient coordinator, Karle answers patient phone calls, schedules appointments, and verifies insurance information. She really enjoys getting to know every patient, making them feel comfortable and welcome. It is the most rewarding part of her job! Karle also appreciates and respects all of her team members. Life Smiles is like a big family and we always have a great time together.
Karle comes from a very large family, but most of them live in Illinois. She has an amazing husband and a rambunctious black lab, Maynard! In her free time she loves traveling – visiting and exploring new places, making new friends, experiencing new cultures, and trying exotic foods!
Liz, Insurance Coordinator
Liz is our most recent additional to the Life Smiles Dental Care Family. She has 10 years of dental customer service experience. She values the joy of a smile and enjoys helping patients maintain their dental health. Liz wears many hats at our office, as do all of our team members, but her main focus and specialty coordinating and billing your dental insurance. Liz helps verify your insurance benefits and ensures billing and claim submissions are on track.
When she’s not at work she’s a proud mother of her two year old son. Liz enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and biking and spending time poolside. She also really enjoys cross-fit and living a healthy lifestyle.