Min Deng, DMD, PhD
Prior to dental school, I earned a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology and completed six years of postdoctoral training in biochemistry. What motivated my decision to become a pediatric dentist is my admiration for children’s innocence, their unselfish ways of showing love, and my desire to contribute to improving their well-being.
Sulakshana “Sue” Sundaresan, DDS
General Dentist, Adult & Cosmetic Dentistry, Certified Invisalign® Provider
Once I started practicing, I realized that dental anxiety is a barrier to appropriate treatment. With the introduction of innovative technology like the Solea Laser and Itero Scanning, we can give our patients a zero anxiety visit to restore their oral health with confidence. It is also special when a patient tells me how much they love being photographed with their new smile at the completion of cosmetic procedures.
Aneel Bherwani, DMD, MS
Dr. Bherwani was initially drawn to orthodontics for its lasting and positive
impact in people’s lives. He understands the power of a smile in enhancing
confidence, self-esteem and works hard to craft the best possible smile
for each individual while ensuring the most comfortable experience
during treatment. Dr. Bherwani strives to specially tailor his care to each
individual and their clinical situation, their goals, their lives, their interests
and prides himself on personally getting to know all of his patients and
treating everyone as if they are a member of his own family.
Amy Backstrom – RDH, MS, OMT
Amy has 25 years of dental experience. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of New Haven and later achieved her Master of Science in Integrative Health from Rutgers University. She was a professor at the University of Bridgeport, teaching clinical Dental Hygiene at the Fones School of Dental Hygiene. Amy furthered her education and became an Orofacial Myologist. She is passionate about education and treating patients holistically. Her other passions are her two daughters, husband and Husky named Apache. She loves to cook, garden, sing, and spend time outdoors with family and friends.
Ashley – Dental Hygienist
Ashley has been with our practice since 2013. She finds her job most fulfilling when she can help an anxious patient through a visit and then leave with a smile. In her spare time, Ashley loves to spend time outdoors fishing and hiking with her husband and two children.
“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” ~ William Hazlitt
Kim B. – Dental Hygienist
Kim joined our practice in 2009 and loves working with our amazing team of women. She loves her patients and genuinely takes an interest in their daily lives. Kim provides a calm energy for our most anxious patients. When Kim is not at work, she enjoys reading and the outdoors. She loves to kayak, travel, camp and garden.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” ~ Thoreau
Maria – Dental Hygienist
Maria has been a beloved hygienist since 1984. She loves the people she meets each day. She connects with her patients and enjoys when they share interesting stories about their lives with her. In her spare time, Maria enjoys reading, cooking, camping and traveling.
“All are welcome.”
Taryn – Orthodontic/Dental Assistant
Taryn has been an orthodontic dental assistant since 2017. Her passions include reading, crochet, learning new languages and singing. Taryn is currently pursuing her bachelors degree in biology with a minor in psychology. Her dream is to apply to dental school and become an orthodontist. Her house is always the life of the party with her 5 siblings and her good boy Sampson. She enjoys the art of creating new smiles and bringing back the confidence to all of her patients once they see their new smile.
“Use your smile to change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile”
Michele – Dental Assistant
Michele has her degree in Health and Human Services from New York City College of Technology. She started her career as a dental assistant in 1992. Michele feels joy in her heart as our patients improve their smiles throughout their dental visits. Michele speaks French Creole and enjoys spending time with her family.
“Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” ~ Mother Teresa
Liz – Dental Assistant
Liz has been working with pediatric patients since 2015. She loves working with children and providing support to the patients and their families. Liz is fluent in Spanish which helps our young Spanish-speaking patients stay calm during their dental treatment. She loves spending time with her husband and son.
“The most beautiful thing in the world is a child’s smile. The next best thing? Knowing that you are the reason behind it.” ~ Fatima Nacana
Danielle – Dental Assistant
Danielle truly connects with our pediatric patients. She loves being able to work with our youngest patients every day. It makes Danielle’s heart happy to make each visit to our office a fun and positive experience for every patient. Danielle is an identical twin and loves spending time with her two nieces.
Kim K. – Dental Assistant
Kim joined our practice in 1990 and has built many relationships with our patients over the years. Her enthusiastic personality allows her to make genuine connections with our patients. Kim says: “The best part of an adult and pediatric practice is watching the children grow up and become confident adult patients.” Kim enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” ~ John Lennon
Cory – Office Manager
Cory graduated from SCSU with her B.A in Business Management. Cory has several years of experience in the medical and dental fields. She loves all the positive energy at Smilen Dental Group! Working with this incredible team is a gift, and seeing patients smile is the best part of her day! When she is not at work, Cory enjoys spending time with her rescue pups, beach vacations, Disney World and traveling with her husband and two sons.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.” ~ Walt Disney
Janet – Administration
Janet joined our practice in 1990. Her prior experience includes nine years in orthopedics and seven years in pediatric dentistry. Having witnessed many positive changes in dentistry over the years, Janet is happy to have been able to be a part of this patient-centered practice and the amazing group of people with whom she is privileged to work. After turning over the office management reins to Cory at the end of 2019, Janet is enjoying her semi-retirement. When not in the office, she is exploring her artistic talents in painting, pottery and printmaking. She also enjoys traveling across the country with her husband.
“Customer service is not a department- It is a personal responsibility.” ~ Lee Cockerell
Eva – Business Team
Eva joined our Business Team in 2021. Eva has spent much of her career in both the clinical and business aspects in the medical field. She brings over 18 years of experience and takes great pride in her customer service skills. Eva always has a friendly smile and greets each patient with warmth and compassion. Fun facts about Eva: she speaks Polish, loves nature, history, Star Wars and animals of all kinds. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, swimming and spending time with her family.
“A woman is like a tea bag, you don’t know how strong she is until she’s in hot water.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Jamie – Business Team
Jamie has been greeting patients with her beautiful smile since 2014. She loves working with our team and building connections with our patients and their families. Jamie is a die-hard NY Giants fan, loves going to the beach and spending time with her two children.
“Where there is love, there is life.” ~Gandhi
Sandy – Business Team
Sandy has been working in customer service for over ten years. She greets every patient with a warm smile. She enjoys being a part of a team of women who encourage and support each other. Sandy loves to travel and learn about new cultures. She has lived in three different countries, speaks Spanish and loves to dance.
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
Cid Marie – Orthodontic/Dental Assistant
Cid joined our team in 2021 and shares her genuine warmth and kind spirit with everyone she meets. Cid brings comfort to our most anxious patients and is always willing to go above and beyond each day. Since Day One, Cid says she has loved the way working here feels like being part of a family! In her downtime, Cid enjoys going to the gym, reading and spending time with her children.
“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
Gabbie – Business Team
Gabbie joined our Business Team in 2022 with over 14 years of dental office experience. Gabbie has worked with patients as an orthodontic assistant and treatment coordinator for her entire career! She is a true team player and brings her kindness and compassion to each patient interaction. When she’s not working, she loves having fun with her daughter, spending time with friends and family, and working on interior design projects at home.
“May mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance” – Jude 1:2
Trish – Dental Hygienist
Trish has been with our practice since 2003. She loves working with our team and being able to help her patients leave her chair with a smile. Throughout her career, Trish has always enjoyed working with people and brings her fun sense of humor to help patients relax in her chair. Trish loves animals, enjoys spending time with her family and cooking international foods. Since retiring in July of 2020, Trish is enjoying more time with her family and doing the activities she loves most.
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow older. You grow old because you stop laughing.” ~ Maurice Chevalier