Meet the Team
It's all about teamwork.
Starting with doctors “Bobby” and “Kenny,” and with every smiling face and caring hand at Wagner Dental Care, we all share the same goals: A relaxed experience and the very best care, in a place you’ll look forward to coming back again and again.
Meet the doctors
Dr. WagnerDr. Robert “Bobby” Wagner has been practicing in his native Rose City for nearly 20 years. For seven years in a row, he's been honored by his peers as a "Best Dentist" (Portland Monthly magazine). More about Dr. Wagner
Dr. DowningLike Dr. Wagner, Dr. Kenneth Downing is an Oregon native following the path of his mentor, a beloved Portland dentist, also known as “Grandpa.” More about Dr. Downing
Meet the team
Alysse is fascinated with the health sciences and using the latest techniques to help her patients. She started as a temp and knew from the first day, Wagner Dental Care is where she wanted to build her career. “This is one of the few dental practices where you really feel like you’re part of the patients’ lives. It all trickles down from the top and Dr. Wagner. This is a super enthusiastic, positive place.”
A “can-do” attitude is in her genetic code. Alysse takes huge pride in her father, a veteran who fought alongside U.S. soldiers as a pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force. “My dad came to the United States with zero, nothing, and in a few years he built up a family, bought his first home and put three kids in college.” Now Alysse is passing along that can-do attitude to her two children – and her patients.
Annie’s patients love her sparkling laughter and big heart for easing patient anxieties. “I just love people, love taking care of them. I think that goes back to when I was 14 and I cared for my mom when she was really sick. I loved that connection. Today, in my job, I often get hugs from grateful patients. I just think, wow, that’s so cool.”
Helping her patients understand the connection between healthy teeth and gums and a healthy body is another passion.
Like so many members of the Wagner Dental team, Annie is a CrossFit and hiking enthusiast. The Columbia River Gorge, Silver Creek Falls and Opal Pool are among her favorites.
Check out Annie’s top Kerns neighborhood restaurant picks: Screen Door, Matador and Fire on the Mountain’s boneless chicken wings with sweet potato fries.
Dr. Dani: Naturopathic Dr. Licensed Acupuncturist, Registered Dental Hygienist
Dr. Dani wears a few white coats: Naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and nutrition and wellness clinician. She’s also cofounder of a healthy carbonated tea company. That’s what a life’s passion for holistic care looks like.
Like many Wagner Dental Care team members, Dr. Dani was inspired by her childhood dentist. She’s the first woman in her family to attend college, graduating from USC in dental hygiene. She was immediately recruited as a clinical professor in periodontal dentistry, then studied yoga, meditation and holistic dental practices. She moved to Oregon to add a degree from the National University of Natural Medicine, the oldest and one of only seven accredited schools in North America.
We’re privileged that two days a week, Dr. Dani helps our patients understand how dental care affects health and longevity. “I’m very persnickety about how teeth are cleaned. This is not your average dental practice. We’re having really great talks with our patients about how dental hygiene affects the whole body, including the cardiovascular and digestive systems.”
When it comes to dining out, this health expert isn’t above fried chicken. “Basalisk, on Sandy Boulevard has an incredible fried chicken salad. It’s Asian inspired with a soft boiled sesame dressing--and it’s 10 bucks!”
“Stress free, clean and tidy.” That’s the work environment that always appealed to Frank when he was growing up. He found it at Wagner Dental Care. “I come from a family in construction, so the clean and tidy part of the dental practice is a welcome change for me,” he jokes. Frank is one of our longtime dental hygienists and has lived in Oregon (he wants you to know) “long enough to be considered a native.” He’d recommend almost any restaurant in the Wagner Dental Care neighborhood, especially Nuestra Cocina, Bollywood Theater, Stella Taco and Pok Pok.
Top priorities for Frank are raising his young son, visiting the Oregon Coast and proudly “staying off social media.”
Surfer girl (Cannon Beach, Pacific City, Hawaii), snow boarder and high-intensity trainer, Sally relishes staying fit as a fiddle in her native state. Look fast, you might catch her zipping by on a Portland scooter and exploring her favorite Kerns neighborhood restaurants: pizza at Nostrana, happy hour at Fire on the Mountain (conveniently, right across from Wagner Dental Care), dinner at Screen Door and vegan chocolate “anything” at Missionary Chocolates.
A 14-year veteran of Wagner Dental Care, Sally loves adding to the trademark calm and peace our patients have come to know and trust. “I’ve been here for more than 10 years. Dr. Wagner is like family to us and when we hire people, he makes sure they mesh with the team and our commitment to our patients. It works!”
Challis , Sterile Technician
“Mine was a real ‘Leave it to Beaver’ childhood. Dad a cop, Mom a school teacher, me, always on my best behavior,” laughs Challis.
Raised in a small Idaho town near McCall, Challis earned a degree in anthropology from the University of Idaho. She has surveyed prehistoric Native American sites in northern Nevada and southern Oregon and says that job and her career as a sterile technician, require similar skills--a lot of detailed attention to sterilizing fine tools.
Challis loves her job. “I don’t like to be idle and there’s always lots to do here. The people are super happy and that fits my temperament and character.”
She’s still digging in the earth. Challis and her husband own seven acres in Estacada where they raise cattle and grow a garden of cucumbers, corn, peas, rhubarb and watermelon.
Lori – Coming Soon, Assistant
Nadia , Assistant
Patients know Nadia for her glowing smile and gorgeous accent. “I have a strong accent and I’ll probably never lose it, but my patients seem to really like it!” Yes they do. And they love her expertise. Nadia’s impressive medical pedigree includes practicing nursing in a Kieve, Ukraine hospital and 15 years as a dental assistant in the US. In 2002, seeking the proverbial good life for her two children, she moved her family to America. She enrolled in the Clackamas Community College Dental Assistance Program, a decision that funded her children’s college education, securing them good jobs and giving Nadia the pride of her life--six grandchildren.
Nadia is also proud of her work at Wagner Dental Care.
“We care about our patients. We’re like family, with very nice doctors. When I first arrived here, it’s like they knew me forever. Everyone is always smiling and welcoming and the patients see that. Coming to America...that is my good life!”
Like the rest of our team, Nadia is a bit of a foodie, whipping up specialties like Ukrainian stew, dumplings and borscht. She recommends you try the layered fish and potatoes dish at Kachka, a Russian, Ukrainian restaurant, conveniently located close to Wagner Dental Care.
Amy , Treatment Coordinator
There are so many fun facets to Amy, we’re not sure where to start.
Jeep off-roading in the mountains (“Down and dirty with the doors off, mud splattering all over.”); Remodeling a 1930’s Victorian house (“Total money pit, but Home Depot loves us. We have no experience. I even went through the floor once.”); Cruising in her 1969 El Camino (“My Dad, a great guy, raised me on muscle cars. I’m an old school type of gal.”).
When Amy is working with patients, she brings more than 10 years of experience, helping them feel confident about everything from insurance and claims, to treatment planning and scheduling.
“The key is listening. Listening to our patients’ concerns and what’s best for them, never pushing. The moment they step into our homey office they feel special. I came from a corporate dental office where I felt like a number. Nobody feels like a number at Wagner Dental Care.”
Joanna "Jo Jo", Receptionist
One of the first things you notice about Jo Jo, is her stunning smile. That smile reveals much about this former California girl, who moved to Oregon to study biology at Portland State University.
“I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with that degree, when I realized what I really wanted was a career in dental hygiene. At the time I was also volunteering with Compassiona Clinic in Gresham and Medical Teams International, working out of the mobile dental vans travelling to low income Portland communities. Volunteering is something that actually makes me feel good and it taught me the power of healthy teeth.”
Which brings us back to Jo Jo’s megawatt smile.
“I’m from a low income family. My parents couldn’t afford dental care. I was 10 before my first appointment. A dentist I volunteered with saw how my teeth affected me and he helped me get the smile I have today. I now understand the importance of good dental health and what that says about a person’s life.”
In her spare time, Jo Jo loves hiking, swimming, training for a triathalon and slowly getting her pilots license! “What do I love about flying? No traffic!”
Now that’s something to smile about!
Shelley, Insurance Specialist
Your insurance specialist at Wagner Dental Care has a fascinating story, beginning 10,000 miles from Portland, in the middle of the Pacific. Shelley hails from Tinian Island, near Guam. “My dad is a fisherman and captain for a tourist boat company. My siblings and I were always out on the water, snorkling or on the boat helping pull in the lines for tuna and mahi mahi.”
Tinian is tiny--just five miles wide, seven miles long. Growing up in the tropics may sound dreamy, but this island girl imagined a life of going to college and enjoying all four seasons. So, she followed her sister to Oregon, majored in dental assistance and found her way to the Wagner Dental team. Dreams come true!
Shelley is practicing what she loves--helping patients feel confident and comfortable with the sometimes overwhelming world of insurance.
“Almost nobody likes insurance, but I love it. I learn something new everyday and my mind is always working on behalf of our patients. Because I started out as a dental assistant, I get to use all that knowledge to walk our patients through each procedure, from clinical to billing. They know exactly what to expect. They know they’re taken care of. They know we have their very best interests at heart. I just love giving them peace of mind.”
And for Wagner Dental Care patients, that’s a dream come true!
Michelle, Office Manager
Running the day-to-day of an award-winning dental practice is a little like managing a symphony performance. You need a maestro up there to create a harmonious experience for the musicians--and the audience.
You could say office manager Michelle is our Director of Harmony. She’s worked many of the jobs in a dental practice--including dental assistant--so she knows what each job requires to produce a wonderful experience for every patient.
“My philosophy on how to treat people is simple: Be kind. Be generous. Patients pick up on the fact there’s no drama here. They see smiles and hear laughter and that creates a really harmonious environment.”
Michelle is also a rock star Aunt. I don’t have children of my own, so my four nieces are my kids. One of them is a type 1 diabetic, at a biking event for Tour De Cure in Portland Oregon we raised over 10,000 dollars for the Diabetes Association. In 2024, we’re hoping she becomes an Olympic Hopeful and attends the Olympics competing at the Velodrome.
Michelle’s favorite Kerns dining spot is also one of the Wagner Dental Care’s frequent off-site meeting spots, Nostrana. She recommends the trout and the Nostrana salad.