Get To Know Us

Meet Our Dental Professionals

Dr. Joann Kochikaran

Practice Owner / Dentist

I am a graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Class of 2005. I was fortunate to have been one of the few accepted into dental school directly after graduating high school through the Guaranteed Professional Program at UIC. I went through an accelerated two year undergraduate program to then enter dental school for the next four years. Albeit challenging, it was the best decision I ever made! This profession has allowed me the opportunity to be a professional; as well as enough time to be a wife and mother to two beautiful children.

I was born and raised in the north Chicago suburb of Morton Grove and decided that I wanted to raise my own children in the area. The town of Skokie was the perfect fit for my practice location, especially since I am an alum of Niles West High School!

When I am not working in people's mouths, I enjoy cooking, exercising, and traveling to places on my bucket list. A few of my favorite travel memories would be riding on elephants in Bali, surfing in Costa Rica, and cliff diving in Maui.

Denise

Practice Manager

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. My friendship with Dr. Kochikaran started in kindergarten. In fact, she is the reason I am in the Dental field. I began my career in dentistry as a chairside assistant for Dr. Kochikaran and quickly transitioned into Office Manager with my finance background.

 

I’ve been a Practice Manager for over 15 years now. My extensive knowledge of dental insurance allows me to help our patients maximize their benefits. I also have training in OSHA, HIPAA, and CPR/BLS. I believe everyone deserves to have a smile they are proud of.

James

Treatment Coordinator

My experience in the dental field started in 2010 with Dr. Kochikaran at her first practice. Since then I have gained knowledge and skill to work both the clinical and administrative sides of the dental office. I have training in both OSHA and HIPAA. I strive to provide our patients with exceptional customer service in order to help them feel at ease. Most patients like to refer to me as “the voice” on my daily phone calls due to my calming tone.


I was born and raised in Chicago, but spent most of my summers in Belize. I enjoy cooking, playing chess, and gaming with Xbox1 & PS4.

Nancy Alrais

Dental Assistant

I have been a Dental Assistant for 2 ½ years. I joined Affinity Smiles in summer of 2019. I chose to work in the dental field because I want to help people. A huge passion of mine is art, whether it be photography or drawing. Dentistry to me is a form of Art. I love to see the transformation of someone’s smile in the artistic form that dentistry is. It is awesome to work closely with all sorts of patients and help them smile with confidence.

 

I have a fun, positive attitude. I love to stay active and go to the gym.

And most importantly, I enjoy spending time with those closest to my heart and creating wonderful memories.

Nancy Lorden

Dental Hygienist

I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist since 2016. I then joined the team at Affinity Smiles in 2018. I chose a career in dental hygiene so that I can help patients improve their overall oral health through education and implementation. I am very detail oriented and have the desire to leave you with a perfectly clean mouth after my cleanings! My goal at the end of the day is to erase any fears that come with a dental visit- a painless visit is my mode of action!

In my spare time, one of my favorite activities is dancing- salsa, bachata, anything Latin! I also enjoy trying new foods, traveling, and spending time with my family.

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