Dr. Joanna Ayala — Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Joanna Ayala was born and raised in San Antonio. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Dr. Ayala went on to complete her dental degree at Boston University. Her passion for children inspired her to continue her education at Miami Children’s Hospital, where she earned her specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry.
Dr. Aashna Handa — Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Handa earned her dental degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During this time, she was involved in various pediatric patient-centered activities, including the Infant Oral Health Care Club, Craniofacial Center at Ronald Reagan Hospital, UCLA.
Her dedication and passion for children made her go a step further and she earned her specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she served as the chief resident. Her training covered the full spectrum of behavior management, basic and advanced, which included sedation and hospital dentistry. She also excelled in working with children with autism at the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development as part of her residency.
Besides her professional life, she loves art and enjoys spending time with her husband, who is working as a general dentist in San Antonio, and her daughter, Areesha.
Dr. Jennifer Hole — General Dentist, Practice Limited to Children
Dr. Jennifer Hole is a San Antonio native, born and raised in the Alamo Heights area. She attended the Honors Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she double majored in Biology and Chemistry. Upon being awarded the Bush-Jones Sprenger Scholarship for Leadership and Academic Excellence, she attended Baylor College of Dentistry, where she graduated with her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2012. During her time at Baylor, Dr. Hole was involved in many leadership positions, including student council class representative, philanthropy chair, student consultant for Admissions Committee and a mentor for the summer pre-enrichment program for prospective students.
Dr. Hole lives in the neighborhood she grew up in with her husband, Dr. Steven Hole, who is a Captain in the United States Army. They have two children together, a daughter, Riley, who is two years old and a son, Everett, who turned one this past May. While life with two kids can get busy, in her free time she enjoys cooking, crafting, and running!
Dr. Kara Whittington – Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Kara Whittington was born and raised in nearby Castroville, Texas. She received a bachelor of science degree in psychology at Texas A&M University, class of 2008. Gig ‘Em Aggies! She then moved back to San Antonio and completed her DDS at UTHSCSA. She practiced in San Antonio for the next 6 years where her passion for treating children grew until she decided to return to school to specialize in pediatrics, completing her residency at UT Health San Antonio-Laredo.
Dr. Kara resides in the San Antonio area with her husband who is a firefighter for the city of Austin and their daughter, Reed.
She looks forward to meeting your children and their families to provide child-friendly dental care in a positive and welcoming environment.
Dr. Andrea Font – Board Certified Orthodontist
Born and raised in Palma de Mallorca, off of the coast of Spain, and moving through Madrid (Spain) and Munich (Germany) for her dental degree, Dr. Font ended up at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio for her Orthodontic and Masters degree.
Dr. Font has been Board Certified since 2014 and is an affiliate member of the prestigious Angle Society. Involved in all national and local associations, including the American Association of Orthodontists, the Southwest Society of Orthodontists and the Texas Association of Orthodontists, she is one of the two women who serve in the Board of Directors in the Texas Association of Orthodontists.
Texas weather reminds Dr. Font of her hometown and between Laredo and San Antonio being her home since 2014, she still visits her family in Spain.
Like many of us, Dr. Font likes outdoor activities and is involved in teaching and lecturing, but also values quiet time to do some reading, cooking or going to TaeKwondo hoping to achieve a black belt someday. Come and meet her!
Dr. Poonam Shah, DDS – Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Poonam Shah received her Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She also graduated from the University of the Pacific Dental School in San Francisco, CA and received her Bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. She is a Board Certified Specialist with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Shah was motivated to go into pediatric dentistry due to her own dental experiences as a child. Although Dr. Shah did not grow up in Texas, both her parents are UT Austin graduates (Go Longhorns!) and lived in Texas for 10+ years. Dr. Shah was drawn to Sunshine Pediatric Dentistry’s commitment to their patients and oral health. Dr. Shah’s goal is to create a positive dental experience at Sunshine Pediatric Dentistry so children can grow into healthy adults without feelings of fear or worry when visiting a dentist. With patience, communication and by truly caring, she hopes to make each visit an easy one.
During her spare time, Dr. Shah enjoys cooking vegetarian meals, tennis, exploring Texas, traveling and hiking. Her favorite animals include dogs and llamas!!
Meet our Dental Staff
Emily Cervantes — Patient Coordinator
Emily has been in the dental field for over 14 years. She is very familiar with most insurance plans, so she can help answer any questions about your insurance that you might have. She married her best friend and soulmate, and they have three wonderful children, Briana, Nathaniel, and Jenalisa. They love spending time together as a family, doing everything from Vegas vacations to day trips to the beach. She looks forward to seeing all your little ones soon!
Juanita Gutierrez — Patient Coordinator
Juanita works in the front of the office as a patient coordinator. She has been in the dental field for over 30 years. Juanita loves spending time with her husband, daughters, and grandchildren. She enjoys working with kids of all ages, and she looks forward to meeting your children.
Donna Holdgraf — Registered Dental Hygienist
Donna is a graduate of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and has over 36 years of experience as a dental hygienist. She has loved working with children for more than 33 years. Her husband, Gary, and her have two grown children. Donna enjoys babysitting her granddaughter, working in the yard, and being an active member at Windcrest United Methodist Church. She looks forward to meeting you and your children.
Rose Rivas — Registered Dental Hygienist
Buenos dias! Rose M. Rivas is a registered dental hygienist who is passionate about what she does. She has had the pleasure of working for this office for a little over 6 years. On her off time, she volunteers for the SAYL (San Antonio Youth Literacy) program and is also an active member at her church. The loves of her life are her wonderful, amazing family, and she is grateful for each and every one of them. Our awesome team looks forward to meeting you and having you as part of our Sunshine Pediatric family. Be well!
Rebecca Jaquez — Lead Dental Assistant
Rebecca (or Becky, as everyone calls her) has been a registered dental assistant for over 16 years. Her certifications include sedation, radiology, and CPR, and she is also credentialed for hospital dentistry. Raised in Corpus Christi, Becky has called San Antonio home for over 15 years. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and wonderful kids. Becky looks forward to seeing you and your children’s smiles.
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