Louis Kaufman, DDS
Nationally recognized as an educator, author, and practicing clinician, Dr. Kaufman brings a special “big-picture” approach to dentistry and his life. Graduating from UIC College of Dentistry in 1995, Dr. Kaufman has been treating patients with fully personalized care for over 25 years.
His love for helping patients achieve their dental goals, along with his father’s own work, inspired Dr. Kaufman to become a dentist. Under Dr. Kaufman’s watch, the now 70-year-old practice started by his father has continued to grow and flourish, providing a model for practices across the country.
Dedicated to being the best dentist he can be, Dr. Kaufman serves on the advisory board of numerous dental manufacturers, consults on product development, and has educated clinicians across the globe on a wide range of topics. In fact, Dr. Kaufman has been lecturing both nationally and internationally on continuing education programs for the last 15 years. He has also published numerous articles on restorative and cosmetic dentistry and is an administrator with Smile Source Chicago.
When he’s not helping patients create healthy, confident smiles, Dr. Kaufman enjoys attending live concerts and Chicago Bulls games. To stay active, he is fond of cycling, hiking, and hitting the gym. His two children, now both adults in their own right, are his pride and joy and he also loves spending time with them whenever he can.
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Dr. Kaufman holds professional memberships in The American Dental Association, The Academy of General Dentistry, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and The Chicago Dental Society, The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, The Academy of Laser Dentistry, Illinois State Dental Society, International College of Oral Implantologists, and American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
I’m an FAGD dentist! What does that mean for you and your family?
FAGD stands for Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. Earning Fellowship takes dedication to dental continuing education (CE) beyond graduation. Only about 6 percent of general dentists in the U.S. and Canada are AGD Fellows. When you see a dentist with FAGD after their name, you can rest assured that they care about knowing the latest techniques and best practices in dentistry. AGD Fellows practice these techniques in a classroom setting multiple times a year — not every dentist does this.
To become an AGD Fellow, a dentist must:
- Complete over 500 credit hours of CE.
- Earn 350 of those 500 credits in live courses.
- Pass an exam equal in difficulty to board certification exams.
Areas of Special Interest:
Dental Implants, Comprehensive Reconstruction, Treatment Planning, Cosmetic Smile Design, LUMINEERS, and Three-Dimensional Imaging, minimally invasive smile design, comprehensive full mouth reconstruction.
Lisa Minkowski, DDS
Dr. Lisa Minkowski is a native of Wisconsin, received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. She then continued her education in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Marquette University. She moved back to Chicago and joined the office as an associate in 2013. Dr. Minkowski is dedicated to providing excellent, gentle dental care in a relaxed, comfortable environment. She believes that communication and compassion are key when discussing comprehensive treatment plans with her patients. Dr. Minkowski seeks to educate her patients about dental problems and treatments, because she believes that informed patients are better able to make informed decisions about their health and their well-being. Her friendly personality creates an atmosphere where patients are comfortable asking questions.
Dr. Minkowski is an active member of the American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry and American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. She consistently attends continuing education courses to ensure that the care she provides is the most advanced and up to date. Dr. Minkowski enjoys providing exceptional preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. She is also certified in Invisalign®.
Nina Astaraei, DMD
Dr. Nina Astaraei received medical training at prestigious universities around the globe. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD). While at USCD, she. Dr. Astaraei continued her studies in Hungary, where she earned a Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree.
Upon receiving her doctorate, Dr. Astaraei enhanced her knowledge by continuing her education at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Astaraei completed one year of Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) followed by two years of Advanced Clinical Training in Restorative Dentistry.
Dr. Astaraei’s blended experience both here and in Europe give her a unique perspective which she applies to her cases. She is friendly, socially active, and enjoys spending time in local museums. She has lived throughout the world, including Germany, Iran, and the U.S. west coast. Her extensive world view makes her sensitive to patients’ diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Gayle Pelc, RDH, BS
As a Registered Dental Hygienist, Gayle is committed to giving all of her patients the finest treatment she possibly can, leading to a lifetime of great oral health. With 36 years of experience, 35 of which have been with Dr. Kaufman and our practice, Gayle has been in dentistry for much of her life and is an integral part of our team. She has received an AAS degree in Dental Hygiene and a BS in Health Arts. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree as well.
In her spare time, Gayle enjoys gardening and baking. She is also a huge Chicago sports fan and describes herself as a “rabid” White Sox and Blackhawks fan. When not enjoying a game, Gayle enjoys going on nature preserve hikes with her beloved german shorthaired pointer, Buzz.
Nina Parker, RDH
With 18 years of experience, Nina has honed her skills as a hygienist to deliver an amazing patient experience for everyone who walks through our doors. Her dental philosophy is simple, yet no less critical for it: provide the highest quality of care possible. Nina has received her Associate of Applied Science Degree in dental hygiene, ensuring that patients can trust in her skill and understanding of dental care.
Nina chose to work in dentistry because she believes that smiles are everything. Accordingly, when she is not in the office, she loves cooking, exercising, and enjoying everything that life as to offer.
Maria earned her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Indiana University Northwest.
Her passion for helping others has lead her to a dental career where she can provide top preventative care, oral health education, and a great patient experience. Although new to the dental world Maria is dedicated to developing her skills in dentistry and constantly striving to give her patients the best dental experience every time. Her detailed work and gentle touch have helped gained the trust of many of her patients.
When she’s not in the dental office Maria enjoys spending time with family, trying new restaurants around the city, and immersing herself in nature.