A pediatric dentist is dedicated to the oral and dental health needs of infants, children, teenagers, and special needs patients. In providing dental services for these patients, the pediatricdentist becomes an integral part of the total health of the patient, and will work with pediatricians, other medical and dental specialists to ensure optimal care is given.

Our concern is your child’s total health and establishing a “dental home” early provides our group a means to implement preventive dental practices and assist in the prevention of dental disease, as well as its early detection and treatment.

As important as the technical aspects of dentistry, it is equally important that the child have a good experience in the dental setting. It is our priority that our patients have good experiences at our office. Whether a child, teenager, or an individual with special needs, each child requires a unique approach in providing dental care. As pediatric dentists, we are trained and prepared to meet these needs.

Paul D. Herer, D.M.D., M.S

Diplomate: American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Paul Herer has been practicing pediatric dentistry for over thirty years in the Lake County area. He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey in 1972 with a BS degree in Biology, followed by a DMD degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry in 1974. His pediatric dental specialty training was completed in 1976 at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a Masters of Science degree from Northwestern University that same year. Dr. Herer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. His many years involved in teaching, research, and clinical practice lends a vast knowledge to provide excellent dental services for the patient and important dental/oral health information to their parents and caregivers.

Sarah Mahmoud, D.M.D.

Dr. Mahmoud earned her dental degree from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 2006. She completed a one year residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland in 2007, and a two year postdoctoral residency program in Pediatric Dentistry from Miami Children's Hospital in 2012. Dr. Mahmoud is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and belongs to the Illinois State Pediatric Dental Society. Since graduating, she has been enjoying private practice. She finds treating children's dental needs in a relaxed atmosphere, providing a positive experience, and educating children and their parents about proper oral hygiene and good habits (especially flossing every day!) very rewarding. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and son, travelling and experiencing different cultures. She also loves to paint.

Melissa J. Patenio, D.D.S., M.S.

Dr. Patenio started her dental career as a dental assistant, working in a pediatric dental office for four years. Upon graduation from DePaul University with dean’s list honors, she completed her dental degree at the University of Illinois in 2007. Her love for children led her to a residency in pediatric dentistry, also at the University of Illinois along with a master’s degree in oral sciences, which was completed in 2009. Dr. Patenio is Illinois Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry, a Diplomate to the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Illinois State Pediatric Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society and the American Dental Association. She has been involved with Colgate Mobile Dental Screenings for children, Give Kids a Smile Day and Healthy Smiles Day.

Dr. Anu Krishnamurthy

dr-anuDr. Anupama Krishnamurthy was born and raised in India where she completed her Bachelors of Dental Surgery Degree.  She moved to the U.S. to continue her education at the University of California, San Francisco where she graduated with a DDS Degree.  She then attended the University of the Pacific where she completed her Advanced Education in General Dentistry program.  Dr. Anu spent a few years practicing in the San Francisco Bay area as a general dentist where she developed a passion for serving patients with special health care needs.  This passion encouraged her to move to Florida to obtain her advanced education in the field of Pediatric Dentistry at the NYU - Lutheran Medical Center.  During her training in Pediatric Dentistry, she was the Chief Resident leading her team in providing high quality dental care to the young residents of Tampa, Fl.  Dr. Anu also took the time to be a part of the Special Smiles Program for the Special Olympics, providing comprehensive oral health care information and screening to participating athletes. Dr. Anu is fluent in 5 languages!  She enjoys traveling around the world and experiencing new cultures and cuisines.  She especially loves Burmese and Eritrean food and in her spare time enjoys listening to Bollywood music.  Dr. Anu, her husband and her 4 year old son, Ari, are excited to have moved to the suburbs of Chicago and to continue her journey in Pediatric Dentistry.

Stacey - Clinical Assistant I

Stacey has been in the dental industry for 20 years in various specialty practices. She has advanced training and a passion for working with children. In 1986, Stacey was certified in nursing assisting at the College of Lake County. She was certified for Coronal Polishing and Sealant Placement at Elgin Community College in 2006, and in 2010 was certified in anesthesia and sedation monitoring. She has also completed her certification in nitrous oxide monitoring at the University of Illinois - Chicago. Stacey has two grown daughters, Brooke and Brittney, and two adorable grandchildren, Landon and Reese. Stacey enjoys biking, spending time with her family, going on vacation, and proudly cheering on the Bears!

Clarissa - Clinical Assistant I

Clarissa attended Round Lake Senior High School and received her GED from the College of Lake County in 2012. She completed a dental assisting course and received her certification in October of 2012. Clarissa also completed her certification as a Coronal Polisher and Nitrous Oxide Monitoring certificate at the University of Illinois - Chicago. Ultimately, her goal is to go back to school and earn a degree in Healthcare Business and Administration.  Clarissa has four beautiful children who are her life! Her love for children is why she loves working here at CDG!

Humberta - Clinical Assistant I

Betty attended the College of Lake County where she received a CNA certificate. Entering the dental field in 1997, she worked as an orthodontic dental assistant and followed by assisting in a general dental practice. She has a certificate in Coronal Polishing and Sealant Placement as well as her certification in Nitrous Oxide Monitoring at University of Illinois - Chicago. She has two grown boys and her love of working with children brought her to join Children's Dentistry Group.

Rachel - Clinical Assistant I

Rachel has been with CDG for over four years.  She has completed her certification in Coronal Polishing and Sealant Placement as well as her certification in Nitrous Oxide Monitoring at the University of Illinois - Chicago.  Her love of children and patient care has given her the ultimate goal of continuing her education to become a pediatric nurse and work at a children's hospital.  Rachel enjoys diving into a good book, cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks and spending time with her family, friends and her perfect dog Olaf.

Stephanie - Clinical Assistant I

Stephanie attended State Career College and received a diploma in chairside dental assisting. She has also attended Coronal Polishing and Sealant Placement as well as Nitrous Oxide Monitoring courses at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  Stephanie has a large, loving family and enjoys spending time with all her nieces and nephews. She has two "chihuahua children” that she loves to care for with her boyfriend of seven years. She is looking forward to learning from each of the doctors as well as her team members.

Chuy - Clinical Assistant I

Jesus (Chuy) has been with Children's Dentistry Group for over two years. He is ecstatic about joining our group, expanding his knowledge in dentistry. Children's Dentistry  has given him the chance to become a polisher and continue his training in expanded care. Working at CDG has inspired him to expand his career in dentistry and hopefully go to school one day to become a hygienist or a dentist! He enjoys working with children and he provides them with very positive experiences with their dental care.

Tara - Clinical Assistant I

Tara joined Children's Dentistry Group as a sterilizer in order to further expand her knowledge in the field of dentistry.  She has now earned her Coronal Polishing Certificate from Eligin Community College and her Nitrous Oxide Monitoring Certificate from University of Illinois - Chicago.  Tara graduated from Grant Community High School and in her free time she really enjoys spending time with her dogs. Previously, Tara has worked at the Vernon Hills mall, seasonally, with Santa and the Easter Bunny for 10 years. She is very excited to be working within the dentistry field AND with children!

Jonathan - Clinical Assistant I

Jonathan attended McHenry County College where he received his CNA certification in 2013.  He has a passion for helping other and cares greatly about the patients under his care.  Jonathan joined CDG as a sterilizer to extend his knowledge in healthcare through the dental field, and has earned his certificate in coronal polishing and in monitoring nitrous oxide at University of Illinois- Chicago.  He enjoys working with children and strives to provide them with a comfortable experience at our office.  Jonathan enjoys spending time with his family.  He also loves to play basketball and cheering on the Chicago Bulls.

Ivonne - Clinical Assistant I

IvonneIvonne attended school at Everest College.  She has been in the dental field for 5 years, and loves working with kids!  She has a daughter of her own, named Emma who she loves making endless memories with.  In her spare time Ivonne loves spending time with Emma, shopping and hanging out with her family.

Antoni (Toni) - Clinical Assistant I

Toni attended Grayslake North High School where he was awarded with the sportsmanship award for varsity tennis.  He also attended Northern Illinois University to earn a degree in Special Education.  His love for working with children and his goals to have a career in the healthcare field brought him to CDG.  Toni received his certificate in Coronal Polishing at UIC in September of 2016 and is excited to receive his certificate in Monitoring Nitrous Oxide.  When he is not at work, Toni loves spending time outdoors with his friends and family and staying active by running with his dogs.

Brittany - Clinical Assistant II

brittneyBrittany joined Children's Dentistry Group as a sterilizer to expand her knowledge in Pediatric Dentistry.  She has earned her certificate in Coronal Polishing at University of Illinois - Chicago.  She graduated high school with honors and scholarships,  and hopes to receive her certificate in Nitrous Oxide Monitoring in the future.  Brittany loves working with children and has a little boy of her own Christian who she spends most of her time outside of work with.  She has experience in the medical field, and cares greatly about the patients under her care.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and her friends.

Cora - Clinical Assistant II

CoraCora joined CDG as a sterilizer in order to further expand her knowledge in the field of Dentistry.  She has earned her certificate in Coronal Polishing at the University of Illinois - Chicago.  She is hoping to earn her certificate in Nitrous Oxide Monitoring.  Cora attended McHenry County College in the fall of 2016 and graduated with her Associates in Science.  She has a passion for learning new things and is very excited to start working with children!  Cora's interests outside of work include working out and being outside.  She also enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her dogs.

Heather - Practice Administrator

Heather attended the College of Lake County where she completed her practicum in Early Childhood Education. As an advocate for children, she was excited for the opportunity to join our team in promoting the optimal growth and development of our patients. She has over ten years experience working in administration and with children. She was raised in South Bend, Indiana. She moved with her family to Gurnee as a teenager, and lives there currently with her husband and son. In her free time she enjoys reading, trips to Chicago, and puzzles.

Dawn - Accounts and Treatment Coordinator

Dawn graduated from Prospect High in 2013. She loves working with children and her first experience was through her high school's preschool program. She also works as a part-time nanny. Dawn is excited to be a part of the team at Children's Dentistry Group and watch our patients experience coming to the dentist, some for the very first time, to learn to properly care for their teeth and gums and develop good habits. She finds it rewarding to see them smiling after their visits.

Lisa - Administrative Assistant

Lisa met Dr. Herer approximately 21 years ago when she started bringing her clients to him from a non-profit organization for the developmentally disabled called Clearbrook, for their dental visits.  Lisa was employed with Clearbrook for nearly 22 years, and her love for patient and family care reflects here at CDG.  Lisa is excited to be learning about the dentistry world with the doctors at CDG.  Her knowledge and experience with clients that have special needs is a welcome addition to our team. Lisa and her husband have two beautiful children and have lived in the Lake County area for the past several years.

Donna - Administrative Assistant

Donna received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Roosevelt University.  She worked in the corporate world until she became a stay at home mom.  For the last 16 years she has been volunteering at her children's schools and scout groups.  She enjoys reading, running, spending time with family and friends.  Donna is planning on running her first half-marathon in the near future.  She has lived in the McHenry County area for the past 20 years with her husband and two beautiful children.  She looks forward to seeing our patients grow and always have a positive experience at Children's Dentistry Group.

Roman - Administrative Assistant

RomanRoman graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 2002 where he was voted "Most likely to become a comedian" in the future.  He also attended Pearl River Community College in pursuit of acting development.  In his free time he likes to catch a good action movie with his friends, hit the gym, and most of all cooking for his friends and family.  Roman loves children, especially all six of his nieces and nephews.  With over eight years of experience working as a front desk receptionist for hotels, he is very happy to switch gears and join our team!