Meet The Doctors

Dr. Kim Lugtu

Clinical Director

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Kim Lugtu is a native of San Diego where she grew up in Rancho Penasquitos and attended Mt. Carmel High School.

She graduated magna cum laude and received a BS degree in Biology at UC Riverside. In 2006, Dr. Kim received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery at UCLA School of Dentistry. Following dental school, she went on to complete her pediatric dental residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she served as chief resident of the department during her final year. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and is currently a member of the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, and American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Dr. Kim is dedicated to building long lasting relationships with her patients and creating a lifetime of healthy smiles. She has enjoyed mission trips to Nicaragua and the Philippines. In her free time, she and her husband, Brian, love traveling, spending time with family and friends, and playing with their dog, Mochi.

Dr. Jordan Buzzell

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Jordan Buzzell is a board certified pediatric dentist with a gentle and calm demeanor that puts even the most fearful patients at ease. Dr. “Buzz”, as he is known by his patients, treats every child as he would his own – with compassion, patience, and love. He has extensive experience in working with children with special needs including those born with craniofacial abnormalities like cleft lip and palate. Dr. Buzz prides himself on his conservative yet realistic approach to provide the best possible care for your child. As our Santee office approaches its 7th anniversary, Dr. Buzz is incredibly thankful for the families that call our office home.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Azusa Pacific University and a dental degree at Loma Linda University, Dr. Buzz completed his residency at New York University. He also holds a master’s degree in public health and is the fourth generation in his family to pursue education in this field. He is also a proud Veteran. Dr. Buzz served on active duty in the United States Navy for six years and is currently a member of the Active Reserves. He has received numerous accolades from the military, including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. 

Dr. Buzz belongs to many professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), San Diego County Dental Society (SDCDS), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the California Dental Association (CDA). He is especially proud to be a member of the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry (CSPD), a nationally recognized leader in organized pediatric dentistry.

Serving the less fortunate is close to Dr. Buzz’s heart, and he has helped countless children locally and internationally. He is a co-founder and co-creator of the Cura Smiles free dental clinic in the City Heights area of San Diego. He is also dedicated to inspiring young people to make a difference in the world and is a professional mentor for students at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), as well as an adjunct faculty member on the campus. According to Dr. Buzz, working with children and college students and serving those in need gives him a unique perspective on life. It is his goal to always look at the world through the eyes of a child.

A self-described “beach bum”, Dr. Buzz can often be found at the beach with his family. Dr. Buzz loves sports, electronic dance music (which includes Friday night dance parties with his kids), and is always in pursuit of the perfect breakfast burrito. Dr. Buzz resides here in San Diego with his wife and three young children. The “Buzz” family welcomed their third child to the world in late 2021 so Dr. Buzz has now mastered life with three kids (barely) and looks forward to the day when he and Mrs. Buzz are no longer changing diapers.

Dr. Scott Curtice


Dr. Curtice is a board-certified orthodontist who spent 30 years of his career serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He is actually not the first Naval Dental Officer in his family, his father was also a dentist who served over 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. After graduating from Mission Bay High School, Dr. Curtice headed up to Washington to pursue his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington (UW). Then, he went to dental school at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Curtice then began his service in the U.S. Navy as a general dentist. His most important tour was in Oakland, CA where he met his wife who was also serving at the time on active duty in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. After multiple tours, including a tour in Hawaii, he was selected by the Navy as the first ever Naval Dental Officer to attend the Air Force Postgraduate Dental School’s Tri-Service Orthodontic Residency Program (TORP) at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. After that, he spent the rest of his active duty career as an orthodontist treating both children and active duty service members. Highlights of his active duty tours included overseas tours in Italy, Spain, and Japan. Dr. Curtice has extensive experience in all areas of orthodontics to include interceptive orthodontics, comprehensive orthodontics, and orthognathic/surgical orthodontics.

Having recently retired from active duty service in June 2022, Dr. Curtice now exclusively works at our office providing the outstanding level of care that he also gave towards our service members. Dr. Curtice joined our practice in 2018, working on his days off even though he was still serving our country. Dr. Curtice and Dr. Buzz have known each other for almost 15 years, having first met while stationed overseas in Yokosuka, Japan. They have developed an incredibly unique team approach to orthodontics and pediatric dentistry, a very successful practice model that is a compliment to their attention to detail and commitment to the highest standards of care.

Dr. Curtice and his wife reside here in San Diego with their two husky fur-babies. They have two adult children who are currently both pursuing their undergraduate and professional degrees. Dr. Curtice is your quintessential San Diegan, raised here growing up surfing, skateboarding, and growing his hair super long. When he’s not creating perfect smiles, he’s likely enjoying a San Diego IPA while cheering on his beloved Padres (we won’t talk about the Chargers). He also loves country music and you can find him at most country music festivals with his cowboy hat, cut-off jean shorts, and boots. In fact, if you hear country music playing in our office it’s likely because Dr. Curtice is seeing patients that day.

Dr. “Chris” Chieu Pham

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Chris L. Pham is a board certified pediatric dentist serving the children of San Diego. He is a graduate with honors from The Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, where he continues his academic interest as a visiting clinical professor. Dr. Chris is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and plays an active role in the California Dental Association, American Dental Association, and California Society of Pediatric Dentistry. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, of which only a few can claim in San Diego, CA. He is also part of the team at Scripps Hospital La Jolla.

His calm and patient manner with children allows the team and parents to have an enjoyable and thorough visit, ensuring a lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles.

Dr. Chris is actively involved in the dental community. He serves as a chairman for the San Diego County Dental Society. He also serves on the Ethics Committee for the Dental Society. He continues in academia as adjunct faculty at UCSD Medical School – Department of Preventative and Family Medicine. He is also affiliated with, and an advisor to, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego State University, and UCLA. He is also a published author for his research in children’s dentistry.

Dr. Chris has enjoyed dental mission work in Vietnam, Guatemala, Mexico, and other under-served areas.

Dr. Chris enjoys the outdoors and is an avid skier. He spends his free time with his wife, Katherine, and their two dogs, Lilly and Winston. They enjoy the beach and surfing.

Dr. Stephen O’Donnell

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Stephen O’Donnell grew up in the beautiful town of Granite Bay in Sacramento and has spent many years in the Southern California region. With a big heart for growing smiles, he made the decision to pursue pediatric dentistry as a profession. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California Irvine, where he studied biological sciences and graduated with excellence in research honors. He then worked in biomedical research for a year before completing his master’s degree in global medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. O’Donnell remained in Los Angeles to complete both his dental school training and his pediatric dental residency at the University of Southern California. During his residency, he spent the majority of his hospital training at the Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, where he had the opportunity to treat and manage multi-disciplinary cases for children with various medical conditions. He was also able to serve on multiple hematology-oncology subspecialty clinical teams and was a member of the craniofacial clinical team.

Dr. O’Donnell spent time training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and the Los Angeles County Medical Center. He regularly attends continuing education courses and meetings through the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the California Dental Association. He has also been taking courses with the American Laser Study Club and learning more about airway dentistry, and the impact of oral health on the way children breathe. He is proudly recognized as an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Diplomate, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry Member, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Member, San Diego County Dental Society member, California Dental Association member, and American Dental Association member.

Dr. O’Donnell has a rich career history that includes volunteer work throughout central and southern California and Baja California, Mexico. Since joining our practice in 2023, Dr. O’Donnell has enjoyed being able to care for children and provide quality treatment. He takes great pride in being able to help children who are suffering from dental anxiety. Caring for those with special health care needs is also one of his passions. He particularly enjoys how dental and oral health is integrated with the rest of our body and health and is interested in our oral health’s impact on our upper airway and the way we breathe. This can have a profound impact on our lives, especially those of children.

Overall, nothing brings more joy to Dr. O’Donnell than helping a child, who has had difficult experiences at another office, overcome their anxiety and find comfort in their new dental home. He loves seeing their smiling faces, especially as they grow! Dr. O’Donnell enjoys hearing about the newest things in their lives and the exciting activities they are trying, from their first t-ball game to their first girl scout cookie sale! Additionally, he enjoys being a part of a wonderful team here at the San Diego office, who all share a passion for providing a positive experience for the patients and their families.

Dr. Evelyne Vu-Tien

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Evelyne is a board-certified pediatric dentist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry from a family of dentists. With three aunts as her mentor, and multiple cousins who became dentists, she had the unique opportunity to observe and work in the dental field at an early age. Born in Paris, France, she emigrated to the United States with her family, who lived in many states before arriving in California. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles, in Business-Economics, she was accepted at the University of California, San Francisco, where she held national positions on behalf of the American Student Dental Association and published articles for the organization. She established a business course for students there and engaged in local outreach programs for underserved children. She received numerous accolades, including the Ethics and Professionalism Award and the California Dental Association’s recognition for outstanding service to the community.

Dr. Evelyne finished her specialty training at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she became a guest lecturer for several groups. She continued her humanitarian dental work in Vietnam and Mexico and served on the Oral Health Initiative Board for the San Diego Health and Human Services. She is a volunteer professor at the specialty Pediatric Dental Program at Rady Children’s Hospital and is active in many San Diego County Dental Society committees.

Dr. Evelyne’s mission is to make each child smile and ensure a positive experience at the dental office. She believes every child should flourish and thrive in a loving, caring dental home and look forward to their dental visits.

Her passion is her family with her two young girls, volunteering, and serving as a military spouse to her husband, a Captain in the US Navy with over twenty years of service. When the family is not visiting him on port visits during deployments, she is raising her rescue animals and finishing her master’s in business administration at the University of San Diego. You can find her on off days hiking with her dogs, enjoying yoga, or attempting cooking.

Dr. Joel Wong

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Joel Wong grew up in Sacramento in a large, vibrant family surrounded by nearly 30 cousins ranging in age from 20 years older to 20 years younger than him. In high school and college, he served as a children’s summer camp leader and tutor directing recreational and educational activities. Tending to kids is second nature to him to say the least.

He earned a BA from University of California Berkeley in film studies and decided post graduation to pivot to studying dentistry. After graduating dental school at University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2018, pediatric dentistry seemed like a natural path to apply his skill sets. He earned his pediatric specialty certification at NYU affiliate Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. He aims to provide quality, friendly care to improve the lives in his community.

Dr. Wong recently moved to San Diego with dreams of starting his own family with his wife, Debbie. They are expecting a daughter this spring! In his free time, he enjoys diving, fishing, cooking, and backpacking.

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