Dr. Kim Lugtu
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 N. Buzzell
Dr. 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 5th 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 include 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’s current hobbies, when not practicing pediatric dentistry, include baby snuggles, changing diapers, and hoping to get sleep when the baby sleeps!
Dr. Wilson Tam
Dr. Wilson is a board certified pediatric dentist who provides exceptional care to each one of his patients. Dr. Wilson Tam was born in the country of Brazil and spent most of his childhood years moving from place to place. Upon moving from Brazil to America, his family spent some time in the state of Oregon before finally settling in California. Dr. Wilson completed his undergraduate education at the University of California and attended dental school at the University of California in San Francisco. He later traveled to New York University to complete his residency in the pediatric specialty.
Dr. Wilson joined our practice in November 2021 and has made a significant contribution to our team of skilled providers. He has a passion for his role as a pediatric dentist and enjoys the chance to educate children and start them in the right direction to ensure a healthy smile in the future. One of his favorite aspects of his job is interacting with his patients, making them laugh, and showing them how much fun dentistry can be.
Outside of the office, Dr. Wilson loves spending time with his family and going out for a run with his dog, Grizzly. He also enjoys participating in a variety of sports and fitness activities, such as basketball, tennis, and hiking in the beautiful California landscape.
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
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
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.