Meet The Team at Gentle Family Dentistry


Registered Nurse | Director of HR, Purchasing, and Marketing

Duquesne University/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
University of Phoenix/Phoenix, Arizona/Master’s Degree in Nursing
Graduated Summa Cum Laude

Let me be the first to welcome you to our practice! We love how positive the environment is here and it is my hope that our patients do too. Our amazing dental team works extremely well together while providing the best dental services to our patients! Our warm, caring staff attentively strives to make each of our patients feel comfortable, and knowledgeable, while in their care. Our Doctor, Jonathan Garger DMD, is an amazing Dentist. He has vast and excellent dental skills, with a flair for hi-tech dentistry, but with gentle old-time care.

Having over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, with a background in both Critical Care and Nursing Education, Renée has a unique and diverse understanding of both patient care and business management. When she is not in the office, Renée enjoys spending time with her husband, Dr. Garger. Together they enjoy walking with their dog Hermie, laughing, dining, and travel.


Office Manager

Olympic College / General studies
Blue Cross / Job Training

Kendel enjoys the business component of dentistry, including accommodating patient schedules and resolving patient’s insurance and/or financial issues. She wants to make sure each patient feels at home while also marketing the wonderful aspects of Gentle Family Dentistry. Kendel believes that her clinical training has been an asset to better understanding the patient’s treatment needs. Kendel has worked for Dr. Garger since 2014, but she has been involved in the dental industry since 1999.

In her off time, Kendel enjoys decorating her home, dirt biking with her family, swimming, and taking little trips to the beach. The one thing she loves the most is enjoying a dinner with her children (with no cellphones) to see how their days went. “Family means the world to me!” – Kendel.


Claims Coordinator

Bakersfield College / Registered Dental Assistant Program / 1989

Deborah has been in the dental field since 1989 and has worked at Gentle Family Dentistry since 2016. She enjoys her job, especially educating the patients as to how they can best meet their highest level of oral health. Deborah also explores the available financial options with patients in order to find the best way to reach their dental goals.

When she is not in the office, Deborah enjoys spending time with her family, especially the time she spends with her grandson. Gardening, boating, and riding her quad are also favored activities.


Registered Dental Hygienist

Taft College /Associates in Dental Hygiene / 2017 Graduated with Honors / Phi Theta Kappa

Jocelyn joined Gentle Family Dentistry in 2022. A welcomed new member of the dental team, Jocelyn loves her profession because she enjoys empowering our patients with the knowledge and understanding of their oral care. Jocelyn focuses on helping our patients to achieve their optimal oral health, while providing a comfortable and positive experience. Jocelyn enjoys being a part of Dr. Garger’s team and serving the community.

When she is not at work, Jocelyn enjoys many diverse activities! Some of these activities include traveling, doing water sports, drawing, exercising, baking, and watching baseball. Her favorite activities are time spent with her family, friends and high school sweetheart.


Registered Dental Hygienist

Taft College / Associates in Dental Hygiene / 2019

Emily joined our Gentle Family Dentistry team in 2022. A welcomed new member of the dental team, Emily loves helping our patients to feel more confident about their smiles! Emily also feels that having the opportunity to educate and build a trusting relationship with our patients is an especially rewarding component of her job.

In her free time, Emily enjoys running errands and getting Starbucks! She was a former Barista while she was attending college!


Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions II

Carrington College / Dental Assisting / 2010 Carrington College / Extended Functions Program / 2017

Shantel strives to build trusting relationships with our patients by improving their oral health and creating a comfortable dental atmosphere. She loves changing peoples lives by changing their smile! We are so excited that Shantel joined the Gentle Family Dentistry team in 2020, she is a breath of fresh air!

When she is not at work, Shantel enjoys spending time with her son, “he is my world”, she says with a smile! She also loves outside activities, including camping, hiking and exercising.


Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions

Extended Functions Dental Assistants Association, Fullerton / Extended Functions Program / 2015

California College of Vocational Career / Dental Assistant / 2008

Maria started her dental career in 2008, but only recently joined Gentle Family Dentistry in 2021. A welcomed new member of the dental team, Maria likes helping patients to understand their treatment plan, get out of pain, while also assisting in giving patients their whitest, healthiest smile. Maria aspires to treat every patient like they are a member of her family!

When she is not at work, Maria enjoys watching football, especially the Los Angeles Rams. Aside from football, Maria believes that the most important thing in her life is being with her family.


RDA Registered Dental Assistant

UEI College / Dental Assisting / 2017

Michelle enjoys helping our patients to have the best experience while they are here. Seeing the joy on their faces when leaving our office is what I strive for every day. Making our patients feel comfortable and at ease during their treatments and regular visits is my goal. Gentle Family Dentistry makes our patients feel like friends, which I love when coming into work. It doesn’t make work feel like ‘work’!

On her days off, Michelle likes to spend her time with her husband and two children. Going on mini-vacations, beach trips, hiking, and visiting different aquariums and zoos.


Registered Nurse/Registered Dental Hygienist

Taft College / Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene / 2012
Bakersfield College / Associate Degree in Nursing / 2022

Christina has been with Gentle Family Dentistry since entering into the dental field in 2012. She enjoys helping people to improve their overall health, by improving their oral health. Christina especially enjoys seeing our patient’s happy and healthy smiles after their cleanings! Making sure that she does her utmost to make dental cleanings as relaxing as possible, Christina helps to alleviate patient fears by sharing that she has dental phobias and understands how to calm patients through their anxiety.

When Christina isn’t working she is usually out playing with her puppy Gibson or is exercising at the gym while she listens to music.