Our Practice History…


frank-j-smith-ddsExquisite Smiles Oak Park had its humble beginnings in 1945, shortly after WWII. That is when Dr. Frank J. Smith opened his one-man dental practice on North Avenue in Oak Park.

Dr. Smith graduated from Loyola Dental School, served his internship at the Zoller Institute at the University of Chicago, and trained in maxillofacial surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. In 1941, he enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned aboard the USS Albany. While stationed on the Albany, he performed reconstructive surgery on naval personnel injured in the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the age of 24, Dr. Smith was the youngest commander in the U.S. Navy.

As the war ended, Dr. Smith returned home to Oak Park and began what would be his legacy of a 70 + year dental practice. He and his wife Lee raised their 5 children in River Forest and remained active in the frank-lee-smith-scanned-photocommunity throughout their lives. Those who knew him would say “Dr. Smith is everything you could ask for in a dentist!” Words such as gentle, compassionate and humorous were commonly used to describe this “wonderful dentist and really great guy.”
Dr. Smith enjoyed the personal connection with everyone. The comfort of his patients and their confidence in the care he provided was very important to him. It is no wonder many patients referred to him as DDS – Darling Doctor Smith!

As the years passed, Dr. Smith realized that it was time to pass the baton to a new generation of exceptional dentists. Knowing the personal relationships he had developed with his own patients and with the greatest concern for their ongoing care and treatment, he chose Dr. Joseph M. Burbick and Dr. R. Tage Welindt as his successors before fully retiring in 1991. Many of Dr. Smith’s patients, along with their children and grandchildren, continue in our practice today.

Dr. Smith passed away in 2006 at the age of 88, leaving a legacy of exceptional care and excellence in dentistry.

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Egle received her training in dental assisting from the “BILLING & DENTAL ASSISTING INC.” in 2001. She joined “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in 2003. In 2006 she left to raise her family, and returned as a part-time assistant in 2015. Egle provides technical support and assistance to the entire team. She assists the doctors and the hygienists and also helps in lab. Egle is certified in CPR and the use of the AED. She is also fluent in LITHUANIAN AND RUSSIAN!


Diana is a Registered Dental Hygienist who earned her Dental Hygiene degree and Bachelor of Science from “NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY DENTAL SCHOOL” in 1991. She is certified in the administration of local anesthesia, CPR, and the use of the AED. Diana began her career with “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in 1998. Our patients enjoy Diana’s straightforward, no nonsense way of explaining the importance of good dental hygiene!


Sue is a graduate of “LOYOLA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY” where she received her Dental Hygiene degree in 1983, and her Bachelor of Science in 1985. Sue’s compassionate, gentle approach helps all of our patients achieve great dental health. She is certified in the administration of local anesthesia, CPR, and the use of the AED. Sue joined the team at “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in 2000.


Joanna graduated from “SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY” in 2007 where she received her degree in Dental Hygiene and her Bachelor of Science. She is certified in the administration of local anesthesia, CPR, and the use of the AED. Joanna has been with the practice since 2012. Our patients enjoy her calm quiet demeanor and her gentle approach. She speaks POLISH fluently.


Marcia earned her degree in Dental Hygiene and her Bachelor of Science in 1984 from “SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY”. She received her certification in the administration of local anesthesia in 2015 from “U.I.C. DENTAL SCHOOL”. She also is certified in CPR and the use of the AED. Marcia joined “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in January, 2016, and works part-time for the practice. Marcia has a true connection to the Oak Park and River Forest area and knows many of our patients from her days as a hockey mom.


After receiving her certification in dental assisting from “LOYOLA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY” in 1979, JoAnn began her career at “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” as Dr. Frank J. Smith’s dental assistant. Eventually she took on the role as receptionist, and several years later assumed the position as Office Manager for the practice. JoAnn’s vast experience makes her the “go to” person for everything from information on treatment to insurance, scheduling and more. JoAnn also is certified in CPR and the usage of the AED.


Lynn received her training in dental assisting from “TRITON COLLEGE” and became certified in the profession in 1982. After working in the area for nine years, she left the dental field to be a full-time mom. Lynn has been a patient of “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” since 1987, and joined the team as the Scheduling Coordinator in November, 2011. Her energy keeps us all smiling and she loves greeting all of our patients by name. We call her “the mayor” because she connects to everyone she meets! Lynn is certified in CPR and the usage of the AED.


Sara studied at the “UNIVERSIDAD OF GUADALAJARA (SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY), MEXICO” where she received her DDS in 1987. After marrying, she and her husband moved to the United States to raise a family. She joined the practice in 2011 as a dental assistant. Sara is fluent in SPANISH, her native language, and ENGLISH. Sara’s background in dentistry makes her an asset to Dr. Welindt. Her gentle disposition has been of great comfort to our patients. She is also invaluable when explaining a treatment plan or procedure to our Spanish speaking patients. Sara is certified in CPR and the usage of the AED.


Linda began working at “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in 2003 as our Sterilization Specialist. Her primary duties include sterilizing all instruments and equipment in the treatment rooms between patients, preparing cases to be sent to the laboratory, and maintaining all OSHA reports. She too is CPR and AED certified, and is fluent in SPANISH. You can find her working side by side with our hygienists during a prophylaxis appointment or translating conversations for our Spanish speaking patients. Linda provides a steady, gentle support to the entire team at “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK”.


Annemarie joined the team at “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in 2012 after enjoying “exquisite” care as a patient since 2001. Prior to her employment with the practice, her skills as a Senior Project Manager in the business world combined with her experience in raising four children, have been an asset to our patients when they call to schedule appointments. She understands the many time constraints of a busy family, and loves the challenge of making sure we find the best appointment times available for all of our patients. Annemarie, as well, is CPR and AED certified.


Mariella studied at “THE SANTARELLA TECHNICAL INSTITUTE” in BARI, ITALY, in 1986, and received her certification in the field of Dental Laboratory Technician. After moving to Chicago, Illinois, she began her career at “EXQUISITE SMILES OAK PARK” in 1992 as a Dental Assistant. Mariella has assisted both doctors and is currently working with Dr. Burbick. Her technical expertise and pleasant demeanor make our patients feel at ease and is an asset to Dr. Burbick and our entire team. Mariella is fluent in ITALIAN, certified in CPR and the usage of the AED.


Erika joined the Exquisite Smiles Oak Park Team in the fall of 2017. Erika is critical to all aspects of patient care, from sterilization of all dental instruments and preparing cases for our labs, to assisting the hygienists and doctors. She brings three years dental and orthodontic experience to our team and is fluent in both Eglish and Spanish. Erika enjoys the busy pace of our office, and as the mother of two children, she is used to being busy.


Yecenia “J”, joined the Exquisite Smies Oak Park Team in the fall of 2017. A 2010 graduate of Everest College she brings 8 years of experience in pediatric dentistry t our office, needless to say she is excellent with children! J is fluent in English and Spanish and she provides a calm presence in both the lab and in our dental emergency operatory. She provides a much needed extra set of hands for the doctors and the assistants. On any given day you may find her taking x-rays, assisting the doctors and helping the lab. She is certified in coronal polishing and sealant application and she holds CPR and OSHA Certification as well.


Kim earned her degree in Dental Hygiene and Bachelor of Science in 1992 from Loyola University Chicago. She is certified in Administration of Local Anesthesia, Nitrous Oxide, CPR and AED. Kim has been working as a temporary hygienist at Exquisite Smiles Oak Park for 10+ years. She is always ready to help out when one of our regular hygienists need time off. Working in her community brings her much joy as she contributes to the dental health of all patients she meets.


Melissa joined Exquisite Smiles Oak Park in 2018. Although she is a new face to many of our patients, she has been a patient here since 2005 and she brings a wealth of dental experience to our team. Since graduating from Dominican University, she has worked as a dental assistant and a patient care coordinator. Her hands on experience in assisting brings invaluable understanding to the
scheduling process. As the mother of two children she understands the demands of raising a family and loves the challenge of finding the best appointment times for our patients. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family which also includes 3 dogs and 3 cats.

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