Our Dental Team
The brief descriptions below are designed to familiarize you with our staff's training, professional credentials and work experience.
Dr. Jared Lawson
General Dentist - Urbana, Maryland
Pearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Jared Lawson graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in Morgantown, WV and received his undergraduate degree in biomedical science from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. During his time at WVU, Dr. Lawson participated in volunteer outreach programs providing dental care for underserved populations and traveled to Guatemala where he gave fluoride treatments to children in rural villages. He also won his class research competition and presented his project at the American Dental Association conference in San Antonio. Dr. Lawson previously practiced dentistry in Columbia, MD, but relocated to the Frederick area for its rich history, culture, scenery, and community.
Dr. Lawson is a member of the American Dental Association, Maryland State Dental Association, as well as the Academy of General Dentistry. He is dedicated to continuing education and staying current on the newest developments in the field of dentistry. Dr. Lawson most enjoys his interactions with his patients, where he strives to form personal connections and make visits as comfortable as possible. Outside of the office, Dr. Lawson enjoys backpacking, motorcycling, collecting vinyl records, and playing guitar. He has two older sisters and seven nieces/nephews in his hometown of Teays Valley, WV.
Dr. EJ Stringer, DMD
General Dentist in Urbana, MDPearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Stringer finished her undergraduate work at Penn State University, where she not only made dean’s lists each semester but also received numerous awards, given to the top student of the class. While attending Penn State she was invited to join the National Health Pre-professional Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta. She received her D.M.D. (Doctor of Medical Dentistry) from the University Of Pittsburgh’s School Of Dental Medicine, where she graduated with an outstanding academic record. She attended Pitt with an academic scholarship, awarded only to a highly select group of students, showing outstanding academic achievement. Dr. Stringer has focused training in sedation dentistry, oral surgery, and AEGD (Advanced Education in General Dentists in Frederick MarylandDentistry). She has participated in “Give Kids a Smile Day” since 2007. She is also a member in good standing with the American Dental Association, the Maryland State Dental Association, and Frederick County Dental Society and HDA.
On a personal note, she and her husband, Stewart, live in The Villages of Urbana, with Bopeboe and Veete, their golden retriever and Labrador retriever. Dr. Stringer enjoys hiking, gardening, fishing, playing the piano, skiing, traveling and playing fetch with her dogs.
Dr. EJ’s is a sponsor of The United Way, SPCA, UNICEF, Goodwill and NPR.
Dr. Leslie Oakes
Pediatric Dentist in Urbana, MDPearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Leslie Oakes is a “military brat” having been raised in a military family and now herself serving as a Pediatric Dentist in the US Army. She has had the opportunity to call many places around the world “home”, but is happy to be back in the states and calls Maryland her new home.
Dr. Oakes graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Biomedical Sciences after which she then went on to earn her dental degree at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Upon graduation, Dr. Oakes completed a 1 year Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Ft. Carson, Colorado and practiced as a general dentist for several years prior to pursing her passion in pediatric dentistry. Dr. Oakes was competitively selected among her peers to represent the Army in a civilian program and earned her certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. While rotating through Children’s Medical Center and Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas, she had the opportunity to treat a variety of children from healthy to severely medically compromised. She considers it a privilege and an honor to welcome all kids into her practice and looks forward to creating a “dental home” for the children in the local community.
Dr. Oakes practices both traditional and minimally invasive dentistry, and has experience treating children under nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), oral sedation and general anesthesia. She is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
In her free time, you will likely find Dr. Oakes training for an upcoming race or doing anything outdoors. She loves dogs, traveling and food and has eaten her way through many countries while traveling with her dog. She has a passion for outreach programs and has volunteered for dental mission trips in Haiti, Honduras, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic as well as locally with Team Smile. Her most recent adventure is becoming a foster mom for a local animal rescue.
Dr. Pratik Patel, DDS FRCD
Endodontist in Urbana, MD - Root Canal SpecialistPearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Pratik Patel, a native of Virginia, attended Bishop Ireton High School. He graduated from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. Dr. Patel received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) from SUNY at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine and completed his General Practice Residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. After working as a Gener al Dentist, Dr. Patel decided to pursue further training and specialize in Endodontics. He received his Certificate in Endodontics from Columbia University in New York City.
Dr. Patel is a Specialist member of the American Association of Endodontists. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada [FRCD(C)], and has Specialist Registration with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Patel has performed pro bono work abroad in third world countries, such as in India and Guatemala. He enjoys traveling, sports, and outdoor activities. His favorite teams to watch are the Nationals, Capitals, and Redskins!
Dr. Brian Chang
Oral Surgeon in Urbana, MDPearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Brian Chang is a native to the Washington Metropolitan area, growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He then earned his undergraduate degree at University of Virginia in Biology and Economics.
Dr. Chang earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania through the Health Professional Scholarship Program from the U.S. Army. He decided to pursue additional training and completed his residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center. He spent the following four years as the Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Fort Polk, Louisiana, treating our soldiers and other service members.
Dr. Chang decided to come back to the Frederick, Maryland area with the surgical knowledge and expertise gained from his training in the army.
He is active in variety of professional associations and has been published in professional journals.
Dr. Chang is board-certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. Stephen Tigani
Orthodontist in Urbana, MDPearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Tigani is committed to providing his patients with the best possible orthodontic care in the Washington area. He has worked in orthodontics for over fifteen years and believes in treating each and every patient with the individual care and attention they deserve. Dr. Tigani is passionate about his profession and enjoys combining the art and science of orthodontics. He provides his patients with the latest technology and advances in orthodontics while maintaining a personal and caring relationship with every adult, teen or child. Dr. Tigani believes every patient should have a healthy, happy smile that lasts a lifetime.
Dr. Tigani received his Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University in 1988 where he majored in Psychology and minored in Biology. He then received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Dental School in 1992, after which, he worked with his father, brother, sister and brother-in-law as a general dentist while pursuing his orthodontic degree. Dr. Tigani then completed a two year orthodontic residency program at Columbia University in 1995.
Dr.Tigani is a native Washingtonian who is involved at both the professional and community levels. He is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the World Federation of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the District of Columbia Dental Society and a fellow of the International College of Dentists (ICD) and the American College of Dentists (ACD). The ICD is an honorary international organization that recognizes dentists for outstanding and meritorious service to the profession of dentistry and to the community. The ACD's members exemplify excellence through outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions to dentistry and society. He is a past President of the District of Columbia Dental Society, a component of the ADA that helps in the further advancement of the dental profession while being an advocate for the community and dentistry as a whole. Dr. Tigani is the past Chairman for the D.C. Dental Society's "Give Kids a Smile Program," an annual event providing oral health care to low income families in the Washington, DC area. He currently represents the District of Columbia Dental Society as a delegate to the American Dental Association and also serves on the ADA Council on Membership.
Dr.Tigani has been involved with his community civic associations, coaches soccer and basketball for the past 20 years, and serves on numerous boards and councils. He is currently a delegate to the American Dental Association. He has been married for 27 years and has four children whom attend various colleges and graduate schools.
Dr. Ashley Seals
Periodontist in Urbana, MD
Pearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Ashley Seals, a native of the Washington, DC area, graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor degree in Neurobiology/Physiology. Dr. Seals earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Howard University College of Dentistry, where she was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Dental Society. Dr. Seals went on to complete a 3 year surgical residency in Periodontics at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York, where she also earned her Masters in Periodontics. During her time at Columbia University, she performed extensive research at the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration and was an associate clinical faculty member. Dr. Seals is also a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, qualifiying her to be proficient in advanced gum surgery and implantology. Dr. Seals is an active member of several professional organizations including: American Dental Association, American Academy of Periodontology, DC Dental Society, and Greater Washington Academy of Women Dentists. Outside of the office, Dr. Seals enjoys hiking, kayaking, watching basketball, international cuisine, and live performing arts.
Dr. Amos Chi
Prosthodontist in Urbana, MD
Pearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Chi is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Dr. Chi graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor degree in Biochemistry. He was awarded the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland in 2005. He completed a three-year residency program specializing in prosthodontics at the U.S. Army Postgraduate Dental School in Augusta, Georgia in 2008, and a Master of Sciences in Oral Biology from Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, August, GA. His thesis entitled ‘Resistance to abrasion of extrinsic porcelain esthetic characterization techniques.’ was published, in July 2017, in the Army Medical Department Journal. Dr. Chi has to his credit a fellowship in Oral Oncology and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics from The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas in 2018 where his clinical work titled ‘Prosthodontic treatment of a patient with Ewing sarcoma of the left maxillary sinus: A clinical report’ was accepted for publication in 2018, in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.
Dr. Chi has been conferred numerous awards. In 2018, he was conferred the Maxillofacial Foundation Award by the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics. In July 2016, Dr. Chi was awarded Meritorious Service Medal by the United States Army. Dr. Chi was as an ‘Invited Speaker’ at International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Korea Section and Seoul International *Dental* Exhibition & Scientific Congress on the topic of ‘Zirconia Restorations’.
Dr. Chi has multiple scientific papers published in both national and international journals as well as poster discussions at national conferences. Dr. Chi presented two abstracts entitled ‘Prosthodontic treatment of a patient with Ewing sarcoma of the left maxillary sinus: A clinical report’ and ‘The effects of zinc on radiation-induced dysgeusia: A meta-analysis’ during American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics and American College of Prosthodontists meetings in 2018.
Dr. Chi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists and an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics.
Dr. Tammira Badakhshan
Dentist - Urbana, MD
Pearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Tammira Badakhshan is a Maryland native. She was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She then attended the University Of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. While in dental school, Dr. Badakhshan gained ample experience in all aspects of dentistry. After dental school, she moved back to her hometown and is now privileged to be serving the dental health care needs of her community.
As a member of the Maryland State Dental Association, American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Badakhshan is one of the most well-respected young dentists in Maryland. She is enhancing her skills with continuing education courses each year. Dr. Badakhshan believes in providing the highest quality of dental care, in a friendly and comfortable environment, while maintaining lasting relationships with each individual.
Outside of work, Dr. Badakhshan enjoys spending time with family and friends and loves traveling to new places. She is fluent in Farsi.
Dr. Nikta Pashai
Dentist - Urbana, MD
Pearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Nikta Pashai is a general dentist that is devoted to giving quality patient care and building long term relationships with each of her patients. She is committed to providing healthy smiles through carefully designed and customized treatment plans. As a member of the American Dental Association, Maryland State Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry, she is dedicated to continued education and staying current with new advances in the dental field.
Dr. Nikta Pashai was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland. She attended University of Maryland, College Park, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She earned her dental degree from University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore. While in dental school, Dr. Pashai enjoyed giving back to the community by participating in Mid- Maryland Mission of Mercy events and providing dental screenings for Special Olympics participants.
After completing her dental degree, Dr. Pashai went on to complete an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency program at University of Maryland School of Dentistry. During her residency, Dr. Pashai was able to expand on her current skills by managing complex comprehensive cases and gaining proficiency with cutting edge technology.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and outdoor activities.
Dr. Leonel Perez, Jr. DDS, MD
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon - Urbana
Pearlfection Dentistry - Urbana
Dr. Perez is a native of Texas and received his Bachelors degree from the University of Texas of San Antonio (UTSA). Following this, he pursued a degree in Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA). Dr. Perez has had Navy sponsorship throughout his training via the Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP). He was honorably selected into a Full-Time Out Service (FTOS) OMS residency program during dental school.
Dr. Perez continued his training at UTHSCSA and earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) During this time, he completed his General Surgery/Anesthesia internship and subsequently completed his Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery training in 2014.
Dr. Perez is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (ABOMS) and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). Special interests include dentoalveolar surgery, dental implant and bone grafting surgeries, cleft palate surgery, orthognathic surgery, trauma surgery, facial reconstructive surgery, facial cosmetics and TMJ surgery/reconstruction.
Dr. Perez is currently active duty in the Navy where he functions as staff in an OMS resident and teaching facility that engages in the full scope of the specialty. In his free time, Dr. Perez spends all his time with his wife and three kids.
Meet Our Team
Christina - Certified Dental Assistant
Christina is a dental assistant with 14 years of experience. She is certified in both X-ray and Expanded Functions. She loves interacting with patients and enjoys what she does. Christina likes spending time with her husband, 2 children, and her Boston Terrier. In her free time she enjoys cooking, camping, and going to the beach.
Sunni Gabriel - Certifed Dental Assistant
Molly - Office Administrator
Born and raised in Middletown, Maryland. bGraduated from Middletown High School and graduated Towson University in May 2016 with her degree in Psychology. Plans to attend hygiene school within the next few years. Enjoys fishing, family game nights and hiking.
Jessica - Orthodontic and Dental Assistant
As having my radiology certificate and being an orthodontic assistant, I enjoy helping patients achieve the smile they want. When I'm not at work, I love spending time with my kids.
Mikaela graduated from Hagerstown Community College with an A.A.S. in Dental Hygiene. She was given the award for Outstanding Student in Dental Hygiene. She is also licensed to administer local anesthesia. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, making crafts, and spending time with her friends and family.
Danielle - Dental Hygienist
Danielle is a native of Virginia Beach, VA. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA and received a B.S. in Marketing at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Danielle fell in love with dentistry by volunteering at an American Red Cross dental clinic and therefore pursued a career as a dental hygienist. She strives to make each patient’s appointment a positive experience, while focusing on oral and overall health. In her free time, Danielle enjoys reading, being outside, cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.
Shabby - Dental Hygienist
Shabnam is native to Maryland and graduated from the Community College of Baltimore County Dental Hygiene Program with an A.A.S and is licensed to administer local anesthesia. Outside of the Dental field she is a Licensed Massage Therapist and enjoys yoga, dance, traveling and spending time with her son.
Rossann is a registered dental hygienist and lives in Boonsboro Maryland. She graduated from Hagerstown Community College with an A.A.S. in Dental Hygiene and is board certified in local anesthesia. She prides herself in patient care, and loves making beautiful smiles. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 kids, her dog Boone, and friends.
Jenna - Scheduling Coordinator
Lita Hudson, CDA
Lita has been a National Board’s Certified Dental Assistant and an Active Dental Radiation Technologist since 1995. Lita primarily assists our general doctors to provide excellent dental care to our wonderful patients. As a dental assistant, Lita takes digital x-rays, impressions and performs any necessary lab work. Lita enjoys spending individual time with each patient during their visit, explaining the procedures that will be done, giving them advice on what to expect before, during and after the procedure, answering any questions and attending to the patient’s needs. Lita is also responsible for sterilization instruments, OSHA monitoring and coordinating with outside laboratories.
The most rewarding thing about her job is when the patients are smiling, thanking her when they leave because we’ve exceeded their expectations. Lita is proud to be part of this the PearlFection team.
On a personal note, Lita has been married to her husband Bob since March 1990, together they have three daughters, one son and a faithful Yorkshire terrier. Lita enjoys hanging out with her family, cooking, traveling, gardening and taking pictures of her children’s sporting events.