Our Team

We are very proud of our professional team here at Smile Xpressions.

Our entire team is here to help you! At Smile Xpressions, we are dedicated to giving all of our patients the very best dental care Artesia has to offer! We ensure superior oral health in our community by continuing our education and keeping up with the lasts dental technologies.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today at (575) 746-1900.

Meet our Dentists

Kay Younggren

D.D.S., F.I.C.O.I.

Dentistry has given me the opportunity to make a positive change in people’s lives. I love getting to know my patients and assisting them with their dental needs. I cannot imagine a more fulfilling job. And even more special to me is working in my hometown.

I am a 1998 graduate of Artesia High School. After high school, I moved to Texas to further my education, first graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry with a minor in biology from McMurry University, and then graduating with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A&M Health Science Center. I have also received and completed a fellowship in Implantology with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (F.I.C.O.I.). Following graduation from dental school, I began practicing dentistry in Artesia. Two years later, I purchased Smile Xpressions. Over the past decade, we have expanded into a new, state-of-the-art facility featured in Sidekick Dental Magazine.

In addition to the daily practice of dentistry, I am involved in several professional organizations: the American Dental Association, the New Mexico Dental Association Board, and the Eastern New Mexico Dental Association (President 2010–12). I continue involvement with my undergraduate alma mater, serving as an Alumni Association Board of Director (2008–17) and a University Trustee (2017–present), and am proud to have received the Spirit of McMurry Award, which the university bestows upon its distinguished alumni.

I am a past-president and current member of the Artesia Downtown Lions Club. I also work with the Written in Red Foundation and am a member of Artesia First United Methodist Church.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family in the mountains and my dogs, Gabby, and Thunder.

Katelyn Gunn


Having grown up on an alfalfa farm in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, this small-town girl knew she wanted to practice dentistry in a rural area. I attended West Texas A & M in Canyon, Texas where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry. I continued my education at Midwestern College of Dental Medicine in Glendale, Arizona achieving my Doctorate of Dental Medicine. While at Midwestern, I was recognized as the “Student of Service” for the Class of 2018 which is appointed by the faculty. I am a member of the American Dental Association, Eastern New Mexico Dental Association, and serve on the New Mexico Dental Board. I’m also an active member of the Artesia Downtown Lions Club, Written in Red Foundation, and Hermosa Church of Christ.

Shortly after graduating from dental school in 2018, I married Hunter Buckles. Hunter is a General Contractor for 42 Construction. We welcomed a daughter, Lynnon ‘Scout’ Buckles, to our family in 2020. My lifelong dream of being a steadfast wife, mom, and professional has become a busy reality all thanks to Hunter.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking/baking, browsing Hobby Lobby/crafting, snow skiing, hiking, and spending time with my family. My family and friends will tell you I can always be found wherever a game of “forty-two” (dominos) or Settlers of Catan is being played.

While I enjoy the challenges and inconsistencies that dentistry presents, I love people. Providing a service to both children and adults is an extension of that love.

Meet our Dental Hygienists

Serrina Gonzalez


I came aboard the staff of Smile Xpressions in 2006 as a dental assistant. I worked as a dental assistant while attending dental hygiene school at ENMU-R and graduated 2013. It was then that I began my dental hygiene adventure.

My husband, Abe, and I began our family in 2013 and have two children Abie and Natalia. I now work as a part-time hygienist so that I can spend extra time at home. Abie was born with Down-Syndrome, and our family is committed to special needs children. I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling.

Shirley Hafliger

B.S.D.H, R.D.H.

I have been a registered dental hygienist at Smile Xpressions for over 20 years. I received my Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree from Loma Linda University in 1997. Working hard every day to provide excellent care to my patients to ensure they will keep their teeth for their lifetime is my top priority. Through education and encouragement, my patients learn the most helpful ways to maintain optimum oral health and the integral relationship their oral health plays in their overall health and wellness. Many of my patients feel like personal friends and family to me. Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my husband Mark and our family.

Candice Greathouse


I graduated from Amarillo in 2008 and joined the practice at Smile Xpressions shortly after. My high school sweetheart, Kyle and I married and have a daughter, Kaelynn, and a son, Kai. In my spare time, I like to work out and play softball.

Sarah Venegas


After graduating from hygiene school in 2010 from ENMU-R I began my career as a dental hygienist. In 2014, I moved back to my home town and began working at Smile Xpressions. I enjoy helping my patients improve and maintain good oral health. My goal is to treat and educate my patients so that they can keep their teeth for a lifetime!

Part of my desire to move back to Artesia was to be with family. When I’m not at the office I enjoy spending time with my son, R.J and the rest of the “Venegas Clan”. I also enjoy fitness, travel, and playing softball.

Austyn Williams

B.S.D.H., R.D.H.

I graduated as a Dental Hygienist at San Juan College in Farmington. I pretty much grew up at Smile Xpressions, my Mom is the office manager and I worked throughout high school and college as a part-time employee. Seeing how important dental care is formed my career path and resulted in my choice to become a hygienist. I began my career in Clovis, NM but my heart’s desire was to move back to Artesia and work at Smile Xpressions. Needless to say, I’m super excited to become a permanent part of the family. I enjoy photography and graphics and run a part-time business called Austyn Williams Photo+Design. My hobbies include reading, crafts and spending time with my dog Cobi.

Meet our Dental Assistants

Brittany Caley


I joined the practice in the Summer of 2012, while doing my practicum hours for dental assisting at ENMU-R, then later graduated in December. I was hired full time in 2013. I love working at Smile Xpressions, the staff is like family to me. When I’m not at work, I am spending time with my significant other and our four kids. Our children love sports and being outside, so we spend most of our time outdoors. I also am a “Mom” to 30 plus chickens and plant a garden yearly on our property. I grew up in town so life in the country has been fun.

Jessica Salmon

I have been dental assisting since 2003 and have been with Smile Xpressions since 2010. I truly enjoy what I do. I am married to Tito Salmon and we have two daughters, Sydni and Nadia. We are a very active family and some of our hobbies include working out together and playing golf. We also love to participate in our daughters extracurricular activities as well.

Delaney Rodriguez

A.S, C.D.A.

I began my dental career at Smile Xpressions while doing clinical hours for school at the beginning of 2017. I joined the team of Smile Xpressions permanently in June 2018. I have an Associates in Science from New Mexico State University as well as a Dental Assisting Certificate which I obtained from Lubbock Dental Assistant School. I am married to Joshua Rodriguez my lifelong friend. My hobbies include spending time with family and friends, camping, and being outdoors.

Gabby Laris

I attended the Lubbock dental assisting program and received my certification in March 2016. While in the program I did my clinical hours at Smile Xpressions. I was born and raised in Roswell. After 6 months of having moved to Artesia, I joined the Smile Xpressions team permanently in March 2019. Out of the office, you can catch me with my lifelong partner Marcos and daughter Itzel, we love spending our time with family and friends. My favorite hobby would have to be photography, I like to capture special moments that will forever turn into memories.

Emily Mendoza

I grew up in Artesia, New Mexico, and attended the Institute of Dental Assisting in Albuquerque. During the program, I completed my clinical experience at Smile Xpressions and ultimately received my certification in the fall of 2017. During my clinical experience, I was drawn to the close-knit atmosphere of Smile Xpressions and I was delighted to join the team in August 2019. Out of the office, I spend time with my best-friend and Fiancé Eric and our three boys: Elijah, Ezra, and Ethan. My favorite hobbies include crafting, cooking, and watching movies.

Meet our Office Staff

Missy Williams, B.B.A.

Office Manager

I have been employed for the practice since May 2, 1994. I attended New Mexico State University where I received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1989. I have been in the dental field for over 20 years and still love it! I was raised in Artesia and after returning have enjoyed helping prior friends as well as new acquaintances in our practice.

I also married a wonderful man, Perry and have two children, Austyn and Denver. I enjoy diving, scrap-booking and reading in my free time. I also enjoy volunteering in the Artesia Downtown Lions Club, First Baptist Church, various school booster clubs and working with the youth in the community. I was named the Artesia Volunteer of the Year in 2012.

Donna Fletcher

Front Desk

I am proud to be a family member of Smile Xpressions since April 2001. I say family because we, the staff and Doctor, not only work together but pray, eat and socialize. I am the Case Management & Insurance Coordinator: in short, I interview you as a new patient when you first visit our office. Because we believe in ideal treatment planning, I try to find the best financing available for you and your needs. The most challenging part of my job is making sure that you get the insurance benefits you are entitled to.

I am blessed with an amazing husband Marty and have three children Lindsay, Tommy, and Conner, and four fun-loving grandchildren, Jacob, Darren, Remy, and Brice.

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a member of the Eddy County Shooting Range and love shooting a few rounds of sporting clays with family and friends.

I look forward to seeing you in our office.

Gina Torres, C.D.A.

Front Office

I’m a certified dental assistant and have worked for Smile Xpressions for over 28 years. I began and worked many years in the back as a dental assistant, about 10 years ago I transitioned to the front office as the scheduling coordinator. It’s my pleasure to help our patients and I love the atmosphere and the staff that make up the “family” here at Smile Xpressions.
Israel and I married in 1971 and have 3 children Nathan, Gino, and Tori. We have two granddaughters, Ciara and Daryan, one grandson, A.J., and two great-grandsons, Kaden & Rawley J.

Sonya Lopez

Front Office

I joined the team at Smile Xpressions in June of 2019 and feel very blessed to be a part of the family. My background was in dental assisting and I was a dental assistant for 9 years. I now work in the front office and I love the new challenge of learning a different aspect of the dental office. When I’m not at work I enjoy cooking, reading, watching Netflix, and spending time with my son, Daniel, and family.

Debbie Younggren

Front Office

I graduated high school from Roby, Texas. I received a bachelor’s degree in Education from Angelo State University. This is where I met my husband, Terry. We have been married 44 years and have two children and two grandchildren. I taught 4th grade and title reading in Eden, Texas then 2nd grade in Big Lake, Texas. When I moved to Artesia, I went back to school and received my Master’s Degree in Education from Grand Canyon University. I taught First Grade in the Artesia Public School system until I retired three years ago. After retirement, I went to work for my Daughter, Dr. Kay Younggren. I help out where ever they need me at the office. Mainly I work afternoons answering the telephone, running errands, and sometimes even doing sterilization. It is so much fun to be around this group of women! They are always so upbeat and ready to help everyone have the best dental experience possible.