About Us

Spring into Your Dental Home

Customer service of the highest caliber is the touchstone of Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry. Our doctors tell patients what they need while giving them what they want. Our comprehensive service mix keeps patient care in-house as much as possible–for example, every doctor on our team has been trained to administer sleep apnea treatment. Bilingual team members allow us to communicate clearly with more of you, and convenient office hours in both locations make it easier for everyone in your family to get the dental care they need.

Stephens and Gatewood Dentists and Team

Meet Our Dentists

Meet Our Dentists

Jack Stephens, DDS

Dr. Jack Stephens graduated from Houston’s University of Texas Dental School in the top 10% of his class following undergraduate work at Sam Houston State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor in biology. His passion for expanding his knowledge includes thousands of continuing education hours focused on dental implantology, orthodontics, laser dentistry, and CAD/CAM dentistry in order to bring the highest quality dentistry to his patients. Dr. Stephens’ professional memberships and accomplishments include:

In his leisure time, Dr. Stephens enjoys spending time with his wife of over 35 years, Robin, and their children, Zach and Brooke. His hobbies include fly fishing, waterskiing, snow skiing, sailing, bird hunting, racing, biking, scuba diving and flying.

Robert Gatewood, DDS

Dr. Robert Gatewood earned his Doctor of Dental Science degree from Houston’s University of Texas Dental School, followed by three years’ service in the Navy, including a yearlong hospital-based general practice residency. This allowed Dr. Gatewood invaluable opportunities to shadow talented specialists in a variety of healthcare disciplines and gain clinical hands-on experience that shaped his vision of providing high-quality dental treatment to each and every patient.

When his military service was completed, Dr. Gatewood continued to expand his knowledge base with continuing education courses that include advanced studies in Invisalign®, CEREC® technology, and dental implantology. Dr. Gatewood’s professional memberships and accomplishments include:

Outside the office, Dr. Gatewood is active in charitable work with his church and enjoys spending time with his wife, Donna, and their children, Grant and Alex. His hobbies include skiing, wake-surfing, scuba diving and traveling.

Christopher Pagano, DDS

Dr. Chris Pagano graduated second in his class from West Virginia University School of Dentistry following a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University in the field of Environmental Science with a concentration in Occupational and Public Health.

Continuing education is of the utmost importance to Dr. Pagano, who continues to expand his skill set through a number of different courses in CEREC® (same-day crowns), dental implantology, dental sleep medicine, and other services. His professional memberships and accomplishments include:

During his free time, Dr. Pagano likes to spend time with his fiance Anne, family, and friends.  His hobbies include sports (especially college football…let’s go, Mountaineers!), traveling, concerts, and movies.

Todd Swann, DDS

Originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Dr. Todd Swann earned his DDS at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry after completing his undergraduate work at the University of Central Arkansas. He also completed a yearlong Advanced Education in General Dentistry during his four years of service in the U.S. Army. Dr. Swann spent twenty-three years in solo private practice in Greenbrier, Arkansas, before joining our team at Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry.

Dr. Swann’s favorite thing about his job is delivering quality dental care to his patients while working alongside a highly trained, capable staff that shares his dedication to patient care. He is excited to be entering this new phase of his career with his move to Houston and says, “I am thankful to be a part of the excellent team at Stephens and Gatewood.”

Dr. Swann and his wife, Carolyn, have five children and one grandchild. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, canoeing, kayaking, “almost anything on the water”, and following the Arkansas Razorbacks. Dr. Swann also enjoys traveling, seeing and exploring new things and discovering new places.

Our Dentistry Team

Registered Dental Hygienists

Registered Dental Hygienists

Michelle M. LeBlanc

Hygiene Team Leader

Michelle joined our practice in 2008 after completing her AAS in dental hygiene. She is certified in CPR, laser-assisted periodontal therapy, nitrous oxide administration, and dental sealant placement. Michelle loves her job and feels privileged to help her patients work toward healthier, more beautiful smiles. When Michelle is out of the office, she enjoys time with her husband Brian, three amazing children, and spoiled cat named Meyer, watching Texans and Astros games and serving as taxi, maid, and cash machine for her teenagers.

Melissa R. Gary


Melissa is originally from Monroe, Louisiana, but has called Houston, Texas home for the past ten years. She graduated from Louisiana State University in Human Movement Sciences in 2006 and acquired her second degree in Allied Health Science with a concentration in Dental Hygiene from the University of Louisiana Monroe in 2010. She has been a Registered Dental Hygienist practicing in the Houston area for the past ten years and has been with Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry full-time for the last four years. Melissa is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Greater Houston Dental Hygienists’ Society. Melissa loves learning about her patients’ travels and interests, and they enjoy her approachable demeanor and ability to thoroughly explain procedures to them. Melissa is a volunteer for the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo where she is a member of the Wine Garden Committee. She remains active with her college fraternity, Phi Mu, and has served as philanthropy chapter advisor for the Epsilon Mu chapter at Houston Baptist University as well as the Vice President of Membership for the local Houston alumnae chapter. Melissa has been married to her extraordinary husband Douglas for six years, and they are the proud parents of two beautiful children, Merritt Frances and Chandler. The family also includes an adored rescue cat, Parkes. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys taking her kids to the zoo, doing yard work, reading, golfing, and exploring small towns in Texas.

Molly Eastman


Molly received her Bachelor of Science Dental Hygiene degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry and her AAS from Montgomery’s Lone Star College. She is certified in laser dentistry and nitrous oxide monitoring. She enjoys building relationships with her patients, who appreciate her willingness to educate them about their dental health at a comfortable pace. Molly is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, American Dental Education Association, Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association, and National Dental Hygiene Honor Society. Her volunteer work includes the Texas Mission of Mercy’s Smiles on Wheels, Give Kids a Smile, and the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Molly and her husband Jesse have two dogs, Layla and Libby, and a cat named Phoebe. In her free time, Molly enjoys listening to live music.

Valerie Quella


Valerie is originally from Racine, Wisconsin, but has lived in Texas since 1988 and considers herself officially more Texan than 'Cheesehead'. Valerie graduated in 1985 with a degree to practice Dental Hygiene and Health Care Provider from NCTI in Wausau, Wisconsin. She says, "I have had the honor and privilege of taking care of my patients since 1983 in addition to working at Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry for over 30 years!" Valerie's favorite part of her position is to provide a high level of care to her thoughtful, kindhearted patients while connecting with them on a personal level. She says, "I especially love to educate my patients to excellence!" Patients enjoy Valerie's honesty and passion. Valerie has been happily married to her best friend, William, for over 34 years. They have a beautiful, mischievous and vivacious Giant Schnauzer puppy named Strudel. Valerie says, "It is a very special feeling of excitement. positivity and joy when you wake up every day and look forward to making a difference in one's life!"

Dana Rivera


Dana joined our team in 2008 after receiving two degrees in dental hygiene: a Bachelor of Science from University of Texas San Antonio and an Associate’s from the Lamar Institute of Technology. She is certified in laser treatment, CPR, nitrous oxide administration and placing dental sealants. Dana loves interacting with her patients, building relationships and seeing positive changes after she expands their oral health education. Her patients find her gentle, caring, and easy to talk to. Dana and her husband Joey have two sons, Ryker and Dax. They also have a bulldog, Stella. Away from the office, Dana regularly donates to food drives and enjoys running, live music and traveling.

Courtney Wood


Courtney joined our team in 2014 after attending the University of Texas School of Dentistry. Patients love that she is weird, silly, and has no filter—and she loves that her patients are okay with that! Courtney loves to do research, loves pathology, and loves a challenge. Courtney has been married to her husband Matthew for more than 15 years and they have two sons, Levi and Noah, and two dogs, Annie-versary and Sarah Lee. She does volunteer work whenever possible and also loves anything creative, including beading, crocheting, and remodeling her kitchen.

Crystal Zielske


Crystal attended Lamar University and completed her degree in Dental Hygiene in 2010. She has always had an interest in the dental field from a young age, and once she witnessed her own personal transformation from orthodontic treatment, she knew she truly wanted to pursue a career in dentistry! Taking care of her patients as if they were her own family is Crystal's top priority. She loves educating patients while making them feel comfortable and at ease, especially those that have a fear of the dental office. Crystal and her husband Jonathan welcomed their sweet daughter into the world two years ago and recently added a precious son to their growing family, which also includes four cats. In her free time, Crystal enjoys cuddling and giving kisses to her babies, spending time with her family, fishing, traveling, relaxing on her back porch listening to her wind chime collection and going to concerts. Fun fact: Crystal went to a taping of "The Price is Right"! She was not chosen but had a blast being in the second row behind the contestants.

Allie Uhrenholdt


Allie joined the Stephens & Gatewood team in 2016 after obtaining her Bachelor of Science and Registered Dental Hygienist credentials from the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, where she graduated with honors and was inducted into Sigma Phi Alpha. She holds additional certifications in laser therapy, nitrous oxide administration, dental sealant placement, and CPR. Allie grew up in a dental family, which is what ultimately sparked her interest and passion for the field of dentistry. Allie's favorite aspects of the profession are helping patients gain confidence and health education to love and protect their smiles, and patients appreciate her kind and compassionate attitude while working with them. In Allie's spare time, she enjoys the company of her family and friends, traveling to tropical paradises, and watching or attending sporting events.

Registered Dental Assistants & Technicians

Registered Dental Assistants & Technicians

Brenda Wiechkoske

Dental Assistant Leader

Brenda is from the Houston Heights area and has been part of the dental industry for 35 years. She has been an essential team member at our practice for 26 years. Her favorite part of working at Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry is caring for patients while making a difference, and our patients appreciate Brenda’s compassion, patience, and knowledge. Brenda has been married to her great husband for 36 years. They have three grown children, two beautiful grandchildren, and she hopes there are more grandchildren to come. In her free time, Brenda enjoys cooking, baking, gardening, watching college football, and spending time with family.

Liana Burk

Dental Assistant

Liana was born north of Chicago and spent the first half of her childhood there and the rest of her growing up years in the Dallas area. She attended Prosper High School and studied business at Texas Christian University before earning her dental assisting certification from the University of Texas Health Science Center and joining the Stephens & Gatewood team in 2011. She has been in the field of dentistry for a decade. Liana's favorite part of her job is curing people's fear of the dentist and meeting and building relationships with new people every day. She loves the opportunity to help patients and make a positive difference in their lives. Liana is married to Chris and has two stepdaughters, Addyson and Faith and a dog named Clark. When she is away from the office, Liana loves spending time with her family cooking together, camping, scrapbooking, traveling to Hawaii, and enjoying concerts and live music.

Allison Loring

Lead Sleep Apnea Assistant

Allison grew up in the Hill Country and received her RDA license from the BU certification program. She holds five-star certification with the Scheduling Institute as well as certification in sleep medicine and nitrous oxide administration. She has over 14 years of experience in the dental industry at more than nine years as a Stephens & Gatewood team member, and she's hoping that number continues to rise! Her favorite part of her job is sharing her expertise with patients and teaching them about dental and sleep health. Allison has been married to her husband Chris for 8 years and Chris is the lead guitarist for the Jason Cassidy Band. Allison and Chris are the proud parents of their own rockstar, Miles, who is "the most amazing kid ever--he's our wild child! He has cerebral palsy, but that doesn't slow him down one bit!" Allison's stepson John is married with a son, Bowen, and her stepdaughter Maggie is a hardworking Lone Star College student. In Allison's free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves concerts, especially when her husband is playing onstage. In closing, Allison would like to add: "Go Astros!"

Kelley Barrett

Dental Assistant

Kelley was born and raised in a small Missouri suburb outside St. Louis and attended dental assisting school in her home state. She moved to Texas in 2001, continuing her education at Lone Star College with an Expanded Function Dental Assistant Certification. Kelley has been in the field of dentistry for more than 20 years and has been with Stephens & Gatewood for more than a decade. Her favorite part of her job is helping people overcome their fear of the dental office, changing people's smiles, and improving their dental and overall health. Kelley has been married to Steven since 2005 and they have two boys, Logan and Ryan. In Kelley's spare time, she likes cooking, reading, outdoor concerts, outdoor and water activities, watching her sons play sports and being involved in their school activities.

Gina Gates

Dental Assistant

Gina joined our team in 1996 after obtaining her degree from University of Oklahoma. She is a certified dental lab technician in addition to being certified in CPR, CDA, and dental assisting. Gina loves her patients’ kindness and honesty, and they appreciate her positive outlook and personality. Gina is married with three children, and the family has a dog and multiple pet birds. She also volunteers with Wildlife Rescue. During her free time, Gina likes fishing, gardening and spending time outdoors.

Elizabeth Perez

Dental Assistant

Elizabeth is originally from Seattle, Washington, but she has lived in Houston since the age of 13. In 2007, became a Registered Dental Assistant at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, and she has worked in the dental field ever since. Elizabeth joined the Stephens & Gatewood team in August of 2017. Elizabeth has three children: two sons, Toni and Eduardo, and a daughter, Yaslen. In her free time, she enjoys painting, soccer, and being outdoors. Elizabeth's favorite quote is "The best dreams happen when you're awake."

Jean-Marie Kinney

Dental Assistant

Jean-Marie was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but has lived in The Woodlands since moving there at age 12. She attended Lone Star College and graduated with an associate of arts degree before transitioning to dental assisting school the following year. Jean-Marie's dental career began in 2014 in a big, bustling pediatric practice, where she fell in love with dentistry and has been happily ensconced ever since. She joined the Stephens & Gatewood team in July 2018 and feels blessed to have been welcomed here with open arms and lots of guidance and education. Jean-Marie loves all aspects of dentistry: meeting new people, helping them through their fears, getting them out of pain and fixing dental problems that turn bad situations into positive end results that change lives for the better. Jean-Marie has three children who are her world. She is a homebody who enjoys staying in, listening and dancing to music and watching movies with her kids. A new vegetarian, Jean-Marie maintains a 100-pound weight loss with diet, exercise and frequent gym workouts. She loves to swim, tan, and relax by a body of water. Jean-Marie says: "My favorite thing ever is to laugh. I love smiling and making others feel good. I always try and remain positive in life no matter the outcome!"

Jillaina (Jill) Ragle

Dental Assistant

Born and raised in Texas, Jill earned her Dental Assistant credentials from Houston Dental Assistant School in 2010. She also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing. She has been back as a member of the Stephens & Gatewood team for almost two years after working for us for several years in the past with a two-year break in between. Jill's favorite part of her job is working as a team with coworkers that feel like family, helping others to achieve smiles that are healthy and beautiful, and making patients feel comfortable being at the dentist. Jill and her wonderful husband Nick have two daughters, Kelsey and Mya, and a Jack Russell terrier named Boss. Jill considers herself a foodie, and in her free time she loves listening to live music, traveling, and being outdoors doing anything involving water, whether it's a lake, a pool, or a beach.

Kassidy Murphy

Sterilization Coordinator

Kassidy is from Magnolia, Texas. She graduated from the Greatwood Dental Assisting Program in 2018 and becamse part of Stephens & Gatewood in 2019. Kassidy is CPR-certified and loves being able to help the assistants on her team with anything they need. Kassidy has lived next to her grandma her entire life, and says, "My cousins, my grandma and I are all best friends." She also has two brothers and a sweet nephew. In her free time, Kassidy loves to bass fish, bird hunt, and go four-wheeling.

Whitney Byrd

Dental Assistant

Whitney is a native Texan who is originally from La Marque in Galveston County and has lived in Houston since 1988. She graduated from Harmony High, attended Tyler Junior College and attended the University of Houston. Whitney has been in dentistry for 16 years and became a Registered Dental Assistant in 2006. We welcomed her to the Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry team in March 2019. Whitney's favorite part of her job is being able to give patients modern dentistry, five-star treatment, and loving care. She feels fortunate to work with "the most incredible group of people I've ever met--very caring and positive environment." Whitney has two sons, Jacob and Ken, a daughter Quinn, and a wonderful boyfriend since 2014, Guan. She loves spending time with them, especially if it involves camping and taking trips. Whitney believes she should always push yourself to do better and BE better. One of her favorite quotes is "A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there."

Front Office Team

Front Office Team

Kimberly Swann

Office Administrator

Kimberly joined our team in 2003 with an Associate degree in business administration. She’s always enjoyed making personal connections with patients, building relationships and hearing updates about their families. She especially loves to see patients transform from hiding their teeth to leaving with radiant smiles. Kimberly has been married for 26 years and has twin boys. She is a member of the Lone Star Cowboy Church in Montgomery and volunteers with them, feeding and clothing the homeless. Outside the office, she likes the beach, hunting, fishing, being outdoors, and rooting for the Houston Rockets and Texans. Her family also has a yellow Lab, Luke, and a Shih Tzu named Lola Grace.

Darla Grochett

Front Office Team Leader

Darla was born and raised in Houston. She joined the Stephens & Gatewood team in 2001 and loves working with our great dentists and awesome staff. Darla brings over 30 years of valuable experience in the dental field to the table and enjoys laughing and joking around, both at work and at home. Patients really appreciate Darla's ability to make them feel at ease. Darla has been married to her husband Steven for almost 30 years, and they have a grown son named Sammy. When she’s away from the office, Darla enjoys crafting and spending time with her big, crazy family.

Amy Schultz

Treatment Coordinator

Amy is from the Chicagoland area. She has been in the dental field for more than ten years, and part of the Stephens & Gatewood team since 2017. Amy's favorite part of her job is seeing patients overcome their fears and learn to love their smiles, and patients find Amy personable and easy to talk to. Amy is married to Dave, and their family includes daughter Becca, son Josh, and dog Otis. In her time outside the office, Amy enjoys cooking, spending time with family, shopping, and watching her son play baseball. Amy's motto is "Always remember to fall sleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose."

Jessica Ochoa

Patient Coordinator

Jessica was born and raised in Central Houston and graduated from Milby High. She trained for dental assisting at ATI and has been with Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry for more than seven years. She loves making patients smile and feel welcome, striving to always make the best first impression and provide them with a five-star experience. Away from the office, Jessica is a professional freelance makeup artist. Jessica has been married to Miguel for more than ten years and they have one son, Roman, and she loves spending her free time with them. She also loves to travel, shop, work out, and try out new places. In closing, Jessica says: "I'm fabulous."

Francesca Fuller

Patient Coordinator

Francesca moved here from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She earned her dental assistant certification in 2016-2017 from the University of Texas Health Science Center and her Associate of Applied Science degree from Lone Star College in Montgomery in 2016. Francesca has been in the dental field for three years and has been a part of the Stephens & Gatewood team for more than two years. Her favorite part of her job is building relationships with patients. Francesca says: "They appreciate our compassion, understanding, and relatability. We are always here to help them in any way." Francesca's family includes her husband Sean and their Halloween baby, Finley. They also have several furry family members: a dachshund named Layla, an American Bulldog named Jax, and two cats, Beignet and Luna. In her free time, Francesca enjoys dancing, yoga, working out, cooking, reading, gambling, traveling, gardening, golf, and family time. Francesca's favorite quote is from Erin Hanson: "What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"

Keely Hernandez

Treatment Coordinator

Keely is originally from Dallas and Kingwood, Texas. She graduated from Kingwood High School and became a Registered Dental Assistant in 2008 at Concorde Career College. Keely has been in the dental field for eleven years and part of the Stephens & Gatewood team for five years, and she loves "working with such a great, close-knit team." She also loves making connections with the patients and seeing the difference quality dentistry makes in their lives as they start to feel like family. Keely has been married for four years and has two dogs, Butch and Esme. In her free time, she enjoys reading, movies, and spending time with friends. In closing, Keely says: "Go Cowboys!"

Monét Martinez

Treatment Coordinator

Monét was born and raised in San Diego, California. She became a Certified Dental Assistant at the United Education Institute in 2005. Monét has fourteen years of dental experience under her belt, twelve years of that in the front office. She joined the Stephens & Gatewood team in October of 2018. Monét feels the best part of her job is helping patients get the treatment they need and deserve, helping them restore their smiles and feel good about themselves. Monét is engaged with two daughters. In her leisure time, she enjoys singing karaoke, cooking and baking with her older daughter, and teaching her toddler new things. She also enjoyed going to the beach in San Diego and still does whenever she can!

Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry

(281) 320-2000

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(832) 843-6619

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