Our Team

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Nicole D. Watson, DDS

Nicole Watson was born and raised in Taft, California.  She graduated from Taft Union High School in 1996 and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the California Polytechnic University of San Luis Obispo in 2000.  She was immediately admitted to the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry and was the youngest student with a bachelor’s degree to graduate from the program in 2004 at the age of 25.  

She was honored to receive the Charles Pincus Memorial Award In Esthetic Dentistry for outstanding achievement in the field of Esthetic dentistry during the four-year doctoral program.  The award is sponsored by the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and voted upon by the Department of Restorative Dentistry at USC.  She was also given the Dental Award for Community Dentistry and Dental Public Health from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry for her work with the USC Mobile Clinic, which provided free dental work to children in underserved communities. 

Nicole came back to Kern County to practice and immediately found a position as an associate at a well-established practice in town.  After 3 years she went out on her own and started a practice of her own.  She is a general dentist who believes in providing esthetic dentistry.  Esthetic dentistry aims to preserve the natural beauty of the tooth so nobody knows you’ve had any work done.  From 2010-2011, Dr. Watson took a position at USC’s School of Dentistry as a clinical instructor and taught restorative dentistry to third and fourth-year dental students. 

She is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and the Kern County Dental Society where she previously served as the President.  She is also a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and is currently seeking accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.  Nicole far exceeds the amount of required continuing education classes required to maintain dental licensure.  She flies all over the country seeking out the best teachers in the dental field to learn from so she can come home and provide the highest level of dentistry to the residents of Kern County.  She has taken multiple advanced classes with Dr. Jason Smithson, Dr. Newton Fahl, Dr. Pascal Magne, and is currently taking classes at the prestigious Kois Center. 

Nicole and her husband, Jared, enjoy living in Bakersfield where they are raising their two young children.  They enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time together as a family.  Nicole loves crafts, baking, and enjoys being a room parent in her daughter’s elementary school class. 


Our team consists of dedicated individuals who are kind, friendly, and caring. Our staff is here to ensure a pleasant experience during your visit to our office. Our team includes experienced and energetic people whose goal is to communicate well with our patients and provide the best care possible.

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Sharon Taylor, Front Office

Sharon Taylor has been working in the dental field for over 30 years. She has been in our front office since opening in 2008 and will most likely be the person you talk to the most when calling our practice. Sharon helps our patients with appointments, insurance preauthorizations, billing, and general inquiries. Sharon was born and raised in Los Angeles where she met her husband, Stephen. She moved to Visalia shortly before moving to Bakersfield where she has raised her two children and is now a grandmother of four. She enjoys the beach, spending time with her newly retired husband, and shopping with Barbara (our other front office team member).
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Barbara Hafenstein, Front Office

Barbara Hafenstein has been working in dental offices for her entire life. She started out working as a dental assistant for Dr. Pedersen and then worked for Dr. Pounds until he retired. Our practice was growing and we needed more help and Barbara was gracious enough to help us out temporarily which turned into something permanent. Barbara has one son and two grandchildren up in the Sacramento area. Barbara loves to hang out with friends and is always up for an adventure. She proudly attended Garces High School and to prove it she will gladly sing you the school song.
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Gladys Rangel, RDA

Gladys Rangel is a registered dental assistant. She has been in the dental industry since she graduated from Bakersfield High School. She started working in our practice in 2011 and is who you will usually see assisting Dr. Watson in the back. Gladys and her husband, Raul, have two boys and they love to spend time together as a family camping. She enjoys spending time with her large family, going to the beach, and traveling. Gladys loves candles and scrapbooking agendas.
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Laura Baker, RDA

Laura Baker is a registered dental assistant who has also been in the dental industry since graduating high school in Modesto. Laura moved to Bakersfield with her husband, Robert, to be near family. Laura and Dr. Watson met at a previous dental office and quickly became friends. Laura left the practice to move back to Modesto be closer to her niece. Once her niece graduated, Laura and Rob fulfilled a lifelong dream of living at the beach. Laura commutes from Huntington Beach a few times a month to work with us (which we find extremely flattering). Laura loves cats, scrapbooking, the beach, and whale watching.
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Michelle DelAlcazar, RDA

Michelle DelAlcazar was born and raised in Porterville, CA. She graduated from Monache High School before moving down to Bakersfield where she met her husband, Gus, to whom she has been married to for 25 years. She originally worked in the dental field before having three boys. Michelle left dentistry for a period of time to work at the private school her boys attended. Now that they are older she has returned to the dental field and we couldn’t be happier she chose to work with us. In her free time Michelle enjoys running with her girlfriends and spending time with her family.
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Tina Brancato, RDH

Tina Brancato grew up in Bakersfield and attended Bakersfield College for 2 years before transferring to Fresno to attend school for Dental Hygiene.  She graduated in 1987 and has over 33 years of dental hygiene experience.  Dentistry is a passion of hers and she loves providing exceptional care to all of our patients.  Tina and her husband, Frank, enjoy spending time with their two children and friends.  She loves to hike and considers her “happy” place to be anywhere as long as it has a beach and she can feel the sand between her toes.

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Amber Lucas, RDH

Amber Lucas was born in Ohio but grew up in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She was an orthodontic assistant prior to attending the dental hygiene program. She attended the Fones School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Bridgeport, which was the first dental hygiene school established in the world. Amber moved to Bakersfield in 2004 with her husband Robert, who is a Bakersfield native. They have two teenage children that keep them busy with extracurricular school activities and ministry with their church. In her very limited free time, Amber likes to hike, cook new things and spend time with her family.
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Angela Oberg, RDH

Angela Oberg was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA.  She attended North High School where she graduated a “Star” in 1991.  She immediately began pursuing a career in Dental Hygiene and attended the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry.  During her time at USC she was nominated to be part of the student ethics committee and studied under Anna Pattison, an internationally renowned speaker and authority on dental hygiene.    She graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.  Angela has been happily married since 2001 to her husband, Bret, and together they have three children.  She is active locally in her children’s school and her book group of 18 years and enjoys scrapbooking and the outdoors.

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Gehna Hieronymus, RDH

Gehna Hieronymus was born and raised here in Bakersfield, CA. She graduated from Bakersfield Christian High School and went straight to Taft College to obtain a degree in Dental Hygiene, which had been a  dream of hers since junior high. She was recently married to Gary Hieronymus in November of 2019 and they share four pets together.  Two hairless cats (sphynx) and two chihuahuas who they just adore! In her free time, Gehna enjoys camping, relaxing with her pets and husband at home, and traveling when she can.