Our Doctors

Dr. Jessica Artille

Dr. Jessica Sifrig

Hi! I’m Dr. Jessica Sifrig, I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. I attended the University of Florida for my undergraduate, where I found my love for dentistry and Gator football. (Go Gators!) I decided to pursue both and stayed at the University of Florida for dental school. Upon graduation, I moved with my fiancé to the LoneStar State where I started my career as a general dentist. After a few years in Texas, we decided to settle down in Raleigh, NC. Thankfully, this move brought me to Village Dental! I love that as a dentist I can not only improve my patient’s oral health but also increase their confidence with beautiful, healthy smiles. When not practicing dentistry, I love reading, cycling, and spending time with my family and our Goldendoodle, Volta! I can’t wait to welcome you to Village Dental, see you soon!
Dr. Chrestene Bibawy

Dr. Chrestene Bibawy

Hi! I’m Dr. Chrestene Bibawy and I am originally from Staten Island, NY. I fell in love with dentistry while I was in high school because it had a dental program, and I realized that I loved creating with my hands as well as helping people build their confidence by enhancing their smile and oral health. I went on to complete an accelerated program and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Adelphi University. I then completed my Degree of Dental Surgery from New York University College of Dentistry. I continued on to do a General Practice Residency at Staten Island University Hospital. I combined both my passions of travel and dentistry and have volunteered at some outreaches locally as well as internationally including providing much needed dental care to underserved areas in Nicaragua and Bolivia. I enjoy connecting with my patients and treating them with the utmost compassion and care. In my free time, I love being outdoors, doing DIY projects and decorating, being active in my church, and traveling and exploring the world with my family.

Dr. Samantha Britt

Hi, I’m Dr. Samantha Britt! I was born in Texas and lived in a few different states growing up, but spent the majority of my childhood living in Trumbull, Connecticut. In high school, I learned of my passion for dentistry while working as an assistant at my neighbor’s dental practice. After graduating high school, I went to college at the University of Connecticut. I graduated with honors with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology and a minor in Spanish. I loved every minute I spent at UConn, but knew I needed to live somewhere warmer, so I moved to North Carolina in 2010 for dental school. I graduated from the UNC School of Dentistry in 2014 and advanced my training by completing a General Practice Residency in 2015 at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, NC.

Since I have been practicing dentistry, I have become a member of the American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, American Association of Women Dentists, and the Academy of General Dentistry. I truly enjoy being in a profession where I can interact with people every day, create and improve the beauty and health of others, and utilize the ever-changing and evolving technology that defines modern dentistry. There is always something new to learn, which makes dentistry so exciting for me.

My husband and I are parents to 2 small dogs, a rescued miniature dachshund named Slinky, and a chiweenie (chihuahua-dachshund mix) named Moose, who we adopted as a puppy. They are extremely high energy and loving, and definitely keep our lives exciting and unpredictable!

When I am not treating the amazing patients at Village Dental or home playing with my dogs, I love to read, watch movies, and cook. For exercise, I love cycling, practicing yoga, and hiking. My husband and I really enjoy traveling as well. Our favorite places to go locally are to the beach and especially to Asheville, which is our favorite place to visit!

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be your dentist here at Village Dental, and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Catalina Escobar

Dr. Catalina Escobar

Hi there, I’m Dr. Catalina Escobar and I’m so excited to welcome you to Village Dental. Here’s a little bit about me: I was born in Bucharest, Romania and I lived, traveled, and worked in many places around the world. I settled down in the US and decided to focus all my efforts on my education and dental career. My first job was as a dental hygienist at Village Dental many years ago. I loved my career as a dental hygienist, but I always wanted to do more.

I continued my studies at NC State University and graduated as a proud Valedictorian with a degree in Human Biology, Genetics, and Nutrition. I continued at ECU School of Dental Medicine and earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree.

I feel privileged to be part of the Village Dental family once again and to work alongside such an amazing team of doctors and dental professionals. My passion for dentistry stems from my own experiences as a fearful dental patient and I strive to help all my patients overcome this barrier. Outside of work, my husband and I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family and friends. Our home is filled with pets and joy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I look forward to meeting you and helping you along your journey toward better oral health.

Dr. Saul Gonzalez

I was born in Fresno, California, but have been living in Garner since the age of 5. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Growing up I knew I wanted to work in healthcare and while attending UNC-CH, I found what I was looking for through dentistry. I was fortunate to be accepted to attend East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine and graduated in 2017.

Upon graduation, I decided to continue my dental education, and through East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine, I completed my Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency in 2018. During my years at East Carolina University, I was fortunate to treat patients throughout the state of North Carolina thanks to their innovative Community Service Learning Centers.

In my free time I love spending time reading, running, and anything that involves being active! I also consider myself an amateur cook! Giving back and being of service to a community that has given so much to me is truly something I enjoy. I am here to serve you!

Dr. Jacob Hyer

I am originally from California, and dentistry is actually a part of my heritage! Both my father and grandfather were dentists, and after working at their legacy office, I can see the tremendous benefit that honest, high-quality dentistry can have on generations of people.

Helping people get and stay out of pain, improve their smiles, and practice good oral hygiene so they may enjoy their life and enjoy delicious food are some of the reasons why I love being a dentist!

I earned my Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the UCLA School of Dentistry and did my General Practice Residency at the Veterans Affairs Northern California Healthcare System. I also received a BS in Physiology and Developmental Biology from Brigham Young University. I spent several years practicing in California prior to joining the team here in Raleigh.

In my time off, if I’m not devouring dental literature, most of it is spent with my wife and four kids. We love doing day trips, eating good food, participating in church service, and doing general family-friendly activities. I love to surf, ski, and go to the gym if there is any spare time left over. Super pumped to meet you at the Village!

Dr. Chris Martin

I am a native of Hays, NC. A small rural community in the beautiful North Carolina foothills.

I attended the University of North Carolina for both Dental School (DDS 1996), and undergrad (BS Dentistry 1993).

I have been in practice in our current location in Olde Raleigh Village since 1998. It has been a wonderful practice home.

I enjoy the practice of dentistry immensely. Dentistry is challenging at times, but provides a true sense of accomplishment. I have always enjoyed ‘working with my hands’ and ‘working with people’. Dentistry allows me to do both of these daily. I feel lucky to have chosen this life path.

I am happily married to Maja Vukojicic Martin (since 1999). We have three beautiful children, Ava Marie (born September 2006), Ella Rae (born October 2008), and Noah Christopher, (born December 18, 2009).

I also truly enjoy learning from others, being with my family, music, fitness and vintage volkswagens.

Thanks for your interest in our practice. I look forward to meeting you.

Dr. Martin received a Mastership at the Academy of General Dentistry in 2018.

Dr. Maya Martin

Hi, and welcome to our website! A little about me…

I am a Tar Heel!!!! I attended the University Of North Carolina for both my undergraduate (BS in Biology ’96) and dental school training (DDS ’02). I played basketball for UNC from ’92 to ’96 and was on the 1994 National Championship Team. GO HEELS!!!

I am originally from Yugoslavia. I was born and raised in the city of Kragujevac, Serbia. I came to the United States as part of a student exchange program in 1991 and decided to stay at the UNC for my undergraduate training on a basketball scholarship.

I love the practice of dentistry. I find myself to be an extremely detail-oriented person, and the intricate, precise nature of this profession seems to suit me well. I actually LOVE fixing teeth!

I am happily married to Chris Martin. Chris is a dentist in West Raleigh and is also a Tar Heel. We have two daughters, Ava and Ella, and a son, Noah… all Tar Heels in training!!!

I look forward to meeting you. Thank you for visiting us online!

Dr. Martin has received the Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry and received Mastership in the AGD in June, 2018.

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Dr. Imran Rauf

Hey all! I was originally born and raised in New York, but moved to North Carolina during my later childhood years. I’ve grown to love North Carolina and attended East Carolina University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Neuroscience. 

Initially, I moved to Washington D.C. to work for the National Institutes of Health following a path in research and medicine, but I discovered an interest in dentistry. I found it as a career to channel my interests in problem-solving, creativity, hand skills, and being able to improve the lives of others. Seeing dentistry as a perfect match, I went on to receive my dental education at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry where I received my Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. I then went on to further my training with an Advanced Education in General Dentistry at East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine.  

In my free time, I enjoy lifting weights, biking, playing video games, and cooking delicious Pakistani food, as well as Korean food for Dr. Jaehee Yoo! I look forward to meeting you soon!!

Dr. Octavio Rodriguez

I grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina in a small town called Hendersonville. I earned my undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University. While attending NCSU, I fell in love with dentistry by participating in various pre-dental and medical programs at UNC Chapel Hill and West Virginia School of Dentistry. Upon graduating, I worked in a dental office in Cary, NC for one year in order to gain more experience in the dental field. That year, I was fortunate to be accepted to UNC School of Dentistry where I obtained my Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. During my years in dental school, I had the honor to treat veterans at the Asheville VA Hospital, children residents of the Cherokee reservation in the mountains of NC, cancer patients in Mexico City, and children in Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Orphanage in Morelos, Mexico. When I am not here at Village Dental, I love spending time with my beautiful wife and our son. My wife is a dental hygienist and we enjoy volunteering in various non-profit clinics providing dental care to the underserved in our state.

The artistry of dentistry, the ability to work with my hands, and most importantly the ability to help people on a very personal level were some of the things that first attracted me to this profession. With experience and time, I have come to realize that coming to the dentist can be an uncomfortable experience and can cause anxiety and fear for many patients. It is my mission to help ease my patients’ fears while providing the most gentle and highest quality dentistry. I look forward to meeting you soon!


Dr. Christina Ruhala

Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Christina Ruhala. I’m from Michigan but decided to leave snowy days for the sunshine North Carolina has to offer!

I found my love for dentistry during my time at Michigan State University (Go Green!) where I graduated with honors with a degree in Human Biology and minors in Health Promotion and Bioethics. I then went on to earn my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Although most of my dental journey has been spent back in Michigan, I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic multiple times in my career to provide free dental care to individuals who otherwise would not have had access to care.

Connecting with my patients and earning their trust as a provider brings me so much joy. Especially in a field that is shrouded with fear. I strive to make every patient feel comfortable and at ease and I love that I get to combine my passion for patient care with the intricacies and beautiful challenges of saving teeth. The artistry and precision that high quality dentistry demands fuels my passion as your dentist and I can’t wait to be entrusted with your care here at Village Dental!

When I’m not in the office, you can most likely find me eating my way through Raleigh with my husband and baby boy! I love staying active outdoors and traveling with my family. Please feel free to bring me your favorite food place recommendations the next time you’re in!

Dr. Sara Valencia

Hey, I’m Dr. Sara Valencia! I was born in Wisconsin (though I have zero recollection of it) and spent my early childhood in Texas, but pretty much grew up in the Cary/Raleigh area attending high school not far from here. After high school, I attended North Carolina State completing a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology with a minor in Spanish. Unsure of what I wanted to do career-wise, I moved to Santiago, Dominican Republic where I was able to fine-tune my Spanish and work for a year. Upon returning to the States, I started working in dental research, which exposed me to dentistry as a career working alongside the residents on their research projects. After realizing I wanted a career allowing me to work with my hands but also be involved in the medical field helping people, dentistry was a great opportunity. I then attended UNC Chapel Hill and received my DDS degree there. With a desire to continue learning and challenging myself, I participated in the UNC Hospital General Practice Residency program. I have since worked in public health and private practice seeing patients of all ages.

Being a dentist allows me to work with my hands, meet new people every day, and I also really love the artistry of fixing teeth! As someone who wasn’t born with a perfect smile, I can relate to many of my patients and their desire to improve their smiles.

In my spare time, you can find me with my amazing husband, Miguel, and two children, Sam and Amelia, exploring parks and craft breweries. When not running after my kids, I enjoy cooking and trying out new restaurants.

I’m so excited to join the Village Dental family and am looking forward to meeting you!

Dr. Wheeler

Dr. Monica Wheeler

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. At a young age I discovered the art and science of dentistry through numerous summer science programs, and fell in love with it.

I graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2006 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry, and from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee in 2011 . In 2012 I completed a General Practice Residency Program at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey, where I received advanced training and mentorship in various fields of dentistry.

I practiced dentistry in Nashville/Brentwood, Tennessee for a few years, after completing my residency and moved to North Carolina in 2014.

I love the field of dentistry, I believe that it encompasses being a doctor, artist, and engineer all in one, while it allows me the chance to help others achieve improvements that will affect their overall health and confidence.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, reading, pilates and community outreach programs with the local chapter of my sorority, and of course attending Dental Continuing Education courses.

It is truly a privilege to be a member of such a highly trained team here at Village Dental. I am excited to meet you and would love to help you achieve a healthy mouth for life. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Jaehee Yoo

Hi everyone! I am originally from Seoul, South Korea, but I grew up in the small town of Hendersonville in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The Triangle is my ‘home’ as I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham (Go Unis!) and UNC School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) for both my Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and Doctorate of Dental Surgery degrees.

Before joining the amazing team at Village Dental, I had the privilege of providing dental care locally in Cary, NC; Snow Hill, NC; and Atlanta, GA. I also provided dental care internationally in Brazil, India, and Honduras. I have seen and experienced how dentistry can impact lives and hope to help you reach your oral and overall health goals through meaningful care. I am extremely detail-oriented, work with gentle hands, and absolutely love the marriage of art and science in the dental profession. I am passionate about providing high-quality, comprehensive dentistry including preventative, restorative, surgical, and cosmetic care (Invisalign and smile makeovers). I am committed to providing the highest possible level of dental care, treating you all as if you were my family!

I am a proud member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, North Carolina Dental Society, and Triangle Christian Medical and Dental Association. To best serve you, I love reading about the latest dental research and learning through Continuing Education courses.

Outside of dentistry, I love spending time with my husband, Dr. Imran Rauf, our friends/family, traveling and learning about different cultures, enjoying good food and coffee, being outdoors, sweating through hot yoga, reading, and… thinking about dentistry. I feel very blessed to be able to do something that I love every day and I look forward to meeting you and your family very soon!


Dr. Abdul Zalal

Hey everyone! I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University, where I received my Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, and Polymer and Color Chemistry. From there, I went on to the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

While at the School of Dentistry, I was lucky to have the opportunity to explore my passions, leading me to work with underserved patients locally and internationally, engage in scientific research, and advocate for dentistry on a local and national level.

Leaving the school only signaled the beginning of my learning journey, and I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue advanced training in many aspects of dentistry, from surgery to complex rehabilitation.

I live in Raleigh, where you can find me enjoying the outdoors, riding my bike, getting ice cream, roasting coffee, or boarding a plane to travel and explore.

Carolina Dental Learning Center

Do you want to increase your knowledge and experience in the dental field? If so, enroll in our Dental Assisting School today! We offer hands-on training and monthly study clubs that are designed to help you achieve your career goals. To learn more about the courses we offer and our upcoming class schedule, click here!

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