Meet the Doctors

Joanne Oppenheim, DDS | Marilia Montero, D.D.S | Meet Risa Hurwich, DDS, MPH | Mary J. Hayes, D.D.S., M.S.


Meet Joanne Oppenheim, DDS

My original major in college was elementary education. I always loved working with children but also loved science. I changed my major to dentistry, knowing that I’d specialize in pediatric dentistry. I started practicing in 1994 and have loved every aspect of my career. My greatest satisfaction is when a child tells me how much they love coming to their appointments!

~ Dr. Joanne Oppenheim

Dr. Oppenheim, a Chicago native, enjoys caring for her hometown’s newest and growing smiles.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree and competed for four years on the women's gymnastics team from Southern Illinois University in 1985. She next obtained her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1989, at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry.

Dr. Oppenheim then completed a one-year General Practice Residency at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center, with a special focus on medically compromised patients and those suffering from trauma. In 1992, she returned to the University of Illinois College of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry, completing a two-year Residency in Pediatric Dentistry.

In 1994, Dr. Oppenheim received her Specialty License in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

In addition to seeing children in private practice, Dr. Oppenheim is head of the department of pediatric dentistry at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. This is where she teaches general dental residents how to take care of children's teeth as well as well as treating patients in the operating room under general anesthesia.

Dr. Oppenheim is a strong advocate for children’s oral and overall health and wellbeing. Many pediatricians and lactation consultants refer new moms to her when they are having difficulty nursing their newborns. Working locally, nationally, and internationally, she donates many volunteer hours, including offering dental care on overseas mission trips.

Locally, Dr. Oppenheim provides dental health outreach and education to pediatricians, parents, and preschool and elementary students. She is involved with the Special Olympics, dentistry on mobile dental vans, school fairs, and classroom education for teachers, caregivers, and students.

Additionally, she has held fundraisers for Dental Lifeline and Smile Train. As a delegate for the Illinois State Dental Society and with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Oppenheim lobbies at the state capitol for funding for children’s needs.

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics ‘Bright Smiles from Birth’ Program Lecturer, 2007-present
  • Fellow, American College of Dentists, 2018
  • Fellow, International College of Dentists, 2018
  • Delegate, Chicago Dental Society, 2017-present
  • CDS Scientific commitee 2017-Present
  • Communication committee, Chicago Dental Society, 2018-present
  • Liaison to the Governmental Affairs Committee 2019-present
  • Dinner Chair, North Side Branch of CDS, 2018
  • Treasurer, North Side Branch of CDS, 2019
  • Recording Secretary, North Side Branch of CDS 2020
  • Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Oral Health
  • AAP, committee of school health, injury prevention
  • Chair, Senator Martinez Health Fair, 2014-present
  • Special Care Dentistry Association, 1994-present
  • Past President, Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentists, 2000-2001
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Member in Good Standing, 1998-2008
  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 1994-present
  • Chicago Dental Society, Member in Good Standing, 1989-present
  • Mentor to Dental and pre-dental Students, 2007-present
  • American Dental Association, Member in Good Standing, 1989-present
  • Secretary of Dental Life Line, Donated Dental Services 2014-present

Personal Life

Dr. Oppenheim loves living in Chicago. Married in 1991, she and her spouse have two children. Their son volunteered with the Peace Corps in South American for three years and is now in graduate school in Colorado. After graduation, their daughter volunteered with Americorps and will startt medical school in Sept 2021.  The family is rounded out with  and entertained by, their crazy rescue dog Rustin!

Summers find Dr. Oppenheim outdoors. She loves riding her bike, walking her dog and family vacations featuring hiking and backpacks. Her family volunteers at food pantries and help to feel the less fortunate in the community, too.


Marilia Montero, D.D.S.

Dr. Marilia Montero - Pediatric Dentist Serving Lincoln Park, Hyde Park, Logan Square and Streeterville

Dr Montero has been practicing Pediatric Dentistry since 2000. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics including early childhood caries and infant oral health. Dr. Montero is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and lives in Chicago with her husband and three children.   

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 2006
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, 2006
  • Completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 2001
  • Received Pediatric Dental Specialty License, 2000
  • Completed Pediatric Residency at the University of Connecticut in Farmington, Connecticut, 1998-2000
  • Completed General Practice Residency in General Dentistry at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, New York, 1997-1998
  • Completed Residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, 1995-1997
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Federal University of Ceara in Fortaleza, Brazil, 1992

Professional Associations

  • Recipient, Distinguished Teaching Award by Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and Ann and Robert Lurie Children's hospital of Chicago, Department of Pediatrics
  • Recipient of UIC/Chicago Dental Society Foundation Grant, 2010
  • Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics ‘Bright Smiles from Birth’ Program Lecturer, 2006
  • Special Care Dentistry Association, Member in Good Standing, 2008-current
  • Greater Chicago Chapter of Hispanic Dental Association, Member in Good Standing, 2006-current, and President for term running 2009-2010
  • Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentists, Member in Good Standing, 2000-current, and Director for term running 2009-2011, President 2015
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Member in Good Standing, 1998-current
  • Chicago Dental Society, Member in Good Standing, 2000-current
  • Illinois State Dental Society, Member in Good Standing, 2000-current,
  • American Dental Education Association, Member in Good Standing, 2006-current
  • American Dental Association, Member in Good Standing, 1995-current

Hospital Affiliations

    Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Attending

In the News

    Montero, Marilia, presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter Annual Meeting, “Infant Oral Health: A Practical Guide to the Pediatrician,” January 2008.
    Montero, Marilia, “Bridging the Gap: Crest Smile Shoppe Brings Oral Care to the Underserved,” Chicago Dental Society Review Journal, December 2005.

 


Meet Risa Hurwich, DDS, MPH

"The pediatric dental profession works to help all children and individuals with special healthcare needs to achieve optimal oral and overall health. Each patient and family is unique and pediatric dentistry is quickly adapting to be able to cater to the various needs of patients of different ages and developmental status.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my profession is spending time with unique individuals and learning their stories. I enjoy talking with children about school, movies, and anything else that interests them. These conversations are wonderful: they reassure the child that I am listening and care about them, and make the visit enjoyable for both of us.

I am dedicated to providing an enjoyable experience for my patients, while giving them the best possible dental care. Preventive education and guidance is a core aspect of a child’s dental visit and I get enjoyment and fulfillment from teaching patients and parents how cavity prevention leads to a healthy mouth and body!

My goal is to help patients have positive experiences at the dentist, to encourage them and give confidence, as they journey through life."

~ Dr. Risa Hurwich

Dr. Hurwich, from Munster, Indiana, loves caring for her Chicago-area patients.

She attended Indiana University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. This was followed by her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS), at Indiana University School of Dental Surgery.

Relocating to Illinois, she then completed her pediatric dental residency and Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry through the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Dr. Hurwich also holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

Dr. Hurwich decided to become a pediatric dentist after spending countless hours shadowing Drs. Oppenheim, Hayes, and Montero here at Pediatric Dental Associates. Her mission is to teach all families about the important role of oral health in overall health and wellness.

As a lifelong learner, Dr. Hurwich actively seeks out continuing educational opportunities. This keeps her connected to pediatric dentistry beyond the clinical walls and ensures she is up-to-date on the latest research and developments in the field. Adding different skills and techniques helps her to best tailor treatment to the unique needs of each of her wonderful patients.

In addition to caring for patients in private practice, Dr. Hurwich is a Junior Board Member of IM AWARE, the Advisory Council for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine. It is important to her to take an active role in her community and participation in IM AWARE allows her to do this, while learning ways to care for her own health and help others.

Dr. Hurwich also enjoys participating in “Give Kids a Smile” through the American Dental Association at Advocate Illinois Masonic. She is grateful for the opportunity to provide oral healthcare to underserved children in the City of Chicago.

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Board Member, Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentists
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Chicago Dental Society
  • American Dental Association
  • Junior Board Member, IM AWARE Advisory Council for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine

Personal Life

Dr. Hurwich moved to Chicago in 2016, after completing dental school. She and her amazing husband, Michael, share their life with a sweet puppy named Magglio (go White Sox!).

When not at work, Dr. Hurwich can be found in a hot yoga studio, testing healthy recipes, trying new Chicago eats with family and friends, and enjoying walks with her husband and pup.

Dr. Hurwich is passionate about healthy living, including regular exercise and plant-based eating. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, creating and sharing tasty meals with loved ones. She also loves to speak Spanish and enjoys practicing her skills with her sweet patients and their families. Travel is also important to Dr. Hurwich, both nationally and internationally, and she’s always ready for a walk around the city, no matter the weather!


Mary J. Hayes, D.D.S., M.S.

> Dr. Mary J. Hayes - Founder of Pediatric Dental Health Associates in 1980.

Dr. Hayes is a nationally recognized authority in pediatric dentistry, and has spoken all over the world to professional groups about pediatric dentistry and dental education. She has been the recipient of many professional honors, including in 2000 the Cushing Award from the Chicago Dental Society in honor of her trailblazing leadership in oral health education.
Education and Specialty Training

  • Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, 1988
  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 1988
  • M.S. and Post-graduate Residency and Certificate of Advanced Study in Pediatric Dentistry, University of Illinois, College of Dentistry, 1978
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Illinois, College of Dentistry, 1976
  • M.A., Medical Library Science, University of Chicago, Graduate Library School, 1974
  • B.A., Magna Cum Laude with Distinction, Rosary College, River Forest , Illinois, 1970; Chemistry and French majors. Honors research at Argonne National Laboratory.
  • pecial interests include the prevention of dental disease as a means of achieving oral health; dental treatment of children with physical, mental, emotional and behavioral issues; the interface of dentistry and the law.

Hospital and Academic Appointments

  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Attending
  • Rush Medical Center and Hospital, Attending
  • Member of the Clinical Team, Rush Hemophilia & Thrombophilia Center
  • Rush Medical School, Department of Surgery, Division of Dentistry, General Practice Residency; Clinical Instructor, 1980-present
  • University of Illinois College of Dentistry, Clinical Lecturer
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Adjunct Instructor, 2000-present

Professional Associations

  • Vice President, Illinois Dental Lifeline Network, 2010-2011
  • Secretary-Treasurer, College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, 2009-current. Served as President, 2007-2008
  • Board Member, Chicago Dental Society Foundation, 2008–present
  • Member of Illinois State Dental Board, 1990-1998. Served as Chairman, 1993-1994
  • Active Volunteer of Tuesday’s Child, 1988-present
  • Special Care Dentistry Association, Member in Good Standing, 1980-current
  • Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentists, 1980-present; Liaison to American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Chicago Dental Society, Communication Committee, 1995-present; Member in Good Standing, 1976-current; Mentor to Current Dental Students, 2007-current
  • American Dental Association, Member in Good Standing, 1976-current

In the News

    2009, Named as one of top 5 Pediatric Dentists by Chicago Consumers’ Checkbook (checkbook.org)
    Hayes, Mary J., “Infant Teeth and Oral Health: Facts Changing Myths”, Bright Smiles From Birth, Pediatric Oral Health News and Information, Fall 2008.
    Hayes, Mary J., “Are You Using Fluoride Varnish?” Woman Dentists’ E-Journal, March 6, 2008.
    http://www.dentistry.com/articles/Women_and_Smoking_A_Weighty_Issue.aspx
    Spokeswoman to the media for American Dental Association (since 1995), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (since 1990) and Chicago Dental Society (since 2006).
    Dr. Hayes has provided numerous interviews for print, radio and television media including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox TV, CBS, NBC, WLIT-FM, B96/WBBM-FM, The Chicago Sun Times, Working Woman, Parents, Parenting.