Introducing Sonrisas Dental Health

SAN MATEO, CA, November 3, 2017 – Two Bay Area non-profit dental centers, one in Half Moon Bay and one in San Mateo, are announcing prominent new leadership and a new name:
Sonrisas Dental Health, Inc.
(Sonrisas means smiles in Spanish.)

Formerly known as Apple Tree Dental, Sonrisas Dental Health is a non-profit organization that operates in two sites: the Coastside Center located in Half Moon Bay, which is the original location that opened in 2001; and the San Mateo Center, which opened in 2015. The two centers have served thousands of San Mateo County residents since joining together in 2015. The partnership is dedicated to a common vision and mission – providing quality compassionate dental care and oral health education that is accessible to all.

“Our Sonrisas Dental Health Centers offer affordable quality dental services for people of all ages, including those with special needs and physical mobility limitations,” said Nigel Taverner, Chair of the board. “This non-profit model allows Sonrisas to be a catalyst for local collaboration to improve the oral health of the community, including the underserved.”

In addition to Taverner, the board of directors consists of local leaders from around San Mateo County, including:

  • Clyde Hinshelwood, Secretary

  • Lawrence Cappel, Director

  • Helen Galligan, Director

  • Judy Macias, Director

  • Rick Navarro, Director

  • Sheryl Young, Director

The new Sonrisas Dental Health leadership is a distinguished team:

  • Dr. Bonnie Jue is Chief Operating Officer and Dental Director and a second- generation dentist who graduated from the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (UOP). She is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the San Mateo County Dental Society. Dr. Jue is an Assistant Professor at both UOP and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Schools of Dentistry, where she teaches and conducts research projects.

  • Dr. Torrey Rothstein is Dental Director in Half Moon Bay and has worked at the Coastside Center since 2006. He is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association and the San Mateo County Dental Society.

  • Patricia Kinniburgh is Center Director of both sites. She has over 30 years of experience in the dental field. She is one of the original staff members at the San Mateo Center.

  • Dirk Alvarado is the newest member of the management team, joining as Director of Development and Special Projects on November 6. As a community leader, Alvarado was Executive Director of the Half Moon Bay site from 2012 to 2016, and most recently worked for the City of San Mateo as interim Recreation Services Section Manager.

About Sonrisas Dental Health

Sonrisas Dental Health provides a combination of high quality dental care and customer service along with a business model that serves a portion of underserved, uninsured patients who face barriers to accessing dental care. The Centers have state-of-the-art equipment and an electronic health record system to facilitate continuity of patient care. The San Mateo Center has full wheelchair access, a ceiling-mounted lift system to help patients with limited mobility get into the dental chair, and “hover” chairs that can glide aside to accommodate wheelchairs. Sonrisas provides a mobile program that brings dental equipment and service off-site to large employers, senior living facilities and coastal farmworkers.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, Sonrisas relies on private patients and philanthropy to achieve its goals. For every insured patient seen at one of the Centers, another uninsured or underinsured patient can be served. For more information, visit

By: Laurie Kretchmar