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About Dr. Benedict


Dr. Benedict is a family dentist and has been practicing for more than 35 years in the Silicon Valley area. She is past President of the Monterey Bay Dental Society and currently Trustee for the California Dental Association. Last year she was awarded dentist of the year of the Monterey Bay Dental Society. She graduated from the UCSF School of Dentistry.

Before she and her husband Jeff began their family, Dr. Benedict did volunteer dentistry in Mexico with Los Medicos Voladoras (The Flying Doctors). She has continued volunteering with her family and son, Dr. Bernhardt in Ecuador, Guatemala, St. Lucia, Haiti and most recently in Uganda with For World Wide Smiles.

She is an artist inside and outside the mouth and has won acclaim for her lithographs, watercolors and jewelry.  She and her husband have 3 children, 40 mountain acres, 4 horses (3 Arabs and 1 Thoroughbred), a dog, a cat, chickens and a large garden (by the most recent census). Her son, Devin Bernhardt joined the practice after graduating from the UCSF School of Dentistry.

She enjoys learning new aspects of dentistry and attends many study clubs and workshops in addition to classes.

Dr. Benedict cans chutney and preserves every fall. She is an inveterate jogger, swimmer and volunteers on the Horse Patrol for Wilder State Park. She can be found there once a week, look for her riding in her uniform!

She and the practice have also been featured in the local news (click below):


Dr. Tina DerTorossian

Dr. Tina Der Torossian graduated from University of the Pacific School of dentistry in San Francisco in 1990. She joined our team in 2001 after running her own dental practice in Sunnyvale. Teaming up with Dr. Benedict has allowed her the freedom to raise her own family as well as share the synergy and professional collaboration of working with Dr. Benedict and the entire team to provide compassionate and excellent care. Dr. Tina is a life longlearner and a clinical instructor one day per week at Carrington College Dental Hygiene program.

Dr. Tina is a local girl raised in Saratoga, where she continues to raise her own 2 children. She enjoys sailing, skiing, and hanging out at the beach. Her hobbies include playing piano and gourmet cooking for friends and family.

Dr. Devin Bernhardt

Dr. Devin Bernhardt grew up in Santa Cruz and attended Harbor High School before finishing his undergraduate studies at UC San Diego. He then graduated from the UCSF School of Dentistry just like his mom, Dr. Benedict.

Dr. Bernhardt has participated in many dental humanitarian missions around the world including traveling with his mom and family to Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti and most recently Uganda. He has worked with the US Navy, Rotary Club, Los Medicos Voladoras (The Flying Doctors) and For World Wide Smiles to help deliver dental and medical care to the under-served in other countries.

In his free time he enjoys playing soccer, volleyball, skiing and spending time with friends and family.


Dr. Jim San Filippo Endodontist

Dr. San Filippo had a large endodontic practice in Saratoga for many years before briefly retiring. And now he is back! We are lucky to have him and his many years of experience. When he is not in our office he stays very busy: helping at a free clinic in San Mateo, researching his Italian roots and receiving his Italian citizenship, taking fishing trips, lecturing and working in Botswana and he started a nonprofit charity to train dentists and promote endodontics in Africa.

And most importantly, spending time with his family. Dr. San Filippo attended Santa Clara University, finished his dental degree at University of the Pacific and completed his Endodontic specialty at Tufts University.



Dr. Timothy Gifford Periodontist

Dr. Gifford grew up in Sunnyvale before attending UC San Diego. He received his dental degree from UCLA and completed his residency in periodontics from Medical University of South Carolina. 

He began his career in a group practice in the Sacramento area before returning to the Bay Area where he is currently in private practice.  His philosophy of care is focused on providing pragmatic treatment plans to help patients and their dentists preserve a healthy functioning dentition with an emphasis on prevention and maintenance.

He currently resides in Santa Cruz, California with his wife and their five children. In his sparse free time, he enjoys surfing, bike riding, cooking, and Nerf wars with the kids.



Joan Office Manager

Joan comes to our practice with a 30 year history of small business management. As Dr. Benedict's patient for two decades she is committed to maintaining the quality of care that she has always received. Her goals are to create a happy workplace for her team and to create efficiencies that will allow the practice to offer the best patient care at reasonable prices. When not in the office, Joan indulges her passions for outrigger paddling and Hawaiian hula.

Cindie RDA Insurance Specialist

Raised in Los Gatos, Cindie moved to Santa Cruz in 1986 with her husband and has been here ever since.  She has a son, 21, whom she adores is proud of.  She has worked in dentistry since 1984 and worked Saturdays as Dr. Bs assistant for several years and then in 2007 came aboard to manage the office. She appreciates Dr. B's genuine and sincere care for all of her patients and the dental treatment she recommends is always in the best interest of the patient. If you have a question about your dental insurance Cindie will have an answer for you.

When not working you can find her with her 2 dogs: Rowdy and Scrappy, Border/Cairin terrier mix breed litter mates adopted from the SPCA.


Shanna RDA, OSA Implant Coordinator


Shanna grew up in the Santa Cruz area and has been working in the dental world for 21 years with a focus on dental implants. She has experience with general dentistry, oral surgery, and endodontics. She works closely with Dr. Gifford and Dr. San Filippo and is our patient advocate for specialist treatment.

In her free time she is involved in competitive bikini competitions and won several times in 2015. She loves to cook Thai food and spend time with her family.


Kaiti RDA

Kaiti was born and raised in Santa Cruz, she attended Santa Cruz High. She has many years of dental office experience. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Karen RDH

Since February 1998, Karen has been the hygienist and has developed a strong working relationship with the team. She lives in La Selva Beach with her family including 4 children. Before moving there, she lived in Scotts Valley and still has many ties there, her husband coaches football at Scotts Valley High School.

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Julianne RDA Lead Assistant

Julianne has enjoyed working as a Registered Dental Assistant since 1998 has been with Dr. B for over 10 years. She has lived in Santa Cruz for the past 27 years and love all this area offers from hiking in the redwoods to visiting our beautiful beaches. She enjoys this space with her family.


Sarah RDA

Sarah grew up in Santa Cruz and has been a dental assistant for many years. Dr. Benedict and Dr. Bernhardt are not the only family in the office. She and her sister Shannon work together to help patients to be comfortable and relaxed. She enjoys running and swimming and participates in many events including triathlons and marathons.


Shannon RDA

Shannon grew up in Santa Cruz and attended Harbor High School. She and her sister (Sarah) have worked with patients in dental offices for a number of years.


Wendi RDH

Wendy has been a hygienist working in a periodontist office for over 20 years. She joined us when the periodontist retired.  She and her husband have 3 children and enjoy all types of outdoor activities from cross-country skiing to swimming.


Naomi Bookkeeper

Naomi is our steadfast bookkeeper.  She has worked with us for many years and she is a fabulous bicyclist.