Welcome to our practice! We understand choosing a dentist is a big deal. That's why we've got a few aces up our sleeve that make us stand out from the crowd. Our team members are more than just colleagues; we're a bunch of smile enthusiasts who genuinely love what we do. When you're surrounded by happy faces, it's hard not to catch the positivity bug!
At Chicago Dentistry, we've turned the dial up for fun. From upbeat tunes playing in the background to a newly renovated office, you'll feel like you're visiting friends, not just a dental office. We happily offer our patients concierge service. We're not just here to fix teeth; we're here to make your entire experience top-notch by staying up-to-date on the latest technology, yet giving you that small town feeling inside the big city. Consider us your smile concierges. Need a bit of extra attention or have special requests? Just let us know. We're all ears and ready to go the extra mile to ensure you're comfortable and well taken care of.
Meet The Doctors
Nationally recognized as an educator, author, and practicing clinician, Dr. Kaufman brings a special “big-picture” approach to dentistry and his life. Graduating from UIC College of Dentistry in 1995, Dr. Kaufman has been treating patients with fully personalized care for over 25 years.
His love for helping patients achieve their dental goals, along with his father’s own work, inspired Dr. Kaufman to become a dentist. Under Dr. Kaufman’s watch, the now 70-year-old practice started by his father has continued to grow and flourish, providing a model for practices across the country.
Dedicated to being the best dentist he can be, Dr. Kaufman serves on the advisory board of numerous dental manufacturers, consults on product development, and has educated clinicians across the globe on a wide range of topics. In fact, Dr. Kaufman has been lecturing both nationally and internationally on continuing education programs for the last 15 years. He has also published numerous articles on restorative and cosmetic dentistry and is an administrator with Smile Source Chicago.
When he’s not helping patients create healthy, confident smiles, Dr. Kaufman enjoys attending live concerts and Chicago Bulls games. To stay active, he is fond of cycling, hiking, and hitting the gym. His two children, now both adults in their own right, are his pride and joy and he also loves spending time with them whenever he can.
Dr. Kaufman holds professional memberships in The American Dental Association, The Academy of General Dentistry, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and The Chicago Dental Society, The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, The Academy of Laser Dentistry, Illinois State Dental Society, International College of Oral Implantologists, and American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
I’m an FAGD dentist! What does that mean for you and your family?
FAGD stands for Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. Earning Fellowship takes dedication to dental continuing education (CE) beyond graduation. Only about 6 percent of general dentists in the U.S. and Canada are AGD Fellows. When you see a dentist with FAGD after their name, you can rest assured that they care about knowing the latest techniques and best practices in dentistry. AGD Fellows practice these techniques in a classroom setting multiple times a year — not every dentist does this.
To become an AGD Fellow, a dentist must:
- Complete over 500 credit hours of CE.
- Earn 350 of those 500 credits in live courses.
- Pass an exam equal in difficulty to board certification exams.
Areas of Special Interest:
Dental Implants, Comprehensive Reconstruction, Treatment Planning, Cosmetic Smile Design, and Three-Dimensional Imaging, minimally invasive smile design, comprehensive full mouth reconstruction.
Meet The Doctors
Dr. Lisa Minkowski is a native of Wisconsin, received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. She then continued her education in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Marquette University. She moved back to Chicago and joined the office as an associate in 2013. Dr. Minkowski is dedicated to providing excellent, gentle dental care in a relaxed, comfortable environment. She believes that communication and compassion are key when discussing comprehensive treatment plans with her patients. Dr. Minkowski seeks to educate her patients about dental problems and treatments, because she believes that informed patients are better able to make informed decisions about their health and their well-being. Her friendly personality creates an atmosphere where patients are comfortable asking questions.
Dr. Minkowski is an active member of the American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry and American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. She consistently attends continuing education courses to ensure that the care she provides is the most advanced and up to date. Dr. Minkowski enjoys providing exceptional preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. She is also certified in Invisalign®.
Meet The Team
Gayle Pelc, RDH, BS
As a Registered Dental Hygienist, Gayle is committed to giving all of her patients the finest treatment she possibly can, leading to a lifetime of great oral health. With nearly 40 years of experience, nearly all have been with Dr. Kaufman and our practice, Gayle has been in dentistry for much of her life and is an integral part of our team. She has received an AAS degree in Dental Hygiene and a BS in Health Arts. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree as well.
In her spare time, Gayle enjoys gardening and baking. She is also a huge Chicago sports fan and describes herself as a “rabid” White Sox and Blackhawks fan. When not enjoying a game, Gayle enjoys going on nature preserve hikes with her beloved german shorthaired pointer, Buzz.
Nina Parker, RDH
With over 20 years of experience, Nina has honed her skills as a hygienist to deliver an amazing patient experience for everyone who walks through our doors. Her dental philosophy is simple, yet no less critical for it: provide the highest quality of care possible. Nina has received her Associate of Applied Science Degree in dental hygiene, ensuring that patients can trust in her skill and understanding of dental care.
Nina chose to work in dentistry because she believes that smiles are everything. Accordingly, when she is not in the office, she loves cooking, exercising, and enjoying everything that life has to offer.
Maria earned her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Indiana University Northwest.
Her passion for helping others has lead her to a dental career where she can provide top preventative care, oral health education, and a great patient experience. Although new to the dental world Maria is dedicated to developing her skills in dentistry and constantly striving to give her patients the best dental experience every time. Her detailed work and gentle touch have helped gained the trust of many of her patients.
When she’s not in the dental office Maria enjoys spending time with family, trying new restaurants around the city, and immersing herself in nature.
Angel, Lead Dental Assistant
Our Patients Say
"After the retirement of my former dentist, I switched to Smile Design Studio, where I have received excellent service. I appreciate their use of up-to-date equipment and procedures, their accommodation to my financial situation, their style of explanation and consultation regarding treatments and options, and most importantly their friendly and professional communication throughout the office."
"WOW! This is the most amazing dental practice in all of Chicago, if not the country. The folks working are beyond friendly, knowledgeable, and kind. I live in California for most of the year, and always make sure to visit this dental practice when I visit my parents in Chicago due to how well taken care of I feel there. One time, I had a massive time crunch, and needed to take care of a few cavities. They did me a massive favor and squeezed me in, and made my dental health a massive priority. It's also in a great location- so it's very easy to head to the dentist, grab lunch, and then go to the lake. Can't say enough good things."
"Smile Design is an excellent dental service. They are very well organized in their records and payment procedures, and it is very clear what the expenses will be and how to pay them. They do a great job of notifying in advance of an appointment and setting appointments in advance. I also really like that I have the same hygienist every time, so we get to know each other. The dentists are very careful and tell you clearly what needs to be done. Considering that dental appointments have often been painful and stressful with other dental practices, my overall feeling about Smile Design and Dr. Kaufman is that I trust them--and that is a huge thing to say!"
"Finding a dentist you love is difficult, but I was lucky to find Smile Design Studio after relocating to Hyde Park several years ago. The staff is friendly and helpful, my cleanings are always done quickly and efficiently (and as painlessly as possible), and Dr. Minkowski is knowledgeable and easy to talk to. They've made safety (patient and staff) a priority during the various stages of the pandemic, which I appreciate. Their intake form asks if you're interested in elective procedures (like tooth whitening), and if you're not, there's no further sales pitch, which I think is a great approach. I've been very happy as a patient here!"
"My most recent experience at Smile Design Studio with Dr. Kaufman was great, as usual. I have been a patient of Dr. Kaufman's for many years, with both he and his father. The work on my teeth has been complimented by other dentists or specialists. The staff is courteous, and respectful and does everything to make me comfortable. I recommend this practice highly."
"If you are extremely afraid of dentists as I am, this is the one that you want to go to. All professionals here and helpful and friendly. They all surely put my mind at ease before, during and after my procedures. Dr. Kaufman is THEE very best that there is out there. I now have a great smile thanks to Dr. Kaufman and his awesome team!!! Special thanks to Angel for she is truly one when you're in that chair. Get your best smile back, this is the place to go!"