Call Today: (858) 453-8520

Dentist - San Diego
3222 Governor Drive
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 453-8520

Find answers and other helpful dental topics in our digital library.

Our staff combined has over 50 years of experience in the field of dentistry and maintain the highest level of training and accreditation. This gives them the ability to make you feel welcomed and comfortable in the office.

Andrew Firtel D.D.S.:  Dr. Andrew Firtel has been a dentist in San Diego since 1996. He grew up in La Jolla, CA and got his undergraduate degree in Biology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He then went on and did his dental training at The University of Southern California, graduating in 1996. Dr. Firtel has taken post graduate classes in implants, laser gum surgery, esthetics, TMJ at the Dawson Center in Florida, and Invisalign, thereby increasing his dental knowledge and expertise.

In 2004, Dr. Firtel completed a postgraduate course in the use of a Nd:Yag dental laser at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. Upon completion of his laser training, Dr. Firtel became one of only a select few in San Diego trained to perform a FDA approved innovative gum surgery using this specialized dental soft tissue laser. Since completing the course, he has performed numerous laser surgeries with wonderful results and a high level of satisfaction for the patient.

In addition to attending continuing education seminars, Dr. Firtel is an active member in the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the San Diego County Dental Association. He frequently attends both their educational and personal growth seminars.

Dr. Firtel also enjoys teaching children about age appropriate dental topics. Routinely, he will be asked by preschools and kindergarten classes to speak to their students about the importance of healthy food choices and proper dental hygiene. This has proven to be rewarding and entertaining, both to him and the children in the class.

Outside of the office, he enjoys spending time with family in Idaho fly-fishing and camping, cycling, reading, participating in the Challenged Athletes Foundation triathlon, and going for walks with his golden retriever Drifter. However, his true love and passion is spending his free time with his wife and daughter Jadyn.  His favorite restaurant and movie are El Pescador and Shawshank Redemption.  “The Snowfly”, by Joseph Haywood, is his favorite book.  One item on his “Bucket List” is to drive to Alaska on the Alaskan Highway.

Heather Marquez - Office Manager:  Heather has worked in the office over 21 years and has been the office manager for over 15 years. She is a true believer in creating an overall comfortable and pleasant experience in the dental office and has done so successfully over all those years. Heather is married and has two sons.  She spends much of her free time walking and spending time at the baseball diamond or traveling to ice hockey games with her two boys.  She loves to eat at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop and her favorite movie is August Rush.  One item on her “Bucket List” is to see a baseball game at Yankee Stadium.  When her kids were younger, she loved to read them “Good Night Moon”.


Jenny Watson - Dental Assistant:  Jenny has been a registered dental assistant for close to 24 years and has worked with Dr Firtel for 7 years. The last 20 years has provided her with great skills enabling her to provide excellent care and service. Jenny loves to spend time with her husband and 3 children while watching movies, having family dinners, and taking walks on the beach.  Her favorite restaurant is The Fish Market and her favorite movie and book is “Gone with the Wind”.  One item on her “bucket list” is to go to Europe.






Shahla Houdaji - Dental Assistant:  Shahla has been a dental assistant for 7 years and has been part of the dental office for 6 years. She has a very caring personality and is able to pay attention to the patients' individual needs. Shahla has three girls and enjoys long walks on the beach with her children, watching comedy movies, and dancing.  She is originally from Ahvaz, Iran, and her favorite restaurant is Claim Jumper.  Her favorite book is “The Crazy Surgeon” and her favorite movie is The Notebook.  One item on her “Bucket List” is to take a trip to Europe.





Loree Curtis- Front Desk:  Loree has been working in the dental field for about 20 years and has been with our office since the beginning of 2008. Her soft-spoken personality adds to the relaxing environment of the office. In her free time, she enjoys reading, books on tape, and spending time with her husband and children.  She also loves to crochet baby blankets for her friends.  Loree grew up in the Santee area.  Her favorite restaurant and book are Eastbound Restaurant in Lakeside and “My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife”.  She loves the movie The Hours and one item on her “Bucket List” is to go to Hawaii with her family.




Ashley LaFavor- Ashley has been a registered dental hygienist in the office since 2019.  She is originally from Santa Barbara, but has lived in San Diego for over 10 years.  She went to school for dental hygiene at Southwestern College in San Diego.  As a dental hygienist, she loves the interactions with her patients, building relationships, and enjoys educating them about oral health and overall dental care.  In her spare time, she loves being outdoors, exercising, cooking, and try new restaurants.  She enjoys going to comedy shows and country music concerts.  She has a cat named Stella and a dog named Cooper.  One of her bucket list items is to travel to Southeast Asia.




Cary Bertram- Cary has been a registered dental hygienist in the dental office since 2017.  She went to dental hygiene school at the Community College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA.  She enjoys building long lasting relationships with her dental hygiene patients and promoting health and wellness through dental hygiene care and oral health education.  She grew up in Agoura Hills, California.  In Cary’s free time she loves being outdoors, working out at the gym, and spending time with her husband Eli and their two dogs, Enzo and Koa.  One of her bucket list items is to travel to Africa and go on a safari.