Meet the Team
Hadley Kathryn Thurmon, D.D.S.
Dr. Thurmon has a passion for learning. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Michigan in 1996. While attending college, she was also active in her sorority, intramurals, and was captain of The University of Michigan ski team. Dr. Thurmon continued her education at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. There, Dr. Thurmon was active in student government. She was a representative for the American Student Dental Association, and a representative for the Michigan Taft Society, a volunteer society for underprivileged dental patients. She was also selected to participate in the University of Michigan’s Migrant Dentistry Program. She spent part of her summer of 1999 in Northern Michigan providing dentistry for underserved migrant families. Dr. Thurmon graduated in 2000 with her doctorate in dental surgery and earned the award for Excellence and Promise in Oral Diagnosis.
Upon graduation, Dr. Thurmon continued her education at the University of Colorado Health Science Center spending an additional year of training as a General Practice Dental Resident. There she was further trained in many areas of dentistry including dental emergencies, oncology/cancer therapy, organ transplant patients, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery and conscious sedation, periodontics, endodontics/root canals and esthetic prosthodontics for both implants and crowns. After obtaining her certificate from the University of Colorado, Dr. Thurmon moved back to Michigan in July 2001. She began working as an associate in a large, 7 doctor practice for 3 years. It was an excellent learning experience as some of her colleagues had been instructors at the University of Michigan Dental School. Finally in August 2004, after visiting a friend in Japan, she returned to Colorado. Dr. Thurmon worked both as an associate and was a co-owner of Appletree Dental in Thornton from 2004-2011. December 2011 Dr. Thurmon sold her practice to her partners and relocated to Chicago with her husband and daughter to live closer to her family in Michigan. She worked as an associate at Standley Shores Dental Group in Westminster, Colorado from January 2012 thru Memorial Day of 2014 when she and her family moved to Chicago.
In the past 14 years Dr. Thurmon has continued to further her dental training by completing a year long 3i Dental Implant Synergy Training program, taking rigorous Pankey and Dawson comprehensive lecture and hands on dentistry courses in Florida, California, Denver and Chicago. Additionally she has attended numerous local continuing education courses. Dr. Thurmon is also active in organized dentistry as she was on the Continuing Education Committee with the Metro Denver Dental Society from 2006-2014. She was an alternate delegate for the Colorado Dental Association and she attended the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention every year since 2001. Giving back to the community is important for Dr. Thurmon. She has participated in local events such as Give Kids a Smile, Delta Dental’s Smile Abrasion and Colorado Mission of Mercy, which provide thousands of dollars of free dental care to patients in need.
In her spare time Dr. Thurmon enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter as well as ski racing, golfing, mountain biking, traveling, cooking and reading. Dr. Thurmon also has a “Baby” named Fenway, her Chocolate Lab from Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue.
Dr. Thurmon enjoys dentistry for many reasons. She enjoys working with others to improve their health and provide a positive dental experience. She also enjoys educating patients about their particular dental situation and how it relates to their overall health. Dr. Thurmon says the combination of science, art and patient interaction is why dentistry is the right profession for her.
Donald Sandell, D.D.S.
It should come as no surprise to those who know him, but Dr. Donald Sandell chose dentistry as his future career when he was 5 years old. Dr. Sandell comes from humble beginnings in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. The oldest of 5 children, he started working at the age of 12 and eventually worked construction alongside his father in order to support himself through college at Binghamton University – SUNY. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, and then took a brief detour when he decided to pursue a Masters in Biochemistry at the University of Connecticut. However, after one year he returned to his original dream and moved to Chicago to attend dental school at Loyola University School of Dentistry in Maywood, Illinois.
Dental school not only allowed him to pursue his dream job, but it also introduced him to his dream girl – Dr. Connie Sandell, whom he met and married before they both graduated from Loyola in 1980. Dr. Don and his wife went on to serve as dentists in the United States Air Force following graduation. Dr. Don served from 1980 to 1983 and was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas and Blytheville Air Force Base in Arkansas. While in the Air Force he received additional dental training in oral surgery and conscious sedation, endodontics/root canals, operative dentistry, removable prosthodontics, and crown and bridge.
After serving in the Air Force, Dr. Don and his wife returned to the Chicagoland area and started their own practice, Sandell Dental Care, in Elmhurst. Dr. Connie has since retired, but Dr. Don has practiced dentistry in Elmhurst from 1983 until the present time, delivering quality dental care to what he considers to be the best patients in the world. Additionally, Dr. Don has received special training and has years of experience with laser treatments. He began working with laser technology in 2005 and uses it for many dental procedures including anesthetizing children (and occasionally adults) without needles to perform fillings. He has been a long-standing member of the American Dental Association, the Illinois State Dental Society, and the Chicago Dental Society.
In 2015, Dr. Hadley Thurmon became the owner of Alpine Creek Dental (formerly known as Sandell Dental Care). Dr. Don will continue to practice dentistry alongside her for at least a couple more years as he prepares for retirement.
Dr. Don and his wife have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, cooking, and exercising. He adores being a grandfather, and his grandkids love their “Pop Pop.” This is no surprise considering the total focus he gives them combined with his patient, gentle nature.
Dr. Don has a similar approach to his patients. He treats each patient like a family member and makes each patient’s needs his primary concern. Dr. Don still loves dentistry after 34 years!
Erin E. Best, DMD
Dr. Best is pleased and excited to join the Alpine Creek Dental team. For the last 10 years, she has had the privilege of providing great dentistry to the Hyde Park and downtown Chicago communities. Moving forward with the next chapter in her life, she is sad to leave behind all the wonderful patients she has met but is very much looking forward to begin serving the wonderful families of the western suburbs.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Dr. Best earned both her undergraduate and dental degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. Upon receiving her dental degree, she chose to continue her education through a residency program at Rush University Medical Center. During her residency she received specialized training in Oral Surgery, Anesthesia, Radiology, Plastic Surgery and ENT. This additional training provided a unique opportunity to work side by side with physicians and specialists throughout the hospital and to learn and practice a multidisciplinary approach to total patient care.
Dr. Best has a passion for learning her craft and strives to create a quality experience for the patients she serves. Compassion, trust, and ethics are characteristics that have helped Dr. Best develop strong professional relationships with her patients. Her true passion for dentistry translates to helping her patients meet their goals and receive the personal attention they deserve. She believes communication, education, and of course a gentle touch are keys to a successful dental visit. Her easygoing attitude encourages an open dialogue for more personalized care. An active and healthy lifestyle are important to Dr. Best and she loves to educate and empower her patients to take an active role in maintaining their total health.
In order to deliver the most state of the art and conservative dentistry, Dr. Best regularly attends continuing education courses that span a wide variety of topics. She is trained in all facets of dentistry including cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, periodontal procedures, implants, orthodontics, pediatrics, and laser dentistry. She is certified in veneers/Lumineers, Invisalign, MTM Clear Aligners, and Advanced Laser Dentistry. Her professional memberships include the American Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
A strong sense of family is what drives Dr. Best to treat her patients as if they were her own family. She enjoys all aspects of her field and welcomes patients of every age. She is invested in caring for the health of her patients and enhancing their quality of life through a beautiful healthy smile. She is eager to meet you and your family and wants to show you why she absolutely loves being a dentist.
Outside of work, Dr. Best enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and two young daughters. Together, they enjoy any outdoor activity, exploring new destinations, cheering for her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, and most of all laughing and loving life.
Freda - Dental Hygienist
At the age of 9, after spending a weekend with older sisters and discussing different career paths, I knew Dental Hygiene was for me. From that day forward, I set my sights on that course. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from Loyola University. Upon graduation, I began working for Dr. Don and Connie Sandell at Sandell Dental Care. After the sale of the practice to Dr. Hadley Thurmon, I continued my career with Alpine Creek Dental. I am excited with the increased technology that this office has to offer. I regularly attend continuing education courses to further the dental health of patients in the practice. In my free time, I enjoy family time with my husband "Dave" and my many pets. I am a huge animal lover and also enjoy nature and gardening as well.
Denise - Office Manager
Born and raised in Chicago, I went to DePaul University where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Accounting. After having two beautiful children I chose to stay home and raise them. Fifteen years later I felt it was time to get back into the working world and I wanted something exciting and rewarding. I wanted a modern and caring dental practice to be my home, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every patient in our practice. It is as though each of you have become part of my family. In my free time, I love to travel and enjoy gardening, crafting, and spending time with my family and friends. I currently reside in Arlington Heights with my family.
Julia - Dental Hygienist
With over 18 years of dental experience in general dentistry, orthodontics, oral surgery and pediatric dentistry, I truly have a passion for my profession. At a young age, I always had a love for dentistry. I even helped my brother pull out his teeth (baby teeth of course!). I take pride in making my patients feel at ease and truly enjoy working with my amazing team at Alpine Creek Dental. I live in Morton Grove with my husband Bryan and three daughters; Alyssa, Michelle and Daniella, and our 3 dogs. I enjoy spending time with my family and watching my kids compete in sports.
Clara - Dental Assistant
I am a certified as a dental assistant. I went to school at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI. I have been a dental assistant for over 20 years. I have experience working with Periodontists and Oral Surgeons. Also, I have worked in both a dental lab and private practice. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, baking, gardening, cross stitch, and crafting. I also enjoy going to the movies and spending time with my three sons.
Hedy - Office Coordinator/Hygienist
I have worked in dental field as a receptionist for many years. Through the encouragement of my co-workers, I decided to go back to school and become a hygienist. I graduated in 2004 and have been practicing ever since. I wear multiple hats at Alpine Creek Dental and primarily work at the front desk alongside the office manager. I have a kind, caring personality and am a great "sunshine pumper" for the office. In my free time, I love spending time with my family, including my five beautiful grandchildren. I love to read and I am a huge movie buff. I love to travel and hope to someday travel the world with my husband.
Jenny - Dental Assistant
The day I walked in Alpine Creek Dental, I knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing team! With 10+ years of assisting experience, I bring my passion to the patients to help them feel comfortable and educated for each and every visit. It is very rewarding to have built such wonderful relationships with the doctors and patients in order to make treatment successful and the outcome beautiful..
When I'm not saving smiles, I love spending as much time as I can with my son. You will also find me out on a running trail or kayaking somewhere. I look forward to many more years meeting new faces (and teeth)!