Meet The Doctors
Richard Mantoan, DDS
A proud graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, Dr.Mantoan opened his Flossmoor office in 1985. Believing in helping the less fortunate, he organized a group of volunteer dentists to provide urgent dental care for area homeless persons and is a member of Donated Dental Services, an organization of dentists who provide free dental care for those in Chicagoland with financial need due to disabilities. Dr. Mantoan has kept up to date in all aspects of dentistry, including cosmetics, prevention, and practice management. He has held all officer positions in the South Suburban Branch of the Chicago Dental Society and served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Dental Society. Professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, and Chicago Dental Society.
Very happily married with three children, Dr. Mantoan enjoys family travel, classical music, and working with people.
We are strong believers in keeping up with the times. New techniques and materials are developed regularly. This is why the practice of dentistry stays so exciting and enjoyable for us. Every year we attend a number of varied continuing education programs throughout the Chicagoland area. In addition, Dr. Mantoan has taken the following in-depth continuums:
- University of Minnesota Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry Level 1
- Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Study
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Masticatory System Problems
- Equilibration: Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems
- Hornbrook Group Center for Advanced Clinical Education
- Functional Anterior Esthetic Program
- Implant-Retained Overdentures
Armand DiBenedetto, DDS
Dr. Armand DiBenedetto, a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. In the time he has been associated with our practice, he has impressed us with his calm, caring demeanor and his clinical skills.
Dr. DiBenedetto gained valuable experience in general dentistry and oral surgery thanks to his work with the National Public Health service in non-profit clinics in Reno, Nevada, and in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Since then he has been in private practice in the Chicagoland area, gaining excellent experience in endodontic therapy, cosmetics, and general dentistry. In addition, Dr DiBenedetto has attended many hours of continuing education in dental implant placement and restoration.
In his free time, Dr. DiBenedetto enjoys film, live music, reading, travel, and skiing.
Zaid Atarchi, BDS, MSc, MS
Dr. Zaid Atarchi graduated in 2001, obtaining his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the College of Dentistry, Baghdad University. He was selected to complete a prosthodontics residency at the same school. This residency provided him with advanced training in restorative dentistry, he earned his Master’s Degree and Certificate in Prosthodontics in 2005. He held a faculty position as a full-time Clinical Lecturer at the College of Dentistry, Baghdad University. He spent several years in private practice and volunteering in community clinics, serving and educating oral health for people in need. Helping people and improving their smiles energizes him. He feels fortunate to be rewarded emotionally every day for what he does, who he helps, and who he gets to work with. His interest in education compelled him to pursue another specialty training program, he enrolled at Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education, where he earned his Master of Science in dentistry and Certificate in Periodontics in 2016.
Dr. Atarchi is an active member of American Dental Association, American Academy of Periodontology, Midwest Society of Periodontology and Chicago Dental Society.
Dr. Atarchi and his wife Israa are heavily involved with the raising of their four daughters. They all enjoy reading, travelling and numerous other outdoor activities.
Ni Van, DMD, MABS
Dr. Van graduated from Midwestern University-Illinois, where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master in Biomedical Sciences degrees. She was born in Denver, Colorado, but she now resides in Burbank, Illinois.
She chose a career in dentistry to help patients attain better dental health and overall health associated with their dental needs. She enjoys doing general dentistry and has a particularly strong interest in cosmetic dentistry. The bond and connection that Dr. Van gets to develop with each patient is truly rewarding, and she hopes to help all types of patients from every background. Dr. Van tries to make each dental appointment a positive one, and she strives to give each patient the best possible care.
In her free time, Dr. Van loves spending time with her family; traveling; painting; attending plays; and enjoying the outdoors by biking, hiking, working out, and nature watching. She also likes to give back to the community by volunteering her time to the underserved community around Illinois. In the past two years, she has also been on mission trips to the Dominican Republic to provide free dental care for patients that have limited access to dental care. She is excited to help patients get on the right track towards having a happier and healthier smile.
Meet Our Team
Hiliare- Marketing Director
Hiliare is Southland Smiles innovative Marketing Director. Hiliare has been in dentistry for over 13 years and has been part of Southland Smiles since 2009. Hiliare really enjoys keeping the office fresh and fun for our patients and staff, with her creative raffles, giveaways and amazing events. Hiliare is the proud mother of her 12 year old son, Tyler. Hiliare is a huge sports fan, she loves her Cubbies, Blackhawks and of course, Da Bears. Besides attending or watching sports, in her free time she loves spending time with her son and family, as well as fishing/boating, DIY projects and anything to do with the outdoors.
Karen has been with Southland Smiles for many years. Graduating from Prairie State Dental Assisting School, she has worked for many years as a Dental Assistant. She is now working in the business aspect of the practice as an insurance coordinator. She loves her role at Southland Smiles, helping patients with insurance get the maximum allowable benefit. Karen has been happily married for over 45 years to Dr. Richard Mantoan and loves being with her 3 children, their spouses and grandchildren. Her hobbies are walking and reading good books. Most important to her is her faith, family, and friends.
Maria became part of the Southland Team in July of 2015, but has been in the dental field for over 31 years. Maria loves talking with patients and helping them achieve their dream smile. Maria and her husband of 24 years have 3 beautiful daughters, 1 son and 4 grandchildren. Maria enjoys running, gardening and spending lots of time with her growing family.
Daniella-New Patient Certification Coordinator
Daniella has worked in customer service for over 3 years. She has been with Southland Smiles since June of 2017. Daniella works in the call center but started in concierge position at the front desk. She enjoys working with the high energy positive team and being able to learn and experience new opportunities from her co-workers as well as, helping them with anything they need to get done. She also really enjoys seeing patients leave the office Happy with the work that they receive. In Daniella’s spare time away from the office, she enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with her goddaughter and grandma, or teaching kids to dance for quinceaneras.
Kim started working for her family dentist at the front desk and has grown to love helping patients so much that she has been in the dental field for 20 years. She joined the Southland Smiles team in November of 2016 as part of our Insurance Department. She works behind the scenes talking to insurance companies to follow up on pending or unpaid claims in order to help you maximize your insurance benefits. She enjoys reading, walking, having fun with family & friends and spoiling her two Papillion dogs Peanut & Parker.
Gabriela became part of Southland Smiles in July 2018. She has over 20 years of Dental Experience and she is dedicated to helping patients have a better understanding of their insurance benefits and how they work. Gabriela has been married for over 12 years and has a 9 year old daughter that she adores! Gabriela enjoys running, traveling, and all things outdoors. She values her faith, family, and friends.
Patient Services Team
Sarah-Front Desk Team Lead Administrator
Sarah has been part of the Southland Smiles family since 2015 and is the Front Desk Team Lead. Sarah studied business and fine arts at Prairie State College. Her favorite part of being part of the Southland Smiles team is talking to the patients and learning what their desires are. Sarah truly enjoys helping the patients achieve their dream smile any way she can. She loves her work family and enjoys the relationship she has with them. Sarah is a proud mother of her 8 year old daughter. In her free time she is a Girls Scout Leader for her daughter’s troop. She also loves spending time with her daughter and family, listening to music, fishing/boating, watching movies, bowling and doing projects around her house.
Joanne is a mother of 2 sons and 1 daughter, and has been with her high school sweetheart for 40 years. Some of the activities she enjoys are spending time with family, exercise, training her new puppy, Lola, and traveling. Jo has been in the dental field for over 20 years, and has been with Southland Smiles since 2012 as part of the Patient Services Staff at the Front Desk. Jo loves the interaction with patients and takes pride in helping them achieve their best, healthy smile!
Ana-Front Desk Administrator
Ana joined Southland Smiles Team October 2017. She is new to the office assisting the front desk team with her 17 years of dental experience. She enjoys interacting with all of our wonderful patients making sure they had a wonderful experience, as that is our goal at Southland Smiles. She is the mother of three daughters. Ana enjoys going on walks with her husband of 22 years and watching her youngest daughter play soccer. Her favorite season is the summer when she has the opportunity to enjoy her favorite hobbies gardening her flowerbeds, herbs, vegetables and bike riding.
Briana joined Southland Smiles Team January 2018. She is the bright smiling face when you walk into the office. Briana enjoys showing our patients around our office, and gathering as much insurance information as possible to help patients maximize their benefits at our office. Briana enjoys running, reading and spending time with her family.
Dina-Front Desk Administrator
Dina joined Southland Smiles August of 2018.Dina has been in the dental field for over 23 years, most of that time at the same office. What Dina loves most about Southland Smiles is the support they give to all their employees to make the patient experience the best they have ever had. In her spare time Dina loves to cook for family and friends and the Ronald McDonald House when times allows. Dina has 2 grown children who are her life, and no grandchildren…..Yet.
Dental Assistant Treatment Coordinators
Shericce-RDA Dental Assistant Lead
Shericce is a mother of 3 awesome girls who she adores. Shericce graduated from Prairie State College in 1988. She has worked as an assistant for 30 years. Her favorite part of being a team member of Southland Smiles is helping to improve patient’s smiles. Shericce enjoys scenic walks and gardening.
Linda has been a Dental assistant for 34 years, 32 of which has been at Southland Smiles. Linda received a dental assistant degree from Prairie State College. When Linda began her career with Southland Smiles it was a new office with a growing patient base. Linda has enjoyed the growth of this company and the relationships that have been built not only with the staff over the years but also the patients. Linda has worked side by side with Dr. Mantoan far all 32 years and they have formed a great working relationship which has resulted in an experience that is beneficial for the patients. Outside of work you can find Linda at her grandsons’ basketball and baseball games or her granddaughters’ volleyball games. Linda really enjoys quality time with her family and loves every minute she can spend with her grandchildren. Linda and her husband of 47 years, Sam, have 3 wonderful children. Linda enjoys travelling or just simply relaxing and watching the hallmark channel. Linda could not have asked for a better career and looks forward to the continued success and the company and the relationships both existing and new that will continue to grow and form.
Chris has been in dentistry for over 40 years. She has been a dental assistant at Southland Smiles for over 30 years. Chris feels her job is so rewarding when she sees the joy, excitement and confidence in the smiles of our patients after treatment. Chris lives in Schererville, Indiana with her husband of 46 years. They have two children and their first grandbaby is on the way! Chris enjoys spending time with her family and reading.
Yesenia aka Yesi went to Bloom in Chicago Heights and has been a dental assistant for 13 years. Yesi has been Dr. DiBenedetto’s assistant for over 8 years, 5 of which have been at Southland Smiles. Yesi loves working with Dr. D and their patients. She feels all of their patients are special and unique in their own way and she loves talking and connecting with all of them. Yesi and her wonderful husband of 16 years, Mike, have a 14 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. Yesi’s favorite hobby is spending time with her family.
Tracey has been an assistant for 26 years. She graduated from Brymon Dental Assisting School in 1991. Tracey has a 26 year old son and a cat named Zoe. Outside of work Tracey enjoys power walking and going to the gym. Tracey has always loved dentistry. It has been a rewarding career to see all the happy smiles over the years.
Katie has been an assistant since 2001. She loves helping people and making them feel at ease. Katie also loves fixing equipment. Some of Katie’s favorite hobbies include fishing, disc golf, and rounding up donations for homeless veterans.
Esperanza which means “Hope” has been a Dental Assistant since 1995. She attended South Suburban College and has been Part of the Southland Smiles Staff since 2017. Hope loves the atmosphere and good vibe of the office. She feels that working here is like working with family. Hope and her husband of 22 years have 3 wonderful children; Adrian 21, Andrea, 18 and Annalee who just turned 1. He family bring her great joy and “Life is Good”.
Jen-RDH Hygiene Team Lead
Jen has been a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 20 years. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and University of St. Francis. Jen is friendly, efficient and has a high skill set as a Dental Hygienist. Jen loves working with her patients to help them achieve and maintain their dental health. She is grateful to be part of Southland Smile since 2010 where she has made many friendships with her patients and coworkers. Jen is also the lead hygienist at Southland smiles where she coaches and supports the hygiene department to maintain a superior “standard of care” and excellent customer service. Jen resides in Shorewood, Illinois with her husband Adam, two children Evan and Olivia and two dogs Maxx and Phoebe. In her free time she likes to spend time with her family, gardening, boating and spending as much time outdoors as she can.
Stephanie is a recent graduate of Prairie State College. She graduated summa cum laude, and also received the “Outstanding Dental Hygiene Student” award in 2017. Stephanie also held memberships with Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society. Stephanie was drawn to Southland Smiles caring staff, and found their personalized attention to each patient impressive. For her, it is a joy to come to work every day and make a difference in people’s lives. While not at work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family, her two dogs, and her friends. If it’s a beautiful day, you’ll be sure to find Stephanie outside enjoying it! She tries to go hiking any chance she can get, and will never say no to adventure.
Sharon has been a Registered Dental Hygienist for two years and has worked at Southland Smiles for over one and a half years. She graduated with an associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Prairie State College in 2016. Prior to studying dental hygiene, Sharon earned a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and an associate’s degree in Health and Wellness from Purdue University. One of the reasons she enjoys being a dental hygienist is because she knows she is making a positive impact on the world one person at a time. Every day she feels like she is making a difference by helping to improve each patient’s overall quality of life. Sharon is an avid Chicago Cubs fan! In her free time, she enjoys bowling and has recently accomplished the ultimate goal of a 300 game. She also enjoys going to concerts and spending time with her friends, family, and dog.
Ruth started her dental career over 33 years ago. She received her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from Harper College in Palatine in 1990. She returned to school in 2004 while working full time, to get her BA in Health Administration and graduated from University of St. Francis in Joliet in 2006. Educating her patients and giving them the proper tools to achieve their best all-around oral care is important and rewarding to her. The relationships she builds with her patients and co-workers is an added bonus to her career. When not at work Ruth loves to read and travel with her husband of 25 years.
Vicky’s passion for dentistry happened more than 8 years ago when she took a position as a dental receptionist. From there, she worked her way to managing her own dental practice. In that time, she realized that she wanted to pursue a career in Dental Hygiene. She returned to school and is a recent graduate of Fox College with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. She also received the oral health education award for excelling in patient education. She loves having the opportunity to work with her patients on improving their oral health and educating them on how important oral health is to their overall health. Getting to know her patients and their families is very important to Vicky. In Vicky’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, shopping, and watching movies. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Danice joined Southland Smiles’ team in May 2018 as the Hygiene Assist. She has worked in patient care field for over 4 years. Danice is a graduate of University of St. Francis. She has always enjoyed working and helping people and had the opportunity to continue that here at Southland Smiles. During Danice’s spare time she loves to play soccer and workout. She also enjoys spending quality time with her family, friends and fur babies Zeus and Lady!