Our mission is to serve our patients with care and professionalism. Our staff is committed to each other and works as a team to bring the best possible health care experience. From the inital phone contact to treatment completion we are concerned about your health, safety, and comfort. We are proud to introduce our staff.
Our Dental Hygienists
Our Dental Assistants
Tracy Bailey-Patient Services Coordinator
Tracy has been with Directions in Dentistry since 2001. Prior to joining the practice, Tracy was a stay at home mom to her sons, Chase and Hunter. Tracy is our cheerful and friendly front desk coordinator. She handles all of our insurance processing, scheduling, and many other duties that help a practice run smoothly. Tracy enjoys working with the public and interacting with our patients on a daily basis.
Tracy is married to Scott and enjoys spending time with her family and supporting both her teenage sons' sports activities throughout the year. She is an active volunteer with the football and basketball booster's program. Tracy also enjoys beach vacations, shopping, and spending time in Northern Michigan with family and friends.
Mary Beth Balaze-Operations Director
Maryann Wildey-Receptionist/Patient communications
MaryAnn has worked at our office since it opened in 1978. She looks forward to her time spent in the office each week. She always brings a joyful personality, that is encouraging to our patients and staff.
MaryAnn has one son and two daughters, 11 Grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. When she isn't at work she participates in church activities, golfing, biking, and bowling. She also enjoys flying model airplanes, hunting and fishing.
Ina Nelson-Registered Dental Hygienist
Ina has been employed with Dr. Barnard and Dr. Balaze for 31 years. The children she saw at the beginning of her career are now married and bringing their children to the office. She considers her patients as valued friends and this has been the highlight of her dental career. She has dedicated herself to helping her patients acheive better health through excellent oral hygiene.
Outside of the office Ina enjoys spending time with her husband Brit, family and friends. She enjoys golf, yoga, and gardening. She also follows college football, basketball and the Detroit Tigers. She and Brit are looking forward to using their kayaks this summer with neighbors and friends. Ina and Brit live with their two cats, Max and Molly.
Wendy Kern-Registered Dental Hygienist
Wendy, a Lapeer native, has been a dental hygienist for 33 years. She has loved being in a practice long enough to serve a few generations of patients. She is married to Bob and lives in Grand Blanc, and has 2 grown step sons. She is very active outside the office. She loves boating in Caseville in the summer. Also enjoys riding her Harley Davidson, golfing, skiing, and other activites outdoors.
Serving her patients over the years has been extremely rewarding for her. The personal relationships and helping each person achieve their dental goals are what makes her smile.
Stephanie LaFuente-Registered Dental Hygienist
Stephanie has been a RDH for 33 years. She is licensed to administer nitrous oxide and local anesthetic. Stephanie is always concerned about her patient's total health. She is caring, gentle, and is a very good listener.
Stephanie is married to Ed, has one daughter and one granddaughter. She is a master gardener and spends alot of time in her greenhouse. She also enjoys hiking, walking her dog, fishing, sewing, and bike riding.
Nancy McLaughlin-Dental Assistant
Teri Thomas-Dental Assistant
Teri came to our practice 8 years ago with 16 years experience in the dental field. She enjoys her position as a dental assistant working along side Dr. Balaze. The joy her patients bring to her is the most rewarding part of her job. Her comittment to understanding and knowing her patients needs is an asset to our dental team.
When Teri is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband Ted, and their 6 girls. She also is active in the youth group at her church. She enjoys running with the local run club and just completed her first marathon.