Meet Our Team
Dr. Ashley Ford, DMD
Dr. Ford decided to follow in her father, Michael Ford’s,
footsteps and choose dentistry as her profession. She obtained her
dental degree from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in
1995 after attending college at the University of Alabama in
Tuscaloosa. In addition to her dental degree, she completed a
specialty residency in Advanced Prosthodontics, which included a
focus on the treatment of advanced cases at UAB and the Veteran’s
Dr. Ford established her practice in Calera with Dr. Rigsby in
1998. Her vision for their practice was to create a patient
friendly environment that focused on high quality esthetic
dentistry and to develop a team of professionals that share their
vision and focus on patient care. She enjoys giving patients
affordable treatment options and alleviating common patient fears.
Dr. Ford is a member of the American Dental Association, the
Alabama Dental Association and the Birmingham District Dental
Society. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and
friends at the lake.
Dr. Deborah Rigsby, DMD, PhD
Dr. Rigsby received her Bachelor of Science degree from
Birmingham-Southern College in 1986. After spending two years in
the field of Cancer Research at UAB, she enrolled in the University
of Alabama School of Dentistry. Dr. Rigsby received her D.M.D. in
1992. Following graduation from Dental School she was accepted
into the prestigious Dentist – Scientist program and upon
completion earned a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering, a
specialty certificate in Advanced Prosthodontics, and a Ph.D. in
In 1998 Dr. Rigsby joined forces with Dr. Ashley Ford and
founded Calera Dental Center in downtown Calera, AL. Two years
later they built a new office complex and moved Calera Dental
Center to the new location at the Shelby County Airport exit. Dr.
Rigsby has written and published numerous articles related to
dentistry and is a contributing author for the 2nd edition of
Contemporary Implant Dentistry by Carl E. Misch. Dr. Rigsby is a
member of the Birmingham District Dental Society, the Alabama
Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.
Dr. Jean O’Neal, DMD, MSD
A native of Paint Rock, Alabama Dr. Jean O’Neal graduated from
Judson College in 1969. She subsequently graduated from the
University of Alabama School of Dentistry in 1977 and received her
Masters of Science in Dentistry in 1980. Dr. O’Neal’s
primary passion is practicing and teaching crown & bridge
prosthodontics with an emphasis on esthetics, occlusion and implant
restoration. She was an instructor in Prosthodontics at the
University of Alabama School of Dentistry for 30 years. She served
as Chair of the Department of Prosthodontics for twelve years.
In 2009, after many years of faithful service, Dr. O’Neal made
the decision to retire from her post at UAB and joined forces with
two former students: Dr. Ford and Dr. Rigsby. It is both an honor
and a privilege to have her as a member of our professional team.
Dr. O’Neal’s research activities are primarily clinically
related focusing on evaluating treatment modalities in implant
dentistry and esthetics. She has also presented numerous
continuing education courses nationally, internationally and
particularly to local district dental societies, study clubs, and
the Academy of General Dentistry Programs.
Alison Hughes, Hygienist
Allison Hughes has been in the dental field for most of her
life. She began her career in high school by working at a dental
lab and then began to work in a dental office as a dental
assistant. In 2001, she received her dental hygiene license through
the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program at University of Alabama at
Birmingham. She has been employed with Calera Dental Center since
March of 2004 and feels extremely lucky to be a part of this
team. She is married to Kevin Hughes and has two boys. They
live in Montevallo and are very involved with youth athletic
programs in the community. They enjoy spending most of their free
time at a football or baseball field with family and friends.
Angie Edmondson, Hygienist
Angie Edmonson began her career in the dental field in 2004 as a
dental assistant. For over three years, she worked as an assistant
while pursuing her dental hygiene license. She graduated from
the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham and joined Calera Dental Center as a member of the
Hygiene team in 2007. She is originally from St. Joseph, Michigan
but moved to Alabama in 1990 and attended Jemison High School. She
is married with two kids, Breydon and Parker Chase and lives in
Alabaster. Her hobbies are running, shopping and any outdoor
Candis Higginbotham, Dental Assistant,
Candis Higginbotham joined the Calera Dental family in 2004.
She began her career as a dental assistant then decided to go to
hygiene school. She graduated from the Alabama Dental Hygiene
Program in 2008. She is currently attending Jefferson State
Community College. Her major is undecided. She enjoys
spending time with her family and riding horses.
Courtney Edwards, Hygienist
Courtney Edwards began her career in the dental industry in 1997
and joined the Calera Dental Center family in 1999. After 5 years
of experience as a dental assistant, she attended UAB School of
Dentistry and received her hygiene license. She has been a full
time hygienist for Calera Dental Center since 2002. She grew up
around Montevallo and graduated from Shelby Academy. She is
married to Tommy Edwards and has two wonderful boys, Dyson and
Brody. With two very active boys you can usually find her at the
football field, baseball field, or at the gym watching them play
basketball. Her time away from work is enjoyed by spending time
with family and friends.
Diane Evans, Certified Dental Assistant
Diane Evans is the mother of three wonderful children: Ruth,
Megan and Shane. She moved to Alabama in 2001 from Florida. She
loves living in the beautiful state of Alabama. She has been a
dental assistant for about 30 years. It has been a great career
for her. She got her position at Calera Dental Center about
two weeks after she moved to Alabama. But still, Gooooooooo
Gators! She attended the University of Florida and received her
Certified Dental Assistant License in 1996.
Joanie Garrison, Dental Assistant
Joanie Garrison is happily married to Michael Garrison. Michael
is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service here in Calera.
They have two daughters, Savannah and Emily and one son, Elijah.
She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham Dental School
Assisting program from 2004 – 2005. She has been a member of the
Calera Dental Center family since January 2008.
Kaylyn George, Business Manager
Kaylyn George became a full-time member of the Calera Dental
Center team in 2006. In that year, Dee Harich retired from the
position of Business Manager after serving faithfully for the first
ten years of Calera Dental Center’s existence. She was helping the
doctors reconcile their business accounts on a part-time basis and
was offered the opportunity to accept the full time position. Her
main responsibilities are assisting Dr. Ford with the bookkeeping
for the practice, managing insurance claim filing and payment
processing, as well as billing and collections for the practice.
Please feel free to contact her if you have any questions
concerning your account with us.
Lynda Gray, Certified Dental Assistant
Lynda Gray has been a dental assistant since 1975. She
attended Bessemer Technical College for her initial assistant
training and after graduation, became employed by the University of
Alabama School of Dentistry. During her tenure at UAB she received
additional training as an Expanded Duties Assistant and was the
Head Assistant in the Dental Utilization Clinic at the School of
Dentistry. For 12 years she was an assistant in the UAB Dental
Faculty Practice. She recently retired from UAB and has been
employed at Calera Dental Center since September 2009.
Mary Anne Rivera, Front Office Coordinator,
Mary Anne Rivera has been with the Calera Dental Center team
since 2007 as Front Office Coordinator. She has 15 years of dental
experience including completing the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program
in 2002 to receive her dental hygiene license. If you have
questions concerning appointments, insurance, financial needs or
just dental questions, she will be more than happy to help
you. She will do her best to get the answers you need.
Misty Gentry - Front Office Coordinator
Misty Gentry has been a member of the Calera Dental Center family
since 1999. For the first 8 years, she was a patient. In
June of 2007, she had the opportunity to join as a full-time member
of the team! Look for her in the front office greeting you and
helping you with your insurance verifications and all of your other
patient paperwork. Also, you will often hear her voice
answering your calls to assist you in making your
appointments. She looks forward to seeing you soon.
Stephanie McNeal, Hygienist
Stephanie McNeal first began her relationship with Calera Dental
Center in February of 1997 as Dr. Ford's patient. She was so
impressed with the quality of care she received from Dr. Ford and
the obvious passion she had for her chosen vocation that she decided
to pursue a career in the dental field as well. She truly
wanted to work at Calera Dental Center and when an opening was
available, she got the job! She began her career as a dental
assistant in August of 1999. She decided to expand her career
by pursuing a dental hygiene license. After graduating in 2003,
she assumed dual roles of assistant and hygienist until a permanent
hygiene position became available in 2006. She truly enjoys her
job and especially making a difference in patient's lives by
helping them improve their dental health. She has strong ties to
the Calera community having lived in the area all of her life. She
has been happily married since 1992 and currently has the joy of
raising four energetic and precious blessings, 3 boys and one girl.