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 Administration Hospital.
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 Biomedical Engineering.
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 activities.
Candis Higginbotham, Dental Assistant, Hygienist
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.
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Mary Anne Rivera, Front Office Coordinator, Hygienist
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.