Meet the Dentists
Ballan D. Tuck, DDS
Dr. Ballan Tuck was born in San Francisco. He was adopted at six months old and raised by the Tuck family in Santa Cruz. He took an early interest in dentistry. By the age of 10, he was already working and volunteering in a local dental office. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Biology, he attended UC San Francisco School of Dentistry where he received his Doctorate and BS in Dental Materials in addition to many awards and scholarships for his determination and scholastic achievement.
Dr. Tuck returned to Santa Cruz where he purchased his mentor, Dr. John Stenovich's, office and enjoyed 12 successful years of treating the Santa Cruz community. Single and without children, he made the decision to spread his wings and start his next chapter in life and return to the Bay Area. Three days after relocating, he met the woman who would become his wife, Kelly. He also reconnected with his biological mother, Dorla.
Dr. Tuck loves dentistry and the opportunity it gives him to connect with people from all walks of life. He cherishes the time to learn about people’s amazing backgrounds and stories, and at the same time, sharing his own personal journey with them.
Providing exceptional dentistry in a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment is Dr. Tuck's mission for the entire office. He is focused on ensuring every visit to the office is satisfactory; making all necessary changes to ensure expectations are met. Dr. Tuck performs a wide spectrum of dental services including laser therapy, non-metal fillings, single visit crowns, bridges, extractions, implant restoration, partial and full dentures, full mouth rehabilitation and Invisalign. In addition to these services, he is also very dedicated to patient education and prevention. Discussing diet, exercise and stress reduction is essential when striving toward optimum dental health.
Outside of the office, Dr. Tuck is an avid golfer, enjoys biking, surfing, skiing, basketball, softball, live concerts, especially the San Francisco Symphony, and traveling the globe with his lovely wife, Kelly. He is also a strong advocate for community service. He donates his time and financial assistance to many local organizations.
Dr. Tuck looks forward to welcoming you into our dental family.
- Board Member - Santa Cruz Boys and Girls Club
- Member - Bay Area Aesthetic Masters Study Club
- Board Member - ROP Dental Assisting Program
- Board Member - Dientes Community Dental Clinic
- Board Member - Santa Cruz Youth Golf Program
- Advisor - UC Santa Cruz Pre Dental Club
- Mentor - UC San Francisco Pre Dental High School Program
- Volunteer - California Grey Bears
- Volunteer - Special Olympics
- Member - Spear Study Club
- American Dental Association
- California Dental Association
- Board Member - Alameda County Dental Society
- Ethics Chair - 2019-2020 - Alameda County Dental Society
- President - 2020-2021 - Alameda County Dental Society
- Board Member - UC San Francisco Dental Alumni Association
Dr. Benjamin Halpern - Periodontist
Dr. Benjamin Halpern is a Periodontist specializing in the treatment of periodontal disease and dental implants.
Dr. Halpern grew up in Martinez CA. He attended University of California San Diego where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He was involved in many extracurricular activities and volunteered in the pre dental society serving as a dental assistant in community clinics. He was also a member of the rowing team as well as captain of the water ski team.
Dr. Halpern then attended the University of California San Francisco where he earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery. He continued his education at UCSF and completed his residency in Periodontics as well as his Masters of Science in Oral & Craniofacial Sciences. He is also Board Certified in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery.
Dr. Halpern is currently an active member of the American Academy of Periodontology as well as the International Team for Implantology.
In addition to dentistry, he enjoys reading, hiking, skiing and is always ready to play a board or card game
Dr. Sandy Chen
Dr. Sandy Chen is a General Dentist that believes in gentle, compassionate patient-centered care that is personalized to each individual. Dr. Chen understands that an experience at the dental office can critically influence how people maintain their oral health, which is why she is a champion for preventative care and patient education.
Dr. Chen is a Bay Area native, born and raised in San Mateo. She grew up in her immigrant parents’ small Chinese restaurant. Dr. Chen began pursuing her career in dentistry at University of the Pacific’s accelerated program in Stockton, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology. She attended dental school at Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and partook in community events such as CDA Cares, Give Kids a Smile, and Chinatown Community Health Fair. After graduation, Dr. Chen continued her training with an AEGD residency at NYU Lagone Hospitals in Spokane, Washington. There, she worked in a community clinic, serving the needs of low income residents and refugees.
In her free time, Dr. Chen enjoys discovering new restaurants, going on jogs around Lake Merrit, following Bay Area sports teams, seeing live music, and spending time with her husband and grey cat Mia.
Dr. Winston Young
Dr. Winston Young grew up in Fremont, CA. His interest in dentistry grew at the University of the Pacific where he received his Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in piano. He then received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco.
Dr. Young served as a dentist in the United States Navy after graduating from dental school with the Health Professionals Scholarship Program. He was first stationed in Groton, CT while providing care mostly for submariners. After his tour there, he was assigned with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, known as the Seabees, based in Port Hueneme, CA with a deployment to the Pacific.
Dr. Young has fully enjoyed his time with the Navy and the bonds formed there, and he hopes to form those same relationships here in the East Bay. Through his experience meeting people from all over the country and the world, he understands the importance of dental education. So, he aims to make your dental visits both informative and comfortable.
When he is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Young enjoys playing piano and basketball. He is married to his wife, Jennifer, and they have a Chihuahua mix, called Podo.
Dr. Kathrina Sarmiento
Dr. Kathrina Sarmiento comes from a Navy family. As a child of a serviceman, she had the unique privilege of growing up in multiple countries. She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Southern California, and continued at USC for her dental training, graduating from The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.
Dr. Sarmiento earned her dental degree through the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program and joined the Navy following graduation. She served as a dental officer and provided care to Marines and Sailors in Okinawa, Japan
and San Diego, CA. After completing her service with the military, she moved to the Bay Area to be closer to family.
Dr. Sarmiento believes in the importance of a patient’s dental experience, and has committed herself to provide high quality care in a conservative, educative, and comfortable manner. During her free time, she enjoys restaurants, concerts, binge-worthy TV shows, travel, and her puppy, Cruz.