Meet Our Team

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Vilija Pakalniskis, DMD

“Dr. Vilija” 

Dr. Vilija believes in empowering her patients to achieve beautiful, healthy smiles by fostering relationships built on support and motivation. She takes the time to provide thorough, gentle care to her patients and she hopes they leave the office feeling like they have been visiting with an old friend. She is thrilled to be joining the Smile Alive team, where patients and staff are treated like family.   

Growing up with a passion for the arts as well as the sciences, Dr. Vilija received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design where she studied printmaking and art history. After graduation she realized dentistry was a perfect combination of both art and science, and she went on to pursue her DMD degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Dr. Vilija finds joy in the skill, precision, and artistry that is required to provide excellent care for her patients.

Dr. Vilija is committed to perfecting her skills and attends numerous professional continuing education courses and seminars. She is working towards receiving an Associate Fellow membership through the American Academy of Implant dentistry, as well as a Fellowship through the American Academy of General Dentists. Dr. Vilija is a member of the AAID, AGD, ADA, and Lane County Dental Society.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Vilija is thrilled to be living in such a beautiful region. She recently moved here with her fiancé , Patrick, and their two dogs Cody and Wally. During her free time Dr. Vilija likes to spend time in nature with her family, attempt to garden, and work in her art studio.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Susan Anderson

Business Manager

Susan has two adult sons.  One son is an endodontist (root canal specialist) in California, and the other son is in medical device sales.  Susan has worked in dentistry for over 40 years and has been with the SmileAlive team since 2002.
Susan enjoys her relationships with team members, knowing together they are improving patients’ health and self images.  She likes being part of a business that is making a positive contribution not only to their patients but to the community.  When she is not at work, you can find her at the golf course or on the ballroom dance floor.  She is part of a dance performance group in Eugene and attends many local dances where she spins and glides effortlessly on the dance floor.  She is also an excellent cook and enjoys entertaining family and friends, treating them to her culinary skills.
Susan is very proud to be associated with a team of professionals who listen to patients and striving to provide the best care for each person. 
Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Kris Bofto

Dental Hygienist

Kris and her husband, Brad, both grew up in Wenatchee, Washington but have lived in Eugene since 1992. They have 2 sons, 1 daughter and one daughter in law. Kris has been in dentistry for 40 years and has been a hygienist since 1981.

She and Dr. Baarstad have known each other for over 20 years as they worked together in another dental office before Dr. Baarstad went to dental school. Kris joined the Smile Alive team in 2006 and a favorite part of her job is not only helping her patients achieve and maintain good oral health with a gentle, compassionate touch but also getting to know her patients on a personal level. She looks forward to seeing them on a regular basis. Outside of the dental office she enjoys quilting, scrap booking, cooking, reading and travel. Kris feels very blessed to work with an amazing group of professionals who sincerely care about each other and their patients.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Teri Douglas

Dental Hygienist

Teri has been with SmileAlive since 2013 and sees patients at both our Eugene and Springfield locations. She started in the dental field in 1996 working many years at the front office doing just about everything before deciding to attend Lane Community College and get her Dental Hygiene degree.

She loves building relationships with her patients and connecting with them on a personal level. Teri and her husband grew up in the Eugene/Springfield area and their family includes their daughter and their son and daughter-in-law. They also have a golden lab and a pet squirrel too! Teri is quite creative and enjoys scrap booking and sign making. Teri’s patients enjoy her fun, caring manner and her thoroughness in caring for their dental health needs.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Cari Tafolla

Treatment Coordinator- Eugene Office

Cari began her dental career in 2003, starting as a dental assistant and joined the SmileAlive team in 2014. Cari is a new Grandma and you won’t have to ask her more than once to show you a picture of her adorable grandson!

She is quite proud and she should be as he is a little cutie. In addition to her grandson, Cari and her husband have 3 wonderful children. She loves being able to interact with her patients and being able to play a critical role in creating the steps to move patients towards better dental health. She is a master at working with Insurance companies to help patients maximize their benefits. Outside of work hours Cari loves to travel, read and walk.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

LeeAnne Paslay

Treatment Coordinator- Eugene Office

LeeAnne has been working in the dental field since 2008 and joined the  SmileAlive team in 2019. LeeAnne is definitely a “people person” and her warm smile and outgoing personality make a wonderful first impression for patients who visit our Eugene office.

She enjoys getting to talk with patients and helping understand their dental treatment needs as well as assisting them in navigating their insurance benefits. LeeAnne has one son and a labradoodle named Riley. When not at work, she likes to spend time with family and friends and likes to travel, one day hoping to make a trip to Costa Rica.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Teri Schendel

Treatment Coordinator- Springfield Office

Teri and her husband, Byron, have 3 adult children, 2 grandsons and a one granddaughter.

Teri has been a part of the SmileAlive team for 8 years and has 17 years experience in the dental field, all of it at our Springfield location. She worked for the dentist who previously practiced at our Springfield office and she is a huge asset to the practice and has many long standing relationships with the patients. She really enjoys helping our patients and works hard dealing with their insurance making sure they get the most out of their benefits. Outside of the office, Teri loves spending time with her grandchildren, camping, kayaking and being at the Oregon Coast.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Amanda Thramer

Certified Restorative Dental Assistant

Amanda is always on the path to increasing her knowledge and skills and recently obtained her Restorative Function Certificate. 

She is one of only 80 assistants in the state of Oregon to hold this certificate.  She loves making patients feel comfortable at the dental office and is a highly skilled Dental Assistant having been in dentistry for about 9 years with 7 of those years at Smilealive.  She and her husband are parents to two very active children and spend their weekends at their sporting events and activities.  Amanda is also amazingly creative and loves to sew, craft and quilt.  She is proud to be part of the Smilealive team and always has a smile and a positive can do attitude.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Brandie Smith

Dental Assistant- Expanded Functions Dental Assistant

Brandie has been at SmileAlive since 2015 and has been in the dental field since 2005. One of her favorite parts being a dental assistant  is being able to see the transformations in her patients after they complete their dental work.

She believes that for patients who may be apprehensive about dental treatment that the hardest part may be walking through the door and that the anticipation  is almost always worse than the actual treatment. Brandie strives to make each patient feel comfortable and cared for by listening to their needs and concerns.  She feels very fortunate to work with a team of professionals that feel like family.  Brandie has a large extended family and they enjoy getting together often for dinners, camping and Bar B Ques. She grew up in the Eugene/Springfield area and loves raising her family and working here.

Professional Dentists - SmileAlive Dentistry

Melody Miller

Expanded Functions-  Orthodontic Dental Assistant

Melody first came to SmileAlive in 2017 as an intern when she was completing her Dental Assistant coursework at Lane Community College. After spending some time at an orthodontic office, Melody officially joined our SmileAlive team in the summer of 2019.

Melody is always striving to improve her skills and knowledge about dentistry and has a goal of one day returning to school to
become a dentist. Her strong work ethic as well as compassionate manner makes her a great asset to our team and the patients we serve. Melody has a fur baby, an American Bully dog, named Khalon. She enjoys spending time training her dog, practicing Krav Maga (martial arts) and playing classic video games such as Mario Brothers.