All professionals at Novato Pediatric Dentistry maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in the medical field. Read on to learn more about our staff's experience and training.
Neidre Banakus, DDS - Board Certified Pediatric Dental Specialist
Dr. Banakus received her dental degree from West Virginia University School of Dentistry. While at WVU, Dr. Banakus was the Student Research Body President, a member of the Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity, and inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. Upon graduation, Dr. Banakus received the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiography Award and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Student Achievement Award.
Stephanie Hardwick, DDS - Board Certified Pediatric Dental Specialist
Dr. Stephanie Hardwick is excited to be living and practicing pediatric dentistry in Marin County. Dr. Stephanie grew up in Reno, NV but spent much of her childhood visiting family and friends in the Bay Area. Always having loved Marin, Dr. Stephanie was determined to one day call it home. Upon completing her dental education, Dr. Stephanie and her husband moved from New York City to San Francisco. In 2017, their family finally got the opportunity to make Marin their new home.
Dr. Stephanie received her bachelors degree from the University of San Diego. She pursued her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the University of California, Los Angeles and went on to receive specialty training at the New York University College of Dentistry and Bellevue Hospital in New York City where she completed a residency program in Pediatric Dentistry. While at UCLA and NYU, Dr. Stephanie participated in several national and international outreach programs providing dental care to children in underserved areas with no other access to care. After completing her dental education, Dr. Stephanie moved to San Francisco with her husband and began practicing pediatric dentistry in the Bay Area. She recently moved to Marin County with her family and she is thrilled to be joining Dr. Banakus and her team in Novato, where she will be practicing close to home. In addition to helping children take care of their smiles, Dr. Stephanie loves spending time with her husband, labradoodle Driver, and their son Clay. When not in the office, you may find them exploring the great outdoors, testing out the newest slide at the local playground, or enjoying a morning walk to a local coffee shop.
Dr. Stephanie is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the California Dental Association.
A word from Dr. Stephanie: “Teaching swimming lessons as a teenager is where my passion for working with children first began. I’ve always enjoyed introducing children to new experiences and putting them at ease as they developed their confidence in a new environment. I have found pediatric dentistry to be the perfect career, enabling me to replicate this enjoyment multiple times each day by guiding pediatric patients towards becoming lifelong motivated and self-assured dental patients. As a mom myself, I appreciate the lasting value of a good experience.”
Lina Paek, DDS - Board Certified Pediatric Dental Specialist (expected)
Dr. Lina was born in Los Angeles and raised on the Eastside of Seattle, Washington. She was inspired to pursue a career in healthcare at an early age by her grandfather, a general surgeon. Dr. Lina attended the University of Notre Dame for her undergraduate degree where she double majored in Science Preprofessional Studies and Music, concentrating in Piano Performance.
She then moved to New York and received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. Her research on early childhood caries won her the Birnberg Research Award in Public Health and Divisional Excellence in Epidemiology and Statistics. Dr. Lina served as Community Service Chair for the Columbia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, promoting oral health to local children through the Head Start and Harlem Ivy program.
Pursuing her passion for early prevention and love for children, Dr. Lina completed her pediatric specialty training at New York University College of Dentistry and Bellevue Hospital. She participated in local and international outreach trips, including Poughkeepsie, Nicaragua, and Cambodia.
Dr. Lina is excited to be a back on the West Coast and has found her happy medium in the Bay Area. In her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, piano, sketching, traveling, and spending time with her family, including her papillon, Yumi and newly adopted kitten, Mia!
Dr. Lina is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She holds certifications in Oral Conscious Sedation, as well as Basic and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.