Please visit the bios of our doctors. Combined, we have 125 years of experience between us. Believe in our doctors.
Chris J. Visser, BVSc, DVM, MRCVS, DAVDC, DEVDC
Dr. Chris Visser is a Board Certified Veterinary Dental Specialist. His practice includes the full range of dentistry and oral surgery including endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, maxillofacial trauma and oral cancer surgery.
Dr. Visser is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), and the European Veterinary Dental College (EVDC). He is also a Charter Fellow of the International Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD) and a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). He has authored numerous articles and has lectured at many national and international veterinary dental meetings. Dr. Visser is adjunct Professor of Veterinary Dentistry at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona.
Dr. Visser was awarded the “Veterinary Profession Service Award” in 2006 and the “Veterinarian of the Year, 2007” by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association. In 2011, he was awarded “Fellow of the Year” by the International Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. Dr. Visser was inducted into the Arizona Veterinary Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dr. Visser grew up in South Africa. After moving to Arizona, Dr. Visser continued his interest in wildlife through volunteering his services to the Phoenix Zoo where he has performed over 300 dental and oral surgery procedures on zoo animals during the past twenty-five years. He is Chairman of the Animal Welfare Sub-Committee at the zoo.
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BVSc) University of Pretoria, South Africa
- Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) England
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) USA
- Charter Fellow of the International Academy of Veterinary Dentistry
- Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College
- Diplomate of the European Veterinary Dental College
Professional Association Memberships & Teaching Positions
- Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (DAVDC)
- Diplomate of the European Veterinary Dental College (EVDC)
- Charter Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD)
- Member of the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS)
- Member of the Board of Examiners for the European Veterinary Dental College (EVDC)
- Member of the European Veterinary Dental Society (EVDS)
- Member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- Member of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AZVMA)
- Member of the Arizona Academy of Veterinary Medicine
- Chairman of the Animal Welfare Sub-Committee at the Phoenix Zoo
Professional Awards and Accolades
- Member of the Arizona Veterinary Hall of Fame, 2013
- Fellow of the Year, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, 2011
- Animal Welfare Award, Animal Welfare League and SPCA Arizona, 2008
- Veterinarian of the Year, Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, 2007
- Veterinary Profession Services Award, Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, 2006
- Good Partner Award, Phoenix Zoo, 2004
Curt Coffman, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC
Dr. Curt Coffman received his B.S. in agriculture from Kansas State University in 1990 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri in 1993. He joined Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists in 2001 to complete his training for board certification. He is qualified as a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD) and a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC).
Dr. Coffman served on the Board of Directors of the American Veterinary Dental College from 2010-2017 and served as President of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry Board of Directors from 2009-2011. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry.
Dr. Coffman is a Managing Partner with Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists, providing comprehensive dental and oral surgical care for companion animals in Arizona. He also serves as an Adjunct, Assistant Clinical Professor at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. In 2017 Dr. Coffman received the award as Arizona Veterinarian of the Year by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association in recognition outstanding service and contributions to the veterinary profession.
Michael Balke, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC
Dr. Michael Balke received his B.S. in biology in 1999 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 from the University of Missouri. After graduation he worked as a general practice, small animal veterinarian in St. Louis, Missouri with an interest in dentistry. Dr. Balke joined Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists in August 2012 and completed his veterinary dental residency and fellowship under the guidance of Drs. Chris Visser, Curt Coffman and Glenn Brigden. Dr. Balke is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) and also a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD).
Dr. Balke’s interests are oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontic and periodontal therapy. He is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AZVMA). Dr. Balke enjoys presenting lectures on veterinary dental topics locally and at national meetings.
Dr. Balke is a managing partner of Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists, along with Dr. Coffman.
Lisa Fink, DVM, DAVDC
Dr. Lisa Fink is excited to join AZVDS as the fifth board certified specialist in dentistry and oral surgery. It has been a long time dream to move to Arizona and work at AZVDS. She graduated the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 with honors. She then went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. After 2 years in general practice, she started a 3-year comprehensive residency in Dentistry and Oral Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, which she completed in 2015. Dr. Fink received board certification by the American Veterinary Dental College in 2015. After practicing in a multi specialty group in her home state of Connecticut for 2 and a half years, she joined AZVDS in May 2018. Dr. Fink is an active member of the AVDC examination committee and is on the board of reviewers for the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry.
Dr. Fink enjoys all aspects of veterinary dentistry and oral surgery. She has a special interest in surgery for pets with oral cancer, and in performing root canal therapy to save functional teeth. She is very enthusiastic about veterinary dentistry and loves to teach students, veterinarians, and pet owners about dental care and the positive effects that it can have on pets’ quality of life. Dr. Fink will collaborate with your primary care veterinarian as well as other specialists if indicated to determine the best course of action for your pet’s dentistry and oral surgery needs. Dr. Fink is also available by phone and email to consult with your primary care veterinarian with regards to dental x-rays, and oral biopsy result interpretation. She is looking forward to providing the community with advanced dentistry and oral surgery procedures.
Kipp Wingo, DVM, DAVDC
Dr. Kipp Wingo was born and raised in East Texas and grew up active in the family farming and ranching enterprises. After graduating with honors from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990, he pursued his veterinary career, owning and operating mixed animal practices in Texas.
In the fall of 2014, Dr. Wingo joined Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialist to begin a three year veterinary dentistry and oral surgical residency-training program. “I am often asked what prompted me to leave my home in Texas and move my family to Arizona. My answer being that I have been offered the opportunity of a lifetime, to train under the direction of two of the most respected and world-class veterinary dentists and oral surgeons - Dr. Visser and Dr. Coffman.”
Dr. Wingo's love of veterinary dentistry started in general practice where he learned the basics of good veterinary dentistry. He found an intense emotional satisfaction seeing the positive impact his new knowledge and skills had on patients’ health and ultimately their owners. That early love of veterinary dentistry, morphed into his current residency training position at Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists.
Dr. Wingo is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), a past member of the board of directors of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) and is the past President of the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice, the continuing education arm of the TVMA. He is also one of seventeen veterinarians that hold designation of Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.
Dr. Wingo's family is paramount in his life, and consists of wife Tracy, daughters Addison and Cassy, son Cayden, Labrador Brulee and kitty Aerial. In his spare time, Dr. Wingo enjoys flying all around North America and the Caribbean in his little airplane, “Jessi".
Alex Adrian, DVM
Dr. Alex Adrian received his B.S. in Animal Science from Michigan State University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota. He worked in a small animal general practice in Minnesota prior to joining Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists as a resident.
Dr. Adrian’s interest in veterinary dentistry developed while working in a practice owned by a veterinary dentist in the early 2000’s. He finds dentistry very rewarding because we can dramatically and quickly improve a pet’s overall health, comfort, and quality of life by treating oral problems. Dr. Adrian is a member of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry (F4VD), the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AZVMA), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Outside of work, Dr. Adrian enjoys hiking, horseback riding, downhill skiing, and home remodeling projects. As a native of the midwest, he is enjoying the warm Arizona weather and exploring the southwest. Dr. Adrian has three cats, Derby, Calypso, and Milo, as well as a Chocolate Labrador named Foster.
Grace Brown, DVM
We are excited to introduce our newest resident, Grace Brown, DVM. She is a fierce advocate for preventive dental care and has a passion for both surgery and dentistry. She looks forward to educating and sharing her knowledge and skills with her peers, clients and the community in the interest of advancing the veterinary profession. Dr. Brown’s interest in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine began at a time when her health care providers recommended a therapeutic animal companion to help her through a difficult medical recovery. Dr. Brown’s experience with her companion dog, Rosie, awoke within her a deep compassion and empathy for animals. She realized that as a veterinarian she could make a positive difference not only in their lives but in the lives of the people who rely on them for their companionship and well being. Dr. Brown achieved her goal of becoming a veterinarian based on this personal motivation. Now she desires to use this background to advance her knowledge in the field of dentistry and further improve the quality of life for companion animals. Dr. Brown was raised in Duluth, Minnesota. She enjoys spending time with family, friends and her two dogs Rosie and Leo. Some of her favorite past times are oil painting, singing, entertaining, cake decorating and figure skating. Dr. Brown graduated with her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in September of 2015. She completed her clinical training at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. Dr. Brown received her undergraduate degree in 2010 from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Mathematics. As most know, periodontal disease and other oral pathology are some of the most commonly observed problems in our four-legged friends; they can create a significant negative impact on an animal's quality of life and many are preventable with regular home hygiene and professional oral care. Dr. Brown feels that providing comprehensive oral care for companion animals is one of the most beneficial activities that she can perform for her patients.
Shawna Sawtelle, DVM
Dr. Sawtelle is originally from Southern California but is now proud to call Arizona her home.Dr. Sawtelle is originally from Southern California but is now proud to call Arizona her home.She graduated with a degree in Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and then went on to receive her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from St. George's University in 2009.
Upon graduating, she started her rural career as a mixed animal practitioner in western Pennsylvania for two years before relocating to Arizona and working in small animal and exotic general practice while also starting her own equine practice focused on dentistry and acupuncture. Her strong interest in dentistry for her small animal as well as equine patients has led her here to pursue a residency training program starting in 2018.
She continues to work part-time at a general small animal practice, as well as continuing her equine practice focused on dentistry. In addition to her passion for dentistry, she is enjoys being able to provide acupuncture for her small animal and equine patients.
She is passionate about her own pets too, which include horses, sheep, dogs, cats, and desert tortoises. In her time off, she enjoys SCUBA diving, riding and training her horses. She is excited about hitting the trails on horseback in beautiful southern Arizona and oftencompetes in trail challenges and other equine events.
Victoria Lukasik, DVM, DAVCA
Dr. Lukasik received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Washington State University, where she was awarded the Outstanding Senior Student in Medicine and Surgery (across all disciplines) and the Dorothy Eggerman Memorial Compassion Award. Dr. Lukasik completed her residency in anesthesiology at Cornell University and received her Diplomate status from the American College of Veterinary Medicine (DACVA) in anesthesia in 1997.
She has received awards from the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists, American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), research awards from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, and actively participates on a committee at the National Cancer Institute. In addition, Dr. Lukasik is involved in research at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona and has published numerous professional articles and contributed to textbooks on the field of anesthesia. She is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker and has been presented with several professional awards, including one for compassion.
Dr. Lukasik likes to hike with her big, mixed breed dog Jackpot. She has African Chiclid fish, Guinea Pigs, a blue tongued skink (a lizard from Australia), and has stewardship of a desert tortoise. The desert tortoise was previously attacked by dogs and cannot be released back into the wild, so Dr. Lukasik planted a garden for him with all edible native plants. Her outside interests include hiking and piloting.
Kristen Wegner-Fowley, DVM, DAVCA
Dr. Wegner-Fowley is originally from Tucson, AZ. She graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She completed her DVM degree at Oregon State University with two of the four years spent at Washington State University as part of the W.O.I. Program. Following graduation, she spent five years in private practice in Southern California including a rotating Internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery and four years as a Large Animal ambulatory clinician in San Diego. She returned to Academia to complete a Residency in Anesthesia and Pain Management with a research focus on opioid analgesics in cats at the University of Florida. Continuing her research interests, Dr. Wegner-Fowley completed a post-Doctoral Fellowship in Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Florida with emphasis on the pharmacology of various analgesics in horses. She returned to San Diego to accept a prestigious post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Tony Yaksh at U.C.S.D. where she developed a detailed pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model of analgesics and sedatives in dogs. In 2008, Dr. Wegner-Fowley accepted a faculty appointment at New Bolton Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Hospital. As a member of the Anesthesia faculty at UPenn, she enjoyed the large, diverse clinical caseload, extensive teaching responsibility and opportunities to develop an equine anesthesia recovery scoring system and an equine-specific composite pain scale. Returning to the West, Dr. Wegner-Fowley and her family chose a less hectic lifestyle and the chance for her husband to pursue his professional interest in Solar Energy engineering. Dr. Wegner-Fowley now holds adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Arizona and Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine as well as consulting on high-risk companion animal anesthesia cases in Tucson and Phoenix. In her free time, she and her husband love hiking and camping in the wilds of the Southwest with their two dogs.