Ayman Awad, BDS, DDS - Principal Dentist
Dr. Ayman Awad is Handala Dental’s founder and principal dentist. He is a third-generation Palestinian refugee, and first-generation Canadian immigrant. Before arriving in Kjipuktuk and calling the city of Halifax home, Ayman had lived in Abu Dhabi, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Beirut. Dr. Awad obtained his B.D.S. from the Faculty of Dentistry at the Beirut Arab University in 2014 and qualified his degree in 2019 when he obtained his D.D.S. from Dalhousie University. He is a graduate of the Atlantic Implant Mentorship program and holds certifications in 3D imaging and sedation dentistry. He also works with senior dental students as a clinical instructor in the North End Community Health Centre (NECHC). Outside of dentistry, Ayman enjoys hikes, beaches, music, dance, cooking and being involved in social justice advocacy.
Tia Kelsie - Dental Hygienist
A true Haligonian! Tia was born and raised in the North End, having completed her education here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tia entered the field of dentistry when she obtained her Certificate in Level II Dental Assisting from Nova Scotia Community College in 2014. She later went back to study at Dalhousie University to gain her Diploma in Dental Hygiene and continued on to obtain her Bachelor Degree in Dental Hygiene in 2020. Tia is known for her calming presence with healthy spurts of humor thrown in. She takes pride in keeping patients comfortable and easing dental anxiety during their hygiene appointments. She is certified in administering local anesthetic and continues to take advantage of the newest techniques and updates in the field to provide the best oral care to her patients. In her spare time, you can find Tia exploring the outdoors with her son, biking, cooking, and playing with her two cats. She also enjoys dining out with friends and family, experiencing local neighborhood attractions, or simply relaxing at home to a binge-worthy Netflix show with a glass of her favorite wine.
Jessica Baxter - Office Administrator
Jessica Baxter is a long-time Nova Scotia local with a quick wit and a calming presence. While she was born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Jessica has now been residing in Halifax's North End for over a decade. Before joining Handala Dental, Jessica explored positions as a customer care representative, a safety diver, and a long-time coffee barista. In every position, her top priority has been the wellness of her clients and peers. Now, she brings her 10+ years of client care experience to her role in our clinic. Thanks to her childhood growing up in a big family, Jessica understands the importance of teamwork, mutual support, and keeping a keen sense of humour! Jessica is an organized and thoughtful individual who is always willing to lend a hand. When she's not working, she feels happiest while hiking in the woods with friends, sitting down to a delicious meal, or curled up watching the latest binge-worthy tv show.
Justin Nagle - Dental Assistant
Originally from St. John's, NL, Justin moved to North End Halifax in 2020 to pursue an education in Dental Assisting at Nova Scotia Community College. As someone who has experienced dental anxiety in the past, Justin strives to make each patient feel at ease when they're here. In his free time you'll find Justin riding his bicycle around the city, or spending time with his family in Eastern Passage.