Our doctors provide the most up-to-date and thorough treatment for a wide variety of dental procedures in an atmosphere that encourages your child to feel relaxed and comfortable. They are trained and qualified to treat all children, including those with special needs who may have emotional, physical or mental challenges. This specialized training and commitment to comprehensive oral health is why many parents choose a pediatric dentist in a very similar way in which they choose a pediatrician to provide their children’s medical care. To insure that your children stay healthy, our doctors work with pediatricians and other medical and dental specialists as an important part of your child’s comprehensive health team.
Sunil Ilapogu, DDS (Dr. Sunny)
Dr. Sunil Ilapogu, also known as Dr. Sunny, was born and raised in Canada. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Canadian University College, he moved to California continuing his education and completing his pediatric dental residency at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry.
After graduation, Dr. Sunny moved to Ventura to become an associate in Dr. Channer’s pediatric dental practice. One year later, Dr. Sunny acquired the practice, pursuing his dream to provide exceptional dental care for children and young adults, including those with special health care needs. After about 10 years with Sunny Smiles Dentistry for Children and Young Adults, he continues to provide all children and teens with a positive dental experience.
Dr. Sunny stays up-to-date with the latest in pediatric dentistry by having active memberships with the American Dental Association®, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the California Dental Association, and the Santa Barbara and Ventura Dental Society.
Dr. Sunny, his wife Natalie, and three children love living in Ventura County. They are actively involved in the community, volunteering with Interface, Head Start, Mom’s groups and a few other organizations. Sunny Smiles Dentistry for Children and Young Adults is a proud sponsor of YMCA and provides dental education to many preschools, kindergartens, and day facilities in the surrounding area.
After hours, Dr. Sunny enjoys golf, basketball, hockey, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.
Daniel Nobel, DDS
Dr. Nobel is a Southern California native and a true Bruin. He attended UCLA for his undergraduate studies and continued his education, training and specialization in pediatric dentistry at UCLA School of Dentistry. He even maintains a faculty position as lecturer for the division of pediatric dentistry.
Throughout his career, Dr. Nobel has dedicated himself to the treatment of underserved children. He created an organization called Ticket To Smile. This organization provides dental care for children in homes affected by domestic abuse. This organization is a true reflection of Dr. Nobel’s passion and enthusiasm for serving children and young adults, including those with special health care needs.
After graduation, Dr. Nobel moved back here with his wife, Ariana, and became part of the Sunny Smiles team. Dr. Nobel has a great sense of humor and makes coming to the dentist an awesome experience for both children and their parents.
Dr. Nobel stays current with the latest in pediatric dentistry, maintaining active memberships with the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the California Dental Association and the Santa Barbara-Ventura County Dental Society. He is in the elite group of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
In his spare time, Dr. Nobel enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons. He likes trying new restaurants and keeping up with the latest technology.
Christine Tran, DDS
Dr. Christine Tran is a Southern California native who graduated from University of California San Diego with dual degrees in biochemistry and psychology. She was then awarded her Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Southern California and continued her post-doctoral training in pediatric dentistry at Louisiana State University and at the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.
As a Board Certified pediatric specialist, Dr. Tran is a child advocate who commits herself to delivering excellent dental care for all infants, toddlers, children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs. She tailors her care and treatment based on your child’s individual needs. Dr. Tran wants to ensure that your child’s dental visit is both comfortable and enjoyable.
Dr. Tran stays current with advancements in pediatric dentistry by maintaining active memberships with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the California Dental Association.
As often as she can, Dr. Tran enjoys traveling with her husband, Joe, being with her daughter, volunteering, running with her dogs and training diligently for half marathons.
Joseph Virata, DDS
Dr. Joe Virata was born in Hawaii but spent most of his youth living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from UC Davis with dual degrees in neurobiology and psychology before going on to UCLA School of Dentistry to obtain his degree in dentistry. He then received his pediatric specialty training at Cincinnati Children’s® Hospital Medical Center.
Within a year of graduating from residency, Dr. Virata was awarded Diplomate status by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, distinguishing him as a Board Certified pediatric dentist. He has since enjoyed teaching dental students and pediatric dental residents as faculty in the Section of Pediatric Dentistry at UCLA.
Dr. Virata is proud to have participated in his high school baseball team that won the North Coast Section Championship for their division. During his free time, Dr. Virata loves spending time with his daughter and two dogs, Westley and Watson, cooking new recipes with his wife, Christine, and watching baseball.
Linda Ngo, DDS
Dr. Ngo graduated from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC in 2009 and completed a General Practice Residency at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, now known as the BronxCare Health System, in New York. She practiced in New York for several years, where she focused on serving the underprivileged community in the Bronx. In 2013, she had an opportunity to join Columbia University and Lutheran Medical Center of Brooklyn, now known as NYU Langone Hospital — Brooklyn, part time as an Advanced Education in General Dentistry student.
Throughout Dr. Ngo’s career, her passion remained in treating children and those with special needs. In 2015, she pursued this dream to specialize in pediatric dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. Her residency at Loma Linda has enriched her knowledge and skills in pediatric dentistry, and in 2016, she had the opportunity to take these skills to Botswana, Africa, and provide two weeks of dental treatment to the children that live in the Kalahari Desert.
In her free time, she loves watching Disney cartoons with her husband and children and hanging out with friends.
Stephanie J. Vargas, DDS, MPH
Dr. Vargas is a Board Certified pediatric dentist. Like most Angelenos, she is a Los Angeles transplant, born and raised in New York.
Dr. Vargas received her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in Hispanic studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. At Penn, Dr. Vargas became fluent in Spanish and first discovered a passion for helping children as a tutor for underserved youth at a local Philadelphia (K-6) community school.
Subsequently, Dr. Vargas spent a gap year as a dental assistant at offices of various specialties (general, endodontics and orthodontics), and started a part-time face-painting business. In retrospect, this not only solidified her desire to specialize in pediatrics but also allowed her to practice her manual dexterity on these little patients!
Dr. Vargas attended Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York City, where she received her doctorate in dental surgery and the Diversity Affairs Award for Leadership and Service in 2018. Amidst her dental school studies, she taught psychology to minority high school students interested in STEM through the State Pre-College Enrichment Program every Saturday and spent an entire summer teaching organic chemistry and biology to underrepresented college students interested in health professions through the Summer Health Professions Education Program.
At UCLA, Dr. Vargas simultaneously received her specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry and a master’s degree in public health degree in 2020. During her training, she developed a minimally invasive, patient-centered and risk-based approach to restoring dental health, function and aesthetics for her pediatric patients. Dr. Vargas is a member of the California Dental Association, American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry and Southern California Society of Dentistry for Children.
When not practicing dentistry, Dr. Vargas enjoys running and maintaining physical fitness, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and tackling home improvement projects with her fiancé.