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Meet Your Team in Auburn, IN

Relax. We’re here to brighten your smile.

The Team at Smiles for Life

Dr. Nate Heffelfinger

It’s always been about you, my patient. When you are in my chair, there’s one focal point: your well-being.

Dr. Nate Heffelfinger
DDS, FAGD, KOIS Certified

Dr. Heffelfinger is the owner of Smiles for Life in Auburn, Ind. Over the last fifteen years, he has worked hard to brighten smiles around the community in more ways than one. He and his lovely wife Kelly are Auburn residents, along with their two children Alexis and Jarin. They are also the proud owners of two rambunctious Viszlas.

While being a devoted husband and father come first for Dr. Heffelfinger, he has also invested heavily in continuing education, accumulating more than 750+ hours since his graduation from IUSD in 2005.

A graduate of the prestigious Kois Center in Seattle, Wash., through his study Dr. Heffelfinger has refined his knowledge of occlusion and his philosophy on managing the most complex treatment plans to restore his patients’ natural bite patterns, which leads to higher patient satisfaction and comfort, as well as overall well-being.

Dr. Heffelfinger received his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in the summer of 2017 and occasionally speaks about the skills he has developed through his advanced training. He served three years on the IKDDS board of directors and was a founding member of the Young Dentist Committee in IKDDS. He recently completed eight years on the leadership board at County Line Church of God, is a member of the Fort Study Club and is a member of the club’s advisory board.

Specialized Training and Expertise

Dr. Heffelfinger has a wealth of clinical knowledge and hands-on experience in many areas of digital dentistry. Given his unwavering dedication, Dr. Heffelfinger is considered an expert in the leading edge of dental technology and techniques. Some of which include intraoral scanning, CAD/CAM equipment, 3D printing, and digital planning for implant surgery.

Dr. Heffelfinger is recognized as the technology adviser for the Fort Study Club, known as a component of the Seattle Study Club. He’s also a key opinion leader for several professional associations, including Carestream Dental, Benco Dental, and NT Trading.

These days, Dr. Heffelfinger is a highly respected lecturer among his colleagues and frequently lectures on using digital dentistry to help patients. He also takes the time to individually consult with dentists on how to integrate this cutting edge technology into their practice.

Academy of General Dentistry Logo
Logo for the Kois Center, a dental company. Below Kois Center, the logo says "Advancing dentistry through science." Beside the text is a gray logo of two teeth.
IKDDS.org logo
dental hygienist Vicki Haines

“This is when I drop the mic! Boom baby. How about those clean teeth?”


Vicki joined the team at Smiles For Life in 2006 after graduating from her hygiene program with honors She also completed a Bachelor’s degree in business managment.

What Vicki loves most about dentistry is the opportunity to positively impact the oral health of every patient who comes into the office. She loves helping others understand the importance of oral hygiene and the connection to overall health. In fact, she mostly just loves helping others. In her time off, Vicki volunteers at St. Martin’s in Garrett, Ind.

Vicki is a current member of the Dental Hygiene Study Club, a continuing education group that keeps her updated on new and exciting changes in the field. She also enjoys crafting and spending time with her daughter, as well as being on the move. Vicki is an avid motorcyclist and runner, with the goal of someday completing a mini marathon.


“We care about you! That’s the difference you’ll see with this team.”


Cindy has worked in dentistry for over 30 years, the past three of which have been as an expanded functions dental assistant at Smiles for Life. Since completing the dental assistant program at IPFW in 1990, she has also worked in orthodontics and completed numerous trainings, including custom stain and glaze, Invisalign and CAD/CAM, as well as become certified as a CDA through the Dental Assisting National Board.

Throughout her career, Cindy has focused on the joy she feels when she is able to restore unhealthy teeth not only to top health but also to beauty and to full function. Other activities that bring her joy are camping, reading and trying new restaurants. In her time off, if you can’t find Cindy on the biggest roller coaster at the closest amusement park, she’s probably off dancing instead.

What Cindy appreciates most about the Smiles for Life team is the determination to provide the best care for patients not only because each team member has pride in his or her work, but also because each and every teammate truly cares for every patient.


Hayley was fortunate to find her passion for dentistry early in life. Beginning her career in High School, and then continuing on to graduate in 2001 from IPFW’s Dental Assisting Program. Her main focus has been in general dentistry, with lots of continuing education from a wide range of sources, including a full body approach in how our dental health can affect our systemic health. She has also obtained her Expanded Functions certification in 2007, Fluoride Placement & Coronal Polishing in 2014, and is in the process of her Nitrous Oxide certification.

Hayley is an Angola native, has been married to her husband Shane since 2002, and they happily adopted their daughter Korey who is now 14. They are in the process of fostering another child to add to the family. Hayley also has three Yorkie-mix dogs; Zeus, Cleo, and Artemis.

In her spare time; Hayley really enjoys watching her daughter as a cheerleader, reading, refinishing furniture, camping in their StarCraft RV, and any type of travel.


Upon college graduation in 2021, Lexi began her full time position as Front Office Coordinator at Smiles for Life. Lexi graduated from the University of Saint Francis with her Bachelor‘s in Business Management in addition to a Minor in Psychology.

Prior to working at Smiles for Life, Lexi’s dental experience consists of clinical shadowing and chair-side internships in oral surgery as well as endodontics. While Lexi was fond of the dental space in healthcare she found her perfect fit was not chairside but in management. Lexi now oversees scheduling, billing, insurance, and more at Smiles for Life.

Lexi married her husband Braden in August of 2021 and the two reside at their home in Auburn with their Pit-Terrier named Sapphire. In her free time Lexi enjoys spending time with family and shopping!

Lexi loves Smiles for Life because of its commitment to cutting edge care while still maintaining the comfort of your typical small-town office.

Kelly Heffelfinger — OFFICE MANAGER

Kelly is the Office Manager at Smiles for Life. She has been an employee of Smiles for Life since 2007. After a hiatus from full time work, taking time to raise her two, now fully grown, children she reentered the workforce to begin her second career. Kelly now oversees all that goes on in the office from a management perspective. Her focus is to handle HR, Accounting, and Marketing. The office often jokes that she is like the glue which holds everything together because of the diverse role she plays — truly making her the whole staff’s “go to” employee!

When Kelly isn’t working she enjoys spending her summer weekends on the lake and vacationing to somewhere warm when the Indiana winters hit! She loves the warm weather but is still a sucker for a good Hallmark Christmas movie.

Dr. Nate and Kelly have been blessed to share a beautiful marriage for over 20 years. Kelly appreciates working alongside not only family but coworkers who have become like family, making up the small business that is Smiles for Life.