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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.


“Someone thinks they are the best hygienist, but we all know the truth. It’s me. So ask for me when you come in. What’s my name again?”


Deb, an IPFW dental hygiene program graduate, has spent 42 years in dentistry, more than five of those at Smiles for Life. She is proud of the high quality care her current patients receive from the team and loves having a role in turning around the oral health of patients, meeting them when their oral health is poor and helping them transform to having healthy gums and teeth.

That high quality care, according to Deb, comes from the staff working as a team and putting patients first, offering kind and gentle care to every patient who walks in the door.

Deb enjoys continuing learning through the topics and speakers at Summit Hygiene Study Club. She often spends quality time with her family, especially her grandson, and recharges through gardening, reading and traveling. If you happen to hear a joyful noise, it could be Deb practicing her hand bells, which she plays with members of her church.


“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.

Dental assistant Allen Federowicz

“If you aren’t bragging about your smile, trust us. We are.”


Allen comes to Smiles for Life from internships at a number of dental offices, straight after completing the Assisting program and EFDA program at IPFW, where the program head recommended Allen as having the best hand skills and comprehension of dentistry of anyone in the program.

Post graduation, he has succeeded in such trainings as custom stain and glaze and CAD/CAM. Extremely talented with computer technology, Allen has been a great asset to the advancement of digital dentistry at Smiles for Life.

One of very few male dental assistants in northeast Indiana, in his day-to-day work at Smiles for Life, Allen sets a standard of care above and beyond expectations. He enjoys his work so much that he feels like the office is more of a second home than a workplace.

Recently married to Danielle and dad to two beautiful children, Allen enjoys spending time with his family and playing with electronics. A classic Hoosier, cooking and grilling, cars and a variety of sports are all among his top favorite things.