Kari A. Cunningham, DMD, FAAPD

Dr. Kari is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and owner of Panther Pediatric Dentistry.

She graduated Valedictorian from Euclid High School in 2002 and later attended the University of Pittsburgh. Both schools had blue and gold colors and panther mascots so Dr. Kari knew right away what she wanted to name her practice. Dr. Kari is excited to return and establish her first pediatric dental practice in her hometown of Euclid, OH where she will help all patients and guests S.M.I.L.E. with Panther Pride!

At the age of twelve, Dr. Kari began to consider dentistry as a career. Her father, who was a trained dental assistant in the U.S. Air Force, encouraged her to “Go be the doctor!” Years of shadowing dentists and participating in summer programs throughout high school and college reaffirmed her decision to become a dentist. After graduating Valedictorian from Euclid High School in 2002, Dr. Kari received a full academic scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2004, Dr. Kari enrolled in Pitt’s Semester at Sea program during which she experienced many communities around the world with little or no access to dental care. Upon visiting an orphanage in Tanzania, she was overwhelmed at the sight of children with no parents and limited access to basic oral health care. Later during their tour of the Khayelitsha township in South Africa their tour guide said, “when someone in our community ‘makes it,’ they don’t just leave to better themselves, they return to reinvest in the community so that someone else can have a chance.” Those words stuck with Dr. Kari and began to shift her personal and professional goals. Her semester at sea awakened a deep love for Africa, a passion for community dentistry, and servant leadership. She made a promise to the children and to herself that she would one day return to Africa as a dentist.

After college, Dr. Kari earned several scholarships to return home and attend Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine (CWRU) where she earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2010 and completed her specialty training at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (RB&C) in 2012. She has been an adjunct faculty member at CWRU and RB&C since 2012 and served as the Dental Director of the Rainbow Center for Women and Children in Cleveland’s Midtown neighborhood.

In 2014, Dr. Kari was able to keep her promise and return to Africa as a volunteer pediatric dentist with the Global Dental Relief non-profit organization. She spent two weeks in Kenya at the PCEA Kikuyu Hospital Dental Clinic where she was once again touched by the number of children suffering from a lack of dental care but this time, she was able to serve and help them. In four service visits to Kenya, Dr. Kari has administered dental treatment to over 2,000 children, ensuring that every child has a happy, healthy, and confident smile.

The words of her tour guide from South Africa during the Semester at Sea experience still rang through Dr. Kari’s head. The concept of reinvesting in the community you came from resonated with Dr. Kari and inspired her to return to her hometown of Euclid, OH to establish Panther Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Kari is honored and overjoyed about this season in her career as a practice owner and is excited to continue building lifelong relationships with her patients and her community. Dr. Kari is married to Mr. Vincent, whom she met on the many service trips to Kenya and he is now part of the Panther Pride. When she is not taking care of children’s smiles, Dr. Kari enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, planning an event, teaching health care professionals about pediatric dentistry, or enjoying some of the many gems around town in Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Kari Cunningham smiles while wearing a pretty, yellow blouse.

Kari A. Cunningham, DMD, FAAPD

Dr. Kari Cunningham smiles while wearing a pretty, yellow blouse.

Dr. Kari is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and owner of Panther Pediatric Dentistry.

She graduated Valedictorian from Euclid High School in 2002 and later attended the University of Pittsburgh. Both schools had blue and gold colors and panther mascots so Dr. Kari knew right away what she wanted to name her practice. Dr. Kari is excited to return and establish her first pediatric dental practice in her hometown of Euclid, OH where she will help all patients and guests S.M.I.L.E. with Panther Pride!

At the age of twelve, Dr. Kari began to consider dentistry as a career. Her father, who was a trained dental assistant in the U.S. Air Force, encouraged her to “Go be the doctor!” Years of shadowing dentists and participating in summer programs throughout high school and college reaffirmed her decision to become a dentist. After graduating Valedictorian from Euclid High School in 2002, Dr. Kari received a full academic scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2004, Dr. Kari enrolled in Pitt’s Semester at Sea program during which she experienced many communities around the world with little or no access to dental care. Upon visiting an orphanage in Tanzania, she was overwhelmed at the sight of children with no parents and limited access to basic oral health care. Later during their tour of the Khayelitsha township in South Africa their tour guide said, “when someone in our community ‘makes it,’ they don’t just leave to better themselves, they return to reinvest in the community so that someone else can have a chance.” Those words stuck with Dr. Kari and began to shift her personal and professional goals. Her semester at sea awakened a deep love for Africa, a passion for community dentistry, and servant leadership. She made a promise to the children and to herself that she would one day return to Africa as a dentist.

After college, Dr. Kari earned several scholarships to return home and attend Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine (CWRU) where she earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2010 and completed her specialty training at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (RB&C) in 2012. She has been an adjunct faculty member at CWRU and RB&C since 2012 and served as the Dental Director of the Rainbow Center for Women and Children in Cleveland’s Midtown neighborhood.

In 2014, Dr. Kari was able to keep her promise and return to Africa as a volunteer pediatric dentist with the Global Dental Relief non-profit organization. She spent two weeks in Kenya at the PCEA Kikuyu Hospital Dental Clinic where she was once again touched by the number of children suffering from a lack of dental care but this time, she was able to serve and help them. In four service visits to Kenya, Dr. Kari has administered dental treatment to over 2,000 children, ensuring that every child has a happy, healthy, and confident smile.

The words of her tour guide from South Africa during the Semester at Sea experience still rang through Dr. Kari’s head. The concept of reinvesting in the community you came from resonated with Dr. Kari and inspired her to return to her hometown of Euclid, OH to establish Panther Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Kari is honored and overjoyed about this season in her career as a practice owner and is excited to continue building lifelong relationships with her patients and her community. Dr. Kari is married to Mr. Vincent, whom she met on the many service trips to Kenya and he is now part of the Panther Pride. When she is not taking care of children’s smiles, Dr. Kari enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, planning an event, teaching health care professionals about pediatric dentistry, or enjoying some of the many gems around town in Northeast Ohio.

“I was raised in Euclid and I am excited to return and reinvest in the community as a healthcare professional. I hope to inspire my patients and their families to dream big and achieve success. It is my passion to serve as a pediatric dentist, role model, and support system for the children in our community.”

–Dr. Kari

Our Team

At Panther Pediatric Dentistry, you can rest assured that your child will receive the attention, dedication, and quality care they deserve. Our team members all have pediatric dental experience and are eager to help you and your child take pride in achieving a healthy smile.

Krisha Garcia, CODA – Office Coordinator
As Office Coordinator, Ms. Krisha has clinical and administrative responsibilities at Panther Pediatric Dentistry. She has been a dental assistant since 2011 and has received additional certification to be able to polish teeth and place sealants to help protect children’s smiles. As an administrative team member, Ms. Krisha helps with scheduling appointments, marketing, and community outreach. As an administrative team member, Ms. Krisha helps welcome families to the practice, schedule appointments, make follow-up phone calls, and organize community outreach activities. Outside of the office, Ms. Krisha loves sewing quilts and singing in the church choir.

Two young dental patients smile proudly to show off their healthy teeth.
Amber Gates, RDA – Dental Assistant
Ms. Amber graduated from dental assisting school in 2017 and loves what she does. She has experience working with general dentists and is excited to join the Panther Pediatric Dentistry team to help deliver quality care to children and educate families about oral health. She has dreams of advancing in the dental profession by becoming a hygienist and is taking courses to make her dream become a reality. Outside of the dental office and classroom, Ms. Amber loves to travel.
Vincent Owiti, DA – Dental Assistant
Mr. Vincent brings over 10 years of experience in dentistry from Kenya in East Africa to Panther Pediatric Dentistry. He was working as an Oral Health Officer and Dental Hygienist at the clinic in Kenya where Dr. Kari served as a volunteer dentist. Vincent and Dr. Kari met in 2014 and got married in 2019. Now, a member of the Panther Pride, Mr. Vincent helps children get ready for their appointment by taking x-rays and he also serves as the sterilization technician for the office. Mr. Vincent is excited to be able to share his knowledge, calm voice and demeanor, and dental expertise with the Panther Cubs at PPD. Outside of the dental office, Mr. Vincent likes to travel, sing in the church choir, and is training to become a massage therapist.

Ada Cruz – Marketing Consultant
Ms. Ada Cruz is the President and CEO of Cruz Consulting. She is also a certified event planner and a respiratory therapist. She has helped organize open houses for Panther Pediatric Dentistry and support the practice in many ways. Ms. Cruz will be helping to market PPD through a host of platforms and will help create and maintain relationships with other health care professionals to encourage them to consider Panther Pediatric Dentistry for their patient’s oral health care needs. In her spare time, she enjoys being a mom and spending quality time with family and friends.

Ashlee Chambers – Front Desk/Receptionist and Dental Assistant
Ms. Ashlee can be seen greeting patients at the front desk as well as in the clinical space as a dental assistant. Before Ms. Ashlee joined the Panther Pride as a team member, she was part of the Pride as a parent – PPD is the dental home for her children. She enjoys Panther Pediatric Dentistry because the staff and atmosphere are so welcoming and family-oriented. She looks forward to adding to the warm welcome and help other families SMILE with Panther Pride. In addition to being a dental assistant, Ms. Ashlee is a licensed cosmetologist and a registered medical assistant.