Meet the Heritage Lake Dental
Family Dentistry Team

At the core of our dental practice is a friendly team of professionals who are dedicated to your utmost comfort and optimal oral health. We view each patient as a unique individual, and tailor each treatment to your specific needs. As part of our commitment to providing close, personalized attention to every patient, we want to encourage patient communication. Please know that we are here to provide outstanding patient care, and that we value the trust you have placed in us.

Meet our Doctors

family dentists wong & smolnicky

Catherine Wong, DDS
John Smolnicky, DDS

Drs. Catherine Wong and John Smolnicky both grew up in Northwest Indiana. They completed their undergraduate work at Indiana University Northwest where they met in their senior year.

Both majored in biology and went on to Indiana University School of Dentistry at Indianapolis. They were married in the summer between their 3rd and 4th years of dental school and graduated from dental school in 1985.

They settled in Valparaiso for their 1st dental office and in 1989 expanded to include a Merillville location.

Both Drs. are extremely motivated for good dental and overall health and attend continuing education for dentistry as well as for diet and nutrition.

In 1998 they decided to expand their practices to include an on site periodontist to service their patients. Dr. James E. Kirk joined Drs. Wong and Smolnicky to provide periodontial (gum health) services to their patients.

This husband and wife dental team bring over 25 years of experience to their practice. They are dedicated to their patients, and to bringing excellence to their patients’ experience.

Outside the dental office, both are avid readers and dog lovers. Dr. Wong likes to garden and grow orchids. She is also a knitter and likes to exercise. Dr. Smolnicky loves science, mathematics and astronomy, and enjoys target shooting and exercise.

Drs. Wong & Smolnicky reside in Munster with their Chihuahua, Max, and Chihuahua dog nephew, Jaxon. They also have an Australian Shepherd dog nephew, Mani. Their god dogs live on the west coast, outside of San Francisco. These are a Minchin Chihuahua mix, Tapi, a pure breed Bedlington Terrier, Cara and a mixed breed terrier, Dazy.

James E. Kirk, DDS

Dr. Kirk spent his early years in Florida, but hails from Northwest Indiana and attended Loyola University.

After earning his M.S. Degree in periodontics, he went on to practice in several periodontal dental offices located in the Chicagoland area.

Dr. Kirk resides in Portage, Indiana and in 1998 was approached by Dr. Wong to join their dental team. Dr. Kirk, looking to practice in his home state, took Dr. Wong up on her offer.

Dr. Kirk has 6 children who are all in the healthcare industry.

His oldest son and daughter are both dentists — his daughter in private practice and his son in the military. He has 3 daughters who are nurses, and his youngest daughter is attending Indiana University with plans to pursue a healthcare career as well. Dr. Kirk enjoys reading, snow skiing and outdoor water activities.

Meet our Staff

Marcie Guidarelli

Licensed Dental Hygienist

Marcie Guidarelli was born and raised in Chesterton, IN, graduating from Chesterton high school in 2005 and earnaing her hygiene degree from Indiana University NW in 2009.

Patients speak highly of her and are always complimenting her on her gentle approach.

Marcie currently lives in Valparaiso and enjoys camping, spending time outdoors, traveling, and listening to music. She also loves spending time on Sundays watching football and cheering on the Chicago Bears with family and friends.

Paula Serrano

Paula Serrano was born and raised in NW Indiana. She went to IU Northwest and has certifications in dental assisting, radiology, expanded functions and coronal polishing.

She has worked for Drs. Wong and Smolnicky for the past 22 years as a dental assistant. She is a part time instructor at Everest College for Dental assisting.

Paula met her husband, Jose, when he was teaching a CPR course in our dental office. They have a son, Josh. Paula loves dentistry as well as being a mom. She spends her off time with her family and enjoys travelling as well as a lot of outdoor activities such as bike riding and snow skiing.

Marci Wilcox

Dental Assistant

Marci Wilcox attended Everest College of Dental Assisting and holds radiology and EFDA certifications.

Marci initially decided to pursue a career in the dental field to help her conquer her own fears of the dental experience.

Now, she enjoys helping others with the same anxieties to overcome them by making their visits to Heritage Lake Dental relaxed and comfortable.

Marci has two girls, Tyr and Skylla. She also has two cats, Sadie and Destiny, and a dog, King.

When she’s not helping patients, Marci has a wide range of interests including container gardening, crochet, building projects, and singing.

Kylee Ulm

Dental Hygienist

Kylee Ulm attended Indiana University Northwest and holds a Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene as well as radiology and anesthesia certifications.

Kylee lives in Griffith, IN and has two cats, Benny and Kami, and a poodle named Molly.

When she’s not helping patients, Kylee enjoys playing billiards/pool, working out, watching movies, going to concerts, and singing and playing her guitar.

Want more information?

For more information about our practice, dental treatment options, payment options, or any of the services we provide, call our Valparaiso office at 219-464-1141 or our Merrillville office at 219-769-8788. We look forward to serving your dental care needs.