Meet the Dentists at NC Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Leslie Murray
Leslie Murray, DDSGeneral Dentist Focusing on Children

Dr. Leslie Murray grew up in Durango, Colorado, a beautiful little ski town in the Southwestern part of the state. She attended undergrad at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She then attended dental school at Roseman University, College of Dental Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah. She completed her General Practice Residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.


Dr. Murray believes in helping people realize that taking care of their teeth doesn’t have to be scary or painful. Dr. Murray states, “There is nothing more rewarding than being able to improve a person’s smile and have the patient remember the whole visit as a positive experience.”


Patient comfort and education is one of the most important things she looks for when working with patients. She believes oral care really begins at home and also that dental visits should be as comfortable as possible. Her main goal is to give an opportunity for the patients and parents to learn how to better take care of their teeth.


Growing up as a dancer, she loved taking classes and performing. Now in her spare time she enjoys yoga as an alternate for her love of dance. Dr. Murray also loves seeking out and trying new markets in the Charlotte area. On weekends, she also likes to get out and spend some time in the sunshine hiking with her little dog, Ella.


Dr. Murray is member of The American Dental Association, The American Dental Education Association, The Academy of General Dentistry, and The North Carolina Dental Society.

Allison Slanina, DDS
Allison Slanina, DDSGeneral Dentist focusing on Children

Dr. Alison Slanina grew up in Naperville, Illinois. She attended Vanderbilt University to complete her bachelor’s degree. She then went on to receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry.


Dr. Slanina has spent a lot time working in community health centers, schools, and hospitals treating patients of all ages with their dental needs. She now limits her practice to pediatrics and is passionate about helping children have positive dental experiences and happy smiles!


As a dentist, Dr. Slanina strives to make every visit a pleasant one, working with each child individually. She pays special attention to their needs, treating them with the compassion and care that each one deserves. She enjoys forming lifelong relationships with her patients based on trust, kindness, and compassion. She wants every child to be excited about coming back for a visit!
When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Slanina loves to travel, run, and play with her young son. She also loves cheering on her UNC Tar Heels!

Dr. Eric Thomas, DDS
Eric Thomas, DDSGeneral Dentist focusing on Children

Dr. Thomas grew up in southeast Indiana outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. After receiving his Bachelors in Biology with Honors from the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Thomas earned his Doctorate of Dental Science from Indiana University School of Dentistry and has been practicing in North Carolina since 2011. As a general dentist, Dr. Thomas is highly skilled in a wide variety of procedures, and particularly enjoys working with children. His mild manner immediately puts even our littlest patients at ease, helping them to become happy and confident in the dental chair. Dr. Thomas’ goal is to help young patients build confidence in their smiles, eliminate any pain and help lay the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.


When not helping children and adults achieve and maintain healthy smiles, Dr. Thomas spends his time following all sports including the Carolina Panthers, his hometown Cincinnati teams and Indiana University, visiting his parents and four younger siblings and exploring central North Carolina.


Dr. Thomas is certified and is a member of the National Dental Board, Northeast Regional Board (NERB) and the Council of Interstate Testing Agency (CITA).

David Thome, DDSPedriatric Specialist

A native of Colorado, Dr. Thome graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry in 2001. After seven years as a successful general dentist in Kansas City, MO, Dr. Thome decided to pursue his true passion for children’s dentistry. He completed his pediatric dental residency at Nova Southeastern University and treated many patients at the renowned Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.


Dr. Thome strives to make every child’s visit an enjoyable experience and to help them and their parents understand the essentials for building good dental health. He understands that a positive experience combines the very best care tailored to patients’ needs with a relationship built on trust and open communication. Dr. Thome believes the experience during a dental visit is just as important as the treatment. He encourages parents to be part of our team during the appointment.


When not helping his young patients build happy smiles, Dr. Thome enjoys the outdoors and especially spending time with his wife and two young children, Robert and Caroline.


Dr. Thome is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

Matthew Zimmer, DMD
Matthew Zimmer, DMDPediatric Specialist

Dr. Matthew Zimmer is a Pediatric Dentist who grew up on Long Island in Melville, New York. He attended the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine on academic scholarship where he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree with honors. He finished his Pediatric Dentistry Residency at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York.


Dr. Zimmer believes it is very important for all children to have access to the quality dental care they need and enjoys sharing his knowledge with patients and parents alike. His main goal as a pediatric dentist is to make each child feel like a “Super Star” when coming in for a visit and leaving with a positive attitude!


When not in the office, Dr. Zimmer enjoys spending time with his wife, Marisa, and two four-legged children (his pups)! He also loves outdoor hobbies such as tennis, biking, and most importantly playing with his Maltese Poodles!
Dr. Zimmer is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Society, and is board-eligible for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Sapna Thakkar, DDS
Sapna Thakkar, DDSGeneral Dentist focusing on Children

Dr. Sapna Thakkar was born in India and grew up on Long Island, NY. She attended State University of New York at Farmingdale for her undergrad where she earned her dental hygiene degree and Bachelor’s Degree in bioscience almost simultaneously. She then went on to pursue her Doctorate Degree in Dentistry at State University of New York at Buffalo where she graduated magna cum laude with thesis honors.
Dr. Thakkar completed her residency at Kings County Hospital Center located in the heart of Brooklyn, NY for one year. This is where she discovered her love for pediatric dentistry.


Her goal as a dentist is to educate parents and children, provide excellent dental care, and to be a positive influence in the children’s lives and empower them to take pride in their smiles. “I believe that every child should have access to quality dental care and establish a dental home that allows the provider to build a relationship with the parents and patient. The most important thing to me is to create a positive, comfortable and friendly environment for the patient at all times. It is also important that the patient is listened to, supported and motivated at every visit so that we can provide a lasting dental home for families,” said Thakkar.


Outside of dentistry she loves being a wife and mother to her daughter. She also enjoys reading, art, cooking, yoga, hiking and other outdoor activities.


Dr. Thakkar is a member of the American Dental Association.

Charles Frank Cangemi, DDS, MSDental-AnesthesiologistDiplomate, National Board of Dental Anesthesiology

A resident of Mooresville, NC, Dr. Cangemi has studied both Dentistry and Anesthesiology. He attended dental school at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and also the University of North Carolina where he completed his residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry.


While working in private practice, Dr. Cangemi completed his certification in intravenous sedation. He became greatly interested in anesthesiology, and soon obtained a Certificate of Residency as well as a Master’s in Anesthesiology from Ohio State University. Dr. Cangemi has worked as an anesthesiologist for dentists, pediatric dentists, dental surgeons, and other dental specialists conducting a wide variety of surgical procedures.


Dr. Cangemi is a National Dental Board of Anesthesiology Fellow, an American Dental Society of Anesthesiology Member, on the Anesthesia Advisory Committee as well as the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners. He is also an author of publications in Dental and Anesthesiology Journals. He also holds certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Basic Life Support.


In Dr. Cangemi’s spare time he enjoys outdoor activities, such as boating. He also enjoys partnering with charities that support rescue dogs and cats.