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Laguna Family Dentistry offers new “game changing” laser technology to community 


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Imagine going to the dentist to have a cavity filled and the visit is free of the needle and sound of the drill – and the work is completed in a single sitting – with no pain. 

It sounds too good to be true, however, as of a few weeks ago, the place to experience this procedure is right here in Laguna. Alex Kalmanovich, D.D.S, owner of Laguna Family Dentistry, and his associate Shabnam Penry, D.D.S. have brought the new Solea® dental laser to their office. According to Dr. Kalmanovich, this is one of the few in Orange County.

It’s been said that new technologies become great technologies when they change people’s lives. “It’s a game changer,” said Dr. Kalmanovich, who is passionate about providing the latest in dental technology to his patients. “We want to set patients up not be fearful when they come into the office.”

“Ninety percent of our patients use it for fillings,” said Dr. Penry.

laguna family alex

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Dr. Alex Kalmanovich

The Solea dental laser operates at a unique wavelength with sophisticated, yet simple computer controls that enable high-speed, precision cutting on both hard and soft tissue. Solea works on everything from gingiva and dentin to enamel and bone. 

It delivers virtually anesthesia-free, blood-free, suture-free and pain-free procedures for both teeth and gums, from simple filling prep to complex surgeries. Solea is the number one selling all-tissue laser in dentistry.

It also allows multiple cavities to be taken care of in a single sitting. “I’ve filled as many as six teeth during one visit,” said Dr. Penry.

“Solea has been around for a few years, and they have come up with a new model,” Dr. Kalmanovich explained. “We were at a convention and talked to the Solea representative and were confident in getting one for the office, so we could offer this technology to our patients.” 


Dr. Kalmanovich and Dr. Penry practice general and cosmetic dentistry utilizing the latest scientific applications to provide customized dental care and emphasizing preventative dentistry. They see all ages – infants and up.

Some of the services they offer are: CEREC and digital X-ray, VELscope, children’s dentistry, clear aligners, teeth whitening, dental veneers and restorative procedures.

laguna family penry

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Dr. Shabnam Penry

Even before the introduction of this new technology, Dr. Kalmanovich offered the highest quality in dental care. They make their own crowns in-house, so there are no molds involved, no temporary crowns and no waiting to have the crown put in place. Dr. Penry said, “It’s all digital, and we use a 3-D printer to make the crowns. We’ve had this technology for a while.” 

They also use only digital X-rays, which means minimal radiation exposure to patients – and detailed images of the teeth. 


Nine (plus) years ago, Dr. Kalmanovich bought the practice from Dr. Barbara Hawthorne, who is also a local artist and has exhibited at the Sawdust on and off since 2001. Many of her paintings hang in the office waiting room. Dr. Kalmanovich had been looking for a practice when he got a call from her broker that she wanted to sell it.

Prior to Dr. Hawthorne, Dr. Norm Brown operated a practice, which opened during the 1960s, in the same space.

laguna family staff

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Laguna Family Dentistry staff


Originally from Russia, Dr. Kalmanovich was raised in L. A. At age 4, he emigrated with his parents from their native Uzbekistan as the Soviet Union trembled on the verge of collapse. 

Dr. Kalmanovich finished high school in Encino and after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from UC Irvine, he earned his dental degree from University of the Pacific in San Francisco. Once he returned to Southern California, he established his practice in Laguna Beach and serves patients from all of Orange County and Los Angeles County. Dr. Kalmanovich is committed to continuing education and stays current with the latest techniques. He has completed courses in laser dentistry, endodontics, implants and aesthetics.

With a passion for education, Dr. Kalmanovich was awarded the The Grosso Endowment for Promise as a Dental Educator. Dr. Alex enjoys giving back to the community by providing free oral health care services to children from low-income families during the month of February. He is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association and Orange County Dental Association. He has recently been selected as a Delegate for the Orange County Association.

laguna family office

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The practice includes four hygienists and a periodontist who visits once a month

Three years ago, Kalmanovich moved to Laguna Beach with his wife, Polina and two children – a daughter who is in fourth grade and a boy in kindergarten.

When away from the office, he can be found enjoying Laguna and surrounding areas with his family, or playing basketball, swimming and running on the beach.

Dr. Shabnam Penry

Dr. Penry grew up in Ohio and received her dental degree in 2006 from The Ohio State University. After practicing in Ohio and Florida during her husband’s medical training, they were lucky enough to relocate to Southern California and have called Laguna Beach their home for 10 years. 

Her son attends first grade at Top of the World Elementary and her daughter is in pre-K at Laguna Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Penry is dedicated to helping her patients achieve and maintain a beautiful and healthy smile. She loves the science and art of dentistry as much as she appreciates getting to know her patients and developing genuine relationships with them. She enjoys all aspects of general and cosmetic dentistry and has consistently pursued courses in continuing education to stay current on the latest technology and innovations in restorative and aesthetic dentistry.

One aspect she especially likes about practicing dentistry is its versatility. 

“I really enjoy the fact that it’s different every day,” Dr. Penry said.

laguna family exterior

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Laguna Family Dentistry is located at 380 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach 

Dr. Penry joins the practice

Dr. Penry met Dr. Kalmanovich at her son’s soccer game a few years ago. At the time, she had been an associate in a Newport Beach dental office for eight years. She joined Dr. Kalmanovich’s practice three years ago.

“We met as friends on the soccer field. He said that he needed someone else in the office a few days a week,” Dr. Penry recalled. 

 Dr. Kalmanovich admitted, “It’s nice to have another dentist to bounce ideas off of.” 

“We like and respect each other,” Dr. Penry added. “It’s almost ‘too good to be true.’”

So much so that now they do things together as families and travel together as couples. 

Memorable moments

“One of the most exciting moments was when the Chamber of Commerce had a grand opening when I took over the practice,” said Kalmanovich. “My wife and grandfather were there. It was touching for my parents to see that they had a son in business.”

Kalmanovich likes Laguna’s community vibe. “We walk downtown and we’ll see friends. There’s such a family feel. It’s a real community. 

laguna family waiting room

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A welcoming waiting room

Clearly, they both love serving the community and its residents.

As for people asking dental advice, Dr. Kalmanovich said, “I get a lot of texts asking for advice. I can be in a café waiting in line, and someone will ask what I think about a dental situation.” 

Instead of being irritated, both doctors seem to relish the idea of people asking him for their opinions outside of the office.

Dr. Penry said, “I was at hospitality night and a friend/patient said ‘I chipped a tooth’ so I took out my flashlight to look at it.” 

“My mission in Laguna is to offer the best technology and quality of service because I care about the town,” Dr. Kalmanovich said. “We want to make it the best dental office it can be and do what’s best for our patients. Our focus is on the up-to-date. Solea is an amazing technology.”

Laguna Family Dentistry is located at 380 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to or call 949.393.8005.


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