Meet Our Doctors
Dr. Kirk Larson’s decision to become a dentist resulted from wonderful childhood experiences he had seeing his dentist. Dr. Larson completed his dental training in southern California, moved east, spending a few years practicing dentistry on kids and adults. Soon thereafter, he decided to continue his training and enhance his knowledge of pediatric dentistry. Dr. Larson completed a two-year pediatric dental residency specializing in the care of children and those with special needs. During his senior year, he served as chief dental resident at the University of Louisville and Kosair Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Larson strives to keep each of his patients’ appointments fun and relaxed. Knowing that not all kids respond in the same way to treatment, Dr. Larson is committed to work with you and to find what works best for your child. When Dr. Larson is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. The Larsons enjoy playing sports and other family activities, both social and church related.
Dr. Tuzzio was raised in Canton, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The Ohio State University. Following graduation from dental school, Dr. Tuzzio completed a one year general practice residency and a two year pediatric dental residency at The University of Toledo Medical Center. During his training in pediatrics, Dr. Tuzzio earned a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Tuzzio’s daily focus is on patience and compassion, while relieving anxiety for each unique patient.
In his free time, Dr. Tuzzio enjoys spending time with his family and friends and cheering on his Ohio State Buckeyes. Dr. Tuzzio has four young children.
Dr. Cara Corning is a board certified Pediatric Dentist. She was raised in Mt. Juliet and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Tennessee Technological University in 2006; her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee in 2010, graduating with honors; and her Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2012.
Dr. Corning enjoys educating and encouraging families on the importance of oral health throughout their childhood and looks forward to serving Zoo Crew patients and parents.
Dr. Sandidge grew up in Georgia and earned her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia and Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia. In 2016, she completed her Master’s in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Michigan. She also has a pediatric sedation certification in the state of Tennessee and is a board-certified professional in the state. She is sympathetic to some of the more unique challenges in dental care, experienced through overseas charity dental work and her thesis on helping children with autism desensitize to toothbrushing.
Dr. Sandidge lives in Nashville with her husband, Nate, and their cat, Nala. In her free time, she reads, practices yoga, and watches Netflix. At work, she most loves making kids laugh.
Dr. Castillo was raised in Nashville, TN and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Dental Hygiene from Tennessee State University. He continued his passion for dentistry at Meharry Medical College, where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery. After dental school, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he completed a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry. Professional memberships include the American Dental Association, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Castillo was inspired to become a dentist because of a dentist in high school and through the need he saw in his community. Fun fact: He was a hygienist before he became a dentist! He loves watching the kids under his care grow up and considers it a privilege to inspire them to do better in life. In his spare time, Dr. Castillo enjoys movies, football, grilling, and spending time with his two boys and wife.
Dr. Alex Akbari
Smart, talented, and capable; Dr. Alex enjoys pediatric dentistry and loves providing great dental experiences. Alexander graduated from the Williamson County public school system and was elected by his peers to leadership positions, 3 years consecutively. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2011 after spending 13 months in his sophomore year at Stanford University as a domestic exchange scholar. An accomplished multi-sport athlete, Alex earned a state championship in rugby on an undefeated team and played rugby on the collegiate level at Stanford. He has a strong work ethic and is committed to long-term success. Empowered and motivated by his distinctive experiences, committed to service/community, and long-term relationships with underserved populations, Alex was selected for highly competitive academic scholarships in college and dental school.
He graduated from the Meharry School of Dentistry in 2016 as a twice-elected Vice President of his class. Alex enjoys working with children and volunteer coaches 4-6-year-olds in basketball. As a New York University pediatric dental resident, Alex gained invaluable clinical and didactic experience in topics including, but not limited to pediatric oral sedation, treatment under general anesthesia, behavior management, and orthodontics under the guidance of board-certified pediatric dentists and orthodontists. Dr. Alex is professional, personable, prepared, and ready to make an early and significant contribution as a pediatric dentist in his hometown of Nashville, TN. Dr. Alex is a Titans, Predators, Lakers, and Grizzlies fan. He enjoys chess, fantasy football, and traveling when he's not picking up a new book or exercising.
Dr. Miriam Walker
Dr. Miriam Walker is a pediatric dentist who has a strong passion for helping children. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she majored in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology. Dr. Walker received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. While at Meharry, Dr. Walker organized dental programs for special needs children, vulnerable youth, and immigrant communities. She conducted research investigating the impact of the microbiome on oral health, spent one summer working for the National Institutes of Health, and published research papers in various journals. Upon graduation, she was awarded the ADA Dentsply Sirona award.
Her passion and dedication to helping children led her to specialize in pediatric dentistry at Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine. While there, she received extensive training in comprehensive treatment with oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia, treatment of special needs patients, and trauma management.
As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Walker strives to make every visit an enjoyable one, working with each child individually. She is committed to making her patients and their parents as comfortable as possible. While not in the office, Dr. Walker enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, volunteering in her community, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves cheering on her Tennessee VOLS!
Dr. McKenzie is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and is an active member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Tennessee Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Tennessee Dental Association, and the American Dental Association. He holds hospital privileges at Centennial Medical Center (Nashville) and Horizon Medical Center (Dickson).
Dr. McKenzie was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Belmont University in Nashville where he studied percussion and music technology. He then headed to Boston to earn his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Tufts University. After four years of New England weather, a return to his southern roots was in order; he received his Doctor of Medicine and completed his surgical residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
During his residency, Dr. McKenzie completed research in temporomandibular joint replacement, head and neck malignancies, and oral cavity reconstruction. His clinical interests include dentoalveolar surgery, orthognathic surgery, TMJ surgery, facial trauma surgery, and head and neck pathology.
During his free time, you’ll find Dr. McKenzie exploring Nashville with his wife Caroline and their four young children Mac, Virginia, Tripp, and Bo. He also enjoys playing the drums and sailing (the latter a skill he learned while in Boston).