Jungle Roots


Dr. John Culp

Dr. John Culp graduated from Temple University with his Doctor of Medicine in 1992. His love and care for children led him to pursue a specialist degree in Pediatric Dentistry which he received from Baylor University College of Dentistry in 1994. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. As Ahwatukee’s first pediatric dentist, Dr. Culp has been serving the community by providing the highest comprehensive dental care to his patients for over eighteen years. He has a sincere interest in providing the highest quality care with special attention paid to maintaining comfort and providing the education necessary for families to make healthy dental choices. 


Dr. Culp’s strong desire for knowledge sets him apart as a lifelong learner who continuously strives to improve himself for the benefit of his patients. Through conference attendance as well as the reading of dental journals and other dental publications he continues to educate himself with the newest advancements in the dental field.


Dr. Culp maintains his membership in the following professional organizations:


American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

American Dental Association

Arizona Dental Association

Arizona Academy of Pediatric Dentistry


Life away from the Jungle is shared with his family which includes his wife, Karen and their three sons. He actively supports his children’s recreational activities and enjoys ice hockey and cycling in his free time.

Dr. Vanessa Antolinez Kai

Dr. Vanessa is bilingual in Spanish and English and was born and raised in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from University of Central Florida. Dr. Vanessa found a passion for teaching at Valencia College in Orlando, FL where she taught for two years as adjunct math instructor. During this time she was volunteering for a non-profit organization that improves access to dental care to the community.  Dr. Vanessa received her DDS degree from University of California San Francisco. During dental school she discovered her passion for working with children and was solidified upon completing her Advanced Education General Dentistry residency in Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA. She then completed her pediatric residency at Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx, NY. Dr. Vanessa’s top priority is your child’s safety and comfort. She considers herself a lifelong student and continues to take courses to increase her knowledge in dentistry. She believes oral health is essential and prevention is key for successful oral health. She enjoys meeting new people, hiking, spinning and loves spending her free time with her husband and two ragdolls cats, Milo and Shiro.

Dr. Jessica Thayer

Dr. Jessica Thayer is an Arizona native, born and raised in Sedona. She attended Northern Arizona University where she received her bachelors of science in dental hygiene. After practicing as a dental hygienist for several years Dr. Thayer attended dental school at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ASDOH), graduating in 2016.  She completed her postgraduate orthodontic training in 2018 from ASDOH. In her free time Dr. Thayer loves to travel and explore the great state of Arizona. She is a self-described foodie and loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and two French bulldogs, Mac and Beef Cake. Dr. Thayer has a true passion for orthodontics and creating beautiful smiles.


Favorite quote:

"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do."- Mother Teresa

Dr. Jason Brady

Jason Brady, DMD (Dentist Anesthesiologist) started his career as a civil engineer designing subdivisions and site plans for commercial buildings. He completed his undergraduate dental degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2010. During dental school, he created and implemented an electronic materials request form, quality assurance program and database, and programs to track correspondence between clinical disciplines. He completed a 26-month hospital and private practice based residency in Anesthesia at the University of California Los Angeles in 2012.  He is a member of the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists and a Diplomate of the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology. He is also a member of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology and a Diplomate of the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology. He is also involved with education and holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Southern California and teaches continuing education courses at Oregon Health & Science University. He is often called to give lectures at various organizations throughout the United States and Canada. He practices dental anesthesia in Arizona and Southern California. Dr. Brady lives in Gilbert with his wife and their four sons. 

Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry & Orthodontics

Meet The Team
Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry
Karen Culp

Karen and Dr. Culp have been together since they were 17. Karen moved in 1984 from the west to the east and landed in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, her senior year of high school.  She met Dr. Culp in the halls and they have been together ever since. Karen and Dr. Culp started Jungle Roots together and she continues to be an integral part of the team.  She loves being a mom to her three boys and has focused most her attention to raising them and keeping family first. Now that they are getting older, she is able to spend more time being a part of Jungle Roots. She also teaches fitness classes at the Ahwatukee YMCA. Health and fitness is a passion of hers and she loves to be a part of encouraging people to embrace a healthy lifestyle. She loves cooking, traveling (especially the beach), reading, volunteering, entertaining, and mostly spending time with Dr. Culp, her boys, her parents, and her friends.  

Director of Operations

Mary has been with Dr. Culp as the Executive Support Specialist since 2014, and prior to that from 1998-2007. With nearly 20 years of experience in the dental industry, Mary brings a wealth of knowledge and support to Dr. Culp and the team. Mary is married with three adult children and three grandchildren and enjoys spending time volunteering at church, gardening (especially roses!) and spending time with her husband and dog.  


Orthodontics Supervisor

Tammy has been a part of our office since 2005 when she began as Dental Assistant.  Over the years, she has held different positions in the office and is now our Operations Supervisor. Tammy uses most of her time away from the Jungle with her husband chasing their two young children.  Tammy and her family enjoy camping, off-roading, and spending time with family and close friends.  



Pedodontics Supervisor

Missy has 14+ years of dentistry experience prior to that worked in the restaurant industry. She loves to spend time with her husband Andy and son Henry She loves to read, do diamond painting and in her spare time is a makeup artist

Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry


Insurance Coordinator

Catherine is originally from Scotland and moved to Arizona in 2000. She has been a part of our Jungle Roots family since 2003.  Since joining our practice she has held several front office positions and is currently our Insurance Coordinator. Catherine is familiar with many of our existing families and looks forward to assisting our new families with their insurance needs. When she’s not working, Catherine enjoys spending time with her four children and three dogs.

Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry



Danica is a native Arizonan who graduated from Northern Arizona University. She has been working at Jungle Roots since 2011, and her favorite part of the job is hearing kids laugh!  Danica is married, and when she isn't wrangling two small children she enjoys reading and do-it-yourself projects from Pinterest.  



Kiley loves not only cleaning teeth, but teaching the children at Jungle Roots how to take care of theirs! She graduated from NAU and has been a Registered Dental Hygienist for almost 10 years. When she’s not “digging for treasure” in patients’ mouths, she’s “digging for treasure” with her two young boys, playing peek-a-boo with her baby daughter, or swing dancing in the kitchen with her husband of 9 years. 

Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry



Erin has been part of the Jungle Roots team since 2001. She began her career at Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry as a Dental Assistant and after a few years went back to school to become a hygienist. Erin graduated from Herzing College in  Minnesota in 2006 and shortly after returned to Jungle Roots as a Registered Dental Hygienist. Erin loves what she does, and says that working with children is absolutely the best part of her job. In her spare time, Erin enjoys spending time with family and friends.




Tina graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2003 and has worked in both pediatric and general dental settings. She has a great love for whole body health and believes it begins with a healthy smile. She hopes to be part of a quality oral healthcare education for children and the start of a positive dental experience for a lifetime. When she is not shining smiles she enjoys teaching yoga and spending time with her husband and three children.



Jenna graduated from dental hygiene school in 2019. She became a hygienist because she loved going to her pediatric hygienist growing up. Her goal is to create that same experience for kids and help them have a positive dental visit. When she isn’t making smiles sparkly, she enjoys hiking and outdoor adventures with family and friends.

Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry


Marketing Coordinator

As the Marketing Coordinator, Deborah is responsible for the community outreach program which is intended to educate children about how to properly care for their smiles!  With ten years of experience in the dental field and four with Jungle Roots, Deborah has a wealth of information to share.  Deborah enjoys baking and spending time with her husband and two children in her free time.