Meet the Care Team


Meet our Hygienists


Buffy Butler, RDH

Cosmetic Dentist Hickory NC

Buffy obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene in 2007 at Catawba Valley Community College and Compass Dental team in April 2014. During her time at the practice she has become very acquainted with patients and co-workers, which has been a rewarding experience. She loves that she is part of an incredibly hardworking team that is very adept in easing patients’ fears, boosting patients’ confidence, and educating patients to ensure a lifetime of optimum oral health.

On a more personal level, she loves to live in the moment and take time to appreciate all that life has to offer. She practices yoga on a daily basis and enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband, Brad and their super spunky 6 year old son, Brody. They are often participating in outdoor family activities or taking spontaneous road trips with their husky, who is usually found hanging his head out of the car window.

If you are looking for a dental family to call your own, Buffy personally invites  you to call, email, or just stop in – there is plenty of love and compassion in this family to go around.

Melissa McLain, RDH, CDA

Melissa graduated with honors from CVCC’s Dental Hygiene program in May 2017. Melissa was a certified dental assistant for over 15 years before returning to hygiene school. In total, she has over 17 years of dental experience to share with us and help you navigate your best oral care.

Melissa is a still certified assistant with the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and is a licensed dental hygienist in both North and South Carolina. She is an advocate for dental healthcare for all and volunteers her time to various dental organizations, such as the Good Samaritan Clinic, Colgate’s Bright Smiles Bright Futures, Veteran’s Stand Down and the Sandy Ridge Baptist dental bus. She is very active in the ADHA and NC Dental Hygienists’ Association and serves as the current chair and trustee of the Foothills Dental Hygiene Component. Melissa also belongs to the Hickory Women’s Junior Association and a Phi Theta Kappa Alumni.

Melissa’s family consists of her best friend and husband, Dustin; daughter, Lauren, and son, Alex. A westie-lab mix named Q, completes their family.

When she isn’t educating her patients and making their smiles brighter, Melissa and her family like to cruise and attend Alex’s travel baseball games.

Meet our Assistants


Heather Parkhurst, DA II

Heather has been an employee of Compass Dental since April 2013. She is a 2003 graduate of the dental assisting program at Western Piedmont Community College. Heather has been a dental assistant for 16 years and especially enjoys helping patients to overcome their fear of the dentist.

It is Heather’s goal to make your dental visits comfortable and more enjoyable each time you visit.

Heather prides herself in being a people person and loves working with and learning more about each and every patient. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her husband, Steven, and son, Korbin.

Kendel Benge, DA II

Dentist Hickory NC

Kendel graduated from the Western Piedmont Community College’s Dental Assisting school in 2011. She has been a valuable member for the Compass Dental staff since 2014. In addition to her assisting duties Kendel is also in the process of pursuing her dream of becoming a dental hygienist, completing all of her prerequisites and beginning the application process.

In her spare time Kendel enjoys hiking, playing basketball and softball and spending time with her family.

Administrative Office Staff


Carol Perkowski, Office Manager

Cosmetic Dentistry Hickory NC

Carol has a passion for Dentistry and providing exemplary Patient care. She has enjoyed 25 years as a Dental Office Manager and will always strive to exceed our Patient’s expectations. She is so proud to be a part of Compass Dental’s wonderful Patient-centered Team.

Carol enjoys hiking, fishing and exploring the beauty of North Carolina with Mike, who is the love of her life and Husband of 32 years and their sweet Newfoundland, Mimi. Carol and Mike eagerly look forward to their trips to Colorado to see their Son, John and cherish the time they spend together.

Carol Truly looks forward to meeting you and will be here to greet you with a welcoming smile!

Lisa Hensinger, Insurance Coordinator

Cosmetic Dentistry Hickory NC

Lisa brings over twenty years of experience in the dental field to Compass Dental and has an extensive background in office management and administration as well as billing and collections. She is a self-proclaimed people-person and her favorite part of being on our team is interacting with the patients. Ensuring that our patients have positive experiences before, during and after visits is a top priority for Lisa.

Lisa grew up in southern New Jersey and came to Hickory by way of Pennsylvania in 2013 to be closer to family. She loves the relaxed pace of life in our area and has had a great time getting to know her new community. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Richard, their dogs Lucky and Roxy and cat, Nimbus. Lisa loves to cook and enjoys experimenting with new recipes.

LeighAnn Bowman, Treament Coordinator

Cosmetic Dentistry Hickory NC

LeighAnn has been with Compass Dental since 2019. She has 15 years of dental experience specializing in coordinating Patient care, educating Patients about dental procedures, and explaining insurance benefits. She began her dental career at the University of Florida and assisted East Carolina University with establishing their community service learning centers. She loves to watch the confidence level in our patients soar with their healthy smiles! She loves being a part of the Compass Dental team and is ready to assist you with all of your appointment needs.

Originally from Wilmington, NC she moved to Hickory in 2016 with her husband, Rik, and three children, Jacob, Caleb, and Jovie. In her free time she enjoys photography, boating on Lake Hickory, serving in her church, watching Carolina Panther football and attending her daughter’s clogging competitions.