Office Hours »
Monday 8:00am - 5:00
Tuesday 8:00am - 5:00
Wednesday 8:00am - 5:00
Thursday 8:00am - 5:00
Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Meet the team

Byron Briggs, DDS

Dr. Briggs joined Athens Smiles in July 2011, and purchased the practice October 1, 2011. He received his Bachelors degree in Chemistry and Biology from Lamar University in 2002: he then received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center- Houston Dental Branch in 2007. Upon graduation he entered the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls where he completed a general practice residency. Dr. Briggs and his wife, Lyndi, have 5 children, including a set of quadruplets. They have researched the Athens area thoroughly and are very excited about settling and raising their family here in Henderson County. On the personal side, Dr. Briggs enjoys fishing, hunting, riding his motorcycle, spending time with his family and is an active member of his church.

Dr. Howell Florence, DDS

Dr. Florence joined Athens Smiles in November 2012, along with his long time assistants Lori and Shirley. He has practiced dentistry for 37 years in Athens. In 1970 he joined the Air Force and served 2 years. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery in May 1973 at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston Dental Branch. Dr. Florence and his wife, Carla have been married for 41 years and have 2 children together, Hollie and Bo. He enjoys spending time with his family and his 2 grandchildren along with piddling with his tractor and he loves to shoot guns.

Lyndi Briggs • Managing Partner

Lbriggs@athenssmiles.com

Byron and Lyndi were married May 2001 in Houston, Texas. She completed nursing school at Lamar University in 2002. In July 2002 their first daughter Sydney was born, followed by Quadruplets in April 2004. When Lyndi is not working she stays busy with their Quadruplets, but enjoys serving at her church and visiting her family and friends.

Julie Bliss • Office Manager

Julie has worked at Athens Smiles since May 1, 1981. She started out as a dental assistant for Dr. Bob Foster, after 15 years she changed her position to the front office. Julie enjoys seeing the patients that have been with the office for the past 30 years and all the new patients that are seen daily. She and her husband of 29 years Eric, live in Canton. They have 2 children, Crystal and Chad. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and in her spare time she enjoys cooking and working in her garden.

Crystal Bliss • Hygiene Coordinator - Insurance Specialist - Social Media and Marketing - Technical/Network Support

Crystal has 8 years of dental experience combined with 18 years of Customer Service. Her passion for people, make her the perfect guide to helping you to continue down the path of healthy teeth and gums. She is available to schedule your every dental need or simply to answer a question. She is serious about her job, seeks to please, and is extremely flexible in helping you to discover a way to make treatment possible. She enjoys the cold months, singing, vacationing and spending time with her family.

Jennifer Lei Harris RDA • Appointment Coordinator/ Dental Assistant/OSHA Coordinator

Jennifer joined Athens Smiles May 2010. She has been a dental assistant for over 18 years and attained her degree as a Registered Dental Assistant in 2009. In 2005 she graduated with honors and became a Certified Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist. When she is not at work, Jen spends her free time with her daughters, Izzy and Sophie. She is also a youth leader at her Church and helps coach softball and soccer in the summer. She has traveled around the world and enjoys riding four wheelers, photography, being outdoors, hunting and spending time with her family and friends.

Nora Allsip RDH • Dental Hygienist


Nora has been practicing dental hygiene for 26 years in East Texas, she joined Athens Smiles October 2008. Nora has been married for 40 years to Wally and they have 2 daughters, 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson. She enjoys reading, sewing, camping, spending time with her grandchildren and her pets.

Stephanie Rincon RDH • Dental Hygienist


Stephanie was born and raised here in Athens. She graduated with honors from Athens High School. Stephanie was a member of Phi Theta Kappa at TVCC, a member of Sigma Phi Alpha at Tyler Junior College and graduated with the Dean’s Award in Dental Hygiene from Tyler Junior College in 2008. She joined Athens Smiles June 2008. Stephanie is married to Armando and they have 2 children, Eli and Kassidy. She is very active in her local church and also very devoted to her family. Stephanie and her family enjoy and spend a lot of time involved with various activities and organizations throughout the community.

Denise Garner RDH • Dental Hygienist


Denise and her family moved from Wellington, Kansas in 2002. In 2006 she received her dental hygiene degree from Tyler Junior College. She has been married for 19 years to Michael and has 2 sons, Alex and Nathan. Denise enjoys traveling, photography, attending sporting events and spending time with her family and friends she has met throughout the years. Denise joined Athens Smiles March 2008.

LeAnna Gowan RDH • Dental Hygienist


Leanna has been a resident of Athens all of her life, but joined our office in October 2013. She has been practicing hygiene since 1986 when she earned her degree from Tyler Jr. College. She is married to Steve, and they have a blended family of 3 daughters, and several grand children. She is active in her church and is a worship leader there and also goes on mission trips with her church. She has traveled to Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Latvia with her church team. Her interests include singing, camping, and helping her husband in their photography studio.

Zina Sorrells RDA • Dental Assistant


Zina is a Registered Dental Assistant and has been assisting for over 20 years. She worked mainly in the Fort Worth area, where she was also the Implant and OSHA Coordinator. In 2010 she moved to Athens and joined Athens Smiles in July 2011. She has 2 children April and Tony and 5 grandchildren: Sydney, Jacob, Bryce, Alyssa, and Erin. Outside of work, Zina enjoys spending time with family and working with her animals. She also enjoys being outdoors, going to the lake and going to the drag races. Zina loves being a dental assistant so she can help ease patient’s fears and help get their smile back.

Danice Blagburn RDA • Dental Assistant


Danice joined Athens Smiles in May 2012 she has been working in the dental profession for 30 years. She graduated from Cayuga High School in 1970 and then she took a job for Dr. Richard Campbell DDS here in Athens till his retirement in 2007. She has two grown children both of which graduated for Athens ISD. Danice is a registered clinical dental assistant. She loves to garden, fish and spend time with family and friends. She also hopes to help those in need with their dental health, by providing the best care possible.