Our Team

All professionals at Francesca Velasco maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in the dental field. Read on to learn more about our staff's experience and training.

Our Doctors


Dr. Francesca Velasco 
Dentist, Owner


Dr. Francesca Velasco graduated from Dental School at the University Santa Maria in Caracas, Venezuela in 2002. She also completed a General Dentistry Residency at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center “Charity Hospital,” specializing in treating medically compromised patients; such as those suffering with Cancer and chronic diseases; also patients undergoing Chemotherapy, Radiation, Dialysis and Organ Transplants. During her residency she acquired advanced training with patients with motor and cognitive syndromes. She finished her program as the Chief Resident for the General Dentistry Department at Charity Hospital New Orleans, LSU Health Science Center.


Dr. Francesca Velasco graduated from Dental School at the University Santa Maria in Caracas, Venezuela in 2002. She also completed a General Dentistry Residency at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center “Charity Hospital,” specializing in treating medically compromised patients; such as those suffering with Cancer and chronic diseases; also patients undergoing Chemotherapy, Radiation, Dialysis and Organ Transplants. During her residency she acquired advanced training with patients with motor and cognitive syndromes. She finished her program as the Chief Resident for the General Dentistry Department at Charity Hospital New Orleans, LSU Health Science Center.

Hurricane Katrina

Dr. Velasco played an instrumental role in the recovery of the havoc of Katrina. She played a pivotal part in the rebuilding of the city fulfilling her leadership role within Charity Hospital Dental Division.


It’s not a secret that Dr. Velasco has a deep love and appreciation for New Orleans. When it came time to start her own practice it was an obvious choice that she would name it after the great city she fell in love with. Aside from Dr. Velasco’s passion for her work she also has an equally enormous passion for history. Dr. Velasco attributes this love for historical knowledge as something that she “inherited” from her mother. Fun fact to know is that both Dr. Velasco and her mother are Licensed New Orleans Tour Guides! As part of her appreciation for history, Dr. Velasco enjoys traveling and has been fortunate to be able to travel the world. She has visited all but one Ancient/ New Wonder of the World. Most of her travels are centered around things that she could appreciate in both aspects of structural and historical.More recently Dr. Velasco's newest experience is being a mother to her wonderful daughter Chiara. She refers to her as her favorite wonder of HER world! Dr. Velasco hopes that Chiara follows in her footsteps in dentistry to provide excellence to the community as she has made it her life work. Until Chiara decides her future path, the office will be her "mandatory"summer camp until she gets into dental school. Outside of work and travels Dr. Velasco is a huge animal lover. Dr. Velasco pre pre-baby years were spent volunteering at animal shelters. She believes in rehabilitating animals that have been abused or abandoned and giving him a good home. In fact, she herself has 3 big dogs which 2 are rescues themselves.

Professional Associations

Dr. Velasco is a member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association and the New Orleans Dental Association. Dr. Velasco is an Invisalign Certified Provider. She is a member of the International Association for Orthodontics, the Academy of Cosmetic Orthodontics and El Colegio de Odontólogos de Venezuela. Dr. Velasco volunteers her time to contribute to her profession and serves as the second Vice President for the New Orleans Dental Association and is the Registration Chair for the New Orleans Dental Conference & Louisiana Dental Association Annual Session. Dr. Velasco was inducted as a Fellow in the International College of Dentists in 2018, and most recently as a Fellow in the American College of Dentists in 2020. Both organizations are honor societies recognizing the United States and the world’s leading dentists. She is also a part of the HISPANIC DENTAL ASSOCIATION


Dr. Eddie Starr
Associate Dentist


Dr. Eddie Starr graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. He continued his studies at LSU School of Dentistry and then went on to complete a General Practice Residency at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. He enjoys practicing full scopes of general dentistry and is particularly interested in anesthesia and treating patients with special needs. He enjoys getting to know his patients and strives to never treat a stranger!


Eddie is from New York City, but loves living in New Orleans! He is a fan of live music and being outdoors. He likes to play frisbee, make tie dye t-shirts and go fishing. He is married to his best friend and has one sweet little kitty! Eddie also speaks a bit of Spanish and is always looking to improve!

Professional Associations

  • American Dental Society of Anesthesiology
  • New Orleans Dental Association
  • American Dental Association
  • Louisiana Dental Association
  • Chicago Dental Society
  • Certified Invisalign Provider


Dr. Laura Smith 
Periodontist/Implantologist - Associate


Dr. Laura Smith is a graduate of Universidad Latina de Costa Rica where she received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) in 2009. In 2013, she was accepted into a 1-year fellowship at Louisiana State University where she received training restoring single and multiple dental implants with the newest techniques.  In 2014, she accepted a position in Louisiana State University’s Post-Graduate Periodontal program, which she completed in 2017.  


After obtaining her D.D.S., she practiced general dentistry for 3 years in private practice in San Jose, Costa Rica. Since completing her 4-year postgraduate education, she has been serving the community of south Louisiana as a periodontal dental specialist.  Besides receiving training in periodontal disease and conditions, she also trained extensively in all aspects of implants, including aesthetic implant surgery, bone grafting, sinus elevation, microsurgery, aesthetic gum grafting, and full mouth implant rehabilitation. Dr. Smith is a compassionate and highly-skilled specialist who treats each patient as if he or she were a member of her own family. 


Dr. Smith lives in New Orleans with her husband and her three wonderful children. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, biking around the city, and exploring new places and restaurants. 

Dr. Smith's professional associations and licenses

  • Active member American Academy of Periodontics
  • Board Certified Periodontal and Dental Specialist 
  • Certified IV sedation provider
  • Certified Non-IV oral sedation
  • Nitrous oxide provider
  • Certified ACLS AND CPR

Our Team Members


Elizabeth “Liz”
Operations Manager

Elizabeth has been a part of the dental world for over 14 years. Initially starting as a chairside assistant, Liz’s drive for perfection secured her a position as the Clinical Supervisor at a successful Orthodontic practice. Never looking to settle, Liz took every opportunity to moonlight at other posts within the practice and even at other practices. Her area of expertise includes (but is not limited to) clinical assisting, scheduling, insurance, collection, financial management and organizational management. It’s safe to say with Liz’s ambition and thirst for knowledge, she is always looking to learn something new.

As our Operations Manager Liz spends her day auditing accounts, insurance, and training with our administrative team on how to properly handle finances. She also works with our doctors and clinical lead to ensure that we are providing a consistent level of patient care. Her goal is to build unity between both our administrative and clinical team to provide the best work environment and patient experience.

While not at work, Liz is a “soccer mom” in training for her two boys. Her days are spent driving her boys all over the city getting them from one appointment to another. Baking is also another past time favorite as she loves perfecting her craft. With her passion for perfection, she is constantly striving to make our practice unique and welcoming to all patients.


Clinical Lead

Stephanie is one our most experienced Dental Assistant. Equipped with over 10 years of experience in an Orthodontic office; Stephanie had plenty of training when it comes to running a clinic. Her day to day involves ensuring that all lab work is returned in a timely manner and that our clinic is well stocked to see patients. When not working on inventory, Stephanie is consistently developing our clinical team to stay up to date with our standards of care. E.D.D.A. certified; you will always see Stephanie working on our dental side of the practice to continuously gain knowledge within the dental world. With the experience that she is obtaining from General Dentistry, we can trust our office will grow confidently with the best care. Aside from being a “Clinical Rockstar” Stephanie is a mother who enjoys working out (CrossFit) and extremely spicy food. It’s not a secret that her goal is to enter one of those spicy pepper eating competitions one day. Motivated and determined Stephanie is here to give the best quality patient care and is striving to be a better assistant and leader always!


Mirida “Mimi”
Administrative Lead

Coming from the hotel industry, Mimi made a career change into healthcare to focus her efforts to help people who have difficulty understanding English. As a native of Colombia who moved here at an early age, Mimi is fluent in both Spanish and English. Starting off as a Treatment Coordinator for an Orthodontic practice, Mimi spent over 3 years treatment planning with patients to understand their concerns when it comes to their dental health. Utilizing her bilingual ability, she ensures all patient's needs are met. With her experience comes growth, Mimi is currently our Administrative Lead who strives to maintain consistent quality care among the administrative team and continuously motivate the staff to always be their best. Mimi is also striving to be her best by pushing herself to continuously gain knowledge by training under the Operations Manager to understand how to explain questions properly and clearly regarding collections, insurance, and supporting other team members. The term "work hard and play hard" is something Mimi firmly believes in. When not at work, Mimi is a mother of two boys (Isaac and Alexander) and their dog Buddy. Mimi also enjoys cooking, dancing, trying new foods, and adventures, which she makes time for and with her husband of 15+ years. You will always find Mimi floating through the office ensuring success for the practice daily.


Keiry “Katy”
Clinical Assistant

Having just a little over a year experience, Keiry is on the right track to mentor our incoming team members. Originally a patient of Dr. Francesca Velasco; Keiry was looking for something new and challenging. When the opportunity presented itself, she landed the position in our clinic and now finds herself on the opposite side of the dental chair working with patients.

Keiry has always found herself attracted to the health industry. Prior to her employment at New Orleans Smiles, Keiry has had experience working with a wide variety of patients of different gender, age, and ethnicity at a primary care office. A great attribute that makes Keiry great as part of our chair side team is her compassion and warm-hearted nature. She always goes out of her way to make everyone feel comfortable while in her chair. Keiry also believes in providing excellence and enjoys working directly with the doctor to carry out prescribed treatment.

Born in the United States with Hispanic roots, Keiry strongly feels a great connection with the American and Hispanic cultures. She is bilingual (English and Spanish) and devotes her time to explain proper oral health to our patient populations that have difficulty speaking English. Keiry also has a passion for music. She plays the piano in the worship team for her church. She also loves playing soccer with her friends and family. One of her favorite quotes is “There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.” Keiry demonstrates this daily as she is determined and committed to learning more each day.


Clinical Assistant

Our “doctor in training” has been with New Orleans Smiles since January of 2021 after completing his undergraduate in Biology at Xavier University of Louisiana. Prior to officially joining our team, Tristan started off as a patient who had an interest in Dentistry.  As part of his goal to gain understanding/experience in dentistry, Tristan shadowed and assisted a plethora of general dentists and specialists around the city.  Tristan is also mentored by three doctors.  Dr. Francesca Velasco being one of the doctors encourages and supports his aspiration to attend dental school. Part of her support is showcased through his employment at New Orleans Smiles. Here he can understand not only the clinical aspect but also the business aspects of the dental field. Tristan's positive persona and “can do” attitude is great for our patients as well. Tristan is always smiling and encouraging our patients to maintain their oral health and supporting their needs. His passion for dentistry helps him explain the doctor’s treatment plan thoroughly.

In his spare time, Tristan enjoys working on his physical fitness, competing in any type of sporting competition, and spending time with family. As a sports enthusiast, one of his favorite quotes from Kobe Bryant is “I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.” Tristan is a huge believer in teamwork. Tristan ‘s goal is to make sure the patients feel comfortable and satisfied. They are not just his patients; they are a part of his family here at New Orleans Smiles.


Clinical Assistant

Having been with us for a couple of months, Carmen is one of the newer hires and the youngest team member at New Orleans Smiles. She recently graduated from New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy in May 2021. After the completion of her High School Diploma, Carmen attended a dental assistant program to earn her certification. Currently, Carmen attends Delgado Community College with aspirations to be a dental Hygienist.

Carmen's daily motivation at New Orleans Smiles is to continually learn and share all her knowledge that she has gained with her patients. She wants to ensure that her patients are comfortable when she carries out the doctor’s treatment. Carmen is also bilingual (English and Spanish) which is great when it comes to explaining treatments to our patients. On her time off Carmen is studying and spends her days with family and friends.

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Hours of Operation

Lunch 11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Primary Location


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-12:00 pm