Meet Our Team
Insight, experience and dedication to the highest quality of patient care are the hallmarks of our multi-specialty dental team. Our focus is on cosmetic dentistry services, such as dental implants and dental veneers, but we also offer general dentistry and orthodontics. Our general dentists and specialists have received their training from many of the nation’s prestigious educational and dental institutions. It’s our doctors’ skilled combination of art and science that has made Hammond Pond Dental Group is one of New England’s most respected cosmetic dental practices. As a group dental practice, we offer everything from preventive care and general dentistry to sophisticated dental reconstructions.
Meet the Dentists
Joseph Costa, DMD, MAGD
Joseph W. Costa, Jr., DMD, MAGD, was born and raised in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree cum laude in Biochemistry from Boston College in 1986, and his Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree cum laude in a special field from the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine in 1991. He is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD), the highest honor bestowed by that organization, to dentists who have completed a rigorous fellowship examination as well as 1,100 hours of continuing education credit in all dental subject areas. 400 hours of this education credit must be earned in hands-on participation courses and case presentations.
Dr. Costa enjoys getting to know his patients well and likes to establish a long-term commitment to their dental care. He has a very gentle chairside manner and is able to put even the most nervous patients at ease. His goal is for his patients to maintain healthy and beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Dr. Costa’s main clinical interests are cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry with an emphasis on implant restorations. He has received extensive training in occlusion, esthetic dentistry, TMJ dysfunction and complex dental case management at the prestigious Dawson Academy in St. Petersburg, FL and the Seattle Institute of Advanced Dental Education.
Dr. Costa completed a general practice residency and a general dentistry fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, he was appointed to the attending staff at BWH, as an Associate Surgeon. For eight years, he was the Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard-Wide General Practice Residency Program. From 2000 to 2004, he was the Chief of the Division of Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry at BWH.
Dr. Costa currently holds an appointment as a Clinical Instructor of Oral Medicine in the Division of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He has also held appointments at several Harvard teaching hospitals in Boston.
In 2002, Dr. Costa became a founding partner of Hammond Pond Dental Group, where he practices four days per week.
Dr. Costa is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS). He participates in several study clubs, including the New England Masters Study Club and the Parkway-Norfolk Study Club. He has both lectured and volunteered at the Yankee Dental Congress, the annual Boston dental conference sponsored by the MDS.
In his spare time, Dr. Costa enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife, his two young daughters and his black labrador, Zoey. He is an avid Red Sox fan. He enjoys fitness (cardio and weight training), reading, computers, and watching sports. In particular, he loves watching his daughters’ basketball games and swim meets. He is also a pianist.
Cherie C. Bishop, DMD
Cherie Cahillane Bishop, D.M.D. was born and raised in Northampton, MA and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Saint Anselm College in 1990, and her Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1994.
Dr. Bishop then completed a one-year General Practice Residency program in Dentistry through Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. After her residency Dr. Bishop stayed on staff at the Brigham Dental Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an Associate Surgeon in the Division of Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry, and also as worked as an Associate in a private practice in Abington, MA. In 2002, Dr. Bishop became a founding partner of Hammond Pond Dental Group.
Dr. Bishop’s friendly, good-natured personality puts her patients at ease in the dental chair. She works to cultivate a long-term dental relationship with her patients where the focus is on the patient’s smile and oral health as a whole, not just treating a tooth at a time. She helps her patients to feel confident that their goal of a healthy smile to last a lifetime can be realized comfortably and affordably.
Dr. Bishop has taken numerous advanced courses through the prestigious Dawson Academy and the Seattle Institute for Advanced Dental Education. This coursework has extensively furthered Dr. Bishop’s education in the areas of Esthetics, Occlusion (including TMJ Dysfunction), Complex Treatment Planning, and Advanced Techniques and Materials. Dr. Bishop has a special interest in cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers and advanced whitening techniques. She also is highly skilled at implant restorations.
Dr. Bishop has remained very active with Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, serving as a member of the Tufts Dental Alumni Association Executive Board, as well as the Tufts M Club Fundraising Executive Committee. She has volunteered for many years for the Yankee Dental Congress, serving as a Core Commitee member for the past 3 years. She is an active member of the Massachusetts Dental Society, completing the MDS Leadership Institute in 2008, and serving as a Guest Board member on the MDS Board of Trustees for 2008-2009. Dr. Bishop also received the Massachusetts Dental Society’s “Volunteer Heroes Award” in 2009. She is an active member of the American Dental Association, the American Association of Women Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry. She has been inducted as a Fellow in the prestigious International College of Dentists as well as the Pierre Fauchard Academy, an International honor society of dentists.
In her spare time Dr. Bishop enjoys traveling, exercise, gardening and spending quality time with her husband Wayne, their daughter Hathaway, and their chocolate lab Charley.
Catherine Samaha, DMD
After earning her Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College with honors in 1976, Dr. Samaha went on to receive her Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1980.
Dr. Samaha made the move from Boston to New Hampshire to practice dentistry over 25 years ago, but is pleased to have returned to the Boston area to become a part of the team at Hammond Pond Dental Group.
She has 35 years of experience in dental care and has taken a particular interest in cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Samaha continues her education and hands-on training at the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies.
She enjoys doing full smile makeovers because of the impact they have on the lives of her patients. Her dentistry passions also include tooth colored restorations, ceramic crowns, implants, and veneers. She is even certified as a Premier Preferred Invisalign provider who has extensive experience straightening adult teeth without braces.
Dr. Samaha also has an excellent technique for making attractive and comfortable full and partial dentures if dentures become necessary. She goes to any length to make sure her patients are happy and comfortable with their results. She is quick to help relieve any nervousness and goes out of her way to meet all of the patient’s needs.
She grew up in Somerset, MA and currently resides in Brookline, MA. When she isn’t in the office she enjoys spending time with her three daughters, Emily, who is a graduate of Boston College and Tufts University School of Medicine, Sara, who is a graduate of Boston College and is a student at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and Madeline, who is a current student at Boston College.
She also enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family on Martha’s Vineyard in her free time.
Lauren Pitluck, DMD
Lauren went to Tufts University and then did a two year general practice residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York. She was the chief resident there during her second year.
Lauren joined Hammond Pond Dental Group in 2015. She went into dentistry because she wanted to help others the way her dentists had helped her maintain a healthy smile.
Lauren’s goal for her patients is to keep them healthy and comfortable, making them less anxious and afraid of being at the dentist.
Lauren is a member of the Massachusetts Dental Society and the Academy of General Dentistry. In her spare time, she loves to travel, eat out, do yoga, and cook.
Stephen Chafkin, DMD
Dr. Stephen Chafkin brings together a unique combination of gentle care with an extraordinary eye for aesthetic perfection. His knowledge and attention to detail result in the finest possible treatment, individualized to meet each patient’s specific goals and needs.
After receiving his Doctorate Degree from Tufts School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Chafkin studied and mentored with leading doctors in Cosmetic Dentistry, Temporomandibular Dysfunction, and Sleep Apnea throughout the United States. Dr. Chafkin, who is regarded as one of the leading Cosmetic Dentists in area, had the distinct honor of being elected President of the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2005.
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
- American Dental Society
Annie Amsalem, DDS, MScD
Periodontics, Implant Surgery
Annie M. Amsalem, D.D.S., M.Sc. was born in Africa, raised in Paris and received her dental degree from Ecole Garancière (Paris VII) with honors in 1975. Dr. Amsalem joined our staff in 2004. She completed her advanced postdoctoral training at the Boston University Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, where she received her specialty certificate in Periodontics and a Master of Science Degree with outstanding academic achievement in 1978.
Returning to Paris upon graduation, Dr. Amsalem practiced quite successfully in her private practice until 1991, when she made the decision to return to Boston. She joined Hammond Pond Dental Group in 2004, where she now practices full time.
Dr. Amsalem has published both in French and English and has participated in many continuing education seminars, both nationally and internationally. She places a great emphasis on keeping current in her profession. “Dr. Annie” as some patients refer to her, has a reputation for being a very gentle and compassionate clinician. She can tailor treatment plans to achieve each patient’s specific goals and address their treatment needs.
Dr. Amsalem is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology.
In her spare time, Dr. Amsalem enjoys international travel, hiking, climbing mountains, skiing and snow boarding. She is proud of the fact that she has now traveled to all seven continents. Dr. Amsalem also has an artistic side, as she designs and fabricates jewelry and large stained glass projects. She also enjoys spending time with her Jack Russell Terrier, Jackie.
Andrew Melcer, DMD
Dr. Andrew Melcer has been practicing dentistry for more than thirty years. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to complete his graduate program studies and dental residency at the New York Medical Center. In 1979 he received his masters in Public Health from Harvard University and later on completed a periodontal residency there.
Dr. Melcer ran Charles River Dental Group with his partner for 33 years, before stepping away from the practice. During his time there he was also a research associate at Forsyth Dental Center and a teacher at Harvard University in the periodontal department.
When Dr. Melcer isn’t practicing dentistry he is spending time with his wife of 35 years, his Scottish terrier, or hitting the golf course.
Rachele Luciano, DMD
Dr. Rachele Luciano is a Board Certified Endodontist who received her Doctorate of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from McGill University. Following dental school, she completed a 2 year General Practice Residency at Mount Sinai Hospital where she was Chief Resident. She then pursued her passion for endodontics and trained at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where she obtained her Specialty Certificate in Endodontics in 2011.
In addition to being a clinical instructor at the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine Endodontic Post-Graduate program, Dr. Luciano serves as a consultant and examiner for the national dental specialty examination board of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. She is also a member of the American Association of Endodontists, the American Board of Endodontics and the College of Diplomates.
Dr. Luciano has lectured at numerous endodontic study clubs and academic conferences, including the American Association of Endodontists Annual Meeting. She is fluent in English, French and Italian, enjoys traveling, cooking, cycling and spending time with her husband and family.
Our Staff Members
Our staff is characterized by three key principles: teamwork, hard work, and experience. And in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, these qualities are often hard to come by. With each visit, our patients will find the same, familiar, caring faces dedicated to making your dental experience the best it can be. And because we truly get to know our patients, taking their own concerns to heart, we develop an excellent working relationship with each one, providing personalized, professional care.