Datevig Tegeleci, RDH, BSDH, MA, invites us to step into her operatory in the Los Angeles area
The reception area for Dental Design Studio City.
When Datevig Tegeleci arrived at Dental Design Studio City in 2017, she was pleasantly surprised by the reception from the employer dentists—Drs. Taline Kotchounian and Sako Karakozian. The California dentists sought her input on new hygiene services provided at the dental practice in the northern Los Angeles suburb.
“They value my opinion and my voice, and treat me as a respected member of their team,” said Tegeleci. “What is great about our office is that our team actually works as a team. We all value each other and try to help each other out as much as we can. Our bosses respect us and treat us like family members, which makes us feel appreciated and in turn, gives us the motivation to provide the best for our patients. Our team currently consists of two dentists, two dental assistants, an office manager, a benefits coordinator, and me.”
Tegeleci also appreciated the support since her academic career started with the aspiration to be a dentist. She received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of California at Irvine in 2009. She wanted to be a more “competitive applicant” for dental school, so she earned a master’s in biomedical sciences in 2011 from Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ.
She added, though, “In 2015, I received my bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and went on to become a dental hygienist, and I have never looked back!”
She is very proud of her operatory at Dental Design Studio City. In addition to the sleek design of the dental office, patient comfort is a high priority. Tegeleci said her operatory has access to Pandora and Netflix so “patients can zone out and listen to music or watch their favorite show and calm their nerves.” In addition, she has a vintage Nintendo game, Super Mario Brothers in the corner. She said, “Patients love it when they come in to the operatory, they get nostalgic, and it brings a smile to their faces. Plus, they can actually play it while they wait for the doctor to come in for the exam.”
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She said a “big change” for her operatory in her first year at the dental office was the addition of a Picasso (AMD Lasers) dental laser for scaling and root planning procedures. “It’s impacted my operatory because, as the hygienist, I’m the main person that uses this new piece of technology in our office, and I’m confident that it’s making an even bigger impact on my patients’ health,” she said.
Tegeleci’s operatory also features an intraoral camera. She said, “I love using it to show patients calculus, stain, abfractions, fractures, etc., in their teeth that helps them see what I’m talking about as I provide care. I find that they really appreciate it and like this extra step.”
She added that transparency with patients “from beginning to end” was very important to the dental professionals at Dental Design Studio City. The usage of the intraoral camera and other equipment is part of a strategy to use layman’s terminology when treatment planning. Tegeleci said, “They appreciate our honesty, and they can feel that we always want the best for them. Exceptional patient care is what drives our practice, and it shows in each of the staff members.”
The dental hygiene operatory for Datevig Tegeleci, RDH. Note the Nintendo game in at left, and the painting on the wall is on loan from a local artist, Gino Perez.
For oral hygiene instruction, Tegeleci prefers to dispense Oral-B Glide floss. She said, “I find that patients are happy with it because it doesn’t fray or break when they’re flossing, which I know frustrates a lot of patients. It also helps get in between very tight contacts, so patients are more likely to floss instead of struggling with traditional floss and not flossing at all.” She has also recently incorporated an iodine irrigation with patients. She said the Dentsply Cavitron unit in her operatory is successful in making patients “feel extra clean after I use it.”
From an occupational health perspective, Tegeleci touts her Orascoptic magnification loupes. “It helps keep me sitting in a proper ergonomic position while allowing me to see my working area perfectly. I don’t have to bend over in uncomfortable positions or fumble with the overhead light.”
On a personal note, Tegeleci has been married since June 2015 to her husband, Shant. The couple have two rescued dogs—Penny, a terrier mix, and Bailey, an Australian Shepherd mix.
“In my spare time, I love to travel to new cities and countries with my husband and friends—Iceland and Tokyo are next on our list—and spending time with family is also important to me. I love to stay as active as I can, and my favorite type of exercise is indoor cycling classes.”