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Former Dientes Patient Daniel Uriostegui Starts His First Day as a Hygienist


(Santa Cruz, CA) As tough as 2020 has been, December 7th is a moment to celebrate for Dientes Community Dental Care as they welcome newly minted Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) Daniel Uriostegui, once a patient – now a hygienist. 


Daniel Uriostegui’s journey to becoming a hygienist began at age 10, with his first visit to Dientes. “I was nervous but remember being so impressed at how friendly everyone was and how they took their time to explain everything to me. I knew, then, that I wanted to do something in the dental field.”After graduating from Harbor High, Uriostegui ultimately went through Monterey Peninsula College’s (MPC) one-year dental assisting program. It was there that he learned about opportunities at Dientes, interning there until he graduated from MPC in 2016. This foot in the door enabled him to get his first job at Dientes as a part-time, temporary dental assistant. 


Dientes Chief Dental Officer Dr. Sepi Taghvaei comments, “Daniel’s determination helped him work his way up from an intern to a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) and now to hygienist.” Committed to his goal, Uriostegui took the extra steps to work at Dientes as an on-call RDA while going through the nearly three-year, full-time Cabrillo Dental Hygiene program.


Excited about his first day as a hygienist, RDH Daniel Uriostegui advises others, “If you are willing to sacrifice and work hard, there are amazing things you can accomplish. I even met my fiancée at Dientes! I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to grow.”


Dientes 16-year veteran employee and Watsonville Clinic Manager Yari Alvarado beams, “I remember Daniel coming into the clinic as a patient, so young … and look at him now! We are so proud!”


Dientes provides comprehensive, affordable dental care for more than 10,000 low-income patients a year. They accept interns in many capacities; for internship and career opportunities, go to


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Photo:  Dientes RDH Daniel Uriostegui is ready for his first hygiene patient.


Dientes Community Dental Care’s mission is to create lasting oral health for the underserved children and adults in Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities. 96% of Dientes’ patients live at or below the poverty level. Dientes accepts Medi-Cal and offers sliding scale fees for uninsured patients.


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