For Dr. Chris Allen Cerceo, DDS, the idea of using his artistic talents in a healing profession in which he could interact with people was a large part of the appeal of dentistry. “I have the “hands” to deliver consistent, aesthetic results,” he says, adding that he loves working with each patient, and being able to take away pain and bestow healthy smiles is the best part of his job.
Originally from Stockton, California, Dr. Cerceo earned a Bachelors in Biological Science before pursuing his DDS at the University of the Pacific Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry. He is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, and earned a Masters in the American College of Dental Sedation (American Dental Society of Anesthesiology). He has been practicing dentistry for 37 years, and now lives on South Shore Lake Tahoe.
Dr. Cerceo spends his time away from the dental office with his wife and partner in the dental practice, Jeanie Kaufman, and their children, Mac and Riana. He supports CDA Cares, Rotary, and Camp Kesem, enjoys mountain biking on Pony Express Trail, and would like to spend a year RVing and biking at every National Park in the continental U.S.
Dr. Jeanie Kaufman, DDS, says her inspiration to enter the dental field stemmed from an interest in health and a desire to help people. Her compassion and concern for her patients and their future make her uniquely qualified to treat both children and adolescents, and she says the smiles on her patient’s’ faces are what make it all worthwhile.
A native of Ridgecrest, California, Dr. Kaufman earned her Bachelor’s in biology and child development, and followed up with her DDS from the Pacific Arthur Degoni School of Dentistry. She has been in practice for 37 years, and has seen the cost of care rising sharply over time, without matching increases in dental coverage. “Now more than ever, patients must assume responsibility for their dental health,” she says, adding “My job as a dentist is to help in any way I can!”
When she isn’t creating healthy young smiles, Dr. Kaufman can be found spending time with her children and her husband, partner Dr. Chris Cerceo, in the couple’s South Shore Lake Tahoe Home. She volunteers with numerous charities in the community, enjoys outdoor recreation including mountain biking and being out on the lake, and says she would love to spend a year visiting National Parks and biking across the country.
Registered Dental Assistant Alex says the job is all about teamwork. “My daily tasks consist of stocking, assisting, taking radiographs, charting, making sure the dentists have what they need, and basically making sure the back of the office runs smoothly”, she says.
Born and bred in Tahoe, Alex was in an ROP program in high school, which is where she fell in love with dentistry. She says the patients she has grown to know, love, and build solid relationships with are why she’s stayed in the profession for 10 years.
When she’s not assisting dentists in creating happy smiles, Alex can be found relaxing in her time away from the office “I like peace and quiet!” she laughs. Given a year off to do anything or go anywhere, Alex says she would like to travel with her husband to a third world country and do volunteer work.
Front Desk Administrator Melody says her job is to “wear all the hats”. Her duties include everything to do with the front office, including answering phones, scheduling appointments, verifying insurance, handing billing, and making financial arrangements.
Melody graduated from Bryman’s School for Medical and Dental Assistants in the first graduating class of RDA’s, and has been working in the dental industry for 40 years. “I wanted a career that didn’t require working weekends or holidays, but being part of a close knit practice family ended up being the best part of this job!”
Melody was raised in California’s Central valley, but South Shore Lake Tahoe has been her homes since 1977. “I came for a carefree vacation, and never left!” she laughs. When she’s not making sure the practice runs smoothly, Melody can be found spending time with her adult children out in a boat on the beautiful lake she calls home.
Dental Assistant Sarahi says going into the dental profession is practice for dental school. “I love having the opportunity to learn, practice, and learn some more,” she says of her job assisting the dentists.
Sarahi attended Lake Tahoe Community College, and has been working in the dental field for four years. “I love learning new techniques,” she says. “Dentistry is something I’ve always been interested in!”
When she’s not helping the dentists with patients, Sarahi enjoys supporting the animal rescues, which she is very passionate about. She lives in South Lake Tahoe.
Receptionist Michelle says attending to the front desk at Tahoe Family Dentists is perfect for a people person like herself. “I love working with the dentists and staff here, and it’s important for me to be able to make every patient feel comfortable and welcome,” she says.
Michelle grew up in Modesto, CA, but has called South Lake Tahoe home for 22 years. She obtained an associate’s degree and chose to go into the dental field because she had always found the profession interesting. “I think many people assume going to the dentist will be an unpleasant experience, and that’s not the case,” she comments, adding that her mother took her to the dentist every 6 months as a child and she always had a great checkup.
When she isn’t answering phones, greeting patients, or filing, Michelle can be found spending time with her two sons, watching movies and relaxing, or hanging out with friends. She supports UNICEF for their work protecting children’s rights, and says given a year to do anything she wanted she’d make a point of visiting Paris and Italy with her two sons.
For Registered Dental Hygienist Michele, a passion for dentistry was sparked at the young age of 13 when she completed a science report on periodontal diseases. Her freshman year of high school included a career research project on dental hygiene, and from that point Michele knew she wanted to become a dental hygienist and help make a positive difference in patients’ lives. Today Michele fulfills her goal by providing dental cleanings, radiographs, periodontal checks, and patient education.
Michele grew up in the foothills of California, and currently lives in Minden with her husband and their 3 children. She holds dual Associate’s Degrees in Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene, and continues her education with hours of study each year to stay abreast fo updated technology and techniques in her field. “Everyone at the practice is committed to the patient,” she says. “I love how our practice is a home away from home!”
Michele and her husband have been happily married for over a decade, and the couple has two daughters and a son. She enjoys swimming, skiing, and camping outdoors with her family and friends, and is heavily involved with her children’s school and sports activities. Gifted with a year to do anything, Michele would enjoy traveling to different countries to experience new climates and cultures with her husband and children.