Meet the Dental Staff

Our trained staff is keen to listen carefully to your needs and concerns, and we will work closely with you to achieve your goals. Our clinical team members are experienced and well trained, to not only assist Dr. Uyesugi and Dr. Liong but also to discuss various dental treatment options with you and treat many of your dental needs. Our administrative team is well informed and well versed in both health and insurance policies. All of our team members are able to answer your questions and are trained in making you feel very comfortable during your visit. Our team will treat you with our VIP service.


Saghi Watkins, RDHSaghi Watkins, RDH:

Saghi received her dental hygiene degree at Cabrillo College and loves working as a dental hygienist. She wants to create an optimal and healthy dental smile for her patients. She has two boys that keep her life at home busy and adventurous. She enjoys outdoor activities, swimming, and traveling with her husband.

Ingrid Younan, RDH:

Ingrid Younan, RDHIngrid first started as a dental assistant in 2001. After eight years in the dental field, she decided to become a dental hygienist and graduated from Diablo Valley College in 2010 with her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene. She loves connecting with her patient’s one and one. She loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys dancing and watching movies.





Teri Gutierrez, RDH:

Teri graduated from the Foothill College Dental Hygiene program in 1990 and has practiced in a general practice setting for 28 years. Prior to becoming a dental hygienist, she was an RDA for 13, giving her many years in the profession of dentistry. In 1993, she began her education in dental lasers with a Standard Proficiency and received her Advanced Proficiency in 1995. She also received her UCSF/ALD Laser Educator Status in 2000. Teri is also a past Hygienist’s Representative to the Board of Directors of the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), a past chair of the Hygienist’s Committee, functioned as an examiner and speaker for the ALD at their annual conferences, has published many articles on lasers in periodontal therapy and given many presentations on Lasers in Dental Hygiene. She traveled throughout the United States providing in office, chair side, hands-on training, and Intermediate Dental Laser Courses for dental hygienists through her business Soft Tissue Laser Training. In 2010, she retired from her laser career to go back into clinical chair side practice and loves every minute of it. She has 2 granddaughters to spoil and have fun with and is an avid reader of over 40 books a year.

Tina Trancoso, RDH:

Tina has been in the dental industry since 2001. After completing the dental assisting program at San Jose City College, she worked for five years as a registered dental assistant. She then returned to school to continue her education, proudly obtaining her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene in 2008 from Cabrillo Community College in Aptos.  When not working she loves being a mother to her three children and doing family activities.


Rachel Seiler, RDHRachel Seiler, RDH:

Rachel first realized her love of dentistry at a young age during a hygiene visit at Dr. Uyesugi’s office. She attended Foothill College in Los Altos Hills for both Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene and has been a part of the Uyesugi Team ever since. She loves interacting with her patients and making a positive difference in their dental health. At home, Rachel loves reading with her children and taking them to the park. She and her husband enjoy golfing together and visiting wineries.




Monika Masihi, RDH:

Monika’s passion for dentistry started when she was in high school. She received her Bachelor in Science from Patten University. After graduating, she became a dental assistant for four years but she knew she could do more. For that reason, Monika started showing more of an interest in dental hygiene. She earned her oral hygiene diploma from San Joaquin Valley College in 2014. She loves educating and motivating her patients to have better dental and health care. “Seeing a smile on my patient’s face at the end of the appointment is a big reward for me.” When she’s not working, she loves outdoor activities, traveling, swimming, painting, and spending time with friends and family.



Maria Lopez, RDA-EF:

Maria has been working in the dental field for over twenty years. Eight of those years, she has worked with the Uyesugi Dental team. She received her training for a Registered Dental Assistant at San Jose City College. In 2013, she returned to University of Pacific in San Francisco and earned her license for Registered Dental Assistant Extended Function. She now has the ability to place resin fillings and crowns. Maria enjoys assisting in creating beautiful healthy smiles for her patients. Outside of work, Maria has three sons that she loves spending time with. She also loves traveling, especially to Hawaii and is currently training for her first marathon in San Francisco.

Sara Gallego, RDA-EF

Sara Gallego, RDA-EF:

Sara began her dental career in 1998 while attending Central County Occupational Center and furthered her education at UCSF, where she achieved her Extended Functions credentials. The dental field is Sara’s true passion and she’s extremely grateful for every opportunity she has been blessed with. Sara’s ultimate goal is to become a dentist. She happily resides in the city of San Jose where she is raising her son, Davius. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with family, dancing, shopping, baking & cooking, and playing poker. However the most important leisure activity for Sara is to motivate our youth and current students in the wonderful field of dentistry.

Maria Duicu, RDA:

Maria is originally from Romania and came to the US; specifically to California with her family in 1995. She started her dental professional in 2002 with a general practice in Los Gatos and then became an RDA in 2005. While being very friendly and likeable, she enjoys delivering quality patient care. Maria is a dedicated mother to her two grown sons and enjoying spending time with her family outdoors; she loves to hike, camp, ski, and travel.




Delijah Alvarado, RDA:

Delijah is a Registered Dental Assistant. She attended Silicon Valley Career Technical Education during high school to begin her career in the dental field. She enjoys making friendships with patients, and most of all making them feel comfortable in the chair! A main goal of Delijah’s is to become a Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions. She enjoys to be outdoors, spending time with her son and family.

Front Office:

Amanda Bates, Treatment Coordinator & Marketing:

Amanda joined the Uyesugi Team in 2010 after being in the corporate and start-up bubble of Silicon Valley. She is a native to the Willow Glen area and attended Presentation High School where she is actively on the Young Alumnae Board. She brings a Business Marketing degree from Santa Clara University where she graduated in 2008. Go Broncos! The best part of her job is listening to patients’ goals and concerns in order to create a healthy, beautiful smile. She enjoys cooking, visiting the coast – in particular Carmel, traveling with her husband, and enjoying time with her family and friends.


Claire Buckelew, Treatment Coordinator, RDH:

Claire has been working in the dental field for over 35 years. She has worked with Dr. Uyesugi for over 19 years – educating patients and providing them with the tools they need for a beautiful and healthy smile. After achieving her Bachelor of Science Degree from San Jose State University, she earned her degree in Dental Hygiene from Northwestern University Dental School. She practiced as a Registered Dental Hygiene for twenty-eight years. She recently transitioned to a Treatment Coordinator at Uyesugi Dental. Claire enjoys spending time with family and friends, experimenting with interior design and vacationing anywhere near the ocean. Cruising has become a favorite as well… especially Disney with her grandkids.

Clara Soriano, Treatment Coordinator:

Clara Soriano has been working in the dental field since 2006. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her young child. Staying active is important to her and she practices yoga and loves to go hiking. She enjoys seeing new places, learning new things, and taking on anything that life challenges her with.

Dana Thorsrud, Treatment Coordinator:Dana Thorsrud – Treatment Coordinator

Dana is a San Jose native, and an alumna of Presentation High School and San Francisco State University. She still enjoys day trips to San Francisco regularly, and you might find her at the beach, checking out a new art exhibit, catching some live music, or sampling the local ice cream! Dana brings an orthodontic background to the office, and enjoys meeting new people as well as building relationships with everyone who visits the office. She is thrilled to be part of the awesome Uyesugi Dental Team!

Ilene Uyesugi – Office Manager:

Ilene grew up in the Shaver Lake / Fresno area on the family sheep ranch.  She Graduated from Fresno State University, majoring in Agricultural Business emphasis in International business in 1988.  She moved to San Francisco that same year to work in commodity sales.  She later moved into optical sales.  Ilene joined the Uyesugi Dental team 20 years ago.  She currently manages OSHA, HIPAA, and accounting for Uyesugi Dental.  Ilene enjoys traveling with her husband and time with her two kids.



For more information about our practice or to schedule a visit with Dr. Uyesugi or Dr. Liong, contact our office today. We look forward to meeting you!

In San Jose CA: Uyesugi Dental Phone Number 408-279-4337                   Schedule An Appointment