Tamara Baca


Why did you become a dentist?

I always wanted to do medicine, so I took a job at a nursing home, and it was difficult to see someone so sick, and then to see them die was even harder. After not knowing what to do when in college, I took a job as a dental assistant float for a private practice in New Mexico, I was hooked and have been working in the mouth ever since.

What do you enjoy or find most fulfilling about caring for patients?

Getting them out of pain and then helping them care for their teeth. As a hygienist, I believe we are best suited to help an individual gain overall health.

What attracted you to a community health center for your practice?

Being in dental for 35+ years I have noticed the inequity of dental for people throughout the United States and the world. I got my master’s degree in public health to start my journey toward making a change. I joined the Arizona Oral Health Coalition to make a difference and am the current Chair for the coalition. I knew that working both in a community health center and volunteering for the coalition I could be a force to make changes.

Do you have hobbies or a way you like to spend your time away from work?

Riding my bike, cooking and glamping in my travel trailer.

Do you have a favorite book, movie or TV show?

Book: Destiny of a Republic, by Candice Millard.
Movie: Farris Buellers’ day off.
TV show: The Big Bang Theory-Because I’m a geek at heart.