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Meet Our Team

Our tight-knit staff here at Purple Plum Dentistry is passionate about meeting patients’ needs and exceeding their expectations as well. From the front desk to the treatment operatory, they’ll be answering questions and helping you feel comfortable every step of way. Their friendly faces will be sure to leave you smiling! Keep reading below to learn more about each team member:

Michelle Barrera

Office Manager

Office manager Michelle Barrera

Michelle is originally from Puertro Rico, and she’s been working in dentistry since 1995. She has experience in just about every aspect of the field, from assisting to consulting. Her organizational skills and extensive knowledge of dentistry, the insurance system, and treatment planning make her a great fit for her position! She loves to help people in every way she can.

Outside of work, Michelle and her husband Marvin have two grown daughters – Karla is working in law while Karen is attending VCU and working towards becoming a dentist herself! In her free time, she enjoys hiking, dancing, bike riding, cooking, drawing, and singing. In the past, she’s also traveled to third world countries on dental missions in order to serve the less fortunate.

Mia Gagarin

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienist Mia Gagarin

Mia has been working in the dental field for over eight years now. She is currently attending the dental hygiene program at NOVA Medical Campus at Old Dominion University. She is trained in local anesthesia and laser debridement. She enjoys providing proper oral hygiene education to patients in need and being able to make a big positive difference for their oral health.

Mia comes from a big and unique family, many of whom just recently came to the United States from the Philippines. Her hobbies outside of work include volunteering, traveling, eating, and trying lots of different cuisines. Her uncle by marriage also owns a famous Italian restaurant in Georgetown called Filomena, and she sometimes gets to meet celebrities there!

Mariela Alvallero

Dental Assistant

Dental assistant Mariela Alvallero

Originally from El Salvador, Mariela first joined the Purple Plum team around five years ago, and she has well over a decade of experience in the dental world overall. Her favorite part of the job is being able to meet such diverse people every day! She is certified in CPR and radiography.

Mariela is married and has one son. Whenever she isn’t busy at work, she spends her free time exercising, cooking, and being with family. She speaks fluent Spanish in addition to English.


Claudiu Buck

Dental Assistant

Dental assistant Caludiu Buck

Claudiu received his education from Titu Maiorescu University in Bucharest, Romania. He also completed post-graduate training in pediatric dentistry from the Università degli Studi di Milano. Today, he has been working in the oral healthcare field for almost a decade. He loves that each day of this type of work presents its own set of unique joys and challenges!

Claudiu's hobbies include traveling, keeping up with sports, and reading. He actually speaks five languages – Italian, Romanian, French, Moldavian, and English. Claudiu lives in Washington D.C. with his husband, Ravi, and their dog, Toby.

 

Karla Hernandez

Patient Coordinator

Patient coordinator Karla Hernandez

Karla is originally from right here in Virginia. Her passion lies in law and she is currently studying for her L-sat. Karla's favorite part of working at Purple Plum is helping people.

Karla is an avid book lover. She enjoys walks with her pet Chewy and loves history.