Joseph Tagliarini, DMD
I get to practice my field in the best little city in the world. Second only to my excitement for great dentistry is my enthusiasm for New Haven. I enjoy some of the most interesting patients in Connecticut. I love my neighborhood in the Elm City’s Lincoln-Bradley area (where I’ve been fortunate enough to take ownership of New Haven’s first modernist home in the International style—I’m a little proud, OK?). Whether it’s eating sushi at Miso or picking up omelet supplies from Nica’s on a Saturday morning, I truly relish living and working here. It’s the perfect blend of small town warmth and intimacy with big city sophistication.
Born in New York City in 1961, the son of Sicilian immigrants (my sisters were born in Italy), I grew up in a similar place, in a way – a friendly place where people really got to know each other in neighborhoods. One-on-one interaction was standard. Still, the glitz of Manhattan was always nearby, too.
My first brush with New Haven was attending Yale (BA, 1983), where I majored in architecture. Ironically, what I enjoyed most about architecture was making models and working with my hands – things you get to do often in dentistry, of course. With its emphasis on structure, strength, and beauty, dental work could be called architecture for the mouth.
In the 1980s, I spent a couple years doing “the corporate thing” (real estate asset management). Not for me; I wasn’t quite satisfied. Maybe it’s the Brooklyn in me, but I felt I missed working with people close-up. I eventually figured out that my great love was dentistry, and I attended dental school in Connecticut. I remember running into one of my former Yale professors a few years ago, telling him I was slightly ashamed at giving up architecture. He said something to me I’ve never forgotten, something which revolutionized my way of thinking about my job. “Well, dentistry is architecture for the mouth.” Indeed, it is. For me, the penny dropped that day.
What else is there to tell?
Spending time with my family is important. I have three wonderful sons and a lovely wife, and we relish our moments together, even if it’s just watching serial TV, streaming videos, or cooking together.
I sang in the Yale Camerata. Once in a while, I’ve been known to belt out a bar or two in the office. At Yale, as an undergrad, I also sang in Glee Club.
I’m also a big supporter of local arts. You can see one contemporary quilt I commissioned especially for my office in the waiting area. You may have noticed, too, those beautiful, strange photographs on our walls as you walk in the practice. They’re actually close-ups of histology slides of teeth turned into abstract art! I’m also a bit of a “gadget guy” and a frequent reader of Wired magazine. I like to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
But in the end, what matters to me most—more than art, more than my state-of-the-art Apple devices—are people. Smart dentistry involves artistry, architecture, technology and skill—but without caring, and even a sense of fun, it’s nothing. Being able to help my patients in New Haven has been my enduring joy. Yes, I may just be the luckiest dentist in the world.
The ever-welcoming Christal is usually the first contact you’ll have with the practice. She and the other front desk staff answer phones, manage appointments, and help with insurance and billing questions.
For an appointment with the Comprehensive Dental Health team, call (203) 624-5515.
Comprehensive Dental Health’s Dental Assistants
Besides being highly trained and experienced, Dorothy and Desiree are a lot of fun. Cheerful, sensitive and great listeners, they’re the professionals who work chair-side to Dr. Tagliarini, bringing the extra set of hands required in “four-handed dentistry.” Some of their most visible tasks are dealing with tongue and cheek management, isolation issues, and suctioning with the air/water syringe. They are also experts at communicating and making patients feel comfortable.
Comprehensive Dental Health’s Hygienists
For your routine cleanings, you’ll normally visit one of our skilled hygienists, Barbara, Pat, Myrna and Lily. From scaling and root planning to general oral hygiene, they’ll do their utmost to get your pearly whites sparkling.