Dr. Janelle Bacino came to Pacific Beach fresh out of dental school and liked it so much she never left.
Thirty years later, she’s celebrating the 30th anniversary of her office at 4747 Mission Blvd.
After having graduated the previous year from Loma Linda School of Dentistry, Bacino started out wondering where to begin her dental career. After finding her PB location, she started advertising in the Reader and on Vons’ receipts (back then PB had two).
“I opened my doors 30 years ago this month without a patient, I just hung a shingle out,” said Bacino. “I just fell in love with PB and never wanted to leave. I offered a deal on cleaning on the backs of Vons’ receipts to get people in the door. I have some patients now that have been with me for 28 years. I have people who travel from all over, Italy, Japan, to see me.”
Eventually, Janelle married Dr. John Joseph Bacino, a La Mesa dentist today, who started out as her employee and they have two children, Sophia and Dominic. In the intervening years, she has built her clientele up to a busy full-time office with seven employees.
Bacino said her dental philosophy is simple.
“I just try to help you,” she said. “I treat people the way I would want to be treated. People tell me, ‘I don’t floss as much as I should.’ I tell them, ‘Flossing is for your benefit.’ I’ve had patients I’ve had to tell they’re in danger of having gum disease, and they have trouble accepting it. Then I tell them, ‘But we can get you back (out of danger).’”
The PB dentist really enjoys the diversity of her work and clientele. “I have clients from 4 years old to 95 years old,” she said.
What Bacino likes most about dentistry is “improving smiles.” She added she’s not hesitant about referring some work, like root canals, out to specialists.
Bacino planned a big celebration in the newly remodeled office and courtyard of her office building, even bigger and better than her 10-year celebration, which was catered back then by Sammy at Taco Surf. She was planning on acknowledging many of the patients that have been with her over 25 years. However, the pandemic interfered.
“We may try a 31-year anniversary,” she joked.
Janelle pointed out dentistry is important from a psychological, as well as a physical, perspective.
“The first two things you notice about someone are their teeth and smiles and their eyes,” she said. “Dentistry is not only important to their overall life but to their self-confidence. For the past 30 years, I’ve been able to provide care for people and make their world a little better, one person at a time.”