Meet The Team

Meet Dr. Theresa L. Cutler - Dentist

Dr Cutler is a Michigan native, a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2003 and has moved to sunny California in 2003. She completed a residency at the Loma Linda VA Hospital and then taught dental students at Loma Linda University for two years, while practicing private practice. (For more details see curriculum vitae below).

Her interests and hobbies include traveling and has been to Hong Kong, Philippines, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, London, Paris, Greece, Brazil and all over the US. She also loves sports, is an avid snow skier and loves sailing and beach volleyball.

Dr Cutler has owned TLC Escondido Dental since Dr Weigel retired in 2006. She moved the office from Hickory Street to a larger space on the corner of East Pennsylvania and Ceder in Escondido in 2013. She loves working with people and enjoys seeing generations of families at TLC. “My favorite part of dentistry, besides making beautiful smiles, is enjoying watching families grow and becoming apart of the heart of Escondido.”

Dr Cutler married in September of 2007 in Lake Tahoe. She has two beautiful boys named Blake Hayzen (after Dr Cutler’s Great Grandfather) and Gavin Michael (after his Dad and Grandfather). The boys are 15mo apart and are now 5 and 7 years old. They love playing soccer and are in swim. They have a family Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that is 11 and they boys are in love with their dog Tate.

“I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful and amazing family at home and a second family at TLC Escondido Dental. We are a close knit group and I love the comradery and love we share at work. It makes coming to the dentist a fun experience for everyone. We have many patients that are very nervous to come to the dentist. Once they come for a few visits to TLC they make comments on how much fun we are and how nice it is to come to an office that is a relaxed atmosphere from the front to the back. It is the most rewarding job there is.”

Meet Dr. Zeynep Barakat - Associate Dentist

Originally from Turkey, I left sunny Abu Dhabi to attend Boston College in Massachussetts where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. I later attended dental school at Boston University School of Dental Medicine in Boston where I earned my DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree.

Following dental school, I completed a residency in general dentistry at Dr. Cutler’s alma mater- University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and began my dental career in New Hampshire working as an associate for 8 years. With tireless passion for learning, and a determined dedication to improving patient care, I aim to accomplish more than the minimum education requirements. Based on that firm belief, I achieved fellowship status in the Academy of General Dentistry and am currently on the Mastership track to become a Master (the highest honor in the Academy of General Dentistry). In addition, I earned a fellowship at the renowned Misch International Implant Institute- a solid background in the placement and restoration of dental implants.

My desire for a year round active lifestyle outdoors led me to leave the harsh winters of New England behind for beautiful California. When I am not doing dentistry, I am running, playing tennis, swimming, surfing and traveling. I was recently accepted as a blogger for the “The Daily Grind”, a publication in the Academy of General Dentistry.

I look forward to meeting you, Dr Barakat DMD, FAGD

Meet Tricia - Office Manager

My name is Tricia and I have been managing the business of dentistry since 1999. I joined team TLC Escondido Dental in the beginning of 2014. This is the greatest dental practice I have ever had the privilege of leading. I am very easy to get along with and I am really good at what I do! I am a natural leader and I put a lot of love into my work. My experience as a dental practice manager and background as a practice management consultant really benefits the dentists and enables them to focus on you!

I am a San Diego native! My faith in God is my springboard for life. When I am not working I can be found saving the planet, watching documentaries, enjoying live music, surfing, paddle boarding, riding my beach cruiser, and endlessly searching for the best vegan eats in San Diego! We have the privilege of living in incredibly beautiful city where others come to vacation. I make it a point to take full advantage of the paradise that we are blessed to call home!

Contact at

Meet Angie - Patient Coordinator

Hello, my name is Angie and I was born and raised in a small suburb of St.Louis, MO. I moved to San Diego in 1981 and have lived in Escondido since 1993.

I have been in the dental field for over 30 years and with TLC Escondido Dental since its inception. One of the best aspects of working in the front office is getting to know our wonderful patients and enjoying the stories they share with me. Working with Dr. Cutler and her wonderful team have made it easy for me to come to the office every day.

Contact at

Meet Debby - Office Administrator

Hello, my name is Debby and I moved to Poway in 1972 from the San Fernando Valley area with my parents and sisters. I have been in the dental field for 38 years, first as a RDA for 10 years and the currently as a front office administrator. I have been with Dr. Cutler for 9 years. I really have enjoy being part of the TLC team and love what I do!
I have two wonderful children, a son who is 28 and my daughter is 32. I love pets and have two dachshund dogs, Slinky and Bianca. We love to go for walks on Mission Bay.

Contact at

Meet Melendy - RDA Assistant

I have been a RDA for 20 yrs. and love working with patients on a daily basis. I graduated from Simi Valley Dental Assisting Program in 1996.
I have a 20 yr old daughter that is attending UEI Dental Assisting Program and graduates this December. I have been with Dr Cutler for over 8 years and love being a part of the TLC Escondido Dental family. I enjoy hiking and camping and spending time with my family and friends.

Meet Kris - RDH Hygienist

I enjoy taking care of smiles so much here at TLC Escondido Dental with an amazing team! It’s been lots of fun seeing patients who I’d first met when they were young kids themselves for their very first dental visits now heading off to college, getting married and starting families of their own, now seeing their kids here at our office. I’ve been a part of this wonderful family practice since 1995 so I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know 3 and 4 generations of families!
I received my dental hygiene education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I grew up here in Escondido as well as my husband Mike and we were thrilled to come back and raise our two kids here. When I’m not at the office, I enjoy helping my husband with his optometry practice also here in Escondido, teaching essential oils classes and spending time with the family God has blessed me with!

Meet Marisa - RDH Hygienist

I have had the pleasure of working as a hygienist for Dr. Cutler for over 3 years. In that time have enjoyed getting to know many of the patients here.

I received my dental hygiene education at Southwestern College in San Diego. I was born and raised in Escondido and am now raising my own family here! I enjoy playing soccer, trips to the lake, beach camping, and spending time with my 3 young children and my husband.

Meet Sharrah - RDH Hygienist

Hi my name is Sharrah and I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist for 6 years. I studied dental hygiene at San Joaquin Valley College. I really enjoy what I do and am proud to be part of such a great team!

I am married and have two wonderful kids, a boy(4) and little girl(2). We enjoy doing all kinds of outdoor activities, hiking, camping, the desert, the lake, the beach, and anything kid friendly!

Meet Ariana RDH - RDH Hygienist

Hello, my name is Ariana! As an Escondido resident I find it rewarding and thoroughly enjoy taking care of patients within the vast community I have grown up around. I began my career in the dental field as a pediatric Registered Dental Assistant in 2007 and graduated from dental hygiene school at San Joaquin Valley College in 2012. I am very obliged to state that I have been a member of TLC since June 2014 and look forward to spending many more years with our outstanding team.

In my free time I enjoy going to the beach, concerts, Padres games, traveling, camping, and spending time with loved ones who are close by. You can also find me at the grill or trying out a new restaurant for a tasty meal. I look forward to providing you with the utmost care!