Tama Martello, Director of Hygiene Operations at Bright Direction Dental, Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs of 2021 Profile

Tama Martello
Director of Hygiene Operations at Bright Direction Dental

Tama Martello, Director of Hygiene Operations at Bright Direction Dental, Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs of 2021

Tama Martello, Director of Hygiene Operations at Bright Direction Dental (BDD), has been immersed in the world of dentistry her entire life. Growing up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh where her father was a General Dentist, she worked at the front desk and as a dental assistant before pursuing a career in dental hygiene. Her father instilled the importance of creating trusting, loyal and committed relationships with all patients and employees. Since then, she has spent the last 35 years growing and blossoming in her field, serving as a Director of Operations, Director of Hygiene and as a consultant in some of the best practices across the country. In December of 2019 she accepted a position as Director of Operations with BDD, an emerging DSO (Dental Support Organization) based in Chicago, IL. The company has rapidly grown and now has offices in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. Driven by their mission of Deeper Relationships, Superior Support and Brighter Smiles, BDD focuses on developing meaningful, lasting relationships by providing superior support in the areas of recruitment, human resources, payroll, IT, revenue cycle management, career development through continuing education credits, and operational support. The organization’s unique mission and values, positive culture, and industry leading support team has resulted in new office growth driven primarily from referrals within the BDD community.

“Bright Direction Dental is a leading dental support organization that partners with general dentists in the Midwest. We provide non-clinical supporting services, allowing you and your staff to spend more quality time on patient care.”

As BDD continued to grow, Tama Martello’s passion for holistic hygiene care began to emerge. Centered around quality over quantity, she created a hygiene program to help treat patients comprehensively with lifetime care. Everything else follows if you treat the patient on their specific needs and wants. One of the most important factors in treating patients starts with understanding their medical and dental history. These two key items tell a story about the patient, their needs, and how to prevent or manage dental disease. As a practicing hygienist for 25 years, Tama is inseparable from her periodontal probe, intra-oral camera, and Velscope. These tools help her identify periodontal disease, help patients “see to believe,” and aid in identification of any oral cancer. Dentistry is constantly changing, and it is important to remain on top of technology and patient care. Tama loves this part of her job and strives to make patient care exceptional in all practices. It is always about the “plus one,” meaning delivery of care that patients will boast about with their families, friends, and neighbors. Educating each individual patient on the oral/systemic link to how dental hygiene affects them and their entire body is a large component of her philosophy. Tama has been in the shoes of hygienists when a DSO has affiliated with a practice and has seen firsthand how other groups sometimes drift away from putting the patient first. She trains with years of experience, empathy, excitement, encouragement, and always wants to be approachable for all hygienists and doctors. The best compliment came from a seasoned hygienist that Tama trained: “I was not looking forward to your training, but you have excited me, and you have given me the confidence again to talk to my patients about the importance of treating Periodontal Disease. I feel like I can truly treat my patients and you have given me the assistance and the time to make it happen.”

In early 2020 as Tama was developing her hygiene program, COVID-19 took over and put dentistry on hold. At BDD, all operational changes were made based on guidelines from the CDC, dental associations, and local public health recommendations at each practice. Tama navigated when offices should close and how emergency care could be safely delivered. She worked relentlessly on putting processes and protocols in place to protect the doctors, team members, and their patients. Tama ensured each office had enough PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to last them several months and placed air purifiers in every operatory, front desk area, waiting room, and gathering place. Making sure teammates, Doctors, and patients felt safe was a priority that brought comfort to all and led to the organization serving more patients than before the pandemic.

Tama is driven by passion because becoming a hygienist did not come easy for her. She suffered with seizures until the age of 31. “I started having seizures around 5 years old and it became my life. I did not go to college right out of high school because of my health. I was supposed to have brain surgery and decided against it because of the potential risk it could have had on my quality of life. As this was going on, I watched my three siblings carry on and go to college to pursue their dreams. I slowly started taking a few classes, and then realized my desire to get my degree became bigger than the fear of my disability. I pushed myself and I am eternally grateful I did. It gave me the confidence that I was missing. Working in dentistry and taking care of patients to the best of my ability became my true passion. I started receiving phone calls from other people with health issues that asked me how I got through it. After my struggles, I learned the key to overcoming my health issues was not to pretend they don’t exist, but to face them head on. What helped me the most was knowing I was inspiring others to overcome their own health obstacles. Which now ties into my love for training, coaching, and motivating fellow colleagues.”

Whether you are considering affiliation to shed your administrative burden, retire, or grow your practice, partnering with Bright Direction Dental is your answer. Our support team is a passionate group with decades of multi-site healthcare experience. Our partner Dentists consists of top clinical professionals who are leading the way in transformative oral healthcare. Together, we are a team committed to advancing oral healthcare through deeper relationships and superior support, which creates brighter smiles for all. IE


Bright Direction Dental


Tama Martello
Director of Hygiene Operations


We’re a dentist-led organization, and every decision we make is with you and your staff in mind. At Bright Direction Dental, we strive to give you peace of mind knowing that your patients, your staff, and your legacy are cared for with the utmost respect.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs