Editor’s note: Lookout worked with students at Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s Diamond Technology Institute charter high school through the 2021-22 school year. As a demonstration project, supported by Santa Cruz County Credit Union, Lookout provided the school’s students and teachers complete access to Lookout’s local news and information, which has been used in several classes. This spring, Lookout staffers worked with Diamond Technology juniors, who interviewed Watsonville community members to create their own version of Lookout’s ongoing Unsung Santa Cruz series. Today through Thursday, we feature the students’ contributions. For more information on our expanding student engagement programs, both in high schools and at UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College, check out our Student Access page.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read the word “community”? Maybe places like school, churches, hospitals or even your own neighborhood. Well, would you have ever thought of a dental office making an impact in the community, specifically the Watsonville community?
Dr. Deepak Sachdev, a third-generation cosmetic dentist and oral surgeon, said himself, “Bringing awareness of dental health to the community means a lot to me.” Sachdev is the founder and CEO of one of Watsonville’s few dental assisting programs. He’s been in the dental profession for over 40 years, so opening a program has been a dream of his for a while. Through a lot of hard work guiding the people of Watsonville to a growing career that is also in high demand, he has now made this a reality.
Throughout his career, Dr. Sachdev observes that “this is a profession in which you put a smile on people’s face.” One of his reasons for becoming a dentist is because they are able to fix people’s pain almost instantly in one visit. He sees them walk in with pain, then walk out with a bright smile on their face, something he considers as the highlight of his days in the office.
As children, dentists tend to be imagined as emotionless and rude, but this isn’t the case with Dr. Sachdev. “I was more into music … people call me the singing dentist,” Sachdev said. During high school, he was interested in music. Dentistry eventually became his passion, following in the footsteps of a family of dentists. But his love of music has found a way into his office, and as a result, most of his patients receive calming music while their teeth are being cleaned.
As the founder and CEO of the dental assisting program, Sachdev offers scholarships to many individuals interested in the program itself. “Helping the future generation in receiving the education for a fast growing career is very rewarding to me,” he said.
Dr. Sachdev cares about the people in the community immensely and tries to help in any way possible. By attending an orientation, you can even receive a $1,000 scholarship to help with your tuition if enrolled into the program. He knows many people deal with financial problems, so this is just another way in which he likes to give back to the community of Watsonville.
When we think about community, it is important to think about the important people that make a major impact in the community. One of those unsung heroes here in Watsonville is cosmetic dentist and oral surgeon, Dr. Deepak Sachdev.