326 South Melrose Drive
Suite 101
Vista, CA 92081





Meet the Tri-City Dental Excellence Team

The Tri-City Dental Excellence team is composed of caring, experienced dental professionals who use only the most advanced technologies, materials and procedures and whose primary focus is on comfortable, health-centered dentistry. At our community-focused practice, your comfort and satisfaction come first. We look forward to meeting you soon and developing a relationship with you to build the bridge toward long-term trust and successful dental care. The Tri-City Dental Excellence team invites you to see why our patients can’t stop smiling!


Dr. Arash Panah


Dr. Panah grew up in Southern California and attended California State University Long Beach, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He pursued a doctoral degree in dentistry and graduated top of his class at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He was the class Valedictorian.
Dr. Panah received numerous awards, including: Fixed Prosthodontics Award, Branemark/Cantor Humanitarian Award (Implant Dentistry), Behavioral Dentistry Award, Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) honorary fraternity. Dr. Panah was on the Dean’s List for every trimester throughout his doctoral degree at USC, where he is currently a clinical assistant professor.
Dr. Panah is committed to delivering the latest advancements in oral health care for his patients by completing hundreds of hours of continuing education in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry, implant, oral surgery, endodontics and general dentistry.


Our Staff


Susie Franco – Office Manager

Hi, my name is Susie and I’ve been in the dental field for about nine years. Working as a dental assistant/front desk, I have gained lots of hands-on experience and learned new things about myself as my career goes on. It brings a warm feeling to my heart and a joyful smile to my face when to be able to make someone smile for the first time or help them to appreciate or enhance the smile they already have. The best part is to see families come in and watch them grow throughout the years, knowing them on a personal, first-name basis. In my downtime I enjoy to go on hikes, visiting the beach as much as possible, and bike riding to new locations where I can taste new foods and experience new scenery.

Registered Dental Hygienists


Andrea Palmer, RDH

Hi there, my name is Andrea Palmer and I am a dental hygienist at Tri-City Dental. I was born and raised in Southern California and have spent most of my time living in West LA and San Diego. Upon graduating high school I received a volleyball scholarship to play at Dixie State University in St. George, UT where I was a middle blocker. After my volleyball days, I moved to Los Angeles where I attended dental assistant school and worked as DA for a short time before deciding to further my education and earn my degree in dental hygiene. I attended Concord College Dental Hygiene program and graduated in 2012. I am passionate about my career and thoroughly enjoy meeting each patient with a gentle touch and a friendly attitude. When I’m not cleaning teeth, I enjoy going wine tasting, hikes with my two dogs, the beach, cooking, camping and the many music festivals I attend throughout the year.


Heather Schramm, RDH

I was born and raised in North County and will always be a California girl at heart. But with a longtime passion for the dental industry, in 2011 I ventured to Klamath Falls, Oregon where I studied dental hygiene at the Oregon Institute of Technology. In 2014, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene, moved back to Southern California and have been working in the field ever since. When I’m not working as a hygienist, you’ll likely find me baking, crafting, bowling in league with my grandpa, camping with my husband Steve, and spending time with my family and friends.

Dental Assistants


Arianna Arroyo, DA

Hi, I am Ariana and I am a long-time Californian. I have lived in San Diego County all my life. I love living in Vista, CA and I hope to call it home for many more years to come. I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter that keeps my husband and I busy. I love to run, cook, eat, and spend time outdoors being active with my family and friends. I graduated from Brightwood College in 2015 and received my Dental Assistant (DA) Certificate. I started working for Dr. Panah and Dr. Smith in 2016 and hope to stay for a lifetime. Everyone is so nice and patient, and they’ve really helped me grow as a dental assistant. I truly enjoy helping patients feel better about their dental care by providing a calm atmosphere and getting to know them on a personal level.


Jessica Ruiz, RDA

Hi, my name is Jessica, and I’m a Dental Assistant here at Tri-City Dental. I graduated from Brightwood College in Vista with highest honors, I was hired at Tri-City Dental right out of my externship program through Brightwood and have been in the field since 2014. The thing that I enjoy the most about dentistry is helping patients regain their confidence with a beautiful smile. In my free time I enjoy exploring new places, listening to all types of music, and spending time with friends and family.

Front Desk


Maddie Hirst, Front Desk

Hi, my name is Maddie and I am new to the San Diego area and to the dental field. I have a background in the health field, studying nutritional science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and working as a hospital volunteer at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. I enjoy working in the dental field because every day is a learning experience and no two patients are the same, I love being able to help patients in any way that I can to bring a smile to their face. I joined the Tri-City Dental team in September of 2016 and have felt like part of the family ever since. In my free time I enjoy going to the farmers market, taking hikes, and cooking new foods with my husband, Ben.

We Look Forward to Meeting You Soon!