Our Dental Team
Meet our amazing dentists here at Blue Back Dental. Together our four dentists offer top quality care for all of our patients. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist.
Theodore K. Wu, DMD, MAGD
Dr. Wu, originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, received his Bachelors degree at the University of California at San Diego and his Dental degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. He then completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at UCONN Health Center, during which time he grew fond of West Hartford.
Dr. Wu has been practicing dentistry for over 15 years. He is an active member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Connecticut State Dental Association, Hartford Dental Society, New England Mastertrack Study Club, Farmington Valley Study Club, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. His professional interests emphasize Cosmetic, Family, Implant dentistry and Adult Orthodontics. Dr. Wu received his Masters status with the Academy of General Dentistry in June 2015, awarded to less than 1% of all dentists. Additionally, Dr. Wu is honored to be selected as a leading provider for Six Month Smiles, designated to highly experienced dentists who represent Six Month Smiles Cosmetic Orthodontics. Dr. Wu and his wife Noyem have three boys, Andy, David and Sammy. Outside of dentistry, Dr. Wu enjoys coaching youth ice hockey and skiing.
Elizabeth Dolan Holzhauer, DMD
Dr. Holzhauer grew up in Wethersfield, CT where she graduated as salutatorian from Wethersfield High School. She went on to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and was inducted into the OKU National Dental Honor Society.
During dental school Dr. Holzhauer received many awards and scholarships for academic and clinical excellence including the Dr. Sidney Rafal Memorial Scholarship, UConn Alumni Scholarship Award, Dental Dean Merit Scholar Award, and Opinsky Scholarship Award. Upon graduation she was the recipient of the Academy of General Dentistry Award for Excellence in General Dentistry. After graduating from dental school, she furthered her dental education by completing a General Practice Residency at Hartford Hospital. She received the Dr. Dick D'Alessandro Award for clinical and professional excellence upon completion of her residency.
Dr. Holzhauer has been voted a Top Dentist in Connecticut Magazine every year since 2015 as well as a Top Dentist in Hartford Magazine in 2019. Dr. Holzhauer is interested in all aspects of patient care with a focus on preventative and cosmetic dentistry. She has dedicated herself to educating her patients on their oral condition and preventative measures to improve their oral health. Dr. Holzhauer has committed to continuing her education throughout her career. She is an active member in multiple local professional study clubs, pursues advanced training through SPEAR education annually, and has trained extensively with Invisalign. She is a certified Healthy Start provider dedicated to helping her pediatric patients sleep and breathe better. Dr. Holzhauer is also a member of the clinical faculty at UConn School of Dental Medicine serving as a mentor for dental students. Dr. Holzhauer is a member of the American Dental Association, Connecticut State Dental Association, Hartford Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Clear Aligners and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
She currently resides in Farmington with her husband, Dr. Tim Holzhauer, and their two sons Everett and Beau.
Timothy Holzhauer, DMD
Dr. Timothy Holzhauer is a native of Newington, CT. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Connecticut and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He then received his Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Holzhauer completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Dr. Holzhauer has been voted a Top Dentist in Connecticut Magazine every year since 2015. He believes in the importance of continuing education and strives to continually improve his expertise. He has extensive training with SPEAR education, Invisalign, and Sleep Apnea. He is also a certified Healthy Start provider and is dedicated to helping his pediatric patients sleep and breathe better. Dr. Holzhauer is a member of the clinical faculty at UConn School of Dental Medicine serving as a mentor for dental students. He is a member in the American Dental Association, Connecticut State Dental Association, Hartford Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Clear Aligners, and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Holzhauer is dedicated to providing the best possible care for his patients.
Dr. Holzhauer enjoys spending his spare time with his wife, Dr. Liz Holzhauer, and their boys Everett and Beau. Look for him playing guitar in his rock cover band, Man Hands!
Steven L. Meltzer, DMD, Periodontist
Dr. Meltzer attended the University of Connecticut in Storrs from 1970-1974. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and was accepted for membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honor fraternity. He received his DMD Degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, (located in Farmington) in 1978. Dr. Meltzer attended a residency in Periodontics from 1978-1980 at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine where he received his certification in Periodontology. He served as Chief Resident from 1979-1980.
In private practice since 1980, Dr. Meltzer continues to attend dental education courses given by the American Academy of Periodontology in all phases of periodontal and implant treatment. Dr. Meltzer has attended courses and is certified in the Straumann ITI, Nobel Biocare, and 3I implant systems. He has also attended courses in advanced bone regeneration techniques.
Dr. Meltzer is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, the American Dental Association, the Connecticut State Dental Association, the Hartford Dental Society, and the Connecticut Society of Periodontists. Dr. Meltzer lives in Farmington with his wife Susan. He has three children. His daughter Sari has studied computer science and works in Atlanta. His son Patrick and daughter Kristina work in business related fields.
For the past twenty years Dr. Meltzer has been an active member of the First Company Governor’s Horse Guards, State of Connecticut. He presently holds the rank of Major. When not relaxing with his wife and yellow lab, he can be found riding horses through the trails of Avon.
Wendy Austin, DMD
Dr. Austin grew up in Reno, Nevada and attended college at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Following college, she spent two years doing vaccine research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston before pursing dentistry.
Dr. Austin graduated cum laude with her dental degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. After dental school, Dr. Austin continued her education by completing a general practice residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Dr. Austin is a firm believer in educating her patients on their oral health and encourages an open dialogue about their dental care. She enjoys practicing as a general dentist where she can build lasting relationships with her patients.
Dr. Austin is an active member of the American Dental Association, Connecticut State Dental Association, and Hartford Dental Society. She is also Invisalign certified.
Out of the office, Dr. Austin is a patchwork quilter and a voracious reader. She resides in West Hartford where you will find her walking the neighborhood with her husband Matt, son Elliot, and their Pembroke Welsh corgi Zoey.
Taryn H. Yost, DDS, MBA
Dr. Taryn Yost is originally from small town Athens, Ohio but has spent many years living overseas in Europe and Southeast Asia. She attended her hometown college, Ohio University for both her Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration. After working in corporate marketing for several years, she decided to explore the wonderful world of dentistry. Dr. Yost earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from The Ohio State University with academic honors.
While in dental school, she was an active member in many academic and volunteer groups including the Association of Women Dentists and Give Kids a Smile. After dental school, she set her heart on moving to the East Coast and to advance her dental expertise. Dr. Yost enrolled in the University of Connecticut Advanced Education in General Dentistry.
Dr. Yost is passionate about providing comprehensive care to patients with a focus on reducing dental anxieties and creating smiles that best suit each patient's individual needs. Dr. Yost also loves learning and furthering her dental education. She keeps up with the latest dental advancements by participating in American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and Connecticut State Dental Association.
Outside the dental office, Dr. Yost enjoys reading and traveling with her husband and friends. Now that Dr. Yost, her husband and their 4 fur-kids call West Hartford home, she is excited to try all the new restaurants and hiking trails that Connecticut has to offer.
Dr. Michael Kang, Periodontist
Dr. Michael Kang is a periodontist who has received board certification in Periodontics and Dental Implant Surgery. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his dental degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago.
After an AEGD residency at NYU Langone Hospital, he completed a three-year specialty residency in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery at Columbia University.
Dr. Kang strives to build personal relationships with his patients and provide them with the best quality of care. He invests hundreds of hours in continuing education and training to provide the most minimally invasive techniques for his patients, including laser periodontal therapy (LANAP) and the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique.
Dr. Kang was born in New York City and grew up in Chicago. He currently lives in Wallingford with his wife and two children.
Dr. James Olsen, Endo
Dr. Olsen is originally from Utah, and completed his undergraduate degree from Utah State University, graduating Cum Laude with a bachelors in Exercise Science and minors in Portuguese and Chemistry. He then attended dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he participated in numerous service opportunities such as Mission of Mercy projects and providing care at remote outreach clinics.
After dental School, Dr. Olsen spent five years practicing in community health centers in Utah and Montana. During this time, he developed an interest in the area of endodontics and preserving the natural dentition through root canal therapy and associated procedures, where he has since focused his continuing education and training.
Following his time in Utah, Dr. Olsen along with his wife and three kids—two girls and one boy—decided they wanted to return to the east coast and are happy to call the Hartford area home.
Our Hygiene Team takes care of you during each visit!
Michele, Lead Hygienist
Michele earned her Dental Hygiene degree from Westbrook College in Portland, Maine in 1989. Michele has been with the practice for 27 years. Along with being certified in local anesthesia, Michele continues to further her education by focusing on new periodontal products and techniques for her patients’ optimal health. While Michele has many patients that she has been seeing for many years, she always enjoys meeting new ones.
Jenn, Dental Hygienist
Jenn graduated from the Fones School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Bridgeport in May of 2013 with a Bachelors of Science degree. She was awarded the Colgate star award which acknowledges students who have shown excellence and commitment to the hygiene profession. She is certified in delivering local anesthesia. Her daily goal is to provide optimal and compassionate care for all her patients.
Prior to becoming a dental hygienist Jenn was a dental assistant for 9 years where her passion for the dental field began. She is happy to be a part of such a dedicated and committed team here at Blue Back Dental. Jenn currently resides in Naugatuck, with her husband Steven, sons Nolan and Blake, and their cat Bella.
Lucy, Dental Hygienist
Lucy graduated from the Lincoln College of New England’s Dental Hygiene Program in 2012 and joined Blue Back Dental’s Hygiene Team in 2017. Along with being certified in local anesthesia administration, she frequently attends a variety of continuing education courses to stay current on the latest developments in the dental world.
She is proud to be associated with the high quality of care provided at Blue Back Dental, and loves seeing people who can’t stop smiling after reaching their dental care goals.
Lucy is married and has two boys, Fation and Rion. She enjoys the beach, hiking, going for rides, and being close to family, and she also has a fine art degree and loves to paint in her spare time.
Rachel, Dental Hygienist
Rachel earned her BS from University of New Haven in Spring 2015, and her MS in Healthcare Administration in December 2017. She works at Blue Back Dental as both a hygienist as well as the team’s continuing education coordinator. Rachel has previously held positions as secretary for the American Dental Hygienist's Association in Connecticut, as well as working as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Haven. Currently, Rachel loves being able to educate her patients to help them have the best oral hygiene they can! In Rachel's free time she loves spending her time with her husband, rock climbing, running, and gardening.
Ruth, Dental Hygienist
Ruth graduated from the Tunxis Community College Dental Hygiene Program in 2019 where she was an active member of the Student Dental Hygienists Association and Phi Theta Kappa Academic Honor Society. She enjoys connecting with and learning from her peers through continued involvement in the American Dental Hygienists Association's Connecticut chapter. Ruth also holds a certification in local anesthesia administration.
Dental hygiene has been a fascinating and rewarding career change where Ruth enjoys helping patients look and feel their best while assisting in whole body as well as oral health.
Ruth enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and cat, Lynel.
Julia, Dental Hygienist
Julia is excited to be a dental hygienist at Blue Back Dental because the team works together to provide the best care for our patients. Julia has been a dental hygienist for 13 years and is currently working as an adjunct faculty at Tunxis Community College and Goodwin University as a clinical instructor.
She has also taught various classes, including local anesthesia and oral pathology. She takes continuing education classes to stay on top of the newest research in the dental field.
Julia earned her Dental Hygiene degree from Tunxis Community College before receiving her BS from the University of Connecticut in Spring 2010. She then received a MS in Health Sciences in November 2018.
In Julia’s spare time she loves hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends, including her three children, Lillian, Leah, and Brady.
Renee, Dental Hygienist
Renee received her degree in Dental Hygiene from Mount Ida College in 2011 where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society. In addition to being local anesthesia certified, Renee stays active with a variety of continuing education courses but enjoys most those focusing on periodontal therapy. Her goal is to help her patients achieve all of their dental health goals. When not cleaning teeth, Renee enjoys touring the CT wine trail, knitting, and spending time with her husband, Brandon, and dog, Baloo.
Bobbi, Dental Hygienist
Bobbi graduated from Tunxis Community College Dental Hygiene Program in 2006 where she was an active member of the Student Dental Hygienist Association and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Academic Honor Society.
Throughout her 16 years of practicing hygiene Bobbi has taken many continuing education courses, including being certified in local anesthesia, and has volunteered for various dental missions.
Bobbi's passion is connecting with her patients, easing their dental anxieties, and helping them to achieve their individual dental health needs.
When not at work, Bobbi loves spending time with her family, going for walks, hikes, and watching Stranger Things.
Colleen, Dental Hygienist
Colleen grew up in CT, went to UConn and studied biology and diagnostic genetics, and went to Tunxis for hygiene school. She did competitive Irish step dancing for 17 years.
Colleen loves to ski, hike, travel, and be outdoors. She also participates in local markets/events and sells personalized gifts and home decor that she makes, everything from wreaths to candles to t-shirts!
Dental Assistant Team
Our Dental Assistants assist our Hygienists and Doctors with patient care. They are an integral part of our office.
Kelsey, Clinical Manager
Kelsey has been with Blue Back Dental since 2015 and has a total of 10 years in the dental field. Thanks to Kelsey’s years of experience in the dental field, you can feel free to ask her any and all questions you have about your treatment. She is a graduate of Porter and Chester Institute. Kelsey has continued to excel and grow within the dental field and our practice. That has led her to become our Clinical Manager.
During Kelsey’s free time she loves being with her family and her dog Bodie. She enjoys hiking or hanging out lakeside in New Hampshire!
Donna, Dental Assistant
Donna has spent over 25 years in dental offices throughout the region. In her 25 years in the industry Donna has become proficient in all aspects of dentistry, including orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. Always looking to continue her education, Donna regularly attends professional development seminars. She prides herself in patient care and comfort.
Donna has been a part of the Blue Back Dental team for 3 years now and enjoys working in a modern office that has allowed her to use all her dental skills.
Donna is a hardworking mother of two teenage children. She enjoys gardening, cooking and traveling. Her favorite destination is Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
Bridget, Dental Assistant
Bridget has been happily assisting in the dental field for 4 years. She enjoys assisting Dr. Meltzer, our periodontist, with in depth periodontal procedures. Bridget takes pride in ensuring each patient feels comfortable and at ease and often hears patients say that their dental phobias are a thing of the past since coming to Blue Back Dental.
Bridge has 2 rescue dogs, Bane and Marli, and she loves to take them on hikes all over Connecticut in her free time. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
Cece, Dental Assistant
Cece is a graduate of American Institute class of 2015. She is a CDA and has been assisting for 5 years now. Cece loves helping patients learn more about oral health. She likes to travel and spend time with loved ones.
Katiria, Dental Assistant
Katiria has very happily assisted chair side for more than 16 years. She loves being able to help patients, better their smiles, improve their oral health, and putting a smile on their faces.
She says that being part of the Blue Back Dental family has given her an appreciation for working in a modern office, using new equipment, and combining her dental skills. She hopes to retire here.
She is a proud mom of three handsome military young men. In her free time Katiria enjoys motorcycle riding and boxing.
Kai, Dental Assistant
Kai has been assisting for three years after attending Essex Center Technology and has received her CDA. She enjoys working with patients and helping people with their dental care.
Kai is new to Connecticut and loves hiking, exploring new places, and spending time with family and friends. Kai is a proud mother of two fur babies. In her free time you can find her with her dogs or watching vintage movies.
Kelsea, Dental Assistant
Kelsea is a graduate from American Institute and began her Dental Assisting career in Oral Surgery. After 3 years, Kelsea made the switch to General Dentistry. She continues to learn new ways to help patients take care of their oral health and truly love their smile.
Through Kelsea’s time with the Blue Back Dental team, her favorite part of the job is helping patients enjoy their visit to our office. She is dedicated to continuing her education so that she can provide the best care possible while educating patients on oral health.
Kelsea has 2 adorable cats so feel free to ask about her fur babies. She also loves nature, traveling, and art.
Our Administrative Team helps with insurance, finance and other questions. They can also answer general questions and help schedule appointments.
Kirsten, Practice Manager
Kirsten has more than 25 years in the dental field, starting with Dental Assistant before moving to Financial Coordinator and now Practice Administrator. Kirsten is the founder and former president of Connecticut Practice Manager Solutions, an office manager study group. She is also a member of the CSDA continuing education committee.
Kirsten has earned a certification in medical and dental billing and her fellowship through AADOM, the American Association of Office Managers. Her continued studies enable Kirsten to keep the practice informed on the latest industry trends.
Kirsten is married and has two children, Nina and Joseph. She enjoys spending time at the shore with her family and running road races in her free time.
Cindy, Patient Coordinator
Cindy has brought to our practice her 25 years’ experience in Dental
Administration. With her experience and knowledge, she is always
happy to assist you with any treatment planning, scheduling or insurance
Cindy had served honorably in the U. S. Army, where she met
her husband, and now has two children. In her spare time, she
trains in martial arts, enjoys competing and is looking forward
to achieving her black belt!
Jennifer, Front Desk Lead
Jennifer has been with Blue Back Dental since 2016 with over 16 years of dental front office experience, with a vast knowledge of dental billing, insurance and account management. Jennifer will be happy to assist you with your insurance plans, scheduling, and financial questions.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her loving husband, and going on adventures with their daughter, son, and family dog, Kensi. She enjoys training for local road races, hiking, and traveling.
Julie, Patient Coordinator
Julie is a graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University and has been working in the dental field for over 15 years. Some of the best parts of her days are helping you at the front desk and getting to know you. In her spare time she is a professional violinist and Celtic fiddler. She also enjoys dancing, hiking, biking, rafting, wonderful friendships, and the love of her Tibetan Spaniel.
Tracey, Dental Assistant, CDA, Patient Coordinator
Tracey is a graduate of Porter and Chester Institute where she finished with a 4.0 grade point average. She has been with Blue Back Dental since 2011! What she loves most about dental assisting is being able to help people every day and make them as happy as they can be during their visit. Since Tracey has completed Six Month Smiles®, she is more than happy to assist you with any questions about orthodontics and cosmetic braces! In addition to being a certified dental assistant, she works with our front desk team where she can help answer some of your clinical questions.
Tracey is married and has two daughters. She enjoys photography, cooking, and traveling to Disney with her family.
Laritza, Patient Coordinator
Originally from Cuba and raised in Connecticut, Laritza was a military spouse moving around the country. During that time, she earned a dental assistant certification in 2018. After her husband separated from the military they moved back to Connecticut where she has been working in the dental field for the past 2 years. Outside of work, she has two kids that keep her busy most of the day. She likes to spend her time doing family activities like hiking, playing board games, and watching movies.
Brooke, Patient Coordinator
Brooke is excited to be a part of the Blue Back Dental team and further her career in the dental field. With two years of experience, Brooke has already learned so much but is eager to continue learning more every day. She enjoys working at the front desk and doing everything possible to ensure that patients have a great experience. Brooke looks forward to meeting you soon! When she is not working, she enjoys concerts, traveling and spending time with her four (yes, four!) dogs.
Catherine, Patient Coordinator
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Connecticut, Catherine brings over 10 years of experience to the dental field. She is compassionate and makes sure every patient is treated with the utmost respect. She is married with two children and has two dogs, a beagle and a shih-tzu. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, photography, competing in pageants and volunteering in her community.
Jenna, Patient Coordinator
Jenna graduated from UConn in 2019 as a communication major. Her primary background is in higher education. Jenna is excited to make a change in her life path and join our team! She lives in Burlington and has worked from home for about two years.