By Donn Swaby


Beautiful Teeth and Beautiful Art: A Match Made in Studio City

Perhaps none are as thankful for the many opportunities that the United States has to offer than those who bravely come here from other countries, believing that the American Dream is indeed an attainable one. Such is the case with Izabella Kolodner, a dentist practicing in Studio City, alongside her daughter, Tatiana, who is also a dentist. Over the years they have built up a roster of regular patients through word of mouth, because of their warm friendly service. I can certainly attest to this, being a patient of theirs myself. Along with being friendly and warm, both women are also dedicated professionals who truly have a passion for helping people take care of their teeth.

Originally born in the former Soviet Union in1947, Izabella, hoped to be some type of doctor ever since she was a child. She studied dentistry at the Dental School of Leningrad and started practicing in 1973, but it wasn’t until 1988 that her and Tatiana emigrated to the U.S. to begin their new life in Los Angeles.

Before Izabella could practice in California, she had to pass a set of state board exams and a set of national board exams. She studied for twenty-one months straight and became the only person at that time to pass all of her tests the first time and one after the other. Izabella recalls that period with a smile, "I couldn't even sleep, there was so much studying to be done. My America was four walls and a window for all that time."

Tatiana had also started practicing dentistry, although that was by no means her only love. When I'd first visited their office years ago I was amazed by the beautiful paintings hanging in the lobby and even more amazed to learn that Tatiana had done them all.

Tatiana began painting and drawing at the age of five with the support and encouragement of her mother. At thirteen she attended a four-year art school in the evenings and later in the U.S. took art classes at various schools including the Otis Parsons Design School. However, after much thought and many conversations with Izabella, Tatiana decided she would follow in her mother's footsteps and become a dentist. "It's in the field of medicine and I get to work with my hands," she says. "It's the best of both worlds."

The paintings in the lobby that Tatiana has created in the last five years suggest that she never really gave her art up. "I don't paint as much as I'd like, " she began. "But I still do it. It's a way for me to relieve stress. It's a release... an escape.” When asked how she likes working with her mother, Tatiana replied, " When you work with someone who has twenty more years of experience over you it's awesome. You can learn so much."

Izabella and Tatiana both agree their patients mean very much to them, "I like when the patients share their personal lives with me, " says Izabella. "After five years my patients see me not as an immigrant doctor but just as a doctor."

Extraordinary achievements, extraordinary women and their sincere desire to deliver a high level of professionalism in a unique environment of beautiful decor accompanied with warm friendly service has made them livers of the American Dream.

Izabella Kolodner Doctor of Dentistry
Tatiana Kolodner, Doctor of Dentistry
12215 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA

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© Melt Magazine 2005