Meet Our Team
Maria Eugenia Yazji, DDS, MS - Orthodontist
Dr. Maria Eugenia Yazji obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, graduating in the top 5% of her class. She then completed an additional two years of orthodontics specialty training, obtaining a Master of Science in Orthodontics degree (MS) from Northwestern University.
It was during this residency that Dr. Yazji learned the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development. She is trained in the latest techniques and the most modern treatment philosophies that emphasize the preservation of all teeth. In addition, Dr Yazji is committed to keeping up with the current research and advances in orthodontics by taking numerous continuing education courses and reviewing the contemporary literature.
But even before that, Dr. Yazji was exposed to the dental field. Both of her parents are general dentists. Naturally, Dr. Yazji has shaped her practice into a patient-friendly, family-oriented, progressive environment.
Dr. Yazji is affiliated with such organizations as the American Association of Orthodontists, Florida Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the World Federation of Orthodontics, the Southern Association of Orthodontics, and the American Lingual Orthodontic Association-International.
Dr. Yazji has also been named an Invisalign Super Elite Premier Provider, placing her in the top 1% of Invisalign doctors in North America. Each year, Align Technology, Inc. – the inventor of Invisalign, a clear, removable method for straightening teeth without wires and brackets, will award Super Elite Preferred Provider status to a select group of Invisalign practitioners in the U.S. and Canada. To qualify, doctors must demonstrate an exceptional level of Invisalign experience and meet Invisalign clinical education requirements. Align Technology launched the Invisalign Premier program in 2005, making Dr. Maria Yazji one of the program's top members.
"Super Elite Provider status indicates to our patients and to the community that not only are we among the most experienced Invisalign practices in the country, but we are also committed to staying current with the latest Invisalign treatment techniques," says Dr. Maria Yazji. "That leadership reflects the standard of care that patients can expect from our practice."
But straightening is only one of the techniques Dr. Yazji uses to create perfect smiles. “We look to restore lost volume to the face and lips by adding FDA-approved fillers,” she explains, “and we minimize wrinkles with Botox to showcase the smile, like a good frame around a picture.” Her orthodontic office also provides services for teeth whitening, gum lifting, and tooth reshaping. “When it comes to obtaining a great smile, every detail counts.”
Francisco M. Herrero, DMD, CAGS - Board Certified Orthodontist
Born and raised into a family of dentists in Puerto Rico, Dr. Herrero’s passion for beautiful smiles is what motivated him to work as an assistant for an orthodontist during his years of dental school, and to continue further studies to specialize in this amazing and rewarding field. Having had braces as a teenager himself, he was also able to experience first-hand how orthodontics can change lives and boost self-esteem and confidence.
Dr. Francisco M. Herrero received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (B.Sc.) and obtained his Dental Medicine Degree (D.M.D.) from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, where he graduated top of his class, Magna Cum Laude from both programs. Following dental school, he moved to New York City and completed a General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center, where he had the opportunity to treat medically compromised patients in a hospital setting and work with doctors with multiple specialties in varying fields.
In addition, it gave him the chance for total immersion into the life of a hospital, as well as learning to manage patients whose oral care is part of their total health. After working as a general dentist in New York City, Dr. Herrero moved to Connecticut, where he completed an Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research Fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Center, successfully publishing his research and focusing on orthodontics exclusively.
Afterwards, he moved down to Florida, where he received his Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies (C.A.G.S.) in Orthodontics from The Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, School of Orthodontics, in Jacksonville FL. Becoming an orthodontist was his lifelong dream. Dr. Herrero's commitment to excellence and the highest level of care motivated him to continue further rigorous studies and examinations to become a Board Certified Orthodontist by the American Board of Orthodontics.
Dr. Herrero loves helping people smile and is extremely proud to be a part of changing patients’ lives. His main goal is to provide you with the highest standard of care and the best treatment available in a friendly and fun environment. In his free time he enjoys working out, playing tennis, music, traveling, mixed martial arts, meeting new people, and spending time with his wife and family. Dr. Herrero has been creating beautiful smiles in South Florida for several years, and is very excited to join Dr. Yazji and her amazing team! Dr. Herrero looks forward to meeting you and helping you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
Claudia Ahumada - Head Orthodontic Assistant
Claudia received her training at Miami Technical Institute, and has been with Dr. Maria Yazji Orthodontics for 20 years. Claudia is a native of Chile and loves interacting with her patients. She enjoys learning new techniques that benefit our patients by helping them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime!
In her free time, Claudia enjoys going to Zumba class and listening to music. She loves swimming, cooking for her family, and taking walks with her dog, Luna. Claudia also volunteers her time to work with the children at her church.
Angie Almeida - New Patient Coordinator
Angie previously worked for Dr. Yazji for 15 years, and now we’re happy to welcome her back to Dr. Maria Yazji Orthodontics. Angie’s glad to be here, and loves every aspect of her job, from the initial exam to the time when her patients leave the office with a healthier smile. She makes it a point to let every patient know how important and special they are.
In her role as our New Patient Coordinator, she’ll work hard to find the financial plan that works best for you and allows you to enjoy the smile you have always wanted. Angie is from Puerto Rico, and lived in New Jersey for 6 years until moving to Miami almost 20 years ago. She has two wonderful grown sons, Krystian and Giancarlo.
Marie Cabriales - Practice Representative
Marie attended Miami-Dade College to study Dental/Orthodontics Expanded services. She is a native of Miami, and loves working together as a team to ensure that our patients have a smooth experience and achieve the smile they desire.
In her free time, Marie enjoys vacationing, boating, and fine dining.