My mission in being a dentist is to change lives for the better; to bring love and kindness and goodness and gentleness and FUN, yes, even fun, to the lives of my patients and team.
When I was going into third grade in a brand new school, I finally learned to ride my bicycle, because I really wanted to ride my bike to the new school. Then one day, just before school began, I fell off my bike onto my two front teeth – my adult permanent teeth, which had just come in. My mom washed my little bloody face and took me to a children's dentist, who placed big, gray, stainless steel crowns on my two front teeth.
THIS WAS MY FIRST VISIT TO A DENTIST.
Although this dentist was very kind to me, he hurt me EVERY time I went to him. I forgave him because he was so kind and I could tell that he didn’t really mean to hurt me. Nonetheless, the damage was done. I now had very unattractive front teeth and a great deal of fear about going to the dentist.
When I was in seventh grade, my parents transferred us to a “grown-up’s dentist.” He was big, mean, and always smelled like coffee, cigarettes, or both. His wife ran the front office and she was an imposing presence with her ‘60’s big hair and her pale pink lips outlined in dark red. By this time in my life, that bicycle took me everywhere and now it took me to my dental appointments. I would ride to that office alone and sit with my hands clenched together, getting sweatier by the minute, not from the bike ride, but from the fear that got worse every second I sat and waited in the waiting room.
TO THIS DAY, I REMEMBER THE BUTTERFLIES IN MY STOMACH, AND SAYING OVER AND OVER IN MY HEAD, “PLEASE DON’T CALL MY NAME, PLEASE DON’T CALL MY NAME!”
And actually, they never did call MY name; they’d call “Christine!” They didn’t even get my name right! Then when the dentist would work on my front teeth, he’d literally jam the needle up somewhere under my nose, which caused me to tear involuntarily. Then, the dear man would yell at me to hold still and stop crying.
He had a beautiful, young assistant whom I adored. Her name was Marie. Marie was always kind to me. One day, as the dentist was trying to get the color for my new, plastic front teeth right, he yelled at Marie. I lay there thinking, “I could do this better than he is! And I’d be NICE, TOO!”
IT WAS ABOUT THAT TIME THAT I STARTED SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING BECOMING A DENTIST.
During my senior year in high school, my family moved to the Bay Area. So it was good-bye, old doctor, hello, Dr. Dalton. Dr. Dalton was one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever known. It was he who gave me my first set of porcelain front teeth, just in time for my senior pictures! And he NEVER hurt me! NOT ONCE!!! I was amazed and delighted. Dr. Dalton even took time to help me look into the requirements for dental school. What a difference his kindness made in my life. As he did dental work on my poor, beleaguered mouth, I thought, “If he could do this, maybe so could I!”
And eventually, I did just that. I went to dental school. I went into dental school with a dogged determination to never hurt my patients as far as it was in my power to do so. I learned EVERY technique on pain control and gentle anesthesia that I could. I even made up some techniques of my own so that people would not feel pain at my hands.
WHEN I BEGAN MY DENTAL PRACTICE, I DETERMINED THAT MY PRACTICE WOULD HELP CHANGE PEOPLE’S LIVES FOR THE BETTER, JUST AS DR. DALTON DID FOR ME.
I decided that I would assist people to go from sweaty-palmed, butterfly stomached, terrified patients into people who actually enjoyed going to the dentist. I decided I would establish true relationships with my patients, and hopefully I would never call them “Christine,” when their name was really “Christina.” Hopefully, I would always be nice to my staff and never yell at them. And I decided that I would NEVER, EVER hurt any person if there were anything I could do to prevent it.
To accomplish this, I have studied and practiced and invented many techniques on pain control and completely comfortable dentistry. For those who have been too traumatized by their own past experiences, I can provide conscious sedation and provide a way for them to drowse comfortably through their dental treatment.
Remember how I said I got stainless steel crowns on my brand new front teeth? And how I got these atrocious things just before I became “the new girl” in third grade? Uh-huh. Yep. Got made fun of all through elementary school and on into junior high. “What’s the matter with your teeth?” Or, “Your teeth look funny! What’s wrong with them?” Or, “What’d you do? Run into a wall?” I did get some white plastic affairs in seventh grade, but by today’s standards, these would have been bad even as temporaries.
I was so happy when I got my first set of porcelain crowns as a senior in high school! However, those crowns had that infamous “black line” at the edge and I still didn’t smile so that people could see my teeth.
I didn’t smile even in my wedding pictures—at least I didn’t show all of my teeth in my wedding pictures!!!
It wasn’t until I had been practicing dentistry for nearly twenty years that I finally found someone who did the right thing for my front teeth. Today you wouldn’t even guess that I had ever even hurt my front teeth or that anything had ever been done with them. And now I smile with all my teeth…and with all my heart! I know firsthand what a difference great teeth can make in your very soul.
Consequently, I have taken many classes in cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic techniques. I have had extensive education and experience in bonding and porcelain restorative techniques.
I am a fellow with the prestigious Doctors’ Organization for Conscious Sedation, and a fellow with the Center for Neural Occlusion--the only dentist in California certified to assess and treat temporomandibular joint disorder using the CNO method.
I have taken courses through Arrowhead Dental Seminars in occlusion and full-mouth reconstruction techniques and natural-looking, all-ceramic restorations. I have over ten years’ experience in full mouth reconstructive techniques.
I am certified in Invisalign, the clear alternative to conventional braces, and I am a Gold Plus Provider for Invisalign. I have taken many courses in creating computer-assisted porcelain restorations, which allows me to provide the finest in ceramic restorations available today, in durability, precision fit, and long-lasting beautiful esthetic.
I hold a certification through Great Lakes Education in dentistry for the Cerec machine, which produces computer-assisted dental restorations of the highest quality in an hour.
For the last 28 years, I have pushed myself--with education, technology, mentors, and team--to fulfill my promise that I would be a different kind of dentist – one who gently and skillfully helps the people who count on me.