In 2015, the orthodontic residency program at the USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry had a current class comprised of all women – the first since the program was established in 1934.
About 17 percent of active, practicing members of the American Association of Orthodontics are women, and in 2013, the American Association of Orthodontics elected their first female president. It’s clear the future of orthodontics is shifting toward gender equality.
Dr. Kristen Hann, of Hann Orthodontics in Brentwood, is a leader in orthodontics, providing her patients with cutting-edge technology and giving them healthy, beautiful smiles.
“Dentistry and orthodontics have been an old-boys club for so long, but things have finally started to shift,” said Hann.
Hann grew up working in her father’s orthodontics office every summer and Christmas break, from the age of 8 until she entered her orthodontic residency. However, it wasn’t until she went on a medical and dental mission trip to Costa Rica, when she was in college, that her decision to pursue dentistry was solidified.
“We were able to assist with dental procedures and teach oral hygiene to communities that had no access to a doctor or dentist,” said Hall. “I was drawn back to orthodontics because of the amazing changes that happen to the teeth and jaws during treatment, and I always enjoyed working with children and teenagers.”
Once Hann set her goal, it took nine years of college, dental school and orthodontic residency to become an orthodontist, which is two years faster than most, thanks to Hann’s enrollment in accelerated programs and planning ahead. After three years of working on her undergraduate and pre-dental courses at the University of San Diego, she was accepted into an accelerated program at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. There, she received her degree in applied sciences and her doctorate of dental surgery degree after three years of dental school. That was followed with a one-year orthodontic internship and a two-year residency program at the University of Pennsylvania.
“The most difficult part was juggling academics while treating patients and trying to fit sleeping and eating into our busy schedules,” said Hann. “As difficult as all of the training was, it really taught me time management, self discipline and how to multitask. I was able to accomplish my goal of becoming an orthodontist before turning 30.”
After graduating from her orthodontic residency in June 2015, Hann took over her father’s orthodontic practice in Brentwood, although he still works with her in the office. Hann utilizes the latest technology, including an intraoral scanner to both ease her patient’s anxiety and help them achieve their dream smiles.
“From the very beginning, they treated us like family,” said Brentwood resident Beverly Montez, whose two daughters are patients of Hann. “I can’t say enough great things about Dr. Hann.”
Part of what has led to Hann’s success is the joy she gets from changing her patient’s lives, one smile at a time.
“I love working with people and seeing how much their confidence and personality changes from the beginning of their treatment to the end,” said Hann. “It’s incredible to see someone shy and embarrassed of their smile blossom into a happy, outgoing person.”
Hann Orthodontics is located at 100 Cortona Way, Suite 250, in Brentwood. For more information, visit www.hannorthodontics.com or call 925-240-2070.