When Kaitilin Riley, DDS, worked as a Silicon Valley software engineer, the University of Pennsylvania grad discovered that something was missing in her tech-industry career.
“I felt out of touch with people and their stories,” said Dr. Riley. “I missed working directly with people.” A sense of service and compassion and a naturally scientific mind is what drew her to the medical field. After much soul-searching, she wanted “to do something greater.” Dr. Riley returned to college, first at San Francisco State University and then University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, where she was mentored by the Bay Area’s top practitioners.
Dr. Riley opened her first practice in St. Helena. But when she later learned that longtime dentist and fellow Dugoni School alumnus Dr. E.J. Casper was seeking a successor to take over his practice in Paso Robles, she remembered “the physical beauty and warm and wonderful people” she had encountered as a teen on visits throughout San Luis Obispo County and made the move.
“Louis Pasteur said, ‘Chance only favors the mind which is prepared.’ It was a coincidence that I sold my practice right when Dr. Casper needed to take a medical leave. A little luck plus a more matured self has helped me become ready for this time in my life,” said Dr. Riley.
“It was an incredibly smooth transition. Some of them have worked here for 20 years!” said Dr. Riley of her supportive staff. “I like working directly with people. My patients and I agree together their course of action because I support their autonomy.”
Among her practice philosophies, Dr. Riley takes a conservative approach of taking no action until necessary to help maintain the natural integrity of her patients’ teeth.
“We take into consideration many factors that affect teeth,” said Dr. Riley. They include overall health, medications, wear patterns, dental surgery, bleaching (better than abrasives), and more.” Wine, sodas, and even the acidity found in some brands of bottled water can soften receding root structures, which are more delicate than superficial enamel surfaces. Re-mineralizing teeth and empowering her patients with improved hygiene techniques, she said, can help offset some of these effects.
Dr. Riley’s continuing professional education and networking with her colleagues help both her staff and patients stay current of the latest dental advances, “even if that means referring patients to peers who specialize in an area of expertise,” she said.
“Minimally invasive dentistry and patient education is the best prevention for future problems,” said Dr. Riley. “My mission is to help patients attain their best oral health possible.”
Dr. Kaitlin Riley, DDS, is located at 336 12th Street in Paso Robles. Call 805-238-3880 or visit kkrdds.com for more information.