Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for our newest addition to the Drew Dental team, Dr. Kristina Lake Harriman, D.M.D. We are delighted to formally introduce her as our new Associate Dentist and we can’t wait for you to get to know her. Informally, she’s affectionately known as Dr. Lake.
Kristie is a 100%, home grown Maine-ah. Originally from Lewiston, she moved to Turner and graduated from Leavitt High School (in the top ten, I might add) in 2000. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in 2004, where she majored in Religious Studies while completing her pre-dental coursework.
She then went on to the University of Connecticut’s School of Dental Medicine and matriculated in 2008. She now lives in Lisbon, and has practiced in both Lewiston and Waterville. She is pretty excited to be back in the 04240, which also means cutting her current commute by three quarters.
The Power of Social Networking
I first met Kristie several years ago through the Maine Dental Association. She and I both serve on the Executive Board, which basically means that we enjoy spending our free time up in Augusta being very vocal (aka advocating and lobbying for issues that affect the dental profession) with the powers that be.
One of the things that struck me most about her is that she possesses not just a commitment to the clinical practice of dentistry (she’s an avid consumer of continuing education), but a real passion to uphold the ethical standards of our chosen profession.
She has been the Chair for the Council on Government Relations since 2014, the responsibilities of which include providing testimony to legislators at both the local and national level.
Add to that a super bubbly personality as well as a quirky sense of humor, and you’ll begin to understand how I knew she would be the perfect complement to our team.
A Dentist Who Used to be Scared of the Dentist?
Believe it or not, despite handling needles, drills and other scary sounding things, dentists are not super heroes (although I could definitely get into wearing a cape). We do, however, have our brand of kryptonite, something that makes us squeamish and causes us to break into a cold sweat.
She admits that she used to be petrified of going to the dentist.
Growing up, she did all of the things she now tells her patients NOT to do, and then had to get a root canal done while she was pre-med in college. Her dentist at the time told her that she should go to dental school instead of medical school. She remembers going to the library to check out a book to explain exactly why she thought being a dentist was a ‘stupid idea’ which, as it often turns out with quirks of fate, she instead read and became interested in dentistry.
Fortunately, pre-med and pre-dental are the same course of study, so when the time came, she just applied to dental school. “The cure for fear of the dentist is going to dental school.” Now she warns all of her patients who need a root canal that they might just end up going to dental school too.
“I think it’s important to start very positive experiences with the dentist from a young age so that the fearful patient group will diminish as time goes on”
~Dr. Kristie Lake
Dr. Lake most enjoys working on very young patients, or people who have had a lot of bad experiences and have significant dental anxiety. She has endless patience with this group because she used to feel the same way. Her favorite kinds of procedures are the ones that end with ‘feel good moments’ – like being able to restore someone’s front teeth, especially if they think that their mouth is hopeless, or they have large, dark cavities at the gum line. Kristie finds it extremely gratifying because she instantly sees the patient get their confidence back. There are often tears and/or hugs involved and what’s not to love about that?
What scares her now?
No, she’s not afraid of sponges . . . exactly. While she cites spiders as her biggest aversion, that’s followed closely by a fear of “clusters of holes” like the ones you see in the sponge (or, as it turns out, nearly everywhere in natural world).
Seriously, it’s a real thing, it’s called Trypophobia. Look it up. Just don’t show her what you find.
Work Hard, Play X-Box!
So, Kristie is an unashamed gaming geek. She and her husband actually have two TVs and two X-Box Ones in their living room so that they can play at the same time. “I don’t think we’d get along if we had to share just one”. She says that her favorite video game right now is Fallout 4, but the Final Fantasy series is her classic go-to. I personally think that this sounds like a pretty nice way to while away the long Maine winters.
If you are at all familiar with our office, then you may be aware that 95% of us have pets at home – whether its the usual cats and dogs, or in Megan’s case, a 6-foot snake.
Kristie and her husband have a 13-year-old mixed breed named Honey Dog who is an escape artist, and periodically tests their fence for weaknesses so that she can go on an adventure around the neighborhood. Yes, she has a record! Honey Dog was ‘arrested’ by the Lisbon Police Department on one such jaunt and they had to go and pick her up from doggy jail. They also have a 4-year-old cat, Max, who runs the house (he has actually learned how to open their bread box).
Welcome to the Family
Between the work / school / play commitments that we all have, I know that it can be a logistical challenge to stay on track, especially as the dentist is most peoples’ least favorite of nearly all doctor visits. While there are lots of reasons why we’re all very excited that Kristie will be joining us (see everything above), we’re also very happy about offering you (our patient) even more convenient hours to schedule your dental appointments without sacrificing the quality of care you expect from us.
From Kristie’s perspective, she admits to looking forward to expanding the variety of procedures that she does as well as integrating new techniques and technology into what she already knows. She also says she can’t wait to learn from all of the staff and patients. And finally, she’s pretty psyched to join our team because of the fun and professional environment that we create. In fact, I think you’ll see her posting here on our blog!
“I think life is a constant learning experience, and every person you meet has the potential to teach you so much about them and what they’ve learned, but they can also teach you new things about yourself.””
Interested in getting to know more about Dr. Lake?
Or teaching her something new about herself?
Call the office at 782-5308 to schedule your appointment with her today!
Having her here as an integral part of the Drews Dental team is going to be FUN.