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    Meet the Dental Products Report Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017

    Now in its eighth year of recognizing exceptional women in the dental industry, Dental Products Report is thrilled to introduce the Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017.


    Kris Johnson

    Kris JohnsonCategory: Researcher/educator

    Not many people can say they found their calling at 8 years old, but for Kris Johnson it always felt like her natural path to success started with her fascination with dentistry. She followed her heart and became a dental hygienist, and through continued education and a passion for helping her patients, she became a prosperous RDHAP, educator and mentor.

    “I have reflected many times about how blessed I am to belong to a profession that has so much to offer to health care,” Johnson says. “The more I learn about whole-body health, nutrition and whole-plant healing, the more I see how oral health is key to total body health.” 

    Johnson is currently working to educate others about incorporating a more holistic approach to how chronic diseases are treated, including periodontal disease. She is also on a constant journey to educate herself about nutrition and functional medicine.

    “We still have so much to learn about how the human body achieves and maintains wellness,” she says of her studies. “Innovation means something new or different, like taking preventive oral health care beyond the mouth.”

    While she may have found her passion early on, Johnson’s journey hasn’t been without its hindrances and obstacles. The first of her hurdles was finding her way to higher education. She was the child of teenage parents and the only one in her family to finish high school and go on to get a college degree. In the beginning of her career she thought her path would lead to finding a husband and settling down, but as her career evolved she came to the realization that her calling was in further educating herself so she could go on to educate others.

    “Thank goodness for the evolution of women in dentistry,” she says. “In my 24 years as an RDH, and seven years as an RDHAP, I’ve been able to take advantage of this evolution and share what I learn with others. I educate yet also get to learn so much from my students and fellow colleagues. I like to inspire others to believe in themselves.

    Throughout her tenure within the dental industry, Johnson has observed many changes. Some of those changes are thanks to a more digitized world, like text and email appointment confirmation or paperless offices, and some thanks to advancements in dentistry, such as digital X-rays with immediate images and improvements in the ease of use for periodontal probes.

    As an educator, she believes the industry has a long way to go. She has made it a personal mission to advocate for online, accelerated programs as well as a Ph.D. program in dental hygiene. She is also dedicated to encouraging her students to pursue interprofessional collaboration so they come out of school as well-rounded as possible. She feels this is her way to give back to an industry that has made her so proud personally as well as leave a legacy that impacts both practitioners and patients.

    “Never give up,” she advises. “Keep climbing, keep setting new goals and reaching them.”



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