EIOH's First Graduate in Combined Program

Jun. 3, 2021
Dr. Kristen Frantz
Dr. Kristen Frantz

For Dr. Kristen Frantz (BS ’12, Perio ’19, Prostho ’21, MS ‘21), it will be working with her friends every day that she will miss most after graduation.

The Scranton, PA native is wrapping up five and a half years at Eastman, earning a master's degree and her Periodontics and Prosthodontics Certificates, the first one to graduate from the new combined program.

She began predoctoral studies at the University of Rochester, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Minor in Music in 2012. She then went to dental school at Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry and then returned to EIOH in 2016 for a combined residency program in Periodontics and Prosthodontics. During that time, she won the Gerald N. Graser Award at the AADR meeting in 2019 for Outstanding Clinical Case Series, as well as third place for Best Clinical Poster at the American Prosthodontic Society meeting in 2020.

Why did you choose EIOH?
Eastman Institute for Oral Health is a world-renowned institution that offers strong clinical experience, close integration of the Periodontology and Prosthodontic Residency programs, and the ability to pursue a Master of Science while undergoing clinical training. These were all of the assets I was looking for when applying to programs, and I’m grateful that EIOH was where I was able to do my training.

The Perio/Prostho program is a combined program over the span of 5.5 years. I began with the Periodontal training and transitioned into the Prosthodontic program, now focusing on cases that involve both aspects. The close integration between our periodontics and prosthodontic departments at EIOH made for a smooth transition. We attend many seminars together and treat many patients conjointly.

My inspiration to do perio/prostho first came from my Dad. He is a Periodontist [Bryan Frantz Perio ‘87] and I began working in his office from a young age. He had a prosthodontist that was working in his office. I was fortunate to see the combined perio/prostho cases they were doing and their mentorship motivated me to pursue this as a career. The two fields are very inter-related. The prosthetic knowledge and experience allows me to perform better surgeries and vice versa. This dual knowledge will allow me to perform the highest level of specialty care for my patients and I hope that I can have a meaningful impact with my patients as I transition into private practice.

Thouhgts about your residency occurring during the historical Covid pandemic?
I learned a great deal from the pandemic, most importantly that oral health isn’t something that can just be put on hold and it is critical for us to continue care for our patients. Additionally, it was inspiring to see our Prosthodontic and Periodontics departments work together as a team through these difficult times and it is something that I will never forget!

Favorite Memory?
I have most enjoyed spending time with my co-residents whether it be working in the lab, going out to dinner or attending annual meetings (prior to COVID-19). We have created many memories that will stay with me forever! 

Favorite/Least Favorite thing about Rochester?
The summertime is my favorite in Rochester. I love going for walks in the beautiful weather along the canal with my husband, Brendan, and our dog, Chester! We also love exploring the Finger Lakes, and the many delicious restaurants.

My least favorite aspect about Rochester is the long winter.

Did the EIOH experience help make a better you?
EIOH, and more specifically the Prosthodontics and Periodontics Departments, have provided me with a well-rounded education, and at the same time encouraged me to become a better dentist and person. I was not only trained in the clinical aspect of dentistry, but also was encouraged to further develop my professional, research, and public speaking skills. Additionally, EIOH has allowed me to meet fellow residents from all over the country and world. I feel fortunate to have learned about different backgrounds and cultures in my experience here.

What are your plans upon graduation?
I am excited to begin working with my Dad in private practice in Scranton, PA.

What will you miss the most?
I will miss working with my friends every day! I feel lucky to have amazing co-residents throughout my time at EIOH.