Dr. Kristen Berning earns Certificate in Esthetic Dentistry

Dr. Kristen Berning recently completed a 510-hour postgraduate program at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. By completing this program, she has earned a Certificate in Contemporary Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry. This continuing education program was comprised of 400 hours of class and a 110-hour independent dental research project. In the United States, there are only a few premiere University-based Esthetic Dentistry programs like this.

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Dr. Paul Olin and Dr. Fred McIntyre present Dr. Kristen Berning with her Esthetic Dentistry Certificate

This comprehensive Certificate Program in Contemporary Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry covered many of the specialty fields in dentistry and brought in instructors from all over the country. Dr. Berning was fortunate to encounter wonderful mentors such as the late Dr. Paul Belvidere. Dr. Belvidere was a master with cosmetic dental bonding and shared many of his tips and techniques that Dr. Berning uses in her practice weekly. Cosmetic dentistry can be found in all the dental specialties including implant dentistry, periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, pediatrics, prosthodontics, restorative dentistry, and more, and this program included all these disciplines.




This program was created and directed by Dr. Paul Olin, DDS MS, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry with specialties in Prosthodontics, Restorative, and Implant Dentistry. After 21 years of this Esthetic Dentistry program, it is being phased out as Dr. Olin transitions his career within dentistry and plans for his future.

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Dr. Berning presents her research project
Dr. Kristen Berning spent many weekends traveling to and from the University of Minnesota for this unique esthetic continuing education program. There were many requirements including lecture attendance, a dental written exam, hands-on clinical projects, classroom participation, patient care case presentations, and review of dental research and literature. In addition, there was a requirement to deliver cosmetic dental care to two patients at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry clinic. These procedures were planned ahead of time by Dr. Berning and under the approval of Dr. Olin and his team of specialty dentists. Dr. Berning brought a patient along for one of the cosmetic procedures, and the other patient was provided by the University. Both procedures that she completed were cosmetic bonding.  Cosmetic bonding is a conservative way to add material to teeth for natural, esthetic enhancements of the smile. During this Minnesota program since she was earning so many hours of continuing education, Dr. Berning also earned her mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD).

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Drs. Ted Murray and Kristen Berning with their Esthetic Dentistry Certificates

The final requirement for the Certificate was an independent 110-hour research project. After a few months of reviewing current dental literature and planning a project, Dr. Berning prepared samples, completed materials testing, had the results analyzed by a University of Minnesota statistician, and wrote a scientific research paper. She presented her research project in the spring of 2019 to Dr. Olin, Dr. Fred McIntrye and a classroom of dentists. ​

At Exceptional Dentistry, many things run in the family since our dental team is a father, Dr. Ted Murray, and his 2 daughters, Dr. Berning and Dr. Alexia Oetken. This Esthetic Certificate was first completed by Dr. Berning’s father, Dr. Ted Murray in 2007. Dr. Ted Murray’s experience with the program is featured on the University of Minnesota website. Dr. Ted Murray and Dr. Kristen Berning are the only father-daughter dentist pair to both complete the Certificate in Esthetic Dentistry from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kristen Berning is very thankful for how this program has enhanced her practice of esthetic dentistry. ​

Exceptional Dentistry provides family, cosmetic, tooth whitening, implant, and sedation dental care at 4200 Asbury Road, Dubuque, IA 52002 and serves the Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dyersville, Dubuque, IA and Galena, IL, Prairie du Chein, WI and Platteville, WI areas.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ted Murray or Dr. Kristen Berning, or Dr. Alexia Oetken please call us at 563-556-2711 or contact us online.

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