A smile is the first impression, a smile speaks volumes-Dr. Ritzau guarantees a positive, unforgettable experience.
Not only does Kristen Ritzau DDS have a winning smile and an engaging personality, but she also has a published book on her list of accomplishments. Her book, Distinctive Dentistry, details her personal experiences and innovative perspectives regarding her chosen profession. Ritzau credits the success of Shoreline Dental Studio for the implementation of ideals that she learned, cultivated, and has valued since her youth. Ritzau is a third generation San Clemente local; a tried-and-true southern California beach girl.
“I spent my summers at Lost Winds playing volleyball. My dad helped start the junior lifeguard program in the 1970’s so by the age of 10 I was doing that and leaping off the pier! Our family spent entire days down at San O, picnicking and surfing,” says Ritzau. “Today, we stay true to my roots and carry on these traditions with my two children.”
Ritzau’s personal history and ties to our local community are woven into the core values of her dental practice. Both her parents and maternal grandparents placed great importance and reverence on staying close-knit with those who surround you. Ritzau’s Fournier grandparents moved here in the 1950s. Marian Fournier still lives in their original home overlooking Linda Lane and the Pacific Ocean. Her grandfather, Gene Fournier, arrived in San Clemente as a marine. Once retired from active duty, he and his wife remained committed to devoting time and energy to their causes. The Fourniers held fast to the idea of a legacy of service and care, often opening their house on holidays to those far from home.
Ritzau’s father, Larry Moore, was employed by the city of San Clemente for 45 years. He rose up in the ranks, starting as a beach lifeguard and retiring from a position in city hall. Both Ritzau’s mother, Jean Moore, and her younger sister, Kari, are local nurses. From an early age, she was exposed and attracted to the idea of caring for others.
“I love having a personal connection with my patients,” says Ritzau. “Some of them are my former teachers and coaches who were instrumental in my life. Now I’m honored to pay it back.”
Dr. Ritzau was hand-selected by another longtime local dentist, Dr. Boatman, to adopt his local practice. The studio on 122 Avenida Cabrillo is open; bright sunlight filters in through spacious windows. Fresh flowers adorn the front desk. Comfy armchairs are in the lobby. The office staff welcomes patients as soon as they step through the door. A child’s note affixed to the wall reads, ‘thanks for fixing my daddy’s teeth.’
In every exam room, across from the dentist chairs, are panoramic picture windows with lush plants, vibrant flowers, and birds flitting about. Out of one window, an old wooden door hangs on its side. Ritzau and a friend replaced the glass panes with an array of succulents. The fact that San Clemente is Ritzau’s beloved home is reflected not only in her attitude but in her office space as well.
The décor of Ritzau’s business is not the only thing that is unique and unconventional about the dental studio. The manner in which they have formatted the office staff is also distinctive. Ritzau and Dr. Colby Livingston are the two dentists on board. The five dental hygienists, four dental assistants, and the three people running the front office are all women. Organizing and running this all-female practice, as the trusted office manager, is Ritzau’s husband, Cory. It’s right here where the crucial concept of TEAM is regularly put into action.
“All my years at San Clemente High School I was an avid athlete and an integral part of a team,” says Ritzau. “I’ve carried over the values I learned there into my practice today; a strong work ethic, looking ahead and setting goals, and being a member of a team that works together.”
Everyone at Shoreline Dental Studio is dedicated to enacting the core values that Ritzau elaborates on in her book. Ritzau views herself not as a boss but as a leader and a coach. The whole office works as a unit, producing seamless results for everyone involved. All clients are treated on an individual basis yet everyone receives sincerity, kindness, and respect. The staff considers one another family so this translates to the patients as well. They literally “get to know people beyond their smile.”
To them, being team-oriented means working in concert with each other even behind the scenes. Ritzau subscribes to an alternative form of schedule crafting. All employees support, encourage, and openly communicate with one another. They coordinate shifts to accommodate both their ‘home family’ as well as their ‘work-family’. An office full of consistently happy and satisfied employees positively affects those who are seated in the dental chairs. On their website, a long time patient is quoted as saying an appointment at Shoreline Dental Studio is “an experience, not just a visit.”
Ritzau has found a way in her dental practice to honor both family and community. For the past two years, on Veteran’s Day, they’ve opened the office to military veterans for a day of free dentistry. Last year, with a concerted team effort, they performed over $40,000 worth of work on veterans seen that day. This is simply one example where their integrity is clearly demonstrated, and how they make good on their promise to “over deliver in all aspects.”
“Every mouth has a story,” says Ritzau. “I do my best to respect and listen to every single one.”
For the past four years in a row, Shoreline Dental Studio has been voted ‘Best in San Clemente’ in regard to dental care and customer service. Ritzau’s blueprint for success, the trinity of family, community, and team, are words that are closely intertwined and practically used interchangeably in their studio. And it’s obviously a theory, that when put into practice, is panning out well from every angle!