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Dentist – Custer, SD

Introducing Dr. Kari Bolen

People don’t often equate a dental office with the feeling of joy – but for Dr. Bolen, owning her own practice and helping others each day brings her an incredible sense of joy and accomplishment. Every person is different, and every situation is truly unique, which challenges her to be a better and better dentist for each new arrival. She is always going the extra mile to create amazing experiences for patients that hopefully bring them joy as well! If you’d like to learn more about her, just keep reading below.

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Why Did You Decide to Become a Dentist?

While she was a junior in college, Dr. Bolen had to choose a class to take over the January interim. She ended up selecting a class all about career/life planning, and part of it required her to choose people she knew to shadow and interview. She ended up starting with the orthodontist who gave her brothers braces and realized that she loved watching him work, even asking to come back and shadow him more than once. Finally, the orthodontist said: “Kari, you know that you have to be a general dentist before you can be an orthodontist, right?”

At that point, Dr. Bolen switched to shadowing her childhood general dentist and loved that experience even more! The rest is history. She’s the first person in her family to choose dentistry as a lifelong profession, and she couldn’t be happier with that decision.

Where Did You Study Dentistry?

After attending Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Dr. Bolen pursued her dental doctorate at the Creighton University School of Dentistry, graduating in 2009. She then had great experiences working for two general dentistry offices in rural areas before purchasing her own practice in Sioux Falls. There, she worked very hard to expand her clinical skills, taking additional training in areas like laser dentistry, the Chao Pinhole technique, and CEREC same-day crowns. By investing in education and advanced dental technology, she’s able to make her patients’ appointments easier and smoother!

The Black Hills have always had a special place in Dr. Bolen’s heart, and she’s thrilled to be starting a dental office again in a rural setting and fulfilling Custer County’s need for a local professional. She has continued to work hard to advance her skills, including recently completing 200 hours of training via the Implant Pathways course in Tempe, AZ. This course has given her invaluable education in dental surgery, dental extractions, overall treatment planning, CBCT technology, and dental implant placement. She looks forward to having the ability to serve the community with dental care that is always fresh, clean, and wonderfully modern.

Dr. Bolen is a currently a proud member of the following dental organizations:

Outside of the Dental Office,
What Do You Like to Do?

Dr. Bolen has two amazing children and a dog named Teddy. She’s always said that a dental office is like a third child, requiring about the same time and attention to grow and flourish – but she does her best to have some interests and hobbies outside of work too. She enjoys attending cycle classes and doing yoga, which is challenging for her. One of her biggest accomplishments was finally doing a headstand without support! She also loves biking outside on the Mickelson Trail, hiking, camping, fishing, and playing tennis and golf. Dr. Bolen truly loves all of the activities and amenities that the Black Hills has to offer and she loves being part of the Custer community!

Here’s an interesting fact about Dr. Bolen that you may not know: she speaks Spanish. She actually spent five weeks living in the Dominican Republic on a dental externship, providing vital oral healthcare to patients in need there.