Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teeth and gums. Peak Vista is ready.

By Will Bublitz

Helping to improve the health of her patients’ teeth and gums is the job of Kirsten Tacha, a new dental hygienist at Peak Vista Community Health Center in Limon.

Kirsten began working at Peak Vista on July 13 after moving here from Colorado Springs.
“As a dental hygienist, I assess and implement treatment for prevention and intervention of oral diseases,” Kirsten said. “I also educate my patients on oral health to keep their teeth and gums healthy and prevent disease.”

Kirsten’s work includes performing procedures to prevent or treat periodontal disease, which is active gum disease.

“Typically, what that requires is a deep cleaning of the patient’s teeth,” she said. “Most of the patients that come to my chair are here for maintenance such as cleanings, polishing, fluoride treatments, oral hygiene and X-rays. As patients of record with this health center, they come to see me for continuing care.” 

One of the things that Kirsten says she most enjoys about her work as a dental hygienist is that she can work independently.

“Colorado is one of the few states that allows registered dental hygienists like me to operate independently, but here at Peak Vista we work as a team,” she said. “As a hygienist, I collaborate with the dentist to plan treatment. After I finish with a patient, the dentist will come in to do an examination and check X-rays and decide if a patient needs any further treatment. I’m currently working with all the dentists who rotate through this health center.”

At present, Kirsten’s weekly schedule at Peak Vista has her seeing patients on Mondays and Wednesdays. The center’s dentists work on Mondays, Fridays and some Thursdays.
Her new job at Peak Vista in Limon has proven to be a nice change of pace for Kirsten who has worked for the past 20 years as a dental hygienist.

“While I was in Colorado Springs, I worked for two different private practices over the last 15-1/2 years,” she said. “I moved here to Limon because my husband, Greg Tacha, got a job working as the building inspector for the Town of Limon.”

Kirsten became a dental hygienist after earning a  Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Colorado in 1995.

“After I graduated, I went moved to Burlington where I worked in a dental office for about a year,” she said. “During that time, I also used to drive to Limon for a couple of days a week to work in a dental office here. I then moved to Fort Collins where I worked for three years. After Greg and I got married in November 1999, I moved to Colorado Springs.” 

Kirsten said she welcomed the opportunity to get out of the big city and move to Limon.
“We wanted to come back to a smaller rural community like this,” she said. “It’s a place where our children have the opportunity to be actively involved in everything.”

Born and raised in Stratton, Kirsten was the oldest of five children who lived on their family’s farm/ranch. In addition to the family operation, her father was the local veterinarian.

“We all grew up there together,” she said. “One of them still farms in Eastern Colorado, but the others now live in Kansas City, New York City and Denver. Our parents are retired now and live near Bonnie State Wildlife area."

Making the move to Limon almost seems like a homecoming to Kirsten.

“My sister-in-law works here at Peak Vista in Limon,” she said. “I also have a lot of extended family living here in this area. And my former teacher/coach from Stratton High School is the superintendent of Limon Public Schools. It’s a small world.”

The Tacha's relocation to Limon from Colorado Springs took place over the past several months.
“Greg started his job with the Town of Limon several months ago and commuted back and forth,” Kirsten said. “Then we finally closed on the sale of our house in Colorado Springs at the end of June. Since then, I been driving back and forth because my son wanted to finish the summer with his baseball team in Colorado Springs and so did my daughter with her soccer team.”

Kirsten and Greg have four children – Bradyn, 8th grade; Jordyn, 6th grade; Katelyn, 4th grade; and Camdyn, kindergartener.

“When I’m not working, I’m pretty much the shuttle service for our kids to all of their activities and sports,” she said.

Now in Limon, Kirsten is encouraging the community to contact her at Peak Vista about their dental health needs.

“Peak Vista is an excellent community health center that helps people in need,” she said. “It has great core values that I support. The staff here is friendly and helpful.”

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