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Dr Casey Rhines

Faculty Feature: Meet Casey Rhines, DDS

CU Dental Assistant Professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry

minute read

Written by Laura Ramsey on January 22, 2024

Casey Rhines, DDS, joins the Department of Restorative Dentistry with extensive experience and great passion for teaching, humanitarian aid and forensic dentistry. 

Rhines graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy accelerated seven-year dental program, earning both a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and her Doctor of Dental Surgery, as well as a certificate of fluency in Spanish. She has served on mission trips abroad to both the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, and was a long-term volunteer dentist at a free clinic in Metro Detroit, awarding her the International College of Dentists Humanitarian Award for her contributions. 

Before joining the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, Rhines was an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry where she was nominated for Faculty of the Year. She has specialized training in botulinum toxin and TMJ pain and has taken several continuing education courses in forensic dentistry. Rhines has been featured in several dental publications of Contour Magazine and served on the editorial board for the Michigan Dental Association Journal. 

Q&A Header

What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

I was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award by the International College of Dentists when I was in dental school. I am so proud of this because volunteering has always been a passion of mine and was a large reason I wanted to be a dentist. I have volunteered once a month at a free clinic since graduating and it has been an incredibly humbling experience. I felt very seen and understood by my educators that nominated me. 

Describe a time you've had to overcome adversity and how it affected you.

I failed the perio section of my board exam the day before COVID-19 shut down the world. There was no date in the foreseeable future to retake the exam and they did not have a plan for converting perio to typodonts. I waited five months to be able to retake my exam and even though restorative had been replaced with mannequins, the periodontal exam was still live-patient based but you could no longer use a Cavitron. I had already graduated so I couldn't practice to improve and had to find a way to get someone else to bring in my patient for radiographs. In the process, I learned that I had wildly overestimated how much calculus a patient needed to have to qualify for this exam. Even though this was the worst and most stressful time in my life, what got me through was that I knew I was meant to share this story with future students. One of my favorite students failed her prosthodontic portion this year and it was fun to share this story to bring her comfort. I think I truly have the most traumatic failure story!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

My dad always told me that if you don't have time to do it right, you definitely don't have time to do it again. I think about this a lot in dentistry when we are tempted to take shortcuts or we are in a rush. I always try to make sure I do something right the first time. 


Topics: Research, Faculty