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Oral, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

  • Patient Testimonial - Kalina Burns

Patient Testimonial - Kalina Burns

Cottage Health Oral Plastic Surgery - Kalina Burns

Kalina Burns remembers avoiding photographs with family & friends and feeling self-conscious when speaking. Today, there is no insecurity or lack of self-confidence. "Dr. Gunson changed all that,” Kalina said in a recent interview. “I became a better version of myself as a result of the surgery."

An underdeveloped jaw can affect chewing, speaking, breathing, and cosmetic appeal. For Kalina, her misaligned jaw made it difficult to close her lips and chew with her mouth closed, which over time would cause problems for her gums and teeth.

It all started with Kalina’s orthodontist suggesting options to correct her condition. She had reached an age where corrective surgery would help her jaw alignment and make her new again. Her parents reviewed several options and scheduled her to see surgical specialist Dr. Michael Gunson, who along with Dr. William Arnett, has established a world renown unique practice devoted to correcting jaw and bite problems with a keen eye for aesthetics.

Kalina recalls her first meeting with Dr. Gunson and how he explained the process thoroughly and compassionately. Subsequent appointments were similarly smooth and focused on education, planning and Kalina's specific needs. A teacher at heart, Dr. Gunson wants to empower patients through education. An initial patient visit typically takes up to two hours.

Meeting with Dr. Gunson and surgical assistant Kimberly Short convinced Kalina that jaw surgery was the right path. “Kimberly made a huge difference every step of the way” Kalina recalls. “A real relationship develops because of the intensity and frequency of the appointments and I will always be grateful for the care I received. The whole experience changed my life."

Surgery was about Kalina’s health, too. Moving her jaws forward would open her airway more, and the correct alignment would allow her to comfortably close her mouth, so her top gums could be refreshed by saliva. Otherwise, with continued exposure to air, her gums and teeth would be at risk.

Dr. Gunson & Dr. Arnet operate exclusively at the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, making it renowned for orthognathic surgery. This was a real plus for Kalina and her family. "It was so nice having this brand new hospital just down the street. I felt safe."

The experience was so profound for Kalina that she wrote her college essay on the experience and was honored with several scholarships as a result. Now 19, Kalina studies mechanical engineering at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo and fundraises for the non-profit Mary’s Meals at churches along the coast.

Follow this link for more information on Orthognathic Surgery at Goleta Valley College Hospital.

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