Alumni Spotlight: Kjetil Rossignol, D.M.D. ’20

Portrait of a man in the show holding a camera
Kjetil Rossignol, D.M.D. ’20, is a dentist at Northern Maine Dental in Caribou, Maine.

Story by Victoria Wilbur ’21

Kjetil Rossignol, D.M.D. ’20, enjoys a challenge and stepping out of his comfort zone to learn new skills. Growing up in northern Maine, he headed down south to Portland to attend UNE’s College of Dental Medicine. There, he took the advice of Michael Truscott, D.M.D., assistant clinical professor, to apply for a residency after graduation.

Matching at a Level One trauma center halfway across the country in 2020 was not what Rossignol expected, but he fully embraced the challenge.

“Completing a residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota was the most beneficial professional decision I have ever made,” Rossignol said. “It was the most enriching year of education and training I could have asked for.”

As a resident, Rossignol was part of the hospital’s essential oral surgery team in the trauma center. His team was seeing patients requiring oral surgery or dental work before receiving any other treatment, ranging from a simple tooth removal or assessing infections to reconstructive surgeries.

“I needed to acquire additional medical knowledge that a typical dentist wouldn’t need,” he reflected. “It taught me to be more cautious and fully comprehend what I’m doing.”

Rossignol moved back to northern Maine after residency to work at Northern Maine Dental in Caribou. While he provides important care within his community, Rossignol also looks for opportunities to acquire additional skills and knowledge.

When classmate Jacob Nichols, D.M.D. ’20, reached out in early 2023 with a short-term opportunity to work at his Portland practice, Rossignol accepted the offer.

“Taking this temporary position was challenging, but it allowed me to be a resource for UNE students, provided me with exposure to organized dentistry, and offered me the opportunity to meet dentists from across the state,” he shared.

Rossignol returned to assist the rural community of Caribou, yet he maintains an open mind for the future.

“I enjoyed observing the role of dentists in a hospital setting,” he said. “One of my future objectives is to introduce this model to Maine. Having to refer out for dental services complicates the process for both us and the patients. Expanding the presence of dental services in hospitals could streamline patient care in Maine.”

Read this story on UNE Connect.