What can you tell us about your background?
My father was a dentist, and my twin brother and I would go down to his office when we were teenagers and fool around in his dental lab. We knew we would be dentists when we graduated from high school. I have three brothers-in-law that are dentists as well. After graduating from dental school at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry (UOP), I worked with my father for 5 years before going back to school.
I spent a year doing a TMJD fellowship in Rochester, New York. I learned how to read MRIs and make splints to treat patients who suffered from acute and chronic pain. After that, I completed my orthodontic residency at Eastman Dental Center. I have been in practice for 13 years, and my passion is creating beautiful smiles.
Why did you decide to focus on orthodontics?
I have always had a fascination with the creating process, especially in dentistry. I loved cosmetic restoration cases as a general dentist, but I wanted more. I wanted to be able to create a beautiful smile without grinding the teeth down and adding porcelain to create the smile. The other motivation for me to go into orthodontics was the fact that patients want to be at the orthodontist. They love braces, and it is fun to see them so excited about improving their smiles. Going to work each day is a pleasure! Not a downer!
How long have you been practicing, and what systems do you use?
I have been practicing for 13 years with the Damon™ System.
Who has inspired you?
I have been inspired by Dr. Dwight Damon and Dr. Tom Pitts. I learned early on in my career which orthodontists had the most beautiful cases. Dwight and Tom are two of the best orthodontists in the world.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your practice?
The most satisfying aspect of my practice is the end result. It is very satisfying when treatment is finished, the final shaping of the smile and teeth are done, and seeing the patients so happy with their new smiles.
Professionally, what are you most proud of?
I love teaching, especially love to teach the residents at UOP in the orthodontic department. I am also very proud of being able to teach other orthodontists how to be better at using the Damon System and share what I have learned over the past 13 years.
What do you think is unique about your practice?
Our practice treats about 50 percent adults. We pride ourselves on communicating with them. Additionally, we are now using Ormco’s Lythos™ Digital Impression System to streamline our workflow and eliminate PVS impressions, which has helped us enhance the patient experience and make our practice a state-of-the-art digital environment for efficient treatment.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge in practice is the business side of orthodontics. Also, working with staff members and assembling the right team players and keeping them motivated to succeed.
What would you have become if you had not become a dentist?
I would have become a plastic surgeon. I love helping others make positive changes in their lives, and I could have enjoyed that.
What is the future of orthodontics and dentistry?
I still believe that the future of dentistry as a whole is bright. The future of orthodontics lies in technology. Patients are willing to pay for technology, and they recognize the practices that continually are striving to keep up on the latest advances in orthodontics.
What are your top tips for maintaining a successful practice?
The most important tip for maintaining a successful practice is patient care. Not just being good at straightening teeth, but taking care of the patient from the initial phone call to the day the braces come off.
What advice would you give to budding orthodontists?
I would encourage young budding orthodontists to ask themselves three questions. What kind of an orthodontist do you want to be? What kind of orthodontics do you want to do? Where do you want to be in 5 years? Write it down!
What are your hobbies, and what do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy going to the lake and wake surfing. I love to golf, ride mountain bikes, and motorcycles. In my spare time, I like to watch football.