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Tips For A Career In Orthodontics

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Recently, Dr. Newhart received an email from Justin, an individual from southern Illinois who aspires to be an orthodontist. In it, Justin asked Dr. Newhart about how he became an orthodontist, and any tips he would provide to those looking to enter the field. We’ve included Justin’s first message, and Dr. Newhart’s response below, check them out!

Dr. Newhart:

It is my pleasure to be writing to you on your profession and my dream occupation, an Orthodontist. I first want to tell you a brief summary of who I am. My name is Justin Jenkel and I am a senior at Pinckneyville Community High School, located in a small town in southern Illinois. I am seventeen years old and involved in a great amount of extra-curricular activities. With the small amount of free time that I have, I love to play golf and aid a child who suffers from a case of cerebral palsy. My intended major is Pre-Dentistry, and I plan to attend college at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and work my way towards my dream. I feel that I would be a great Orthodontist because I have shown leaderships qualities throughout my life, I am able to work with anyone, and I am known to have a smile throughout the day. I have been surfing the web, and I explored your website and felt that you would be a great person to talk for assistance. What was the process like to work your way up towards an Orthodontist? Do you have any tips for me as I begin college this upcoming fall? I appreciate the time that you take to help me with my future decisions and plans.

Once again, thank you for your time Doc.

Sincerely,

Justin J.

Hello Justin,

Thanks for contacting me. You sound like a great guy with an exciting future ahead of you. One of the best things about life is that you can constantly invent and re-invent yourself to match your dreams.

I’d love to meet with you, but since we live so far apart let me at least answer your questions the best I can to help you in your dream of becoming an orthodontist.

1. What was the process like to work your way up towards an Orthodontist?

Well, Justin, there are many paths people take in their journey to becoming an orthodontist. Some people go straight through all the schools without a break and others take breaks during process. This is sometimes by necessity and sometimes by choice. No matter which way you go, you will need to have 3-4 years of undergraduate education, followed by 3-4 years of dental school, followed by a 2-3 year orthodontic residency.

2. Do you have any tips for me as I begin college this upcoming fall?

With the inquisitive mind that you have, it almost goes without saying that you want to expose yourself to as much as possible that your college has to offer. College is not only a challenge academically, lifting you to another level, but also a time in life of self-discovery. You are a young man who is still learning about himself, still growing. Going away from home to attend college is scary, exciting, stimulating, overwhelming and wonderful all to the same time. I predict that you will experience your highest highs and your lowest lows during your 4 years as you challenge yourself. I also predict when you look back on your graduation day, with your degree in hand….you will see incoming freshman and you will notice how much you have grown and changed over the previous 4 years.

Some tips:

a. Keep your focus, but still be open to change. See where life leads you.

b. Never lose your faith. Remember that everything will be ok and your life is guided..even when you don’t know it. So when you go through times where things are not going the way you think they should..look around and listen to what the experience is teaching you that will make you stronger in the future.

c. Never lose your passion for what you doing. Passion is the juice of life and without it you will never feel satisfied and fulfilled.

d. Study hard and keep up excellent grades. There is tremendous competition at every level. The competition increases the higher you go with many people vying for fewer and fewer spots. For example, there were only 4 people selected for my orthodontic residency. Over 400 doctors applied for the 4 spots.

e. If your board scores are not satisfactory, look at Kaplan and other preparatory schools to raise them. I know several young people who have gone to Kaplan Saturday and evening classes with great results.

f. Have fun. You only go through life once. This is not a dress rehearsal.

Let me know it I can be of further help. Stay in touch if you can and let me know how you progress. Lastly, if you are an employer who wants to protect your employees, patients, and community by partnering with a trusted leader in healthcare background screening solutions, you may visit sites like https://www.sterlingcheck.com/industries/healthcare/ to learn more.

Newhart Orthodontics Welcomes Our Newest Team Member, Shaun Stillwell

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Newhart Orthodontics would like to introduce our newest team member, Shaun Stillwell. Check out the biography that she shared with us below!

Hi! My name is Shaun. I love working with people and am in charge of Accounts Receivable. I am available for any necessary changes or other needs that involve contracts and monthly payments. I love to scuba dive, and help out at my daughter’s local school. I am part of the Booster Club which helps the school with additional money for various projects going on. I live in northern Idaho with my teen daughter and enjoy the changing seasons. In my spare time, I am almost finished with earning my Masters Degree in Business Administration and I look forward to serving you!

More About Orthodontics From Dr. Scott Newhart

Friday, April 16th, 2010


There are so many questions about orthodontics that we never ask, so we took some time to explain the most common concerns.

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child’s physician.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander, Herbst, Facemask, headgear, or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Absolutely!! Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Between 30-40% of our patients are adults.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the arch wire that connects them are the main components. When the arch wire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping your treatment time on schedule.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the arch wires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

Will braces interfere with playing sports?

No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers or wax can be provided to prevent discomfort.

Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleaning and dental checkups, or more frequently as recommended.

Got more questions? Give us a call at Newhart Orthodontics. We’d love to hear from you.

Ask Dr. Newhart: Who benefits from braces?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Braces aren’t just for pre-adolescents and teenagers anymore! Dr. Newhart will tell you that anyone, at any age, can benefit from orthodontic treatment, whether it’s correcting a problem not treated in your younger years, or catching a problem early.

To ensure the best overall treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, recommends that children receive an orthodontic consultation as early as age seven. If a problem is evident, taking action early can spare a lot of treatment and expense down the road.

If you never received orthodontic treatment when you were young, don’t worry! You’re never too old for a beautiful smile. Set up an appointment for a consultation and find out how adult orthodontics will transform your smile, as well as your life!