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Virginia Beach practice makes orthodontic care fun

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By Karen L. Gill

Ready for a presentation at Linkhorn Park Elementary School are, from left, Dorie Hanes, assistant school nurse at Linkhorn Elementary, as “Toothy”; Dr. Jeremy Davidson as “Captain Molar”; and Mary-Jeanné Davidson as “Brushy.”

Resettling her Navy family every few years in a new community, Mary-Jeanné Davidson says she encountered a lot of poor customer service.

So she told her orthodontist husband, Dr. Jeremy Davidson, that if they ever had the opportunity to set up a practice, it would have two main goals: to support the community and to provide a dynamic and engaging atmosphere to make customers feel welcome.

Now in its fifth year in Virginia Beach, Davidson Orthodontics supports 30 community organizations, she said.

“We’re very grateful and appreciative to be able to serve our country and to be able to settle down and serve a community that we love,” said Mary-Jeanné, marketing director for the practice.

With a Best of 2016 Gold in the Pilot’s Reader Choice Awards, glowing patient reviews on social media, and one patient who drives two hours to see them, it seems that they are succeeding at the second goal, as well.

“They’ve really set the standard for customer service, making each visit fun and personable,” wrote Dan Ro on Jan. 11 on Facebook. “I have placed both my kids in braces in the past year and have been very pleased with the outcome so far. Dr Davidson and the entire staff are the best in Virginia Beach.”

With only one doctor and one location — at 401 N. Great Neck Road, Suite 122 — Davidson Orthodontics provides all the services of a traditional office and more.

“We have a high-energy, fun-loving and top-notch team,” Mary-Jeanné said. “We cannot carry out our vision alone, and their belief in the level of service we want to bring to our patients would not be possible without their support.”

Davidson Orthodontists provides complimentary consultations, reminder checks, individual treatment rooms and custom treatment plans. Because of their family experiences, they especially take care of military patients, she said.

“Even if it’s just someone coming in to wash the windows, we really roll out the red carpet for them,” Mary-Jeanné said.

Dr. Davidson gets to know each of his patients by name and makes it fun for the kids by providing sunglasses and other fun props for photos, which can be viewed on the practice’s Facebook page.

“He’s a lot of fun,” Mary-Jeanné said of her husband. “He always has a big smile and wears crazy socks to get the kids to smile.”

Other fun activities for patients include monthly in-office contests, patient rewards contests, concert ticket give-aways and referral prizes.

“We drive up and down the Eastern shore looking for the absolute biggest pumpkin we can find — has to be well over 100 pounds,” Mary-Jeanné said, “whoever guesses the weight closest takes it home. We are committed to making our patient’s time with us something to look forward to.”

Dr. Davidson advises that parents follow the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation that children see an orthodontist for an evaluation at age 7. But he said that many parents question why, when children at that age have much growth left and they don’t have all of their permanent teeth.

“The majority of these children will not need any orthodontic intervention at this stage,” he said. “A quick visit to the orthodontist will provide the parents great peace of mind knowing that they are doing the right thing.”

But, he points out, an orthodontist can spot problems that, if left undiagnosed, could lead to unnecessary treatment in the future.

“Orthodontists receive a tremendous amount of training related to growth and development, beyond just teeth, that give them a unique perspective from which to observe your child, beyond what your dentist may be able to diagnose,” he said. “For instance, if your child has a narrow upper jaw that causes them to shift their jaw to function at age 7, a permanent jaw asymmetry can develop by the time they have all their permanent teeth and are ready for braces, which normally occurs between the ages of 11 and 13. Your child may have an under bite due to a growth deficiency in the upper jaw that is most effectively treated before all of the permanent teeth erupt.”

Dr. Davidson said that parents also question why children are getting braces twice these days.

“Some of this trend stems from better diagnosis of problems at an earlier age, thanks to the efforts of the American Association of Orthodontists, and there is a growing demand by parents for a better-appearing smile well before all of the permanent teeth have erupted,” he said.

But he said he understands that this movement has caused some confusion on the part of parents who only want treatment if it is medically necessary for their children before all the permanent teeth have erupted.

“As an orthodontist, I understand that I am treating both the functional and psychological needs of the child as well as the concerns of the parents,” he said. “There are some parents who do not want their children to have to endure the same teasing and embarrassment that they experienced. I will always explain to those parents that this treatment is unnecessary now and can be treated once all the permanent teeth have erupted. The psychosocial benefit to the patient and parents is unique in every situation, so I try to avoid making a judgment on whether or not the child would benefit from braces at such a young age, for a purely aesthetic reason. I leave this decision up to the parents.”

With all patients, Davidson Orthodontics works to make treatment affordable, offering free consultation, interest-free financing, no-down-payment options and affordable monthly payments.

For more information, visit davidsonorthodontics.com or call 757-962-2499.

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