Propel® Orthodontics is proud to support women leaders in orthodontics. Continuing our efforts to highlight exceptional female providers, we invited a select few from across the country to participate in the first ever edition of Propel’s Women Leaders in Orthodontics Panel. Giving us insight into the world of women orthodontists are Drs. Amy Jackson, Ruth Ross Edmonds, Sarah Davidson, and Yael Frydman.
Dr. Amy Jackson is a board-certified orthodontist who has been in practice for over 15 years. She is based in South Texas with 4 locations in the San Antonio area and has been a Propel Provider since 2013.
Dr. Ruth Ross Edmonds is an orthodontist and owner of Nashville’s Braces by Dr. Ruth. Both in and out of the office, Dr. Ruth brings dedication, discipline and a sense of joy to everything she does. She has been a Propel Provider since 2018.
Dr. Sarah Davidson is a board-certified orthodontist and fellow of the Royal College of Dentists. She is the co-owner of two private practices in eastern Canada, The Brace Space and Stuart Davidson Orthodontics and has been a Propel Provider since 2017.
Dr. Yael Frydman has been in private practice since 1998. Along with practicing at Dental Partners of Boston, Dr. Frydman is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Boston University, teaching Orthodontics to pre-doctoral students and orthodontic residents. Dr. Frydman is a Propel Orthodontics Top Provider and Key Opinion Leader, and joined our family in 2012.
Propel: Have you always wanted to be an orthodontist?
AJ: Life guided me to orthodontics.
RE: Yes, ever since 6th grade. My experience in braces made me want to pursue orthodontics.
SD: Yes, I have always had a desire to organize and sort things to make everything neat and tidy and function well. At the same time, I have always loved singing and dancing and acting. It was through theatre that I met a girl whose father was an orthodontist and realized orthodontics is truly a wonderful mix of science and art.
YF: Yes, although I was torn between dentistry and architecture. I ended up marrying an architect instead!
Propel: What has surprised you the most about pursuing this career path?
AJ: What has surprised me the most is definitely the time demands necessary.
RE: I have been surprised at how much things have changed and how it gets harder and harder to keep up with everything. You would think that you open a practice and straighten teeth, do your best, treat people right, and the people will come. There is so much more.
SD: Perhaps the most amazing discovery is how I see that orthodontics can change someone’s life. As soon as they get a beautiful, functional smile, they change other aspect of their lives for the better, too. Also surprising to me is how much more there is to being an orthodontist than just doing orthodontics. A large amount of time is spent running the business.
YF: I love the intellectual challenge of orthodontics, especially on multidisciplinary treatment planning and execution. My largest patient population is adult patients, especially those seeking full mouth rehabilitations. Interacting with talented prosthodontists and periodontists and delivering beautiful new smiles to our patients is so satisfying! And knowing that we are responsible for making that happen is phenomenal!
Propel: What advice do you have for young women studying to become orthodontists?
AJ: I would say, be confident and don’t let the obstacles deter you.
RE: Start small and build your practice. It’s less stressful that way. Also, try to get to know the dentists in the area where you are planning to practice, before you start actually practicing.
SD: Go for it! But recognize that it’s a minimum of 12 years of study, in a time when a lot of others are starting their families. The biggest challenge I had was that maternity leaves are limited. I did my masters research on Women and Orthodontics and work-life balance, so I had the opportunity to speak to many women who have made orthodontics their profession and their advice has guided me. You really have to work hard to be able to do it all.
YF: Follow your passion and your beliefs! Don’t compromise. It’s a great time with all of the advances and technology available to be able to do what we love!
Propel: What made you decide to become a Propel provider?
AJ: I decided to become a provider for time management purposes, as well as to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
RE: I believe in the science and everyone wants to finish treatment faster. We also try to be cutting edge and that’s how I would describe the MOPs® treatment and Propel’s VPro™ device.
SD: I always do research on products to see if they are something that would benefit my patients. I spend a lot of time with my patients when I have a consultation with them and listen to what they want. With the increasing number of my patients being adults, efficiency was a top concern.
YF: I feel it’s the right fit for my practice. It increases the predictability of treatment and accelerates or even makes clear aligners possible on more complex scenarios. It also allows my patients to reach their restorative phase much quicker.
Propel: What has patient response been like?
AJ: Very positive.
RE: It’s a little bit too early to tell for us. We do have one patient that travels all the way from South Carolina, and we performed MOPs because we are trying to close space with closing loops. His teeth have responded great and he is ecstatic.
SD: Patients are very excited about anything that saves time. Let’s face it, no one really wants to wear braces or clear aligners longer than needed. Patients also “feel” the difference. Their aligners fit better, they can change them more frequently and they report less discomfort.
YF: Positive! MOPs and vibration (or both) have been a game changer for me and my patients. They notice the difference – especially when they talk to anyone doing ortho without it, and how much easier and pain free it is for them!
Propel: How has incorporating Propel products affected your practice growth and bottom line?
AJ: It has definitely been for the better. I’ve been able to free up chair time and the fact that I now offer this service has created quite the little buzz in the community.
RE: Again, a bit too early to tell. We do get a lot of questions about it which is great, but it’s still new to our practice.
SD: Just this week I had a patient come in looking specifically for the “combo” that their friend had, meaning VPro and MOPs. Her words were “I want exactly what he had.” It was a case that I treated in only 6 months and she was amazed by what had been done in such a short amount of time. So yes, I do think that it helps with growth and differentiating yourself in the market.
YF: It made me grow as a practitioner, try more complex cases, finish faster, and have higher case acceptance. I couldn’t turn back.