Doctor History

Dr. Nate Writes a Poem...

December 13th, 2017

As I sit down every Tuesday night to brainstorm over the week's blog post, I find my mind easily wanders.  And, most of the time that is a unwelcome distraction.  However, last night I went quickly from Christmas.  The reason is obvious, but what came next was very serendipitous (or, at least, amusing).  So, without any more ado let me present my Orthodontic interpretation of "The Night Before Christmas."  Enjoy...


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even for floss;

The rubber bands were all set in their mouths with care,

In the hope that Dr. Nick soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of braces danced in their heads,

And Mom with her Invisalign, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap-

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away down the hall I flew like a kite,

Tore open the door, and threw on the light. 

The moon on the surface of the new fallen snow,

Gave the luster of white teeth to objects below;

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so spry and so quick,

I knew in a moment it must be Dr. Nick!

More rapid than a plane his reindeer they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

“Now! Brushin', now! Flossin', now! Fixin', and Pliers,

On! Molars, on! Cuspids, on! Incisors, and Wires.”

“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now scrub away! Scrub away! Scrub away all!”

As plaque leaves before our appointments we try,

When they meet the doctors with eyes to the sky.

So up to the house-top the reindeer they flew,

With a sleigh full of brushing supplies—And Dr. Nick too:

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney Dr. Nick came with a bound:

He was so dapper dressed, from his head to his foot,

But his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of gloves and tools flung on his back,

And he looked like our doctor as he opened his pack:

His eyes—how they twinkled!  His dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

His smile was drawn all up like a bow,

And his teeth were like pearls as white as snow;

His spectacles were held high and light on his nose,

With his white doctor's coat down to his toes. 

He had a thin face, and the kindest of eyes

They twinkled when he smiled, like he'd won a prize.

He was skinny and fit, a right jolly old elf. 

And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,

And fix’d all our smiles; then turn’d with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside with his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like a down of a thistle:

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-

Happy Christmas to all, and to all smile bright!

My Calling

February 15th, 2017

Dr. Nate here!  I wanted to explain why I am an Orthodontist.  This is a question we get asked at least once a week.  Usually it starts with 'how can you look in someone's mouth all day long' or 'you must really love teeth.'  Well, there are worse things to spend a day looking at than the mouth, and no I don't have any particular fascination with teeth.  For me, the drive to become an orthodontist came from something deeper.  It is a passion that continues to this day.

For as long as I can remember, Dad volunteered at the Akron Children's Cleft Palate Clinic.  It is now called the Craniofacial Clinic as it encompasses all forms of facial anomalies.  There are only 7 of these clinics in Ohio, so families come from all over the state to Akron Children’s Hospital.

Before I entered my last year of college, I had spent most of the summer shadowing area physicians and surgeons because I thought I wanted to be a heart surgeon.  A few weeks before heading back to school, Dad asked me if I wanted to come with him up to the Craniofacial Clinic and see what he did there.  I said of course, not thinking the morning would end up changing my entire life...

The first thing you realize when you are at the Craniofacial Clinic is how important this place is to kids who need tremendous amounts of treatment, most often beyond orthodontics.  There are a team of specialists (plastic surgeons, ENTs, speech pathologists and more) who collaborate on each child’s case to come up with a plan that could start within the first month of life and end in their 20s.

Obviously the orthodontics involved is beyond what most people would consider 'standard braces.'  Dad would work with the surgeons to help correct some of the most complicated anomalies you could imagine.  But it wasn't the physical challenge, or the satisfaction of seeing how great the end-result was that sucked me in.  What made me want to be an orthodontist was watching those young adults who had gone through countless surgeries, physical therapy, and, yes, multiple rounds of orthodontics, smile with confidence for the first time in their lives.

I never looked back…

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