I enjoy making a positive change in people's lives. As an orthodontist, I work with many patients who come to me feeling embarrassed to smile, and I enjoy working with them throughout their treatment so that when their braces come off, they can’t stop smiling! It’s the most rewarding experience to see my patients' excitement when they see their new smiles for the first time, and to know I have made a difference in their lives.
I believe that the best treatment requires a skilled orthodontist to be in charge. That is why I insist on seeing every patient on every visit and I believe that difference shows in the final result. It also allows me to build a positive relationship with my patients, and provide the most personalized, comprehensive care possible.
- Bachelor of Science degree in Biology – Purdue University
- Doctorate of Dental Surgery – Indiana University School of Dentistry
- Master of Science degree in Orthodontics – University of Iowa
Following dental school, I served as a dental officer in the United States Navy. During this time, I gained valuable experience in general dentistry that I find very useful in coordinating treatment with my dental colleagues on complex dental problems. While in the Navy, I was also honored to receive the Navy Achievement Medal, one of the Navy's highest non-combat medals.
Continuing education is important to me because the art and science of orthodontics is constantly evolving. Although the basic principles of orthodontics remain the same, the technology and treatment options are constantly changing and advancing with time. Staying current with these trends allows me to provide more comfortable and efficient treatment to my patients. I regularly participate in an interdisciplinary study club that brings together dentists from all the specialties to work out treatment plans for complex cases. I also attend the American Association of Orthodontists meeting annually, which is four days packed with orthodontic-specific lectures. Finally, I round out my education with seminars that focus in depth on individual techniques that I feel will help me provide better care for my patients.
I have published six scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and have given numerous lectures to local dental, dental hygiene, and dental assisting groups and orthodontic training programs. I maintain membership in the Mt. Baker Dental Society, the Washington State Dental Association, the Washington State Society of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, and the American College of Dentists, and I am a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
I have also pioneered a technique to close the space for missing teeth in the bottom jaw while simultaneously correcting an overbite. Closing space in the bottom jaw is traditionally avoided because it makes the overbite bigger. This technique is a “game changing” treatment option that allows the patient to avoid the substantial cost of placement and ongoing maintenance of implants and crowns without compromising on results. My technique was featured in an international publication released in 2018.
Outside the Practice
I am originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, and have lived in Bellingham for more than 25 years. While serving in the Navy, I was stationed at Sand Point, in Seattle, and I developed a great love for the Pacific Northwest. After completing my Masters of Science in orthodontics, I knew I wanted to return to this area to begin practicing orthodontics, settle down, and raise my family.
My wife, Shari Cummins, MD, and I have three children ‐ our son, Kyle is studying at Washington State, and twin daughters, Madeline is at the University of Washington and Meleri is at Western Washington. We also have a cat and a new Weimaraner puppy. When I'm not at the practice, I enjoy spending time outdoors camping, hiking, backpacking, skiing and kayaking.