Dr. Jeff Heinz Explains Why He Became an Orthodontist

Hey Heinz Ortho fam. Dr. Jeff Heinz here with Heinz Orthodontics, coming in tonight to talk to you a little bit more about my journey and how I became an orthodontist. I didn’t always know that I wanted to be an orthodontist, but I had an experience that kind of led me into it. When I was a kid, my first orthodontic consultation was with the gentleman that everyone went to. He had all the games and some treats, and that’s where everyone went. And when we went there, he told me that I was going to be in braces for three years, which was a little bit surprising to me, but I thought, “Hey, that’s what braces are gonna look like for me. I just gotta do it.”

My mom was a little bit more suspicious and she wanted to get a second opinion. I figured, okay, what mama bear wants, mama bear gets, so let’s go get a second opinion. The other orthodontist that I went to told me that I needed to be in braces for a significantly shorter amount of time. He said it would be about a year to a year and a half, depending on how I did with my rubber bands. And I thought that’s weird. You know, what the heck’s the difference? So we decided to go with that second orthodontist. I was really good with my rubber bands, didn’t break a lot of braces off, and kind of cruised through treatment and got done in 11 months.

When I fast forward to me being in dental school and thinking about that situation, I was kind of perplexed. You know, what was the difference there? Why is there such a discrepancy in treatment times? So I started shadowing some other orthodontists while I was in dental school because I didn’t know, frankly, if I wanted to specialize or if I wanted to do general dentistry. So I shadowed, and I fell in love with the profession –  with the transformations and the fun that was had in offices. But I was also really curious about all the different ways to complete orthodontic treatment. And at every office that I went to, I found something different.

So I decided that it was going to be my mission – my passion – to do things better. I was going to get into ortho school, and I was going to figure out the best ways to do everything, and just deliver a better experience. Fortunately, I was able to graduate up on top of my class and was a good candidate for an orthodontic residency. I was accepted to Indiana University and It was a huge honor for me and a bit of a leap, too. But, you know, it was a ton of fun.

When I was there, I learned that there are just a million different ways – well not a million – to complete orthodontic treatment. So I kind of pieced those things together and created my own little way of doing things and came out in practice with a world-class practice in Novi, Michigan and learned even more there and learned how to deliver amazing consistent results in short treatment times where patients were comfortable and had a ton of fun. I wanted to be able to recreate that, so when I decided to start my own practice here in Rockford, Michigan, I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew what I needed to do, and here we are.

We opened our doors in September of 2020, and I’ve had an incredibly warm welcome. The community has been amazing and we’re starting to get new patients and we’re so excited. Our team is great. and it’s just everything that I had always hoped for. My favorite part of our days is those de-band days, or the days when patients are getting their braces off. You go through such a transformation with people, and it’s such a transformative time for the majority of our patients’ lives. You start seeing them when they’re 11 or 12, and they’re this little kid. Then you see them a year and a half later, and you’re seeing them once every couple of months, and you don’t really notice the big changes. But then when everything’s done, they have this big, beautiful, broad smile that’s lined up perfectly. It’s such an amazing moment. I’m super proud of the work, Mom and Dad are happy, and the kids are excited to see when they turn around that mirror and their faces light up. It just makes my day every time – I’ll never get tired of that.

So that’s why I’m in orthodontics. I wanted to do things better, deliver better customer service, and be part of a community where, when you see me rolling down the street, one of my patients will say, “Hey, Dr. Heinz, check it out. I’m still wearing my retainers, everything looks great, thank you so much. I always get compliments on my teeth!” I want to give back to the community and help out and participate in philanthropic missions and do all the things that this incredible career is going to allow me to do. And ultimately, I just want to look out for my patients. They’re going to get the best treatment every time and they’ll know that Jeff Heinz always has their best interests at heart. And when you’re here, you’re going to be treated like family. And when you leave, you’re gonna have a smile to remember.

Heinz Orthodontics proudly serves the Rockford, Grand Rapids, Greenville, Ada, and Cedar Springs communities and the surrounding area. In addition to Invisalign and Spark clear aligner treatments, Dr. Heinz offers a range of braces treatment options for kids, teens, and adults. Call us at (616) 951-3006 or click to schedule your complimentary consultation today!