In 1997, at the age of 17, I finished a course of transformative orthodontic treatment that allowed me to smile confidently for the first time in years. My case, which took more than 3 years, was even featured in orthodontic journals. While I’d like to tell you that this made me want to become an orthodontist, it was only the beginning of my journey to creating Joosse Family Orthodontics.
Throughout high school and college, I had a passion for learning, primarily for the many different sciences. I loved studying biology, geology, chemistry and physics, but, by the end of college, I lacked direction.
After college, I entered a PhD program in neuroscience. I felt intellectually fulfilled, but I kept wondering how far removed I was from actually serving people. It would take years, possibly decades, for any of the things we were researching to actually impact the lives of people. I left the program to pursue something more service-oriented.
I landed at the admissions office at William and Mary, a place where I volunteered throughout college. There, I represented my alma mater, but more importantly I served the public by educating prospective students and parents about college and the college admissions process. I loved my job at William and Mary, but I missed science.
It was during those years that I found my calling in dentistry: first by shadowing dentists, then with a Mission of Mercy trip to Wise, VA.
Dental school at the University of Pennsylvania provided me with opportunities to pursue my passions. My love for science was fulfilled by courses like anatomy and pharmacology. My passion for learning was fulfilled by the ability to pursue a second graduate degree in Higher Education. My passion to serve people was nurtured by working on the Penn Smiles bus that traveled to elementary schools, conducting oral cancer screenings at homeless shelters, and participating in Bridging the Gaps, a summer internship working at a summer camp for homeless adolescents.
My interest in orthodontics was first sparked during dental school during a wire bending course, but I really found my passion for orthodontics during my Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency program. I had the opportunity to practice orthodontics and I loved thinking about the movement of teeth in space. I also loved how eager my patients were to see me and how much of a difference orthodontics could make for their self-esteem.
I was fortunate to attend a top-notch orthodontic residency program at the University of the Pacific; the university where Invisalign was and continues to be developed. My education in Invisalign was exemplary. My instructors demanded excellence. Board certification, while not required to practice orthodontics, was expected and I was board certified within six months of graduation.
After residency, Alex (my wife) and I decided to move to Virginia. I’ve always eyed a return to Virginia because no matter where we lived, Virginia was always home. I’ve always felt a kinship with people here and it’s the people of Virginia who I want to serve.
I am now back in my college hometown, serving amazing people, practicing what I love. It has been an unbelievable journey so far and I’m grateful and thankful for the many people who contributed to my education and to my journey. I absolutely love what I do, and I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve you and your family with excellent orthodontics.