Dr. Walt’s decision to become an Orthodontist was inspired by his own direct personal experience.
Dr. Walt’s Personal Experience
When I was 11 years old, I received treatment by a very proficient orthodontist. He advised my family that my case was complex because of the unfavourable growth pattern in my jaw. We were given a variety of treatment options, ranging from orthodontics alone to orthodontics with jaw surgery. While we elected to take the orthodontics-only approach, the orthodontist warned that there was a likelihood of further unfavourable growth later in life, which could result in relapse of my bite.
Ten years later, I was in my second year of dental school. I was learning about orthodontics and I began to see evidence that my orthodontist’s prediction was correct, and that my bite had relapsed. This intrigued me, so I began to study my own case, striving to understand why my original treatment had been unsuccessful. It was through this process of search and discovery that I became fascinated with orthodontics and it dawned on me that I had found my calling. I decided to pursue specialty training and become an Orthodontist.
At around the same time I also decided to fix my bite once and for all; this time by having orthognathic surgery in conjunction with orthodontics. In technical terms, my problem could be classified as a Class II Malocclusion with an Anterior Open Bite. The main characteristics of this problem are:
- Retrusive lower jaw;
- Excessive display of the upper gum tissue;
- No vertical overlap of the front teeth;
- Excessive horizontal overlap of the front teeth;
- Restricted airway, leading to snoring at night (early signs of sleep apnea); and
- Worn jaw joints.
I had double jaw surgery (where both my upper and lower jaws were repositioned), which facilitated the orthodontic correction of my bite with braces. Having braces again—this time as an adult—was definitely an adjustment, but the results were well worth it.
Take a look at my before and after pictures and see firsthand how this treatment transformed my bite, my smile, and my face. I believe that this personal experience gives me a very unique understanding of what my patients go through and the impact I can have, through orthodontics, on their lives. This is why I love what I do and why I am so passionate about it.
If you have any questions about my experience, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Teaching & Professional Lectures
As a Faculty Member and Key Opinion Leader for Align Technology, Dr. Walt travels around the world to teach other orthodontists about Invisalign and frequently appears on TV.