Dr. Leslie Ellingson
The Tooth Doc’s Newest Team Member!
By Maria Harding
The Tooth Doc upholds a tradition of kindness and compassion while providing exceptional dental care. The newest member of this elite team is orthodontist Dr. Leslie Ellingson. Dr. Marty Matz, who has been in practice for about 30 years, opened the current location seven years ago when they moved to a brand new building. In a recent radio interview, he shared his hope that The Tooth Doc will be an enduring professional legacy. He feels that Dr. Leslie is a great asset to this legacy.
In turn, Dr. Leslie feels that The Tooth Doc’s mission of “Anxiety-Free Family Dentistry” is a perfect fit for her. “Dr. Matz has really tried to make it a calm, spacious, bright space. That’s why there are big windows with the chairs facing out. Everyone here tries to make it as serene as possible,” she shares. “I can take my time, make patients feel comfortable, and really get them on board with what our goals are and what it’s going to take to get there.”
Her patients appreciate this approach. “Dr. Leslie is amazing!” shares a parent. “We recently saw her for an evaluation for my daughter. Throughout the entire evaluation, she explained each part of what they would be doing as well as why this was the best course of treatment. She and her team took the time to explain each step to my daughter so that she wouldn’t be anxious.”
Children typically visit an orthodontist around age seven. Normal growth causes shifts and changes in a child’s mouth around this time, so how can parents know when to seek an orthodontic evaluation? One indicator might be if teeth are so crowded that children are having trouble caring for them. Orthodontists will also address jaw growth in young children. “Really strong forward growth of the lower jaw indicates a crossing of the bite, and we can help guide growth in that way,” Dr. Leslie says. Treatment is generally conservative. “Every orthodontist would agree that you do as little as you can at a time, with a specific goal in mind. Then, let them grow.”
Adults are seeking orthodontic care now more than ever. I asked Dr. Leslie if having a crooked smile, perhaps decades after braces were removed, was an indicator that something had been done incorrectly. “Not at all,” she reassures. “Just as much as your hair can change or your vision can get worse, your teeth will continue to move.”
Clear aligners and traditional braces each have their advantages and disadvantages. The doctor might recommend clear aligners for band students or athletes, on whom traditional braces could be obstructive or even dangerous. Just having the straightening device isn’t enough to maintain good tooth health, Dr. Leslie advises. “I think in a teen or young person, there is a maturity factor. You have to keep your teeth clean, and we need the home care and compliance.”
Order-from-home clear aligners are being heavily marketed and may seem like a time-saver, but Dr. Leslie advises caution. She explains, “There may be underlying gum disease or underlying infections that you wouldn’t see unless you have an up-to-date x-ray. It’s not just moving teeth. It’s far more complicated.” With quality, in-person orthodontic care, patients aren’t just getting a product; they are getting the benefit of their doctor’s expertise.
One of Dr. Leslie’s adult patients found that this individualized attention yielded ideal results. It was worth the time it took to manage her oral health correctly, she shares. “Dr. Leslie Ellingson took the time to go over all options for me. The timeframe she gave me during our consultation for my braces was exactly as predicted. My smile is now better than I could have ever imagined!”
Veneers and similar cosmetic corrections work well in conjunction with orthodontics but are not a substitute for straightening teeth. “If major tooth alignment needs to be done, a veneer is not your best option,” Dr. Leslie clarifies. “If you have teeth that are worn, shorter, or a color you don’t like, then a veneer is a good option. Undergoing even some alignment prior to veneer is a good idea.”
The appeal of The Tooth Doc is not only the convenience of having all services under one roof but also the synergetic relationship within this dental team. “It works beautifully to have orthodontics in with the general dentistry,” concludes Dr. Leslie. “Dr. Matz or Dr. Dan will come to me and say, ‘I want to stand this tooth up straighter before I put in an implant. What do you think?’ It works very nicely.”
Contact Dr. Leslie Ellingson and The Tooth Doc team for of all of your family’s dental needs. Their collaboration through kindness will brighten your day and your smile! You can reach The Tooth Doc at 402-397-8050 or 2thdoc.org.
Leslie Ellingson, DDS, MS