Dr. Michaela McCormick recently joined her father's orthodontic practice, McCormick Orthodontics, which has offices in West Grove, Oxford and Kennett Square. Dr. Joseph McCormick, who has been an orthodontist and owned his own practice for more than 35 years, welcomed his daughter to his business at the beginning of the summer.Michaela did her undergraduate work at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Va., then went to Temple Dental School at Temple University, graduating in 2005, before becoming specialized in orthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania and graduating from there in June.

Michaela attributes her interest in orthodontics to the way it fits her personality compared to other dentistry specialties.

"I think I have a lot of energy. I traditionally picked schooling according to how it fit with what I liked. And my dad and I happen to be pretty similar," she said. "So orthodontics fit with me the best."

After taking a week off to move to New London with her husband, Michaela joined her father's practice when she was four months pregnant with her first child.

Now at the seven-and-a-half-month mark, she said she plans to take time off after the baby is born, but will return to work about four weeks later. She said her husband, who currently works as a sales representative, will be a stay-at-home dad when she goes back to work.

Michaela said her time at the practice will be evenly split between all three locations. She works three days of the Monday through Thursday schedule at a different location than her father, but they work together on Wednesdays.

"Working together allows us to think and solve cases together," she said. "It's nice to constantly bounce ideas off each other."

The office where they work together changes every week, so they can spread their time fairly among all three locations.

Michaela said she decided to join her father's practice because it was "pretty much a given" after she received her degree in orthodontics.

"Not many people have an opportunity to work with their parents on a personal level," she said. "I've watched my dad my whole life, and I admire the way he has things set up. I don't think I would have wanted to work for anyone else or with anyone else."

The McCormick practice was already somewhat of a family affair. Michaela's mother, Maria McCormick, who has a Ph.D. in education and taught at LaSalle University, manages the practice.

Michaela assumes that she'll be taking over the business once her parents retire.

"Already, I think I'm doing more and more of the diagnoses, which gives my dad more time to focus on other things," she said. "But it will take me a few years to learn all the management aspects of the practice."

Since McCormick Orthodontics has been around for so many years, Michaela said they are well known in the area.

"We treat the children of former patients," she said. "We know the area and the people."

McCormick also offers a new technology for patients who need braces. SureSmile, a more precise method used to straighten a patient's teeth using the accuracy of a machine and virtual imaging, shortens the time a patient has to have braces by four to six months.

"As far as I know, there's no other practices in this area that use that technology," Michaela said.

The SureSmile machine was installed at the beginning of the summer, and the employees at the practice took educational courses at the end of August to learn how to best use the features of the technology.

The most rewarding part of the profession, Michaela said, is seeing patients without their braces for the first time after treatment.

"It's so rewarding just seeing someone so proud to have a nice smile," she said. "You're sending them out the door with a healthier life."

McCormick Orthodontics treats patients of all ages, no matter what their dental condition, with offices in Oxford, Kennett Square and West Grove. Their hours are Monday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mccormickorthodontics.com or contact one of the offices at 610-932-2917 (Oxford), 610-444-2343 (Kennett Square) or 610-869-5660 (West Grove).

For more information on SureSmile, visit www.suresmile.com.

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