Dr. Sonia Palleck

141102 Palleck FeatureStaying current and always learning

Serving the greater London and Wood-stock, Ontario, areas, Dr. Palleck runs an esteemed practice that regards its patients as the number one priority day in and day out and recognizes that technology is the future of the craft.

What can you tell us about your background, and why you decided to become an orthodontist?

I have four siblings, each of whom had orthodontic treatment as a child, just as I did. We were continually in and out of an orthodontic office, and I guess you could say that’s where I drew my inspiration to explore the profession. When I was 17 years old, I went to my orthodontist for my final retainer check, which happened to coincide with an aptitude test I had just taken in high school. I scored highest for being a dentist, and just like that, everything clicked! I went on to pursue dentistry at the University of Western Ontario and then completed 3 years of orthodontic specialty training at the same university. To come full circle, I now teach graduate orthodontic courses at the university, instructing graduate students about how to become orthodontists using Insignia™ (Ormco Corporation).

141102 Palleck 01How long have you been practicing, and what appliances do you use?

I have not only had orthodontic treatment, I have experienced almost every procedure and appliance you could have in your mouth! I have been retreated twice to deal with problems that developed as a direct result of my earlier treatment, which included serial extractions, headgear, and jaw surgeries. This has impacted my philosophy greatly. My role as an orthodontist is to get the teeth to fit together — the nice side effect is that they are straight! I want to do this in as few visits as possible with as little pain as possible and make it as affordable as possible. I have been practicing for 15 years and use a variety of tools, most notably Ormco’s Insignia™ Advanced Smile Design™, which offers patients customized treatment planning and appliances tailored to their specific needs. In fact, my practice was an early adopter of Insignia, and we are currently the largest provider in Canada. We use the Lythos™ scanner to start designing the appliances online. No more impressions! We are Elite providers of Invisalign® (Align Technology, Inc.), and we couple all of our treatment, whether it’s aligners or custom braces, with AcceleDent® (OrthoAccel Technologies, Inc.), a micropulse technology that soothes the teeth and speeds bone remodeling. I am definitely an early adopter when it comes to technology. If there’s a new, advanced product hitting the market, we either know what it is or have already placed our order for it.141102 Palleck 02

What is the most satisfying aspect of your practice?

The most satisfying aspect of my practice is having the opportunity to dramatically and positively impact people’s lives. It’s fulfilling to see a patient’s life change as a result of the work that my staff and I love doing so much. When treatment is finished, and the final smile is revealed, the look on each patient’s face is second to none. It gives my staff and me great joy that we’re able to inspire a new level of confidence in our patients. Every day I see retention patients who tell me about how much their new smile has changed their lives.

What is unique about your practice?

My staff is exceptional! My colleagues often complain that they have to deal with staff issues. I am fortunate not to have those problems. We are like one big, happy, energetic family. I have 10 amazing women who collectively have 104 years of orthodontic experience! They are highly motivated and are continually updating and upgrading their skills to meet the challenges that evolving systems have on a busy practice. We are expanding into the adult market with more than 30% of our practice now over 20 years of age. I believe this is because we can treat most patients in 12 months or fewer with our approach.141102 Palleck 03

What is the future of orthodontics?

I’m a strong believer that the future of orthodontics lies in technology. The profession as a whole is on the upswing, especially considering the influx of digital technologies. Practice tools such as Insignia are revolutionizing the market. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach to patient care, with Insignia, practitioners are able to create exactly what they need — something that has never been available before. The best part about introducing new technologies into my practice is that patients respond, and they respond well.

What are your top tips for main-taining a successful practice?

Always, always remember that the patient is the most important piece of the puzzle. If you keep the patient in mind with every decision you make and goal you set, you will build and maintain a successful practice. At Palleck Orthodontics, we aim to serve the patient as best as we possibly can.

What advice would you give to budding orthodontists?

There are three key pieces of advice that I would give to budding orthodontists.

  • Focus on your results. It’s important to remember that, ultimately, your patients’ results will determine your reputation in the marketplace. Giving your clients what they want — a beautiful, healthy smile — should be the primary focus.
  • Welcome technology with open arms. You never want to be behind the times. To remain relevant, you have to utilize the incredibly advanced orthodontic solutions that are continually made available to you. These tools have the capability to transform your practice and set you apart as a premium, patient-focused orthodontist.
  • Never stop learning. Mastering orthodontics is a lifelong learning process. Dedicate yourself to staying up-to-date on the latest technologies, techniques, and developments. This is what will keep you ahead of the curve.

When you’re not behind the chair, where are you?

I enjoy being active outside — I love biking, running, and swimming. In my leisure time, I also like to read or play golf with my husband. Of course, my young daughter keeps me busy as well! She signed us up for Zumba! Spending time with family and friends is very important to me.

141102 Palleck 04If you hadn’t become an orthodontist, what would your career have been?

I would probably be a writer or a professor. More specifically, I think I would really have enjoyed being an English professor. I love using my imagination. In a way, with orthodontics I get to flex my creative muscle every day.

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