L. Douglas Knight, DMD

Knight life

Reviewing diagnostic records prior to a consultation
Reviewing diagnostic records prior to a consultation

What can you tell us about your background?
Following dental school, I completed a General Practice Residency and spent 7 years practicing dentistry in the Army Dental Corps. I became very active in the Academy of General Dentistry and earned my Fellowship in the AGD. My time in the military gave me a great foundation and an appreciation for interdisciplinary dentistry. It was also during my time in the Army that I first met my future mentor, Dr. Ron Roth. He inspired me to pursue a career in ortho-dontics. After attending one of his lectures at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I applied to orthodontics.

Why did you decide to focus on orthodontics?
I was inspired by Dr. Roth’s passion to treat the entire dentofacial complex and not just straighten the teeth. Orthodontics requires an understanding of the dental and skeletal system, growth, airway, and facial esthetics. It requires thought! Thus, no two patients are the same, and no two days are the same.

How long have you been practicing, and what systems do you use?
I just celebrated my 20th year in practice. I have been using self-ligating brackets for the past 16 years. For the last 6 years, I have been using a hybrid system, passive in the posterior and active in the anterior.


douglas-knight-orthodontistWhat training have you undertaken?
During my orthodontic residency, I began the Roth Williams Course on Functional Occlusion for Orthodontists. Upon completing this 2-year course, I began assisting in teaching the course. The course has now been enhanced to incorporate additional training in facial esthetics and airway management, but still remains true to the Roth Williams treatment philosophy. I now teach the course with two of my best friends, Dr. Straty Righellis and Dr. Carl Roy.

Who has inspired you?
Several people have provided a great deal of inspiration and education throughout my career. Dr. Bill Arnett has shared his knowledge of orthognathic surgery, Dr. David Hatcher on radiology, Dr. Jeff McClendon on bioesthetic dentistry, and Dr. Rick Roblee on accelerated orthodontics.

Teaching partners Dr. Bob Williams and Dr. Carl Roy
Teaching partners Dr. Bob Williams and Dr. Carl Roy
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Knight Orthodontics with his wonderful staff
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Knight Orthodontics with
his wonderful staff

What is the most satisfying aspect of your practice?
Finishing difficult cases and achieving the goals, while pleasing the patients’ desires. It doesn’t get any better than that. Happy patients; happy practice!

Professionally, what are you most proud of?
I’ve been fortunate to work with a great group of dedicated dentists and specialists in my area (Louisville, Kentucky), and together we’ve been able to generate a lot of nice cases, which have been good for teaching. It makes going to the office each day purposeful, and both my patients and students benefit.

What do you think is unique about your practice?
In addition to straightening teeth, we strive to provide bites, which are functional as well. Condylar position, guidance, airway, and facial esthetics all have measurable goals, and we place great emphasis on improving with treatment.

What has been your biggest challenge?
I’m probably my own biggest critic. I feel anything is possible if you believe in yourself, and you can envision your goal. When things don’t turn out as I might wish they would, I can usually look in the mirror to see who is at fault.

knight-dmd-top-10-favoritesWhat would you have become if you had not become a dentist?
I’m not sure; I never really had a fallback plan. I had always pursued a career in dentistry.

What is the future of orthodontics and dentistry?
I think the future is bright if we can continue to provide a high level of service that is more than just esthetics.

What are your top tips for main-taining a successful practice?
Treat your patients as you would want to be treated. Don’t drive yourself crazy concerning yourself with production. Focus on quality of treatment and putting the patients’ care first. Everything else really does take care of itself.

What advice would you give to budding orthodontists?
Continue your education past your residency. There is so much to learn. You owe it to yourself and your patients.

What are your hobbies, and what do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy, of course, spending time with my family, but I also enjoy teaching.

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