Practice Profile – Dr. James B. Reynolds

Dr. James B. Reynolds | Revved up about orthodontics in the Motor City

What can you tell us about your background?

I grew up in Lake Orion, Michigan, which, at the time, was a small town, home to the largest automotive factory under one roof in the world. My father worked for the phone company and traveled quite a bit. My mom was a teacher who retired from teaching at the Michigan School for the Blind to raise me and my sister. Both of my parents are very strong people who did everything they could for our family. As a kid, my dad would take me to Detroit Pistons games, and I desperately wanted be in the NBA.

Why did you decide to focus on orthodontics?

Once I figured out my jumpshot and cross¬over dribble weren’t up to snuff, I wanted to be an athletic trainer. I started college at the University of Michigan, intending to work as a trainer for a professional sports team. After 2 years working as a student-trainer, I decided it wasn’t for me. A conversation with a close family friend (who was a general dentist) convinced me to take a good look at orthodontics. The rest is history.

How long have you been practicing, and what systems do you use?

I am in my 11th year of practice. We use Insignia™, the Damon® System (including Damon Clear), and Invisalign® in our practice. In the last few months, we have begun dabbling with Orchestrate custom aligners as well. I am really interested in digital orthodontic products.

What training have you undertaken?

My residency at the University of Detroit-Mercy was very eclectic. We learned everything from zero prescription braces to self-ligation. Our philosophies ranged from substantial functional appliance usage to hardcore Roth-Williams techniques. I think these broad-ranging experiences really opened my eyes to carefully evaluate different techniques and take a little from each. Since residency, I have taken a wide variety of courses including the Damon Forum, Invisalign Summit, and courses on neuromuscular dentistry at LVI. I participate in several study groups, including Ormco’s Insiders group and the Progressive Orthodontist group. It takes a lot of tools in the orthodontic toolbox to achieve an excellent clinical and experiential result, and each patient requires a slightly different approach. The more you know about different techniques, the better able you are to solve challenging situations in the clinic.

Who has inspired you?

Now, my biggest inspiration is my awesome wife and kiddos. Everything I do is ultimately for them. Professionally, Dwight Damon has had the biggest impact on my clinical philosophy. Also, I was fortunate enough to work with a very sharp guy and great orthodontist, Larry Spillane, right out of residency. He has taught me a lot, and I am much further along clinically from working with him. And the list goes on: Bob Smith, Tom Pitts, David Sarver, John Graham, Jim McNamara, Jeff Kozlowski, and many others. We have an amazing profession with a lot of incredible and inspirational people.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your practice?

Hard to pick. We have such an awesome profession! If I had to narrow it down to just one thing, the post-debond conference is really great. Every day we take braces off people, reveal their new smile, and — if we have done our jobs — have super happy patients who are beaming from ear to ear. Hard to beat that with any other profession.

Professionally, what are you most proud of?

We try really, really, hard to bring leading-edge treatment back home to Metro Detroit. Larry (Spillane) and I are both born and raised in Detroit. When you grow up here, you are used to other areas of the country having different opinions about what things are like in Detroit. Most of us get a pretty big chip on our shoulder when it comes to sticking up for our hometown. It is super important to me to bring the best orthodontic treatment in the world to the patients and families in my practice, and we are relentless in this pursuit of excellence.

What do you think is unique about your practice?

First and foremost, we try to treat each person who walks in the door as if he/ she were a member of our family. Any advice we give for treatment is exactly how we would advise a family member. Also, our practice is one of the most experienced practices in the world using Insignia customized braces. Individually customized orthodontics has become a huge component of our practice.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I am a big believer in the saying, “If you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse,” so am constantly challenging myself in as many areas of my life as I can. Except dancing; I will never be a good dancer. Recently, I have been asked to lecture a lot. It is very intimidating to get up and speak in front of brilliant doctors who have taught you everything you know. It has been very challenging for me to keep my nerves in check before speaking.

What would you have become if you had not become a dentist?

If I were a little taller, or if I was born in California, I would love to have become a beach volleyball player. I played professionally around the Midwest for a while, but could never quite make the cut for the national circuit. But, I love getting to the beach as much as I can. Believe it or not, Michigan has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Just a little harder to play around here in December than it is in Manhattan Beach.

What is the future of orthodontics and dentistry?

Without a doubt, the future lies in digital treatment planning and individually customized orthodontics. Treatments like Insignia, which allow a customized set of braces and wires to be built for each patient before treatment, will rapidly become the standard of care. I am also really interested in accelerated orthodontics and am enjoying the new techniques and devices that increase the speed — while maintaining the quality — of orthodontic treatment.

What are your top tips for maintaining a successful practice?

Look at every single patient, and treat him/ her like you would your own family. And, take your patients’ time into consideration like your own. Accomplish as much as possible each visit to minimize the amount of time your patients spend in your office. They all have very busy lives and will appreciate your respect of their time.

What advice would you give to budding orthodontists?

Most of us get out of residency with a pretty clear vision of what we want our practice to be about. However, most residencies are biased based on the individual views of the leaders in their program. Get out and go to as many CE meetings as you can afford in your first few years. There is a ton of information out there that wasn’t given in your residency, and your eyes may be opened to some incredible new things. Mine were.

What are your hobbies, and what do you do in your spare time?

Love spending time with my family. My wife and I really love to travel. It’s tougher now with two kiddos, but we travel when we get a chance. Orthodontic meetings are, thankfully, usually in fun places. I am getting a little long in the tooth to compete at a high level on the beach volleyball court, so I am giving triathlons a shot now. Last summer, I did my first and am looking forward to trying a bunch more this summer.


1            My family. I have such an amazing family.

2            My health. Without your health, what do you have?

3            Insignia. Totally changed my practice, both my results and my efficiency. I can finally give results like you see presented at big meetings on the vast majority of my patients. Thanks to Jeff Kozlowski and Bob Smith for getting me involved.

4            My Apple® products. If it starts with “i,” I probably have it. I was one of those dorks waiting in line for the first iPhone®. I don’t carry a picture of Steve Jobs around in my wallet, but I have thought about it.

5            The Big House — Michigan Football Stadium. If you haven’t taken in a game there, add it to your bucket list. Whether you see Michigan play Toledo or that other team from Ohio, there isn’t a better place on the planet to watch a football game. Go Blue!

6            Digital Scanners. Love my iTero™. Anxiously awaiting the new Ormco scanner. Patients hate impressions.

7            The private island at the Renaissance® Hotel in Aruba. Book a trip, and enjoy an amazing time with your spouse.

8            My Kindle app. Kind of goes along with the everything Apple, but I go to sleep every night reading on my iPad®. I enjoy reading, as it helps my mind slow down from hectic days.

9            George R. R. Martin. If you haven’t gotten into the Game of Thrones books or the HBO series, I highly recommend those. Yes, I am a science fiction nerd, but my wife really likes it, too. And not because she is humoring me (I think).

10            My office team. I always tell them I would put our team up against anyone’s, and I really mean it. Our team is awesome!

For more information on Dr. James B. Reynolds please visit

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