Dr. Aaron Swapp has extolled the virtues of dental floss to many a patient. Then he discovered a use he’d never dreamed of. “My wife, Ashley, and I had our fourth child in December,” he said. “The baby came so fast that we didn’t have time to make it to the hospital. I ended up delivering her in our bathroom, with the 911 operator on the phone.”
Dr. Swapp admits he didn’t really do much. “The operator told me to catch the baby because they’re slippery,” he said. “After she was born, I used dental floss to tie off the umbilical cord. Everything worked out great. The baby is perfect and healthy, and my wife is amazing.”
It’s just one more chapter in what has been a fulfilling life for Aaron. Born the oldest child and only boy in a family of eight, he enjoyed an active childhood camping, scouting, working on cars, and off-roading in his Jeep. He was blessed with several positive role models, including his scout leader and other family friends, all of whom were dentists.
It wasn’t long before he entertained thoughts of a dental career himself. “I was able to shadow my scout leader in his family practice, and eventually work in a dental lab to determine if it was the right path for me,” Aaron said. That’s when another mentor emerged, an orthodontist who encouraged Aaron to put in the extra three years after dental school to obtain his orthodontic degree. It was an exciting time for Aaron, even more so when he met a lovely young woman who would become his wife.
Now with a growing family and his own booming orthodontic practice, Aaron does his best to follow in the footsteps of the men who so inspired him. “Our practice is very family-oriented,” he said. “I treat every patient as if they were a member of my own family. My staff and I are always looking for ways we can go above and beyond for our patients; to offer them things they might not find elsewhere.”
“We place a huge emphasis on keeping teeth healthy throughout orthodontic treatment,” he said. “I’ve seen situations where the teeth are really straight at the end of treatment, but there are white scars around the braces from not brushing properly. To prevent this, we place a protective seal around all the braces. It’s an additional step that most offices don’t do. But it gives me peace of mind knowing the teeth will be safer and the results will be better.”
Dr. Swapp strives to always be available to speak with patients personally, even after hours. “Every patient sees me at every visit,” he said. “I try to learn more about them, and support them whenever I can. We try to keep things fun and light-hearted and offer ample after-school appointment times, so patients rarely miss school to see the orthodontist.”
Dr. Swapp prefers to see kids by age seven to determine whether they need early intervention. “I am very conservative, and recommend early treatment only when it’s absolutely necessary,” he said. “In most cases I complete orthodontic treatment in one phase after all adult teeth have erupted.” But not all of his patients are kids. “About 25 percent are adults,” he said. “Because adults are more concerned about esthetics, they appreciate that we offer clear braces and Invsialign aligners at no extra charge. We also have a new state-of-the-art iTero 3-D scanner that allows us to capture a 3-D impression of a patient’s teeth without using gooey impression material. It’s a great option for our Invisalign patients.”
Swapp Orthodontics is the only private practice orthodontic office in the Arlington/Mansfield area to offer the Damon bracket system to every patient. “These braces have little doors on them that can hold the wires on the patient’s teeth. In certain situations, this allows for faster initial tooth movement,,” Dr. Swapp said. “With this system, the colored elastic ties used for most braces can be optional. Those ties are what usually stain when someone has clear braces, so the clear Damon braces look amazing.”
Meet Dr. Swapp
Dr. Swapp graduated from UNLV Dental School, where he finished summa cum laude, and was given the Dean’s award for top academic honors. He completed his orthodontic training at Baylor and received the Baylor Orthodontic Oscar for the best treated orthodontic case in his class. Next, he put in the extra time and study to obtain his board certification, which only 33% of orthodontists acquire. He accepted a teaching position at Baylor College of Dentistry, where he teaches about dental lasers, 3D X-rays, and new technology in orthodontics.
Dr. Swapp has published multiple dental articles and recently received the Watson Award, given to the highest-rated research article of the year in the most prestigious orthodontic journal. He’s a member of American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Texas Orthodontic Study Club, Southwestern Society of Orthodontists, and Greater Dallas Association of Orthodontists.
When not on the job, Dr. Swapp enjoys spending time with his wife, Ashley, and their four amazing children. They are active in their church and the community. Dr. Swapp is still a scout leader with weekly meetings. He gives a class to local troops where they can earn the dentistry merit badge. “If I ever find time, I still love working on cars,” he said. “I also like to camp, hike, and do other outdoor activities. I enjoy wood-working and have made several pieces of furniture in our home.” Dr. Swapp is also working with local schools to make custom mouth guards for their athletes with all proceeds donated back to the team and school.
“It was hard to know if I would like orthodontics when I started on this educational journey,” Dr. Swapp said. “But I’m one of the fortunate people who love what they do.”
800 Matlock Road
By Meredith Knight
Photography by Dustin Doskocil