Dr. Jennifer Buchanan’s career path might have been different if she’d had braces at a younger age. “When I was ten, I was being pulled in a wagon, hit a bump, and fell face first into the pavement chipping one of my front teeth in half,” she said. “I was horrified! Luckily my dentist was able to build my tooth back up. However I was always self- conscious since the limited technology of the time involved placing a wire inside the tooth that would deteriorate over time, turn gray, and have to be periodically replaced.”
“I realize now if I’d had braces before then—instead of at 13—I wouldn’t have had such an overbite which makes it easier to chip teeth,” Dr. Buchanan said. In the ultimate case of making lemonade from lemons, that little girl grew up to become an orthodontist, opened a thriving practice in McKinney, and pioneered many of the technologies that not only allow kids to have earlier orthodontic intervention but also those that make braces a viable option for adults.
It’s been fun for Dr. Buchanan to treat some of her family members, including her sister at age 37 and her mother-in-law at 63. “My sister never had braces growing up since she did not have any bite problems as a child,” Dr. Buchanan said. “As we age our teeth become crowded and harder to floss, so she was requiring a lot of reconstructive dental work. Now her properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean. Plus, she looks great. My mother-in-law tells me all the time she wishes she’d gotten braces years earlier.”
Dr. Buchanan also treated her daughter, niece, and nephew. “My daughter and niece both had treatment broken into two phases; Phase I Treatment (Early Intervention) aligned their jaws and made room for their permanent teeth while Phase II Treatment finalized their bites with all of their permanent teeth,” she said. “My nephew was one of those rare kids who had Phase I (Early Intervention) and didn’t need to follow through with a second phase of treatment.” And even though Dr. Buchanan had braces herself as a teenager, as she learned more about the new Insignia Technology of customized braces that can move teeth and bone to widen smiles, she even put them on herself. “My patients got a kick out of seeing me in braces too,” she stated.
Through it all, she feels blessed to do a job she loves. “I don’t see myself ever retiring,” she said. “My Dad is a dermatologist who still works at age 81.”
When we had to close our office for six weeks, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I realized how empty I’d feel if I couldn’t help my patients smile.”
For 24 years Dr. Buchanan has continued to help the community smile with her various charities; Smiles Charity builds homes for wounded veterans and Shoes for Smiles provides new athletic shoes for the Boys and Girls Club.
Schedule a free consultation and learn why she was voted BEST orthodontist.
6595 Virginia Parkway, Suite 100
McKinney, Texas 75071