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A Smile Changed John Phillips’ Life

I have known Dr. John Phillips for a dozen years and he is one of those people you like to be around. He takes the time to ask about how you are and how your kids are. Anytime I run into John, he is always smiling. It’s never been surprising to me that John built a wonderful orthodontic practice over 32 years, now with 12 locations, because he is always talking about how meaningful it is to help folks feel better about themselves and their smile. That kind of caring is a good recipe for success.

John has always believed “a smile can change a life.” It was his experience as a boy, and he has spent his life helping others experience that too. One of his locations is now on Fieldstown Road in Gardendale and, as he has done in all his locations, he has surrounded himself with a team of doctors and staff that share his passion for helping patients achieve a great smile.

I spent a little time with John recently to get a little more of his story and how he came to choose Gardendale as he continues to grow PT Orthodontics.

Tell our readers a little about you and your journey to orthodontics?

I grew up in Forestdale, attended Minor High School, the University of Alabama, UAB School of Dentistry and LSU Orthodontic Residency Program. I played in the band in high school and still enjoy playing guitar and trumpet today. I have been married 36 years, I have two children and my daughter, Maddie, will complete her orthodontic residency in December and will be joining PT Ortho. I’m REALLY happy about that!

As a child, I was the funny looking, bucked-toothed kid who was always self-conscious about my smile. I had braces when I was 12, and two years later I was transformed. From that moment I knew I wanted to be an orthodontist. I wanted to give this gift of transformation to others. I still love seeing the transformation of smiles in our practice today. Getting those braces at age 12 changed the course of my career. Previously I wanted to be an astronaut.

Talk about your vision early on for PT Orthodontics. When did you know that you wanted to start acquiring other practices and expand your footprint for the business?

Well, I never dreamed we would have 12 locations. When I opened my first practice in 1990, I thought I would be in Hoover and have a traditional one doctor practice. Eventually that practice grew too large for me to handle alone. Dr. Mark Todd joined the practice and a couple of years later we had an opportunity to acquire a second location. We then realized that there were other orthodontists nearby that were great doctors and thought, why have competitors, why not have them join us. It was at this point, I began to see the potential of multiple locations, not only for the convenience of our patients, but for economies of scale, having the ability with multiple doctors to consult on difficult cases and numerous other benefits.

How important for you has it been to find the right fit as to acquiring practices with good doctors, in good locations, in order to stay true to your vision for PT Orthodontics?

It is of the utmost importance that the doctors who join our team are not only the best clinicians, but also share our vision of providing exceptional patient care with outstanding customer service. We truly want to transform smiles, because as we say at PT Ortho, A smile can change a life. We try to choose locations that have a need, and then locate the office so it is close to where folks work and go to school.

Dr. Paige Whitt. Credit: PT Orthodontics.

How did you choose the Gardendale location? What made you choose Gardendale as a next area of expansion?

Dr Greg Osborne and I both did our Orthodontic training at LSU and I knew him to an outstanding doctor and person. With his great reputation for patient care and excellence, it was a no-brainer for him to join our team. As time went by, Dr. Paige Whitt, also a graduate of LSU Orthodontic residency and a great doctor, joined the Gardendale practice and patients love her as much as they do Dr. Osborne.

Dr. Greg Osborne with patient. Credit: PT Orthodontics.

How has PT Orthodontics been received by the Gardendale and North Jefferson community, and do you have any plans to expand the location?

PT Ortho LOVES Gardendale. The patients, the sense of community, excellent schools all make for a winning combination. We felt welcomed from day one, are committed to the area and if expansion is necessary, we will do it. We are here to stay.

Are there any business climate changes you would like to see in Gardendale that could help you grow your business?

Gardendale is thriving and growing, which is great for the orthodontic business and all business.

You can find out more about the Gardendale PT Orthodontics location by clicking here.