BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — McCartney Orthodon-tics has been a staple at the corner of Wayne and Conant streets in Maumee for more than two decades.
When Dr. Elizabeth McCartney purchased the practice 25 years ago, she knew she was making herself a home in Maumee.
“I really like being part of this Maumee community,” Dr. McCartney said. “I like living here and working here. It’s a very welcoming community.”
She also understands the importance of working where she lives. It’s not uncommon for her to see her patients at the grocery store or walking uptown, so it adds another sense of responsibility to her job. As an orthodontist, she hopes each time she sees her patients, she earns a smile.
“I like improving people’s smiles. I like giving them a beautiful smile for life,” she explained. “It’s really fun to look at their teeth and mouth before and after orthodontics. Some of my patients, especially the younger teenagers, the before and after is amazing – just how much bigger their smile has gotten.”
Dr. McCartney has noticed the confidence and self-esteem her work can instill in many of her patients, so it’s not a job she takes lightly. Orthodontics is more than just straight teeth, she said.
Many of her patients are around the ages of 11 to 14, and they might be nervous about braces, but she reminds them it is the best time to get them.
“At 11 to 14 years old, traditional orthodontics with the wires and braces works the best,” Dr. McCartney said. “People can get braces at any age, but they work better at this age because the changes I make can be permanent if they wear a retainer.”
It is hard, however, for some families to find the money for orthodontic care. Dr. McCartney understands, especially with inflation increasing the costs of everyday items, that some families have to weigh the benefits of certain things they purchase.
“I’m a naturally honest person and I learned that from my parents. If someone comes in here and they don’t really need an orthodontic treatment or their problem is so minor that they won’t benefit from the huge cost of braces, I will tell them that,” she said. “Why should they spend big bucks on something that’s going to be a minor fix?”
Dr. McCartney stated that, when treatment is necessary, there are plans in place to help families pay for the procedure with low down payments and interest-free plans.
“The first visit, called a new patient exam, is free,” Dr. McCartney explained. “People are looking for information – do they need the braces now or can they wait? The first consultation is free because they’re here for information. They shouldn’t have to pay for that.”
There are also other orthodontic treatments aside from traditional braces with metal wires that patients can consider when calculating the costs. Both aligners and clear braces are now options.
“They’ve improved clear braces so much over the years,” Dr. McCartney said. “They’re a little bit more expensive than the metal braces, but adults like them. They are clear. You cannot see them on the teeth.”
Adults do make up a significant portion of the customer base at McCartney Orthodontics. Some adults are there because they never had braces as kids when they needed them. Others are there because they tried another option that did not provide results, such as aligners by mail, or they did have braces, but never used their retainers.
It’s a common question she gets asked during her free consultations – will the patient need a retainer?
“Retainers are just as important as the braces,” Dr. McCartney reminds her patients. “Retainers keep the teeth straight.”
Many people also ask if they will need drilling or shots during the orthodontic treatment and the answer is no to both. Questions like these can be asked during the new patient exam, which can be scheduled by calling McCartney Orthodontics at (419) 893-0573. Dr. McCartney said she is in network with most insurances and referrals from the dentist are not necessary.
In fact, many of her best patients are referred to the practice by current or previous patients. It’s part of what keeps her going, she said, knowing that her patients trust her enough to recommend her to their family and friends.
“It makes me feel good, knowing they trust me,” she said. “Since I have been here now for 25 years, my former patients are now bringing their children to me for their orthodontic needs.”
Her patients, she said, also like that she personally performs all of the procedures on each patient at every appointment.
She hopes to continue serving her patients in and around Maumee for years to come, knowing they trust her to improve their smiles.
Those interested in using her services can call (419) 893-0573 to schedule an initial free consultation. The office, located at 227 Conant St., is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Her website is mccartneyorthodontics.com.