About Dr. Datwyler
y father was an orthodontist. Often, while growing up, I thought I wanted to be an orthodontist and follow in his footsteps. However, in high school I was introduced to architecture and that became the path I chose to follow. Not until after completing my architectural education and working for several years did I begin to feel incomplete and dissatisfied. After a couple years of soul searching, I decided to change careers. It felt natural to look to dentistry and orthodontics… that’s when I began down that path.
Dr. David R. Datwyler, DDS
I really enjoy encountering patients or parents several years later and hear them say, “I love my smile,” or “My son’s teeth looks so great, they smile all the time.”
I wanted to be able to work with and help people in a creative yet challenging way, to be my own boss, have the autonomy to make my own decisions, and to work how I wanted to work. I became an orthodontist to feel the satisfaction of helping others in a visible and tangible way, as well as to experience the achievement of working as a professional. That first step was the toughest. I had to convince myself it was okay to change careers, to discard six years of college education and a similar number of years working to go in a completely different direction. Once I believed it was okay, and believed I would be happier in another profession outside of architecture, the rest was relatively easy. Although it did require a lot more school. Two years of college prerequisites to get into dental school, then four years of dental school before applying to orthodontic school...with no guarantees that I would get into either.
I attended Dental School at University of California, San Francisco. I then completed my orthodontic residency at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. San Francisco was a new and fresh experience in a big city. I was back in school, having graduated from college five years earlier. It was exciting and challenging, but I had purpose and was driven to do well. I met many great friends there and maintain many of those friendships today. Portland was the next adventure. A new city, new friends and more intensely focused on my studies. I was thrilled and excited that I made it into an orthodontics program and was finally embarking on my chosen career.
The desire to do better drives me every day. I want to improve all the time. I want to be a better orthodontist, a better businessperson, a better employer and leader. I want to be successful in my career, provide well for my family and live a happy and abundant life. I really enjoy encountering patients or parents several years later and hear them say, “I love my smile,” or “My son’s teeth looks so great, they smile all the time.”
I want my patients to cherish the smile they receive. I want them to enjoy the time they spend with us. When they look in the mirror and smile, I want them to fondly remember their experience with our practice. Watching my kids grow up brings me the most joy in life. To experience them, their amazing personalities, to see the people they are becoming, to be with them and spend time together as a family brings me happiness.
Work Life Balance
Balance between work, family and personal enlightenment is key to success. Without happiness at home, professional life will falter. Without enriching myself through consistent education, soul enrichment, and maintaining physical health, I won’t be as focused or productive or successful in any of the other areas. It’s not how well you straighten teeth, but rather the experience you give your patients along the way. It’s definitely not about how good an orthodontist you think you are, but rather about how you treat people, communicate and the relationships you build.