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Putting the Patient First

BY Danielle Piekarski

“A smile is the most important part of your uniform”

This is a phrase I remember hearing frequently at a previous job of mine. Not only were we expected to greet customers with a friendly grin, but we were also encouraged to crack a smile while we were on the phone with them. Our managers assured us this would make us sound more personable. I was skeptical at first, thinking the tone of my voice was much more important to service over the phone. But when I started smiling during phone calls, I did feel more personable, and confident. To this day, I still smile when answer the phone, because I feel like it allows me to be a much more effective communicator.

Suffice it to say, a smile is a powerful thing. Dr. Michiel Nuveen, of Smiles Inc. Orthodontics, understands the power of a great smile and is passionate about providing the services that will allow clients to attain their dream smile. With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Nuveen has helped thousands of children and adults change their lives through orthodontics.

Dr. Nuveen followed in his father’s footsteps, making him a second-generation orthodontist. However, Dr. Nuveen didn’t always intend to work in the smile business. Following his graduation from Colgate University (the same college his father and son attended), he planned on pursuing medicine. However, his parents convinced him to take the entrance exam for dental school. Upon receiving near-perfect exam results, Dr. Nuveen knew this was the career path he was meant to take. He was accepted to all ten of the dental schools that he applied to, but his ultimate decision was to attend the University of Connecticut. Dr. Nuveen then attended Temple University for Orthodontic Residency in PA - the same school where his son is currently enrolled.

In 2003, Dr. Nuveen made the move to Grand Forks to purchase the practice of Dr. Gjerset. From the start, Dr. Nuveen was committed to doing what was in the best interest of the customer. “You take care of the patient, they take care of you,” said Dr. Nuveen. His selfless patient care is reflected in his office space. When you enter Dr. Nuveen’s office, you won’t see any of his diplomas or accolades hanging on the wall. “That’s because it’s not about me, it’s about what I can do for my patients.” The true reward for Dr. Nuveen is seeing satisfied clients and their beautiful new smiles.

Last year, Dr. Nuveen started his largest patient care initiative yet. The office of Smiles Inc. Orthodontics was built in 1998, and Dr. Nuveen decided it was time for a facelift. The space was completely gutted, and everything from outlet covers to orthodontic chairs were replaced. Dr. Nuveen even tied one of his other passions into the project: technology. The computers in the office were built new by Dr. Nuveen himself. The reasoning behind all this development? To make a more comfortable and efficient experience for his patients and their families.

The renovation was completed in June of 2022 and Dr. Nuveen couldn’t be more satisfied with the results. His new space is stunningly modern, and features impressive art pieces and exquiste furniture from local creators. A beautiful fireplace is located at the center of the waiting room to provide additional warmth to patients who visit Dr. Nuveen in the cold and winter months. Complimentary water and coffee are available to patients as well as an inviting tiled toothbrush station. “We have chairs located in the treatment area for patients’ parents, but many parents have stopped coming back with them,” said Dr. Nuveen. “Now we see more people bringing in books and laptops; some even take naps,” he added with a chuckle. “It’s great to see that we’ve created a space where people can relax.”

Dr. Nuveen contributes his success to his hard-working team, who are just as dedicated as he is to providing quality patient care. His team is small, yet diverse in experience. This includes an employee who has been in the practice for 46 years to newly certified orthodontic assistants who are eager to work under such experienced professionals. “Our team is the best it has ever been,” said Dr. Nuveen.

His customer-oriented service goes a step further by offering a free consult to all clients. Clients do not need a referral for this consultation, and will also receive any necessary x-rays free of charge. From there, the Smiles Inc. team works with the patient to develop and execute personalized treatment, which incorporates the patient’s smile desires. If a patient is curious about how any steps of their treatment work, Dr. Nuveen created Smiles Inc. TV, a YouTube channel that explains what methods will be used during treatment and how to fix minor issues at home.

It’s impossible to put a price on the value of a smile. Studies have shown that smiling boosts confidence, the likelihood of getting a promotion, and even immune system function. Dr. Nuveen and the Smiles Inc. team are devoted to creating gleaming smiles that will set patients up for success, while fostering a comfortable and caring environment along the way. As Dr. Nuveen finished showing me around his office, he added, “Making my patients happy is what drives my every decision, and it’s what I love to do.” G | 701-772-4835 | 1165A Columbia Rd S

// To view the full story, check out the digital issue here

From Issue 4, 2022

PHOTOS BY: Manstrom Photography


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