We get it — sometimes, seeing the dentist can feel a bit scary. But hey, we’re all just human too! The staff here at Excel Dental in Ozark, MO are passionate for ensuring all of our patients feel cared for and comfortable. Part of that process is getting to know you better, and for us to share a little bit about ourselves with you, too.
In this first part of our two-part interview series, you’ll get to learn more about Excel Dental’s top docs who have made it their mission to bring out the best in your smile: Dr. Nick Matthews and Dr. Tracy Davis. Today, we kick off the series by interviewing Dr. Nick Matthews.
Dr. Nick grew up in Southwest Missouri and is a graduate of Republic High School and Drury University. He received his Doctor in Dental Surgery degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City and graduated with honors in Endodontics. Dr. Nick has been privileged to receive many professional awards, including 417’s “20 Under 30,” “Best of the Ozarks,” “Top Dentist” and more. Dr. Nick and his wife, Ali, have been married since 2008 and reside in Nixa, MO with their two sons.
Read on to learn who inspired Dr. Nick’s ongoing interest in dentistry, why 417-land will always be considered home, and how diet is a key aspect of oral health and prevention.
When did you know you wanted to become a dentist?
I first decided that I wanted to be a dentist in Junior High. I greatly admired my local dentist, and loved to watch him work. He was very kind and often let me come to his office to observe and ask questions about what he was doing. It was those early experiences that really inspired me.
What is your favorite part about being a dentist?
There are two things about dentistry that I really like. I have always loved people, and having the opportunity to stay in touch with so many different people and families, and to get updates every 6-12 months about what’s new in their lives is very rewarding to me. I get to meet people from all walks of life, and I enjoy hearing their stories and getting to know them.
I also really get excited about helping people restore their ability to enjoy life, food and get proper nutrition. My grandmother wore dentures for decades, and I watched parts of her life dwindle. She lost the ability to enjoy her favorite foods, she could not obtain proper nutrition, and she often had pain or infection associated with her mouth. I didn’t become a dentist soon enough to help my grandmother, but I still think about her every time I help someone who is in a situation similar to hers. Working with patients to achieve a level of function and comfort that allows them to get back to living their life to the fullest is the most rewarding part of what I do.
What do you love most about Excel Dental?
I would have to say that the best part about Excel Dental is our Team. We are blessed to work with a wonderful group of people every day. I can’t imagine a more genuine, kind group of people to work alongside. They truly are the “secret sauce” behind what makes our practice shine.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I’m an outdoorsman to the core. I enjoy anything that will get me outside. I love to hunt, fish, hike, canoe, jog and play games in the yard with my boys.
Do you have any pets?
Two boys names Levi and Luke. : ) Until I have them house-broken I don’t have the energy for a pet.
What’s your favorite thing to do in 417?
Work and play! I love living in 417, I love my job, and I love my family. The combination of these things makes 417-land my favorite place to be. There’s so much to do, and we are perfectly positioned to explore a large part of the Midwest during weekend getaways. I have visited a large part of the country, and coming back to 417 is always exciting. I love it here.
What activities do you enjoy doing with your family?
Any outdoor activity, especially swimming, hitting the lake, and playing tennis.
What is your most important piece of dental advice?
Appreciate what you have and don’t neglect it. We spend a lot of our professional time helping people regain ground that they lost due to neglect. A lot of the treatment that we provide could have been prevented with diligent home care and improved dietary habits. These bad habits often lead to significant problems that can last a lifetime without intervention. A good home care regimen seems inconsequential but has important lasting benefits.
Getting to Know You
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about Dr. Nick Matthews, we’d like to learn more about you! Schedule an appointment today with the trusted team at Excel Dental. Find us in Ozark, Missouri — just a short 10 minute drive from Springfield.
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