It’s a new year, and the perfect time to set goals that you have wanted to achieve for years!
Health goals are always a priority, including orthodontic care, which can straighten your teeth, correct problems with your bite and give you the smile you’ve always wished for.
“For many people, the only thing stopping them from scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist is concern about the cost,” said Michael Ruelf, who works with patients at his wife’s orthodontic practice in Land O’ Lakes, Origami Orthodontics. “At our practice, we work with patients of all ages and financial situations to help them find a solution that works for them.”
Dr. Lisa Brooks DDS MS, who opened her practice with her husband a year ago, adds, “We want to serve people of all needs because improving someone’s smile can be transformational. Everyone is deserving of orthodontic care, because it can impact their life all around — from boosting their confidence, to alleviating jaw pain, to improving the ability to eat and speak.”
One reason Origami Orthodontics is able to provide affordable orthodontic care is because it has an in-house lab that offers many services that other practices have to contract out. One of its most popular lab services is creating clear-aligner trays for adults that move teeth into place over a period of several months.
“Our Origami Aligners use trays that are similar to those made by Invisalign and Smile Direct, only ours have a variety of unique advantages,” explains Ruelf.
There are many medical and financial benefits to having an in-house lab, Dr. Brooks explains.
“I personally oversee the design and production of every tray created for our patients,” said Dr. Brooks. “This allows me to make adjustments throughout the process, so patients get the very best results.”
An in-house lab also means there is better quality control, and turnaround is very fast – even the same day.
“Because our clear aligners are being both digitally designed and directly fabricated by the orthodontist, our patients will correctly align their teeth and bite, all while being provided conveniences similar to online or at-home straightening companies like Smile Direct Club,” said Ruelf. “Being open on Saturdays, handling insurance claims directly for our patients, and offering tremendously fast turnaround times for clear aligners are just some of the unique conveniences that set Origami apart.”
Cost savings is another big benefit for patients at Origami Orthodontics.
“We typically save a clear aligner patient between $1,200 and $1,700 when compared to similar offerings in the industry,” said Ruelf. “This savings often makes orthodontic care possible for people who have waited years to improve their smile.”
Dr. Brooks grew up near Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where her father was a radiologist. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be a physician or a dentist, and decided on dentistry because she has always liked working with her hands. She then chose orthodontics because of the positive environment and the creative nature of the planning involved in orthodontic treatment.
Dr. Brooks graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond, with a doctorate in dental surgery. From there, she went to Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Davie, Florida, where she completed her residency and received her Certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, and a Master of Science.
In December, Dr. Brooks passed her American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) examination, which reflects her personal and public commitment to her specialty.
It was while she was in dental school that Dr. Brooks met her future husband, Michael, who is a software developer, as well as his wife’s business partner at Origami Orthodontics.
“Lisa was a swimmer in high school and college, and fell in love with Florida, its warm water and beautiful weather. So, we decided to stay in the state after her residency, and came to the Tampa area, since I grew up in Lutz and have family here,” said Ruelf, who is a graduate of Jesuit High School.
Michael and Lisa married in 2013, and today have two young daughters — Charlotte and Virginia.
When the couple decided to open their own practice on State Road 54, they chose a unique name for their business — Origami Orthodontics — that personifies their philosophy.
“Much like the art of origami, our practice is centered in precision and elegance,” says Dr. Brooks. “We use the newest technologies in the field of orthodontics that allow us to efficiently meet the highest standards of clinical excellence.
“However, we’re not all serious business! We enjoy providing our patients with a fun and comfortable experience that’s centered around them, and we believe our name and office reflects that.”
The first appointment at Origami Orthodontics is a completely free evaluation that begins with data collection. Radiographs (X-rays), photographs and a dental history will be combined to provide Dr. Brooks with a comprehensive understanding of your case, so that all of your treatment options can be discussed with you.
Situated near the intersection of Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54 (in The Shoppes at Ballantrae), Origami Orthodontics provides convenient access for families living in Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, Trinity, Odessa and Wesley Chapel.
Origami Orthodontics can be reached at (813) 336-8880 or OrigamiOrthodontics.com.
Published January 1, 2020