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Daily Inspiration: Meet Melanie Wang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Wang.

Hi Melanie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My mommy has three kids and she is awesome. She is an orthodontist who has these reversible plushies named “Kevin.” She has an office with a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE box of candy. Her children (from oldest to youngest) are Tyler (15), Lucas (10) and me, aka Cara (8) – Cara

LOL, that was my daughter’s description of me and who I am. Yes, I am an orthodontist with two locations, one in 4s Ranch and another one in Fairbanks Ranch. I have three children and live smack between both practices. I once met a retired orthodontist who said the best thing he ever did was to live close to his office! I grew up in San Diego and went to Poway High school. I stayed in San Diego for college (UCSD), went to UCLA for dental school (GO Bruins!) and spent two years in St Louis for my residency (Saint Louis University). I started my practice from scratch as soon as I could, working side jobs all over Southern California while raising a family. In my limited spare time, I actually train for marathons… ha!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
A challenge that ended up being a gift is raising a special needs child. It takes an insane amount of patience and grit to navigate the endless trips to therapies, ABA, special education services at the school, friendships, teachers, family dynamics, the list goes on. But at the same time, it has made me and the other members of my family superhuman. How has this translated into work, well, we are often mentioned in special needs communities as the orthodontic office that treats special needs patients with extra care. In fact, three of my staff also have children who have special needs or special abilities as we call it!

Another challenge that truly feels way in the past is how I started Dr Melanie Orthodontics. It was in 2006, I was still in orthodontics residency and deciding on a place to live. I found a growing community close to where I grew up, so my husband and I decided, this is it! We started our office from scratch, then he started his from scratch simultaneously as well! So we were two practices with a start of zero income, living with our parents and our ten months old baby. We also worked side jobs as far as Los Angeles and Chino Hills while we were getting things moving with our practices. We worked endlessly during those founding years and gained a ton of experience and wisdom for our own practices.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am the owner of two orthodontic practices. I have 13 employees, 3 of which also have special needs children at home as well. I would describe my staff as either moms or young adults, nothing in between! We have lots of talents in our group, from a record setting pole vaulter to a dental assistant who is the ultimate Star Wars and Avengers expert! I really enjoy my team and (hopefully, they also think) I treat them well.

We focus solely on orthodontics. Each day is a bustling and busy day working on treatment planning and straightening out pesky rotations! Our job is fun because we are doing a positive thing for our patients. A straight, beautiful smile is not only functional, it brings confidence. Our patients are usually happy to see us and that brings a smile to our faces as well.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Things that make me happy

1. The daily “glow ups” of patients, not just their smiles, but also their self-esteem.

2. Cup of coffee in the morning (we have an amazing coffee machine that can make 122 different flavor combinations of coffee!)

4. Saving the planet, saving the environment, recycling and reusing our resources!

5. Enjoying the process and the obstacles, not the destination. I don’t think you find true happiness in the destination as you do in the process.


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