Dr. James Alan Weaver is a board-certified orthodontist, and his initials — JAW — are just right to describe the practice of improving bites, teeth, smiles … and lives.
Add in some lightness — to include shark-topped writing instruments referring to the film classic "Jaws," two big TVs angled for patient viewing, and a Wii station for everyone to play — and it's apparent Dr. JAW Orthodontists is not what you remember from childhood.
"We try to make it fun for everybody, and try to be on time," said Pete Toone, administrator for Dr. JAW. "We respect that people have busy lives."
Dr. JAW opened his second greater Tucson office last week, occupying a 2,100-square-foot space off La Cañada and Lambert in Oro Valley. The other office is at Fifth and Craycroft in Tucson.
The new location will "make our services more available" in the Northwest, Toone said.
"We have a number of patients here already," he added at a Thursday grand opening. Northwest patients now have easier access to care. "What drives our success is customer service," Toone said, and that's the intent of a new location.
People of most ages are the customers. The industry recommends every child be evaluated for orthodontic treatment by the age of 7. Doctors can "utilize growth patterns" and "make sure there is enough room" for incoming adult teeth. "We try not to extract teeth when possible," Toone said. "The technology has really developed significantly, and it keeps going and going."
Toone said adults represent 35 percent of Dr. JAW's practice. People are treated for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), orofacial pain, sleep apnea, cosmetic appearance and overall function, "different things that help patients. A balanced bite helps to keep those kinds of problems under control."
And the practice is "focused on airway and breathing issues," he said. It uses some products designed to move adult teeth with minimal visibility.
On average, orthodontia costs from $4,000 to $4,500 per individual, Toone said. "It varies, patient to patient," depending on the need. "There are so many different treatment options available now," Toone said, "and that can affect the pricing." Most dental insurance plans provide some coverage for orthodontic care.
Dr. Weaver, who began his local practice in 1986, is joined by two practicing, board-certified orthodontists, Dr. Laura Robison-Rabe and Dr. Kyle Rabe, who are married to one another.
Kyle Rabe got braces when he was a young man. It was "a life-changing experience. I saw the benefits."
As an orthodontist, "you get to see people evolve over two to three years," Rabe said. "You see them every month." Their teeth, faces and smiles change, and they gain confidence and self-esteem. "I love it," he said.
Dr. JAW Orthodontists
10550 N. La Cañada, Suite 110
Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturdays and other days by appointment.