Daughter returns home to practice orthodontics with her father

NASHUA – Some say it is not a good idea to mix business with family, Hugh and Stephanie Phillis seem primed for success with their orthodontic practice in Nashua.

This week, Stephanie joined her father, Hugh, at his practice in Nashua after years of dental school and residency training.

Hugh has been at the practice, which is located at 505 W. Hollis St., Suite 201, since 1982. Hugh completed his dental and orthodontic training at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1980. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, and has been an active member of the American Dental Association, New Hampshire Dental Society, Greater Nashua Dental Society, American Association of Orthodontists and Northeastern Society of Orthodontists and New Hampshire Association of Orthodontists. He also teaches at Tufts University once a week.

The office has been open since 1966, previously run by T. Arthur Babineau. At the time, it was only the fourth orthodontic office in the state of New Hampshire. Babineau retired in 1988.

The practice offers services in early/interceptive treatment, adult treatment, intraoral scanning to replace the need for most impressions, surgical orthodontics, clear aligners, self-ligating braces for easy hygiene, and cone beam (3D) X-rays for diagnosing complex issues.

Hugh said as a long time Nashuan and health professional in the community, he is excited to have his daughter Stephanie join him. Hugh has six children in total. Two are orthodontists and one is currently in dental school.

Hugh said Stephanie got a fair amount of exposure to orthodontics growing up. She worked in the office at the front desk and back in the lab in high school. She would often accompany Hugh to orthodontic meetings, as well.

“She’s grown up around this, in a much more intimate way than just the practice alone. I think she’s seen it from a variety of perspectives,” Hugh said.

He looks forward to collaborating with Stephanie on treatment plans.

“Two heads are always better than one,” Hugh said.

He is confident in the training she is receiving at Tufts and said they are maintaining “extremely strong cutting edge” clinical programs.

“Some of the things she’s been exposed to are not things that I was exposed to as much, so there will be some new treatment procedures that we’ll probably be incorporating and some new technologies that we’ll incorporate,” Hugh said.

To be an orthodontist, one must follow a rigorous track. An undergraduate degree is the first step, then four years of dental school after college to become a certified dentist. Hugh said dentists are licensed to practice anything, but they are not specialists. To become a specialist, one must complete a program that is accredited by the American Dental Association, which takes a minimum of two years to complete.

Stephanie started her undergraduate career at Brandeis University, where she spent a year before transferring to Emory University. There, she took classes as part of the honors track at Emory and finished with a thesis. From there, she went to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. During her time at Tufts University, she was in the dental honors society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon. Her most recent accomplishments are completing her residency training and being recognized as one of the top 12 residents in the country who have been doing orthodontics this past year.

Now that Stephanie is officially an orthodontic specialist, she will be working side-by-side with her father a couple days a week. She also bought another practice in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and will be working there on days she is not in Nashua.

“To me, practicing orthodontics means being able to provide my patients with healthy, beautiful smiles they will confidently carry throughout life,” Stephanie states in her online biography.

She said it is rewarding to build a relationship with a patient, while providing them with the best care possible.

“As an orthodontist, I believe I make a difference in each patient’s life by giving them a functional, healthy, beautiful smile they can share with confidence,” she also stated. “I am committed to providing exceptional, individual care, and delivering stunning results: efficiently and comfortably.”

Hugh said having family in business is an asset.

“Health care is going through big changes right now, with a lot of corporate influences in both the medical and dental practices – and sometimes when that happens, that personal touch disappears or is less,” Hugh said. “Corporate focus is not always on the patient care as much as the bottom line, so having a family to continue the same practice types and pattern of care, I think, is important.”

To learn more about the practice, visit https://www.smilemkr.com/.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.