As two newly minted – and newly married – orthodontists, Drs. Matt Larson and Katie Miettunen Larson could have put down roots in any number of places. As native Midwesterners, however, they chose Katie’s hometown – Eau Claire – to open their business.
“Our primary driving force was family life,” explains Dr. Katie, who holds a dental degree from the University of Michigan and completed an orthodontic residency at Temple University in Philadelphia.
She says they were drawn to the Chippewa Valley for its quality of life, family friendly amenities, and good schools.
Dr. Katie says, “We really wanted to do this together, and create the best work-life balance for our family.” Both Drs. Matt and Katie voluntarily chose to go the extra mile to become Board Certified Orthodontists, showing their commitment to high-quality treatment outcomes.
“We’re happy to give a personalized, custom range of options depending on what would work best for them.”
In 2012, the couple opened Larson Orthodontic Specialists in Eau Claire, allowing them the unique opportunity to be partners in both life and business. This has allowed them to play to each other’s strengths while also creating time for family life.
“She’s the person who can connect with everyone and walk people through things,” Dr. Matt says of his wife, who explains she often works with patients – particularly young ones, who experience dental anxiety. “Being a mom and having kids of my own, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to help kids cooperate and behave in dental chair,” she says.
And while Dr. Matt is also a people person – in fact, he pursued dentistry after getting an undergraduate degree in engineering because in the latter career he wouldn’t spend much time with people – his wife says “he takes the lead on technology and he’s Mr. Fix-It at the office.” Dr. Matt serves as chair of the Committee on Technology of the American Association of Orthodontists, and he was an early adopter of 3D printing and scanning technology. His know-how allows him to create orthodontic aligners in-house for some cases, a quicker and easier process than getting them from an outside lab.
A growing number of the Larsons’ patients use Invisalign clear aligners to straighten their teeth, although the majority still follow the more traditional route of braces. But not all of their patients are of the “traditional” age of 12-14: These days, Dr. Matt says, about 30% of consultations are with adults. Some of the adult patients are experiencing relapse after having orthodontic treatment as kids, while others have finally decided to straighten out lifelong problems.
Whatever their age, potential patients are welcome to make an appointment for a free consultation, with no referral needed. “We’re happy to give a personalized, custom range of options depending on what would work best for them,” says Dr. Matt, who received his dental degree from the University of Minnesota and completed an orthodontic residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Matt emphasizes that everyone at Larson Orthodontic Specialists pledges that patients come first.
Dr. Katie attributes the success of their practice to this patient-centered philosophy, engaging patients on a personal level day to day, and their community involvement.
Larson Orthodontic Specialists