Like many middle-schoolers, Jeff Eder wore braces. When his appointments were over, he would often hang around the orthodontist’s office and watch the doctors care for their patients. After a while, they decided that as long as Jeff was there, they might as well put him to work. So they handed him some pliers, a piece of wire, and showed him how to make a 23-millimeter ‘sliding yoke.’ A minute later when he set it on the ruler, it measured exactly 23 mm. “Perfect!” the doc exclaimed. “Now, go make me 20 more!”
And that, essentially, was the beginning of Dr. Jeffrey Eder’s long and successful career in orthodontics. He attended Indiana University for Business Management and Administration and earned a second bachelor’s degree and a Doctorate of Dentistry at the University of Illinois in Chicago. His two-year postgraduate Orthodontics Residency was completed at New York University.
He has been practicing in Boynton Beach for over 20 years in a building that he both designed and constructed. Eder Orthodontics’ success is attributed to his staff’s personal approach to their patients. Dr. Eder feels that in a time when more and more dental and medical practices are being run in a corporate-like manner, individual attention is still superior. His office personnel is all warm and caring people who work hard to ensure the comfort and satisfaction of their clients. “My staff is my most valuable asset,” he says. Dr. Eder does not believe in applying braces too early. He bases his treatment plans on evidence-based clinical research, rather than fads of the day. He has a conservative approach and believes that not everybody needs braces the first day they walk into the office.
When I asked him about the benefits of braces for young children, he cited long-term studies conducted by the Universities of Michigan and North Carolina. Little support was found for two-phase treatments in most situations. “There are some legitimate reasons to begin work on kids who are seven or eight years old,” Dr. Eder says. “But, these children don’t have the typical mild-to-moderate problems usually seen in our office. Whenever possible, I prefer to wait until all permanent teeth have grown in (excluding wisdom teeth) before starting braces. Typical treatments tend to be about two years in length. Plus, postponing work can mean fewer trips and lower costs for parents.”
Orthodontic-like appliances have been found in ancient Egyptian mummies. The science of straightening teeth as we know it, however, is about 100 years old. ‘Tin-Grins’ are gone. Braces are no longer the bulky metal contraptions they used to be. Over the years, orthodontic techniques and hardware have been refined and miniaturized many times. “Our wires are now made of lightweight titanium alloys instead of stainless steel, to reduce pressure on tooth roots and supporting bone,” Eder explains. “As a result, treatment is much more comfortable and usually takes less time. We incorporate technology like digital imaging/x-rays and digital tooth scanning to educate our patients and enhance their experience.”
Invisalign removable clear aligners are one of the newer advancements in orthodontics. They originated in 1997, and Dr. Eder has been certified in the method since 2001. “I wanted to see results before jumping on the bandwagon,” he says. Because the technology was new and somewhat limited, the first applications were relatively basic. Gradually, the technique has been improved significantly. “I have hundreds of really nice treatment results,” Eder says. “Now, we’re able to do almost anything with Invisalign that we could do with traditional brackets and wires. In some cases, clear aligners are actually a better choice. We can even combine the two methods when needed.”
If Dr. Eder could tell prospective patients one thing, it would be that, surprisingly, orthodontic rates have not kept pace with inflation. Care is relatively inexpensive compared to other services. It’s a great value. Eder Orthodontics even offers zero-interest financing so that fees need not be a roadblock to a beautiful smile.
When asked what he likes best about his job, without missing a beat, Dr. Eder answered, “Changing people’s lives. When kids come in with teeth growing in all directions, and I can send them to the prom with a really great smile that they’re proud of; that’s the payoff!”
His advice to students interested in orthodontics (or any of the dental specialties) is that it’s a great field to pursue! A recent US News and World Report rated it #1 in the list of best 100 professions based on the job market, salary, work-life balance and future growth. This year it was #2. “We traded places with dentistry—not a bad ranking!” In Dr. Eder’s words, “I haven’t ‘worked’ a day in my life. I get to come in and play for a living.”
When he’s not in the office, Dr. Eder really plays at water sports. He and his family all scuba dive, and enjoy boating in South Florida and the Bahamas. Because of his obsession with personal improvement, Dr. Eder wasn’t satisfied to just go boating and diving; he achieved a Captain’s license and a Dive-master certificate. Mechanically minded, he also likes to build and fix things.
Jeffrey and his wife, Amanda (a retired general dentist whom he met in dental school), have been married for 22 years. “Our two teenage sons have grown up in—and on—the water,” he shares. “They both play baseball. Luke is in the Boynton Beach Little League, and Jake is a freshman pitcher at Vanderbilt University.”Dr. Eder brings his good humor, sports enthusiast, as well as a personal touch to his practice. His approach works for adults and children alike. “We have helped whole families build better smiles,” he says. “Many of our patients have grown to be friends. And the best compliment anyone can receive is a referral from a friend!”
Call Eder Orthodontics at 561-737-8776 for a free consultation and enjoy the individualized orthodontic attention!