Street Class: World's Top Orthodontists Call Burney Lane & Sweetbriar Avenue Home
Fort Thomas has been recognized over the years for a variety of accomplishments – education, athletics, and park systems just to name a few. We are also lucky to have a community full of accomplished residents. We take the shop local movement seriously, and that applies to all local services. Gruelle Orthodontics currently has three locations: Fort Thomas, Florence, and Cincinnati. They are also in the process of expanding to a fourth location in the area. Drs. Terry Gruelle and Jerrod Dempsey have worked to make Gruelle Orthodontics one of the most prestigious practices in the world.
Dr. Gruelle calls Burney Lane home while Dr. Dempsey resides on Sweetbriar Avenue with his family. Dr. Gruelle built his practice from the ground up after first opening up in Fort Thomas. He has been a staple in the Fort Thomas dental community for years, and was joined by Dr. Dempsey two years ago at Gruelle Orthodontics. Their partnership was a lifetime in the making for Dr. Dempsey. Dr. Gruelle has known Dr. Dempsey since birth, and the two families have remained incredibly close over the years. When Dr. Dempsey started considering a dental career, he turned to Dr. Gruelle for advice. “I knew I wanted to do something in that direction, so I talked to Terry when I was 14, 15, 16. He encouraged me to go into the dental field. My parents and sister both encouraged me as well. By the time I was 17, I knew I wanted to be an Orthodontist. I went to UK and stayed there for 11 years, and came back. From the very beginning, I knew I was coming back to work with him,” said Dempsey. Their close relationship is also beneficial to the success of their practice. “We're able to collaborate,” said Gruelle. “It's nice to know that you have a back-up in the clinic taking care of things. I think that continuity of treatment is really important when you have two people working closely together. Jerrod is like a son.”
Dr. Gruelle has been on the cutting edge of dental advancements for years. He saw how Invisalign could potentially help many of his patients, and jumped on the opportunity to bring Invisalign to his practice. Invisalign products are clear teeth aligners, and also serve as the main alternative to traditional metal braces. “We felt back in 2006 that it was the way things were turning – that plastic was going to replace metal. When we found out that they actually could move roots, not just the crowns of teeth, we became more and more interested.” Dr. Gruelle saw the dentistry's changing landscape as an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. In fact, he welcomed the changes. “I enjoy change, and this has just really invigorated me to be able to offer things that I didn't really have an alternative to offer people before,” said Gruelle.
In 2012, Gruelle Orthodontics was named a Super Elite practice for Invisalign, which is an impressive distinction. Super Elite status is only awarded to practices within the top 1% of the world for Invisalign providers. “There's only 90 of those people in the world, and we've crawled up the ladder to where we're #3 in the world now. We're Fort Thomas, Florence, Montgomery. We're not Manhattan or Beverly Hills. It's quite an elite group,” said Gruelle.
Patients of Gruelle Orthodontics have also caught onto the wonders of Invisalign. “58% of our patients now are Invisalign. 44% of our patients are below the age of 20, so it has penetrated the younger age group. We've had patients as young as 7 and patients up to their 70s,” said Gruelle. Cases that were once considered nearly impossible with Invisalign, are now routine for the duo. “There's a lot of naysayers, who say that it doesn't work, that it only works for easy cases,” said Gruelle. “The fact that we have said that we can treat those cases, and we can actually show people cases like theirs, that we are now treating patients that we never would have treated before.”
Drs. Gruelle and Dempsey are especially proud of the high number of 15-19 year olds jumping on the Invisalign bandwagon. This particular age group is notoriously difficult for getting into braces, but Invisalign provides them with an easier, more discreet option than the traditional metal braces. I think it's opened up a window to them to have something done before they get away from mom and dad. That's really satisfying for us. We love that age group because they want to be here. They aren't here because mom and dad made them,” said Gruelle.
Another aspect of Gruelle Orthodontics that makes them stand out amongst other local practices is their relationship with their clients. Gruelle Orthodontics is more than a dental practice, it is a family. Drs. Gruelle and Dempsey strive to create a comfortable atmosphere for their clients, and create personal bonds with each person who walks through their doors. “Of all things, it's the amount of times we put into the office. We're open 4 ½ days a week, and because both of us live in Ft. Thomas, it just takes a phone call to get us into the office,” said Gruelle. Treating patients like family is an important part of their approach to dentistry. “We try to make every decision like it was your mother, or your son, or your daughter. It's a wonderful way to live life, and it makes you happy in your profession,” said Dempsey.
In addition to running three local offices, Drs. Gruelle and Dempsey spend a significant amount of time teaching other professionals. They have taught throughout the United States and in Costa Rica. “When we go down there (Costa Rica), we're speaking to people from all over the world, who want to see how it's done, and talk to people that are doing the most. That's why they invite us to come and speak,” said Gruelle.
Both Dr. Dempsey and Dr. Gruelle's roots are firmly planted in the Fort Thomas community. Born and raised in Fort Thomas, Dr. Dempsey credits the Fort Thomas school system for helping him achieve a career in orthodontics. “I think the schooling system is incredible. It's the only place that I can think of locally, where you don't have to worry about sending your kids to private schools. I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't gone there,” said Dempsey. They both enjoy being able to work in Fort Thomas and also call it home. Their reach also extends beyond Fort Thomas, and into the entire Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. They're both active in dental-related organizations throughout the area. Additionally, Dr. Gruelle coaches soccer at Northern Kentucky University. “I've been coaching NKU soccer for 14 years. I really get a lot of satisfaction out of that. It just takes my mind away from the rigors of life, and still working with kids that are just a little bit older. The spirit of competition is there too, obviously. That takes care of the majority of my time,” said Gruelle. Drs. Gruelle and Dempsey have found that the time spent in the community outside of work is actually a vital part of creating a successful practice, and it also reinforces their family approach to dentistry. “Being part of the community, you know people. A lot of the people who come through here know him, me, my parents, there's always some relationship there. You build relationships with your patients anyway, so it makes it more fun to be with friends daily. It's always nice to be part of the community,” said Dempsey.
Gruelle Orthodontics is another example of the successful and community-oriented residents one can find in Fort Thomas. Lucky for us, we don't have to travel far to receive the highest quality dental care. If you ask me, the Fort Thomas community should keep a lookout for Gruelle Orthodontics in the future, it's clear that they will be leading the charge in the world of orthodontia.