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Blazing a trail of clinical excellence

The Damon Ultima System for self-ligation has been one of the staples in Dr. Mike DePascale’s practice over the years. Photo: Provided by Ormco
Dr. Mike DePascale

Dr. Mike DePascale

Sun. 5 May 2024


Amongst the plethora of advancements in the orthodontic space today (and there are many), digital technology has to be the most polarizing, disruptive and practice-changing of them all.

Dr. Mike DePascale

It's polarizing in generating discussion between doctors in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp and the "always be advancing" camp. Whichever side you lean toward, the change is undeniable. And boy, has it been disruptive! We now have orthodontic practices that are 60, 70, 80 percent digital, and even practices up to 100 percent aligner treatment.

In what feels like a very short time, we've gone from direct bonded brackets and indirect bonding to a heavily saturated aligner market. We now have more advanced digitally designed bracket placement, customized digital brackets, in-house 3-D printers to fabricate appliances and models, 3-D printed lab fabricated appliances, remote monitoring of patients and continuously advancing aligners (which will eventually be fully digitally printed and automated, eliminating the step of thermoform aligners over 3-D models). If you don't have your AI seatbelt on, you might get left behind! It's amazing how much has happened, even in the last decade. Imagine what will happen in the next 10 or 20 years. The possibilities seem endless.

I enjoy the advancement as much as the next person and have been preparing for this since I started practicing as an orthodontist in 2017. Clear aligner or digitally designed treatment is not going anywhere, and while it may never completely overtake directly placed fixed appliances, its usage will only increase.

I pride myself in delivering the very best customer service and experience for my patients and delivering results in the most advanced, efficient way that I know how. That involves being so good at braces and aligners that nearly every patient can choose which route to take, and I can produce the desired result.

Our practice has been using Damon brackets for many years, and for the last five years, since its appearance in the United States, we have been using Spark Clear Aligners. These products, combined with proper diagnosis and treatment planning, have allowed our team to deliver on our promise of excellent results while also making the process more enjoyable and convenient for our patients.

We have increased overall patient comfort, decreased undesired extra appointments and have given our patients time back in their lives to do other things they love. It also allows us to work with fewer team members if needed.

I love our team, but it is no secret that finding great employees is becoming harder to come by (ironically, somewhat due to the technological advancements that have given so many people work-from-home opportunities). While I've never met an orthodontist who doesn't love their job, this also gives us, the doctors, more time to do other things we love — spend time with family, exercise more, travel more and whatever else you can dream up!

I've had the ability to be part of product development, product design and testing for some of the treatment modalities that we use now. That takes a significant amount of time and effort, but it keeps me at the cutting edge of advancements while having eyes on what the profession's future may hold for us, and to me, it still looks very bright!

Editorial note:

A New Jersey native, Dr. Mike DePascale received his orthodontic master’s degree at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. In 2017, he joined the amazing team at what is now Kozlowski DePascale Orthodontics — a practice that matched his dedication to high-quality treatment, innovation, efficiency, and education. Dr. DePascale is one of the founding offices that used Spark Aligners and loves to discuss the potential of this clear aligner system. When he’s not in the office, you can find him in his garage gym or coaching CrossFit, where he puts to use his passion for personal growth, leadership and commitment to others (you may see him there throwing weights around, too!). He believes in doing what you love and sharing that with the world.

To learn more about any of the products that make Dr. DePascale’s life and practice easier, stop by the Ormco booth during the AAO or visit

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