Dr Matthew Williams quite openly admits he “fell into” dentistry, however it is clear talking to him, that he thoroughly enjoys what he does and has never looked back.
Matthew has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years, and soon into his career he realised he wanted to specialise in Orthodontics, saying it just felt like a natural step.
“Once I started the orthodontic component in undergraduate dentistry, I knew almost immediately I wanted to be an Orthodontist,” he says.
Matthew says he loves the entire process of the work he does, everything “coming together and aligning”.
He also loves the people aspect his career allows, working with a great team who have aligned goals and helping many motivated patients.
Matthew sees a wide variety of patients with a wide variety of needs. Some for more cosmetic reasons, while the work he performs on some patients, will have a significant impact on their oral health and sometimes, life.
“Everyone is different, and patients gain different things from treatment. If one is going to generalise, orthodontics is a good investment. It makes teeth easier to keep clean, improves the bite and reduces things like wear and tear which can occur with a poor bite and finally, orthodontics improves the appearance which can lift self-esteem,” he says.
“What I probably enjoy the most are the patients that have disfiguring dental appearances which we can normally improve significantly,” he adds.
“For some people, orthodontic treatment can have a profound effect on their lives,” he says.
It is clear, that these cases have a lasting impact on Matthew. He speaks of the kind and heartfelt words of past patients and how they say their lives have changed after treatment.
“Occasionally you’ll get great feedback like that, and you realise you really are making a difference in someone’s life, and that’s motivating” he says.
Matthew also volunteers his time and skills for the Wish For A Smile Trust, which provides orthodontic treatment for disadvantaged children.
“I normally treat two or three children every year and have done so for the past five or six years. The Trust is an excellent idea and many orthodontists in New Zealand are involved,” he says.
Matthew is the past Chairperson of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists (NZAO) Orthodontic Auxiliary Training Programme and was involved for approximately six years. He remains actively involved in the group.
Matthew joined Wellington Orthodontic Associates in 1992 after completing a Masters Degree in Orthodontics at The University of Otago. He previously qualified as a dentist in 1982 and worked for several years in general dental practice both in New Zealand and overseas. Matt is married to Bernice and they have one son and two daughters. When he is not in the practice, he enjoys cycling and spending time with family.