Dr. Camille VanDevanter voted Best Dentist

This winner has a lot to smile about.

Camille VanDevanter DDS, MSD, PS, was voted Best Dentist of Federal Way. Dr. VanDevanter has been in practice for over 25 years and is a specialist in orthodontics.

An Olympia native, Dr. VanDevanter earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Western Washington University; received her dental degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she was also inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Honorary Dental Society; and completed her master’s degree specializing in Orthodontics for Children and Adults at the University of Washington.

She opened her private practice in Federal Way in 1991.

Dr. VanDevanter’s office is at 33507 Ninth Ave. S. Campus Pointe – Building G in Federal Way. For more information, visit www.drvandevanter.com or call 253-661-7228.

The Mirror recently asked Dr. VanDevanter a few questions about her career and serving the Federal Way community:

Why did you choose a career in dentistry?

I always knew I’d choose a career in healthcare. I wanted a profession that helped people and would let me get to know my patients. I went to dental school with the goal of becoming an orthodontist. This specialty incorporates the art of designing the smile, provides a close bond with patients, give a tremendous sense of purpose and daily satisfaction of delighting people with improvements in their appearance. Our patients are people that are motivated and importantly – want to be here.

How would you describe your approach to patients or your philosophy in this field?

People come with unique personal expectations. I believe that my job is to meet each individual with a goal of achieving their desires. When working with children, we strive to set them up with an ideal functional occlusion to last another 85 years, in addition to providing a beautiful smile display. We make every effort to provide an ideal result without compromise.

For people over 50, they do not generally have an intact ideal dentition. Our adult patients come with life experience and they know exactly how satisfied they are with their chewing function. Not every adult elects to replace all their missing teeth or chose to have every aspect of their malocclusion resolved. I like to have a dialogue with new patients to determine how long they are willing to wear appliances, if they want to have the “best” option, and if they require a functional change. This choice is different for each person. My oldest patient was 92, he is the grandfather of a previous child patient. I loved finding an approach that worked for him. Ultimately we treated only his lower teeth, leaving his existing dental work alone in the upper arch. The best result for adults finding a result that they are seeking, with the supervision and collaboration of their general dentist.

What do you find most rewarding about working with patients on their dental journey?

I love having a nervous child that has limited dental experience and making an impact to have them love coming in and lose their dental fear. It’s also wonderful to have an adult or senior citizen come in for an evaluation. Often they have put their own dental needs behind that of children or grandchildren. They may have lived with difficult-to-clean, crowded teeth or never smiled fully because of embarrassment related to their smile. Federal Way is very diverse and many of our citizens grew up in other countries or in situations that did not provide good dental care. There is a lot of shame for these people to have visible malocclusions. It is life-changing to have a beautiful smile and I can’t begin to tell you how much satisfaction my staff and I find in the opportunity to help transform these people. Nothing is more thrilling than a makeover and my team lives for the results. I am so lucky to have a part in this important change.

What is your proudest accomplishment thus far in your career?

Having the trust of our dental community and the honor of treating many of our fine dental professionals and their loved ones. Being able to treat the third generation of our Federal Way families and to see the smiles last over the decades.