John F. Buzzatto DMD, MDS, is passionate about orthodontics. Having practiced in the profession for 31 years, he says that his excitement and enthusiasm for his work remain as strong today as in the days of his residency. “It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long ago, but I’m a lot closer to the end than the beginning,” he says. “The time has passed quickly because I love what I do.”

Although he is devoted to the profession, Buzzatto’s path to becoming an orthodontist was quite serendipitous. The oldest of seven children, he explains that, while growing up, his family wasn’t able to afford orthodontic treatment. As a result, Buzzatto didn’t receive firsthand exposure to the profession.
Instead, a close family friend who practiced as a general surgeon planted the proverbial seed in Buzzatto’s mind: consider medical or dental school. “That advice was in the back of my mind as I obtained my undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh,” Buzzatto says.

As an undergrad majoring in civil engineering, he had a chance encounter that helped alter his career path. “I was a wrestler at Pitt, so I worked out regularly in the weight room,” he explains. “One day, there were a couple of dental school students working out as well, and we got to talking. They seemed like nice guys, and they were enthusiastic about what they were learning. Talking with them really heightened my interest about the profession. Meanwhile, I hadn’t forgotten what our family friend had suggested to me years prior.”
Soon thereafter, Buzzatto inquired about dental school, and, after meeting with the Dean of Admissions, he was admitted to the dental program. “Because I had majored in engineering, I had to take additional classes, such as organic chemistry and biology,” he notes. “However, I quickly realized that my engineering education was priceless as I worked through the dental program.”

To read the rest of this article from the April/May issue of Orthodontic Products, click here.