Reason to Smile

Nicholson Orthodontics Celebrates More Than 40 Years in Business

Writer / Melissa Gibson
Photographer / Krystal Dailey

Since 1982, Dr. James Nicholson has been practicing orthodontics.

We might not think of our first trip to the orthodontist as one of our favorite days, but over the years, developments in the industry and in Dr. Nicholson’s personal practice have truly reinvented the experience. Nicholson Orthodontics

Dr. Nick Brassard joined the team in January 2022. Like Dr. Nicholson, his relationship with patients is what’s most important.

“I’ve always enjoyed the social aspect of what we do. We have an opportunity to meaningfully connect with the people we serve and impact the way they feel about themselves and their smiles. My own positive experiences with the dentist and orthodontist growing up were a significant influence,” Dr. Brassard said. “Those experiences helped form the way I practice and a greater desire to be part of this special community.”

Always on the cutting edge, Dr. Nicholson recalls the many changes he’s seen over the decades to the materials and appliances used in orthodontics. Bonded brackets, for example, were introduced early in his career and were easier to apply, easier to clean, and more comfortable for the patient.  Nicholson Orthodontics

Orthodontics isn’t what it used to be. Remember the process for braces in the 1980’s and 90’s?

“Seven or eight years ago, we gave up impressions for digital scanning. I think that’s the single best thing from a patient perspective. It’s a completely different experience from the old impressions,” Dr. Nicholson said.

“Most patients want to avoid the unpleasant process of taking an impression. It can be very messy and requires several extra steps before we have a useable stone model,” Dr. Brassard said. “Today, we can simply create a digital rendering of your teeth and bite, and our 3D printer can generate a physical model if needed. There has been a massive evolution in the profession over the last couple decades and Dr. Nicholson stands out with how well he’s adapted to the technology over that time. It’s a much better experience for the patient.”

In addition, new software allows the orthodontist to discuss options and capabilities with the patient and their family, simulating the movement of certain teeth on the computer and creating a visual treatment plan.

Aside from the technology advances, other changes can be seen at Nicholson Orthodontics.

This year, staff moved into a new Zionsville office, directly behind the original location. Nicholson Orthodontics

The new office has many great features including open space in the waiting room, a separate consultation area, and glass dividers in the clinic to give patients a bit more privacy. It also has a premium HVAC system that maximizes clean air throughout the facility.

“This is four years in the making. I worked with a designer, Joyce Matlack. She’s designed well over 600 orthodontic offices and was instrumental in the final product. Once we had our design, the experience and quality of contractor Paul Kite and Strongbox ultimately made this dream a reality,” Dr. Nicholson said.

The new space is perfect and a reflection of Dr. Nicholson’s 10-year-old sketches and dreams, but most of all, it’s the connection to the patients that makes all the difference.

This spring, Nicholson Orthodontics welcomed their first, fourth-generation patient.

“I’ve seen three generations with daughter, mother and grandmother usually goes last. Now we have a great-granddaughter,” Dr. Nicholson said. “You form a bond with these families. It’s very humbling and a satisfying part of what we do every day. I love that I’ve had the opportunity to serve in this way.”

However, it’s not just the young teens you’ll find in the orthodontist chair anymore.

“I think more and more, we’re seeing adult patients in the orthodontic practice,” Dr. Brassard said. “Sometimes it’s a parent who is finally getting their turn, or maybe they had treatment in the past and have had some shifting they want taken care of.”

Adults are more inclined to look into orthodontic treatment as ceramic brackets, clear aligners, which make treatment easier, and other aesthetically pleasing variations have come on to the market.

Dr. Nicholson’s staff has been an integral part of the success as well.

“We have a great staff to work with. My office manager has been with me for 42 years. I believe in empowering your staff and we need everyone,” Nicholson said. “They feel the partnership in the practice and they have influence and control and input. We work together as a team.”

Speaking of partnerships, Dr. Nicholson said Dr. Brassard’s involvement was a surprise, but fits perfectly.

“My office was the busiest it’s ever been and for the first time, it needed more of me than I wanted to give. God knew I needed help before I knew it so when I met Dr. Brassard, let’s just say it was perfect timing. I like him more and more every day,” Dr. Nicholson said. “He’s great with people, great with the staff and is a critical thinker. I’ve had to allow new ways and he’s adapted to some of my ways. We have a mutual respect – always growing and developing.”

The partnering doctors plan to rebrand their practice in the near future but will continue providing the same quality of care and focus on relationships.Nicholson Orthodontics

As Dr. Nicholson begins to look back, he has four children who all graduated from Zionsville High School, seven grandchildren and has become a part of the community he always wanted.

Dr. Brassard and his wife live in Zionsville with their two young children and are excited to continue the same tradition that’s been established.

“We all work hard to do our best and contribute to the community. It’s a wonderful feeling to run into patients at the grocery store, hardware store or local restaurant,” Dr. Nicholson said. “A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to say 40 years ago I wanted to do that and it turns out, that’s exactly what I did.”

Nicholson Orthodontics has two locations. The new building is at 95 E. Oak St. Suite B in Zionsville or visit 1911 N. Lebanon St. in Lebanon. The Zionsville location is home of “The Brace Bus.” The service can take your child to and from Zionsville Schools for their appointments.  For more information, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Boone County Stories

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });