Photographer / Belinda Russell
For Southside native Dr. Mark Vaughn, DDS, MS, joining the team as an associate doctor at Ripley Orthodontics, located at 8849 Shelby Street, is a homecoming. In July, Vaughn ended a lengthy journey of schooling and came back to his roots to bring his specialized dental knowledge to Center Grove and Greenwood families. Working alongside D. Kirk Ripley, DDS, MS fulfills a longtime goal.
“I always saw myself practicing in this area,” Dr. Vaughn says. “My wife Amanda and I, along with our two daughters Kennedy and Caroline, live in Center Grove. Joining the thriving practice of Ripley Orthodontics means that with two doctors, patients have increased flexibility since more hours for booking appointments are available.”
After graduating from Center Grove High School in 2007, Vaughn attended Indiana University in Bloomington. He earned a Masters Degree in biology before he began four years at Indiana University Dental School. Finishing at the top of his class, he was eligible to continue his studies in dentistry orthodontics.
“Getting a masters in biology really prepared me for dental school. It put me in a position to have a greater understanding of the subject matter,” Dr. Vaughn adds.
Dentists who choose to continue their education and acquire a specialty must interview and match with a school. Vaughn traveled all over the United States visiting possible institutions for his orthodontics residency. He explored possibilities in several cities such as St. Louis and Oklahoma before choosing Indiana University as his number one pick.
“Thankfully, they liked me too and it was a match. It was great for my family to be able to stay in the area,” he says.
Besides having a comfortable office, Ripley Orthodontics offers patients state-of-the-art technology. They are the second in the state and the only practice in the area that has a 3-D printer and the capability for digitally scans. Individuals that experience bad gag reflexes do not have to endure the procedure of having a tray filled with a semi-solid material placed in the mouth in order to produce an impression. Their cone-beam computed tomography system (CBCT) rotates around the patient capturing data by using a low dose x-ray.
“If need be, we can offer services without impressions and be 100% digital,” Dr. Vaughn says. “Our imaging is the best you can get. We are one of the few practices that can do this in house and at no extra charge to the patient. Everything is all-inclusive in the fee for their treatment plan.
“It is so nice to take a breath, be in the community again and focus on practicing,” he adds. “The number one goal at Ripley Orthodontics is to make a patient’s visit here a pleasant experience. I feel that patients and parents truly see us as trusted friends who love helping them out.”