Sarah Jovanovski a stand-out in orthodontics
By Christine Bolaños
ROUND ROCK — Growing up, Dr. Sarah Jovanovski knew she wanted to pursue medicine and work with children. Once she entered the dentistry field and became a general dentist she decided to transition into orthodontics.
“I wanted to have an opportunity to work with youth,” she said. “That’s one of my passions. Sometimes they’re the forgotten generation.”
Dr. Jovanovski was raised by two blue collar workers out in the country and as such did not have a mentor to help her through her education. Now, she wants to be that mentor to teenagers that she did not have herself growing up.
“I wish I would’ve had that guidance,” she explained. “I love being able to give them some guidance and help them in their life path and direction.”
In addition to serving as a positive example to her young patients, she also enjoys working on their teeth. Especially with adolescents who may have self-esteem issues as a result of dental issues.
“They’re coming in and not wanting to smile and not having the self-confidence because of how their teeth may look,” Dr. Jovanovski shared. “Being able to work with them over the years and give them a smile they really like and they’re proud of. Once they leave the office they completely change.”
Everything from their smile to the way they carry themselves and relate to others is affected, she believes.
The field of orthodontics has advanced drastically over the last few years shifting focus from making teeth look better to avoiding teeth issues that typically show up around adolescence by maintaining care during childhood years.
The main change is The American Association of Orthodontics recommends every child have an initial orthodontic evaluation before age 7. According to a pamphlet available to patients at Jovan Orthodontics, early orthodontic intervention allows: “Guidance of jaw growth into a normal pattern, lowers the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth, corrects harmful oral habits, improves appearance and self-esteem, guides permanent teeth into a more favorable position, improves breathing issues,” and, “reduces the risk of more complex treatment in teens” such as tooth extraction and surgical intervention.
“It’s really focusing on growth and development of the jaw and how it affects other aspects of our life,” Dr. Jovanovski explained. “It’s more than just for beauty, but also for health and function of your jaws and teeth and the rest of your body.”
This shift in focus in her field has reignited her passion. As a result of cutting research, Jovanovski said she never stops learning.
“One patient, her airway was so narrow she was getting very limited oxygen,” she recalled. “She was having a lot of seizures and a lot of ADHD symptoms. What we were actually able to do is use a small appliance to help open her airway. She was able to breathe better while sleeping at night.”
The patient progressed to the extent she no longer needs to take ADHD medication and her seizures stopped.
“She was able to focus a lot better at school and it’s all from helping her breathe better while sleeping at night,” Jovanovski said.
This particular case is what motivated Jovanovski to look into the board’s new recommendations.
She believes she is one of the few orthodontists in the area who sees patients before age 7 since so many focus on teenagers. This is due to a patient losing all of the baby teeth as an adolescent. However, earlier visits allow an orthodontist to evaluate facial and jaw growth patterns as well as airway development.
Though located in Round Rock, Jovan Orthodontics is a popular choice for patients in Liberty Hill, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Hutto, Pflugerville and other communities. She has some patients come as far as California, Florida and New York City to receive her Invisalign treatment and care.
Jovanovski and her husband, Dr. Ace Jovanovski, who runs a prosthodontics practice next door, along with their family, reside in Round Rock. Jovanovski said her clinic staffs eight people, including an office manager and herself.
Her team is engaged with its community as well including Austin Pets Alive and Coats for Kids.
“We actually sit down every year and we plan our whole year of giving back,” Jovanovski shared. “We choose several causes that we want to give back to. We’ve chosen to help out some animal shelters and also Coats for Kids.”
She began her journey to her clinic as an undergraduate at Ohio State. From there she attended dental school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her orthodontic residency at Louisiana State University.
“One thing that I really liked about my residency is that we had a lot of years to focus just on orthodontics. It taught me to look at each individual person: their jaw growth, their bites and their smiles,” she said. “To treat each patient as a unique individual. No two patients are ever going to get the same treatment because everyone develops differently.”
After her residency, the Jovanovskis established their home and practices in Round Rock.
Jovan Orthodontics is located 4010 Sandy Brook Drive, Ste. 208 in Round Rock. For details, call (512) 716-1800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jovanortho.com.