Well, originally what had made me decide to get into dentistry was my local dentist as a kid. I grew up in a smaller town about 20 minutes from here. At the time, there was only one or two dentists in that area, and one of them happened to be a good family friend. So, he worked just a short ways from school. I was able to go over there. He was gracious enough to let me come hang out in his office, kill some time, look over his shoulder. So, as a pretty young kid, I was really interested in watching what he did. He worked with his hands all the time. The hands-on part of it was always very appealing to me. The other side that I really liked is the social aspect. He knew everybody in town. Being from a small town, I also knew everyone in town. So, you know, everyone that was coming and going from his office was a friend or a family member or at least someone I had some sort of community with. So, I just really enjoyed both aspects of it. It seemed like a great fit.
The most rewarding aspect of being a dentist, really, to me, it's when I get to take or get to work – I shouldn't say take, but get to work with somebody who is really kind of in a tough spot. So, whether it was their fault or not and they found themselves in a situation where they're just either in a lot of pain or their teeth are somehow interfering with their life, or they just have realized that wherever they're at, it's not sustainable, and they want it to get better. They want to improve their situation. So, if I can, when people like that come in, I can work with them to get them to a spot where they're just not all thinking about their teeth all the time, it really is rewarding. So, if we can get them out of pain or get infection out of their lives or just get them where they're comfortable and they're confident, then it makes everything worthwhile.
So, my educational background is I grew up here at a local high school. From there, spent some time at Drury University here in town and then did dental school training at UMKC in Kansas City, and those were all pretty positive experiences for me. Then, really since I've been out of school, I've kind of become a lifelong student. I love it, and we're required to have 24 or 25 hours of continued education a year. I usually average more like 140. I really enjoy just getting after it and learning it as much as I can. I spend a considerable amount of time training and learning more about implantology, a myriad of dental procedures, especially from a surgical basis, and have loved that and just have really never ... really have never stopped continuing to advance in that field.
After graduating from Republic High School and Drury University, Dr. Nick Matthews received his dental degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry in 2012. He has been a part of our team ever since.
Dr. Matthews’s childhood experiences led to his choice of dentistry as a career. He grew up in a small town and knew everybody there. One of his family friends was the local dentist and often let Dr. Matthews spend time in his office watching him work and asking questions. He loved the way that this dentist knew everyone who came into his office, and how he had the ability to help them. For Dr. Matthews, dentistry is the perfect combination of working with his hands and becoming a part of the community.
Dr. Matthews’s awards and accomplishments include:
- Comprehensive Implant Residency Program at the McCracken Institute
- Garg’s Dental Implant Continuum
- Pierre Fauchard Academy
- Graduated with honors in endodontics
- Graduated with special recognition in the field of removable prosthodontics
- Recognized in 417’s “20 Under 30,” “Best of the Ozarks,” and “Top Dentist”
- Fellowships in various professional organizations, including the International Dental Implant Association
Dr. Matthews believes that his patients love how he delivers great care without causing them any discomfort. If you asked them, they’d probably say they love how he always runs on time, that he is gentle, and that he puts a large emphasis on fixing problems before they become severe enough to cause other major issues.
Dr. Matthews’s favorite part of his job is helping people who have significant dental issues. For him, it’s very rewarding to assist someone who hasn’t been able to smile or eat in years. He enjoys helping them transition into a stable dental situation where they don’t have to be self-conscious or have pain.
Almost all of Dr. Matthews’s free time is spent with his family. He has a wife and two young boys, so they are always busy doing something. They love anything active, including all sports, hunting, fishing, going to the lake, and traveling.