Well, I became a dentist because I really love helping people. And I think dentistry is a phenomenal field because everything you do helps people, if you do it right, at least. In addition, I became a dentist because I always liked not only working with people, but I love working with my hands. I always had a lot of dexterity and used to build very complex models, especially the airplane, flying the airplane models when I was younger. Did artwork as well. I went to art school, actually, as well.
And then, in practice itself, what makes it really rewarding is being able to treat the cause of the problem and really make people so they don't get new problems, which is really what I love the most about being a dentist.
Education, to me, has been kind of the center of my life. I still go to school constantly. I have taken probably almost 5,000 hours of postdoctoral education.
So I first, obviously, went to college right after high school, and I got a degree in bacteriology/zoology with a chemistry minor, just to make things difficult. And then I went on to dental school. And after finishing dental school, I became also a periodontist. I went to, actually, the University of Indiana, which was an experience.
And then since then, I've taken courses in a whole lot of different areas: in orthodontics, specialty training in TMJ, and sleep apnea, sleep health, and airway health, as well as taking a tremendous number of courses at LVI, Las Vegas Institute, which specialized at the time, and still does, on cosmetic dentistry.
I feel really like every time I take a course, I get something that can help my patients more.
The most rewarding aspect of being a dentist, I think, is having a patient who comes in to you, who has a fear of dentistry, or has a lot of dental issues that they don't know how to handle or they've been frustrated with, or they haven't been successful, and taking that person and making them really healthy, and also maybe making their smiles something they're now proud of, where they weren't before. All those things are just amazingly rewarding to me as a dentist.
Dr. Vandiveer Strait grew up in Fairfield County, CT. He began his interest in health care after receiving his bachelor’s degree in bacteriology/zoology from the University of Connecticut and then going on to a master’s program in bacteriology. He decided that in order to be more involved in helping people, he would pursue a career in dentistry.
He went on to graduate with honors from Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry where he received his DDS. He then obtained specialty training in periodontics at Indiana University School of Dentistry. Following this he became Chief Periodontist and Preventive Dental Officer in the United States Navy. He then became Owner and Director of Old Greenwich Dental Associates and The Connecticut Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. He also served on the dental clinic staff at Greenwich Hospital.
Throughout his career, Dr. Strait has received many honors, including:
- The Raymond Harris Scholarship Award
- The Xi Psi Phi award for highest scholastic average
- Membership in the John H. Kolmer Honorary Medical Society
- Membership in the James R. Cameron Society for Oral Surgery
- Fellowship Award in the Academy of General Dentistry
- Past president of the Greenwich Dental Society
In addition, he was voted one of “America’s Top Dentists” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, was voted to “Best Dentists in America” by his peers, and has received The 5-Star Talk Award for excellence in customer satisfaction.
He is currently a member of many dental organizations, including:
- The Connecticut Dental Association
- The American Dental Association
- The Greater Norwalk Dental Association
- The Academy of General Dentistry
- The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
Dr. Vandiveer Strait has made excellence a priority. His membership in the Crown Council, his office and practice, and his dedication to continuing education are evidence of this. He has become certified in periodontics, endodontics, implant dentistry, and Invisalign orthodontics. He has achieved both Premier and Preferred Provider Invisalign status.
In 2017, Dr. Strait was voted as the winner and best case outcome among 30,000 Invisalign orthodontic providers in North America using Invisalign combined with other dental care. He presented his case at the Invisalign Summit in Washington, DC. Recently, he completed advanced courses in cosmetics and neuromuscular dentistry (TMJ) at the world-famous Las Vegas Institute.
To illustrate Dr. Strait’s passion for dentistry and for always improving his knowledge and skills, in the past year he has taken the following courses with some of the leading clinicians and educators in dentistry:
- “Emergency Medicine: Recognition and Management”
- “State-of-the-Art Anterior Esthetics”
- Invisalign Orthodontics – “Advanced Case Management”
- “Advanced Functional Restorative Dentistry”
- “Oral Cancer: Risk Factors and Early Detection”
- “ClearCorrect Provider Course”
- “Periodontal Plastic Surgery”
Dr. Strait is the owner and director of Wilton Dental Associates. He is also founder and executive director of the Periodontal Pathogen Public Education Foundation, which is dedicated to public education and preventive dentistry. Additionally, Dr. Strait is a regular contributor to the RealSelf community, addressing questions regarding dental health and care.