Dr. Neal Klar’s love of dentistry began at home. His father (who was originally from Miami) was a dentist in the Air Force and started his own practice in Coastal Virginia after his mother (who is originally from here) convinced him to move here. “My father set the foundation for what our practice is today—the way the practice is run and the reputation our practice has in the community,” Dr. Klar says.
“Very often when I am at dinner or out with my family, he gets stopped and thanked by former patients who were thrilled with their results and the time they spent in our office. He just retired two years ago, and I miss working with him daily but still consult with him all the time.”
Klar was leaning toward architecture as a career path when he started college but kept up with his core science classes in case he changed his mind. Halfway through his program at the University of Miami, and after spending summers shadowing his father and other dentists in the area, he decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“My father always said you have to love dentistry prior to becoming an orthodontist,” Klar recalls. “I always liked working with my hands and working with new people. I can’t imagine another profession better than creating beautiful smiles.”
After graduating from the University of Miami, Klar went to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond for dental school, where he graduated with honors. He did his orthodontic residency at the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan, then moved back home to go to work with his dad. They brought in Dr. Marni Voorhees two years later (she is now a partner), and they eventually hired two associates—Dr. Patrick Holmes (he has been with the practice three years) and Dr. Sarah Groy (she just joined the practice this summer).
They have five offices located throughout Coastal Virginia. “All the doctors in our practice rotate between offices, so each day I go to a different one,” Klar says. “We can each typically see between 30 and 80 patients a day, based on the time of year. We work with a great staff who all help our patients feel like family, and every patient that comes in is seen on time and by a doctor.”
One of the things that sets Klar Voorhees Orthodontics, P.C. apart from the rest is they are on the cutting edge when it comes to utilizing the latest technology in their treatment planning and modalities. “We have a 3D X-ray machine that allows us to see things we previously were unable to see,” Klar says.
“We can also do simulations to show patients how their customized treatment was decided and what kind of results they can expect. This technology can allow us to get molds of people’s teeth without taking the standard, uncomfortable impressions, and it provides us with many types of treatment options—ranging from clear trays (Invisalign), clear braces, metal braces, lingual braces (that go behind the teeth), SureSmile (simulations and robotically-made arch wires) or any combination of the above. So we can truly customize plans for our patients.”
According to Klar, by utilizing all of the tools available to them, they can cut a patient’s time in braces from two to three-plus years to an average time of 12 to 18 months.
Dr. Klar attributes the success of the practice to a great group of referring dentists and his team of staff members, who always strive to make their patients feel great about their treatment from the very first phone call to the last office visit. But his personal secret to success is a simple one: he always treats his patients as if it was his wife or son in the chair.
“My favorite part of what I do is explaining a treatment plan to patients and helping them understand not only their orthodontic needs but their total dental needs. I call it the tour of the mouth,” he explains. “With the simulations and technology we have available, it is really fun to work with patients and better educate them on options and results that can be achieved. It’s great seeing their relief when something can be done to help them, in a way that is painlessly done and in a timely manner.”