Childhood challenges have led to a commitment of charitable contributions for one local orthodontist. Not only is Dr. Angela Buitrago deFabrique managing her own thriving practice, Palm Beach Orthodontics – with locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach and Loxahatchee – but she also finds time to devote to charities, including one with a personal connection.
After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and completing an orthodontic residency at Nova Southeastern University, she opened her orthodontic practice in 2005 in Loxahatchee at age 33.
“It was pretty gutsy,” said Buitrago deFabrique, otherwise known as “Dr. Angela.” “My grandfather used to say if you’re going to do something crazy, do it while you’re young so you can recover. Fortunately, everything worked out with setting up my own practice.”
Buitrago deFabrique became board certified in 2011.
“It’s very hard to become board certified,” she said. “It’s an example of how I don’t do anything halfway.”
Her gutsy determination stems from her childhood. When she was 11 years old, living in Nicaragua, her parents moved their family to Miami because of all of their home country’s turmoil.
“My dad was an attorney in Nicaragua and the political climate was such that he saw no future for his kids … it was a difficult time for my parents, but they moved so we could have a better life,” she said. “We had it all and lost it all in Nicaragua. We came here with nothing … Dad went from being an attorney to washing dishes at a local restaurant. Believe me, no matter what, they were happy and they had us. That was a huge life lesson.”
It’s this type of life lesson that has helped Buitrago deFabrique establish a successful orthodontics practice. She believes her genuine patient care and her conviction that orthodontics goes beyond straightening teeth are what separate her practice from others.
“People tell me they feel my warmth,” said Buitrago deFabrique. “I’m a very aesthetic person. Part of it is we’re women. We have an aesthetic way that’s unique. I don’t just treat the bite. I take into consideration the person’s face, which can be changed by orthodontics.”
With the tagline, “Style your Smile,” in mind, she focuses on determining patients’ expectations – both kids and adults – so they’re happy with the results.
Patients are also offered the latest technology, including a television at each treatment chair, and cutting-edge techniques, such as Invisalign®, featuring a series of clear trays, and digital imaging, which provides low to no radiation. She also provides healthy snacks for her patients in the afternoons.
“I like to give my patients my personal attention. I see every patient myself. I am very caring.”
Buitrago deFabrique’s caring nature was born from her childhood experience. When her family moved to the states, her youngest brother, Jorge Buitrago, was 5 years old and had special needs. She watched him grow and get involved in high school with Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization. She was so inspired by what the charity did for her brother that she founded a local chapter.
The charity helps both children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities and creates friendships so they’re not isolated in society, jobs and social networks. Her brother, now 35, is currently the organization’s spokesperson and he also helps in her orthodontics practice.
Best Buddies now has two school promoter chapters, both founded by her kids. Her son, Alec, founded the Benjamin School chapter and her daughter, Alicia, started the All Saints Catholic School chapter.
Her enthusiasm has been so infectious that one of her young patients, 15-year-old Madison Bailey, is starting a chapter at Seminole Ridge High School in the Acreage.
“Over the last few years, I have gotten the chance to know Dr. Angela and her brother, Jorge,” said Bailey. “She is my orthodontist and is awesome at what she does. She is the best! When I heard about Best Buddies from Dr. Angela, I really wanted to get involved. I thought it seemed like a fun and very rewarding way to make new friends and help others. I’m starting a chapter and Dr. Angela is an inspiration to many!”
Buitrago deFabrique is also involved with several other charities, including Hogar María Auxiliadora, an orphanage in Nicaragua for neglected, abandoned and abused girls.
“I’m very thankful,” said Buitrago deFabrique. “Gratitude is the most important quality. I focus on not what I’ve lost but what I have. Even after recent devastating personal challenges, I’ve tried to remain grateful and positive in order to set an example of strength, courage and grace for my kids, patients and staff. It really keeps me going. That’s very important.”
Palm Beach Orthodontics’ new Palm Beach Gardens office is located at 400 Village Crossing and additional offices can be found in Loxahatchee (7070-3 Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd.) and in Royal Palm Beach (1019 N. State Road 7). For more information, call (561) 328-0716 or visit www.pborthodontics.com.