I became a dentist because I have always wanted to help others. Nothing makes me feel internally better, than when I can help someone else. It adds meaning to my life. As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a doctor. My standard answer as a child, when someone would ask me what I want to do when I grow up, was to be a doctor. When I was a kid I really loved working with my hands and I got into building models. I would love to build, and still have, all the model airplanes, and ships and tanks that I built. Something about that precision work really appealed to me. Dentistry allowed me to combine those two passions of mine into the perfect calling for me. I find it very gratifying to help get someone out of pain, or make a big change in someone’s appearance that allows them to smile again. I view all of my patients as my family and friends and my goal is to help all of them get to the level of oral health that they want.
As a dentist I want to do work that is meaningful, have fun, and earn a living fulfilling my passion. I believe strongly in continuing education because I think there is more I can learn and do to better help and serve my patients. Typically, I average more than 80 hours of continuing education a year.
I developed a special interest in helping patients who suffer from TMJ disorders, bite problems, muscle pain, facial pain, headache pain, and a jaw system that is simply dis-functional. After noticing a medical need for better TMJ treatment options in my community, since 2008 I have dedicated a significant amount of my time and energy to studying, researching, and learning about this challenging condition.
I’m a life-long learner and I have always been driven. I encourage my patients to learn more, and I believe they expect me to do the same. I make it a priority to invest and attain advanced training and continuing education in my profession. I’m fully committed to increasing my knowledge and enhancing my skills in this specialized area of dentistry. I embarked on the journey to further advance my skills in the “Diagnosis” and “Treatment” of complex patient cases involving degenerating chewing systems using Bioesthetic Principles, at The OBI (Oral Bioesthetics International) Foundation.
It began with completing and graduating from OBI’s Level 2 “Bioesthetic Diagnosis” curriculum in 2018, which focused on the OBI biologic diagnostic process, understanding of occlusion including diagnosis and management of airway challenges, and orthotic therapy. The OBI Level 2 curriculum was a pre-requisite for OBI’s Level 3 “Bioesthetic Treatment” curriculum.
OBI Level 3 “Bioesthetic Treatment” Graduate
I am very excited to announce that after 2-years of intense and technically advanced course work, I have also completed and graduated from OBI’s Level 3 “Bioesthetic Treatment” curriculum, which focused on the Bioesthetic diagnostic process, conservative treatment options, development of an ideal treatment plan, and full completion of stabilization and restoration on an actual patient.
The three Tenets of Bioesthetic Treatment are (1) To stabilize the jaw in the jaw joint (2) Make sure the front teeth function properly to guide the jaw and clear the back teeth in movement and all contact when the jaw is seated in the joint (3) To restore the teeth to their biologic ideal anatomic form and function.
Achieving this level of Bioesthetic Diagnosis and Treatment expertise means I’m able to provide my patients with an even higher level of care and treatment options. I am truly excited about the new possibilities and opportunities to treat my patients with more advanced skills and capabilities.
What is Bioesthetic Dentistry?
Bioesthetic Dentistry is a process that includes comprehensive diagnosis and treatment planning in order to obtain a healthy, highly functional, unworn chewing system that provides natural beauty (known as optimal biologic form.) One of the main issues of Bioesthetic Dentistry is diagnosing causes of chewing system disharmony like tooth wear.
It is understood that occlusion has a profound effect on the temporomandibular joint and the airway, so that it is essential for dentists to understand this relationship. Based on profound biological knowledge of the human chewing system, dental professionals learn how to reach the optimal biologic form using a number of different treatments.
“Nothing makes me feel better than when I can help get someone out of pain, or make a big change in someone’s appearance that allows them to smile again.” Dr. JJ Bechtel
Memberships – Affiliations – Certifications
- Currently a member of and also a facilitator of local Pankey Institute study clubs in Michigan
- Completed the curriculum at the prestigious Dawson Academy
- Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- Member of the American Dental Association
- Member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
- Member of the Academy of General Dentistry
- Member of the Michigan Dental Association
- Member of the Central District Dental Society, and the Lansing Interdisciplinary Study Club
- Member of The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology
- Member of The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health
- SMART Certified – Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique IAOMT
Education – Cntinuing Education – Advanced Training
- Graduated from Ottawa Hills High School
- Graduate of Hope College (B.A. Chemistry)
- Graduate of The University of Michigan School of Dentistry (D.D.S.)
- Completed General Practice Residency at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, in Columbia South Carolina
- SMART (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) certified from the IAOMT, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
- OBI (Orognathic Bioesthetic International) Level 2 Graduate: Bioesthetic Diagnosis
- OBI (Orognathic Bioesthetic International) Level 3 Graduate: Bioesthetic Treatment
Personal Hobbies & Interests
My wife Stephanie and I have been married for 18 years and have two wonderful children, Josh and Elizabeth. My personal hobbies and interests include spending time with my family, boating, reading, traveling, biking, hiking, camping, fishing, cooking, and gardening. I am proud to have been born and raised in beautiful Grand Rapids Michigan.