Mt. Pleasant dentist Dr. Raymond Ribitch receives national accreditation

Smiling is a powerful and influential action. To smile is so innate and endemic to humanity that it transcends the boundaries of language or culture. Whether it is in the aisle of a crowded grocery store, the confines of a hospital waiting room in the early hours of the morning, or busy public park in the afternoon, the meaning of a smile is self-evident.

As it is a deeply important component of socialization, everyone deserves to be confident in their smile; such is the belief of Dr. Raymond Ribitch.  

Dr. Ribitch is a dentist practicing in Mt. Pleasant at Mid Michigan Smiles. He is one of only eight dentists in the state of Michigan accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). 

Such a sparse resource is a valuable asset for the Mt. Pleasant community, but it did not happen by accident. Having grown up in Mt. Pleasant, Dr. Ribitch made the decision to move back to the area after graduating from dental school at the University of Michigan and joined his childhood dentist as an associate, where they eventually became business partners and then Dr. Ribitch took over the practice. 

“Growing up I got teased a lot about my smile—specifically my front teeth,” shares Dr. Ribitch. “They were really big, and I had a huge gap between my front teeth. To this day I remember the kid that would tease me, and I can see his face in my memory.” 

Now, as the owner of his practice, Dr. Ribitch is uniquely and empathetically committed to helping his patients find satisfaction in their smiles. 

“It’s my way of giving back to our community to help either heal those wounds other people have or avoid those wounds altogether,” he says. “While I am a general dentist, I chose to spend extra time and training to focus my efforts on cosmetics and advanced reconstructive dentistry.”

The decision to become accredited by the AACD was not a light one for Dr. Ribitch, as it is a rigorous process consisting of written, clinical, and oral exams. 

However, powered by his motivation for growth and to help others overcome the same hardships he endured, Dr. Ribitch was able to receive his accreditation. 

“Currently, there are just shy of 500 dentists in the world who are accredited with the AACD,” he says. “The journey is quite intense, but that’s exactly what it means to become an accredited member. It is a journey. It’s not about more letters after my name or anything like that. For me, what it really means is a constant push to be my best and continue to grow as a person and as a professional.” 

In doing so, Dr. Ribitch has needed a solid support system. 

“Personally, I’m really blessed to have an amazing support system, both at home and at work. My wife, Kristy, is my biggest supporter and always listens to me bounce ideas around. The team and the patients that support my office are also all behind me, sharing the vision and supporting my goals,” he says.
Having the support of his patients is key for Dr. Ribitch, as cosmetic dentistry requires many fine adjustments that must meet each patient’s expectations. 

Dr. Ribitch says this is the most challenging part of his job. 

“We try our best, and our process for creating someone’s smile—whether it is the smile they never had or the smile they used to have—is very thought out and meticulous, and most often we accomplish the patient’s goals.” 

He emphasizes the trust that must exist between dentist and patient, saying, “Patients are trusting us, physically—and many times emotionally—and I want to meet their goals. I don’t want to fall short on that.”

Dr. Ribitch is in a unique position, as the results of his work are so clearly visible in each patient; his work visibly transforms his patients, which can change the way they feel about themselves. 

“[I enjoy seeing] what they become. Not when they see their smile in the mirror, but a year later, when they have lived their life for a while. They share their picture on social media, or I see them at Meijer, maybe at The Bird or at Wood Shop Social, and I recall our initial conversation about them not smiling and hating photos and now I see this person who is totally different,” he concludes. 

“I love that, because you realize we aren’t just fixing teeth, we are helping heal a person.”
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Read more articles by Owen Howard.

Owen Howard is an Isabella County native with a deep appreciation for all it has to offer, in both people and places. He currently works as a biologist in the environmental department of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. He is an alumni of Central Michigan University, having received both a bachelor's and a master's degree. In his free time, Owen could be described as 'chronically outdoors.' Owen has a passion for telling stories and for listening to other people tell theirs. He loves getting the chance to allow people to share their passions and stories with a larger audience.