History of the Practice

Dr. James Waters represents a long history of excellence in the field of orthodontics here in the Austin area. The legacy began back in the 1940s with Dr. John McNutt, a dentist during World War II who returned to the states seeking to push the known envelope of dental knowledge by providing patients with beautiful smiles by employing the evolving techniques of moving teeth. There were no dental specialties and only a handful of dental schools in the midwest and eastern United States that provided adequate education necessary to perform orthodontic tooth movement. John found his way to one, the University of Minnesota, where he studied orthodontics for several years while working to support his new family. After graduating from this early school, John moved to the Austin area to set up practice as an accredited orthodontist. During his tenure here in Austin, John was a proponent of true specialty training and was partly responsible for the national adoption by the American Dental Association of a truly separate dental branch which would "specialize" in only one aspect of care, that of orthodontics. Thus was born the first dental specialty known today as orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. After several years of practice in a group setting, Dr. McNutt purchased a piece of land from a colleague on 35th street in Austin. In 1972, he designed and built the original office located at 1814 West 35th street. It was a state-of-the-art clinic for its time, including an on-site laboratory, complete radiographic services and a unique open-floor clinic setting with an expanded treatment area and separate records and examination rooms. It remained such until his retirement and sale of the practice to a nationally acclaimed orthodontist from Michigan, Dr. Robert Kavieff. Dr. Kavieff was a midwesterner, but his father had roots in Texas as a Texas Ranger at the turn of the century. Bob had already practiced for 25 years as an orthodontist and had gained significant notoriety as an advocate for early treatment and growth modification therapies. He brought this knowledge and reputation with him and built a truly premier reputation in Austin and Bastrop throughout the 80s and 90s. In 2001, Dr. James Waters moved to Austin and joined Dr. Kavieff. Dr. Waters was a 1996 graduate with honors from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio, a 1997 graduate with honors from the Univeristy of Nebraska Medical Center General Practice Residency, and a successful family dentist for several years prior to attending and graduating valedictorian from the prestigious St. Louis University Orthodontic Program (one of the oldest and most respected specialty programs in the United States). Dr. Waters, a previous Texas resident with a family history in Austin and Bastrop reaching back to the late 1800s, took his place practicing side-by-side with Dr. Kavieff until December of 2002 when Bob retired, handing over the reins of one of the first specialty practices in Austin. Today, the building on 35th street has been re-built in the tradition of the timeless Texas mission style to mirror the long history of the practice and to usher in a new generation of excellence. A second free-standing and state-of-the-art office has been built in Steiner Ranch (West Austin off RR 620 by Lake Travis) to provide more efficient services to patients living in Steiner, Lakeway, Riverplace, and the surrounding corridors. Despite the growth and expansion, Dr. Waters has not forgotten the reputation of service and integrity which took a full 70 years to establish. Dr. Waters will continue to refine and improve the orthodontic practice while maintaining the same high quality, cutting-edge and customized treatment that Austin residents have come to expect.

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