Klepacki and Blair Orthodontics is thrilled to introduce Dr Nick Riccio, or as we call him, “Dr Nick”. He is a wonderful person, and we feel so fortunate to have him joining the practice alongside his amazing wife, Dr Blair. Although they trained at the same specialty program, they have unique skills and personalities that complement one another perfectly. As a team, they truly are more than the sum of their parts, but please read on to find out what makes Dr Nick so special!
I grew up in nearby Glen Ellyn, IL, and have always dreamed of raising a family in the Western Suburbs, so I am overjoyed to be settling down in Hinsdale with Dr Blair and our son, Massimo. After graduating from Glenbard West High School, I chose a small liberal arts college outside of Philadelphia; that had a huge impact on my life! Haverford College’s unique student-governed honor code fostered in me an innate empathic ability for patience and understanding that has served me better as a caregiver than any other coursework I went on to study over more than a decade of higher learning. For instance, one of my favorite mottos is “seek first to understand before being understood”. It is incredible what happens when we first simply listen, before offering our opinion or solution, an approach I believe allows me to better address my patient’s concerns. After college, I took part in some groundbreaking genetic research out of the University of Pennsylvania. It was while holed up in that state-of-the-art lab that I discovered two crucial things about myself: my commitment to lifelong learning, and my desire to care for people through direct patient care.
Dentistry was the obvious choice for me, as it uniquely blended artistry, science, and person-to-person connection into one lifelong pursuit, while allowing for an optimal work/life balance that can’t be found in any other profession. I graduated at the top of my class with multiple honors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. It was there that I learned the foundations of caring for patients, and cultivated my affinity for the transformative field of Orthodontics. In order to dedicate the time necessary to transform myself into a master of that specialty, I chose an intensive three-year hospital residency dedicated to full time clinical patient care. This allowed me to amass enough experience, and the qualifying cases, to earn the distinction of a board certification, an honor that is bestowed upon less than a third of orthodontists in the country, and signifies the highest commitment to excellence. Of course, for a progressive Orthodontist, the learning does not stop there. I am excited for the future of Orthodontics, where high-tech digital diagnosis and treatment planning are already allowing for more efficient and comfortable treatment options for busy patients, who always wanted beautiful smiles but were afraid it would take too long or hurt too much to obtain.
My philosophy as a caregiver centers around the idea that patients come first, which is why I am committed to serving them and their evolving needs. For example, I have become an expert in treatment with the sophisticated Damon® brace system and modern Invisalign® clear aligner therapy, as well as cutting-edge 3-D imaging and digital goop-free impressions, all of which make the experience for my patients as comfortable and effortless as possible. I use these tools, and my practical knowledge, to improve the lives of my patients, and create lasting happiness, one remarkable smile at a time. Also, I am really an artist at heart, and love to use those more abstract skills by offering procedures like LASER gum sculpting and aesthetic tooth manicuring, which yield eye-catchingly beautiful results, and add intangible value to my patient’s investment in their new smile. In order to protect those smiles, I promote the use of mouth guards, due to my personal experience with traumatic tooth loss as a child, for which I now have a dental implant – go ahead and try to guess which tooth is the fake one! Last but not least, as a caregiver, I believe in making the process of orthodontics a fun and memorable experience for my patients. Sometimes that means just making them laugh and feel at home in the office, but always means striving to be one of the best, most carefree parts of their day.
Achieving an ideal work/life balance has always been an important goal of mine. So, when out of the office, I love to spend quality time with my friends and family, and be active and get outdoors as much as possible. I have climbed two mountains in my life, am fluent in Spanish, and am a huge movie buff – but don’t ask me my favorite, it’s too hard! I enjoy running with my dog, Barney, rock climbing with my niece and nephew, playing Frisbee golf with my friends, and cruising around town on my electric skateboard. However, most nights you can find me relaxing at home with my wife and son, simply watching movies and eating Lou Malnati’s pizza in front of the fire, just like I always dreamed of!