Putting on Their Game Face: Dr. John Badolato of Studio B Smiles transforms the smiles, lives of athletes and high-profile clients.
While sports players are revered for their talent, it can be difficult to deny the obvious: their looks, especially when they’re gracing the cover of magazines; appearing in local and national on-camera interviews; and marketing products, from Steve Nash in last year’s Vitamin Water commercials to Michael Phelps’ recent “Core Values” campaign for Louis Vuitton.
And here in Scottsdale, one cosmetic dentist in particular is familiar with the importance of an athlete’s image — Dr. John Badolato (or “Dr. B”), owner of Studio B Smiles.
Dr. B has been enhancing local sports players’ smiles for about eight years. Not only is he the official team dentist of the Phoenix Suns and the team dentist for the Arizona Rattlers, Grand Canyon University and the Phoenix Suns Dancers, but, let’s not forget, he’s also the Official Cosmetic Dentist for ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.”
With so many high-profile clients, he knows image, particularly one’s smile, is important, both on and off the court.
“There’s two factors that over the last couple of decades have come into play,” Dr. B says. “One has always been there; that’s a player’s off-court and on-court marketability. These guys have side deals where they’re able to market their products, so, of course, they want to have a great smile. That plays into the cosmetic part of our practice.”
The other factor? High-definition television. “Those two things together have really developed a niche practice with us with a bunch of athletes,” Dr. B adds.
From veneers and whitening to smile makeovers, Dr. B has worked on MVPs of different leagues and sports, from hockey to baseball. But it all started with a soon-to-be Major League Baseball player’s wife, who would become the face of the practice as well as start a chain reaction of referrals.
“It’s been a thriving practice,” he says. “It’s great to do a makeover and then see them on the TV or news the next day.”
But don’t get the wrong idea. Dr. B is set out to do more than just transform one’s smile with procedures such as whitening, veneers or smile makeovers. He wants to help change lives, too. And that all began after a friend introduced him to Chris Powell, who is now the trainer and transformation specialist on “Extreme Makeover.”
“Chris and I got paired up through a friend because we both were in the makeover business; he was training the body, and I was doing the smiles,” Dr. B recalls. “So, we cross-referenced and built our own local makeover team.”
Fast forward through success stories that would catch the attention of national media, and the rest is history. “Extreme Makeover” will be airing its third season, increasing the number of participants from 8 to 17.
“It’s great to see these peoples’ lives change,” Dr. B says. “As they lose weight, as they reach milestones, they gain confidence, and you can just see it. It just glows off them as they go through this process.
“I’m a small part of it with the smiles, but when you put it all together, you just see these people, their potential and where their lives can go from there is radically different than they were 365 days prior,” Dr. B says. “When you can do something by changing their smile that has an impact on their overall self-confidence, their self-worth, their self-esteem, that reward is priceless.”
So just how does Badolato balance various sports teams, “Extreme Makeover,” Studio B Smiles, and an almost 1-year-old son?
“You make time,” Dr. B says. “It’s sometimes challenging, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it when you have a lovely wife and an incredible son.”