Meet Dr. Bowman

S. Jay Bowman, D.M.D., M.S.D.

There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all!


Are you looking for an interesting and unique experience in orthodontics? If so, then Kalamazoo Orthodontics may be perfect for you. Dr. S. Jay Bowman has a distinctive background in the specialty of orthodontics. Not only does he have over 30 years experience as a clinician, he is also an inventor who has created dozens of devices and concepts to enhance orthodontics. He is an award-winning researcher, he was selected as only one of four orthodontists in the U.S. for the Invisalign Teen Research Investigative Team, he was part of the Insignia/Invisalign research group, and has been involved in several clinical research projects. He has authored over 150 scientific publications, textbook chapters, and the book, Mini-Implants in Orthodontics: Innovative Anchorage Concepts. In addition, he is an orthodontic educator, on staff at five universities, one of the most sought after opinion leaders, and he has been invited to lecture around the world. Dr. Bowman has tied all of these intriguing aspects together with the goal of providing the highest quality of individualized, caring, innovative, and evidence-based orthodontics for patients of all ages. Dr. Bowman practices at Kalamazoo Orthodontics with three convenient and comfortable locations in Portage, Kalamazoo, and Paw Paw, Michigan.

In an interview with Dr. Bowman, published in Ortho Tribune, he stated, “I’m fortunate to have found the career that I’ve embraced.” In addition, he explained his enthusiasm, “I have an intense passion for the specialty of orthodontics as we have such a wonderful opportunity to change people’s lives. My goal is to insure that each of the patients who choose us feel uplifted and enriched with increased self-esteem, and of course, they finish treatment with a beautiful and radiant new smile that they are proud to show-off. We would love for prospective patients who visit us to wonder why they would even think of going anywhere else for their orthodontic care.


With a focus on convenience and comfort for our patients, Dr. Bowman and his talented team offer specialty orthodontic treatment at three locations in Kalamazoo, Portage, and Paw Paw. Interestingly enough, Dr. Bowman designed and drew the plans for each of those three unique offices. As a result of our innovations and inventions, Dr. Bowman and Kalamazoo Orthodontics have been featured in a number of publications including: Orthotown, Orthodontic Products, OrthoTribune, Kieferorthopadie Nachrichten in Germany, The Barbados Advocate, Vida Hoje in Brazil, The University of Toronto Alumni News, Journal of the Asian Pacific Orthodontic Society,,, Great Lakes Family, Kalamazoo Gazette, and Kalamazoo Weekly. Dr. Bowman was also interviewed on television for Good Morning Barbados.


At heart, Dr. Bowman is a small town guy. He grew up on a farm in the rural town of Abingdon on the west side of Illinois. He earned a B.A. in Biology at Illinois Wesleyan University. He earned his dental D.M.D. degree at Southern Illinois University-School of Dental Medicine where he was honored with the American Association of Orthodontists Award. Dr. Bowman then completed his residency in the specialty of orthodontics at Saint Louis University Department of Orthodontics where he was Class President and received the North American Begg Orthodontic Society Scholarship Award. He began teaching at Southern Illinois University as an Associate Professor prior to moving to Kalamazoo to assume the orthodontic practice of Dr. Eugene Reinstein. Subsequently, he has also taken over the venerable practices of Dr. Richard Purdy and later, Dr. Larry Oberhill, gaining valuable experience and insight in orthodontics with each transition.


Dr. Bowman is a board-certified and licensed orthodontic specialist. Not only is he a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontists, but he also volunteered to be re-certified, a second time, as a test subject when the ABO revised their examining process in 2004. He has also served on the other side as a member of the Examining Committee of the Eastern Component of the Angle Society of Orthodontists. He has been a member of the Michigan Dental Association Peer Review Panel and he has also received the Southwest Michigan Quality Council Performance Excellence Award for Outcomes Improvement and Contribution to Community.


Dr. Bowman is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Orthodontics at Saint Louis University Center of Advanced Dental Education where he was also honored with the Orthodontic Alumni Merit Award in 2005. He developed and has taught the Straightwire Mechanics and Typodont Course at The University of Michigan Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry since 2000. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University Department of Orthodontics and Visiting Clinical Lecturer at Seton Hill University. In addition, Dr. Bowman was invited to a Milton Sims Visiting Professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Dr. Bowman has lectured for over a dozen other orthodontic residency programs around the world.


Dr. Bowman was invited to join the honorary Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists and later received the prestigious Edward H. Angle Research Award from The Angle Orthodontist journal for best research. One of Dr. Bowman’s papers, “More Than Lip Service: Facial Esthetics in Orthodontics,” was featured as the Cover Story for the Journal of the American Dental Association. He has been inducted into the International and also the American College of Dentists, as well as the Pierre Fauchard Academy, honorary dental organizations. Dr. Bowman has served as President of the Kalamazoo Valley District Dental Society and received the organization’s Daniel J. Ganz Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and also the President’s Award on four occasions. He has served as board member of the Orthodontic Education and Research Foundation and is also a Past President of Portage Kiwanis. He is a charter member of the World Federation of Orthodontists and a Regent of the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation. In addition, he is an Honorary Member of the South African Society of Orthodontists.


Dr. Bowman has penned over 150 articles and book chapters in orthodontics. He co-authored and edited the textbook Mini-Implants in Orthodontics: Innovative Anchorage Concepts, described as “the best book available on the subject…it is highly recommended as a required textbook for teaching” in a review from the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. The book has also been translated into Spanish and Portuguese. Dr. Bowman has given over 130 lectures in 34 U.S. states and in 37 countries on 6 continents. In 2009-10, he had the unique experience of speaking for all three of the major North American meetings (American, Canadian, and Mexican Associations of Orthodontics) as well as for the World Federation of Orthodontists. Dr. Bowman is a much sought after opinion leader and he has been a consultant for a number of organizations and companies, as well as serving on the Editorial Advisory and Review Boards of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, along with 11 other orthodontic publications.


Dr. Bowman has been an innovator and inventor in orthodontics. He has developed dozens of orthodontic product concepts, including designing our own signature Butterfly System of braces and associated v-slot auxiliaries. Other concepts he has created include: the Clear Collection of instruments from Hu-Friedy, Class II Combination Therapy, Bowman Consolidator and Bowman Protractor devices, Duralight Retention Material, Monkey Hook and Kilroy Spring for impacted teeth, miniscrew-based auxiliaries (like the Ulysses Spring and TAD bite opener), Aligner Chewies, Retainer Retrievers, WYRED cheek retractors, Double-Up’s, the Quick Fix device, among many other devices. Dr. Bowman is also the recipient of a United States Patent for the Bowman Modification and Horseshoe Jet appliances and also a provisional patent for an AcceleDent-based Positioner.


Dr. Bowman considers himself fortunate that his profession has offered the opportunity to travel and give lectures in places he would never have imagined visiting otherwise. Fortunately, Jay’s vocation is also his avocation as he enjoys problem solving, designing/inventing, writing, collaborating, and talking about orthodontics with colleagues around the world. Jay is also an avid St. Louis Blues and Kalamazoo Wings hockey fan and Formula 1 racing maven.

Jay’s career is reflected in his passions, “I always to be in control of my work environment, select the music I wanted to listen to, and insure that the daily experience is enjoyable.” Jay is a passionate music fan, having been a radio DJ and music director, once owning a collectible record store, and also playing keyboards in rock bands. Thanks to his close friend, Louie Pérez of the band Los Lobos, Jay is able to occasionally “step behind the curtain” to see the real rock world on the road, traveling with the band, and even having the unique chance to play on-stage with Los Lobos! “I once told my Mom that when I grow-up, I want to be an orthodontist.” She wisely replied, “Sorry, but you can’t do both…”

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing!”
-Mother Teresa