Meet Dr. Manuel J. Sousa

I love what I do. Helping people achieve the smile of their life is a very rewarding experience. Working with young people and adults from all walks of life is amazing, and watching their self-confidence grow stronger each day of treatment gives me great satisfaction.

I firmly believe in the paraphrased quote from respected author Andy Andrews: “Your smile is your calling card. It is, after all, the most potent weapon you possess. Your smile has the strength to forge bonds, break ice, and calm storms. You will use your smile constantly…. The power of who you are is displayed when you smile.”

To be able to create that smile for you is the most amazing element of my profession. With each smile that I create, I know I have made a difference in that life.

Of course, I’ve not spent the past four decades practicing alone. I’ve been blessed to have exceptionally talented clinical and business associates through the years. My current team continues that exceptionalism. They are bright, articulate, caring women who pride themselves on what they do. Their cheerful personalities and smiling faces put even the most nervous patient in a comfortable, relaxed state of mind. Their commitment to excellence allows all of us to function at the top of our potential, to provide top-quality service and care. Simply put, they make all our patients feel like family.

I am most passionate about the technological advances in our profession, especially the inroads being made with Invisalign® treatment and accelerated treatment options that allow for reductions in treatment time by up to 60%.

From digital scanning to cone-beam radiology, the future is bright in orthodontics! Staying abreast of ongoing scientific developments and technological advances, applied safely and intelligently in orthodontics, enables me to give my patients a custom-created smile that will last a lifetime.

My History in Orthodontics and the Community

After graduating from Boston University in 1967 with a B.A. in psychology and a double minor in chemistry and biology, I embarked with my wife Francine on a ten-year journey that would eventually lead to the opening of our orthodontic practice in August 1977.

First, I served our country in the United States Air Force from 1967 to 1971. I received an honorable discharge in 1971 after achieving the rank of Captain and being awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. It was during these years that my two eldest sons were born: Manuel and Christopher.

From 1971 to 1977, I studied at Loyola School of Dentistry, where I graduated cum laude in 1975 and received my dental degree. I was elected to the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Society, Pi Chapter. I received a teaching fellowship in anatomy at Loyola and taught gross anatomy while studying as an orthodontic resident. My certificate of specialty in orthodontics was conferred in May 1977.

Shortly thereafter, our orthodontic practice opened, and Francine and I were blessed with our youngest son, Nathan.

Family has always been the important theme in my life, and I have dedicated my practice to serving families who entrust themselves and their children to my care. My goal, and that of everyone at SCO, is to have our patients and their families feel they are extended family.

In the early years, as Francine worked the front desk, it was not uncommon to find a patient’s mom feeding Nathan his bottle or a dad rocking him to sleep for an afternoon nap. Day care for infants was rare then, so Nathan spent his early years greeting patients while sitting in his mechanical swing.

Nathan and his brothers are now grown, with wives and children of their own. Francine and I have seven grandchildren to keep us smiling. It is now their turn to visit the office frequently and bring smiles to our patients, parents, and the SCO team.

Now that the children are grown and have their own families, Francine and I have time to pursue several interests. I have enjoyed acting in and directing community theater productions through the years, as well as golfing, ballroom dancing with Francine, playing piano, and doing photography. Of course, my favorite activity is spending leisure time with my family.

Francine and I have lived in Salem since June 1977 and have been active in the community ever since. From little league and cub scouts in the early years to civic organizations such as Dollars for Scholars, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, the High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire, and the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce more recently, I have tried to give back to the community that has supported me through the years. I continue to serve on the Salem Boys and Girls Club board of directors.

I am also an annual participant in the “Read to Lead” program at the junior-high level and the annual Salem High School Sophomore Career Day at Northern Essex Community College. Francine and I are also very active in our church community: we both have served on the pastoral council as well as participated at various ministry levels.


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