Experience The Difference

Meet Dr. John W. Polivka

Every day I am thankful to be in a profession I love. Making a physical and emotional difference in someone’s life is one of the most meaningful gifts I can give someone. In no other profession can a practitioner say that they literally “create and build smiles!”

All orthodontists enjoy watching patients graduate from their treatment with a beautiful new smile. This is true for me, too.

The most exciting part of my profession is encouraging and working with my patients to take ownership in creating their new smiles. We cannot do this on our own: patient compliance is extremely important! I love working alongside my patients as a team. Together, we are not only changing that patient’s life, but we also impact the life of everyone they share that smile with!

I love being able to help facilitate personal growth and self-improvement for every patient, while getting to know them on a personal level. It’s rewarding to learn what truly makes someone smile! Being a resident of La Grange, I also love seeing our patients out and about in the community – those big smiles always make me smile!

Education and Experience

  • Nazareth Academy High School
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry
  • Master of Science in Oral Science and Orthodontic Certificate, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Department of Orthodontics

I have been seeing orthodontic patients since 2013, during my residency at UIC, and started in private practice in 2016.

I have had the privilege of meeting some very influential mentors within the dental profession who guided me into joining the oral healthcare field. Dr. Battistoni is one of those mentors. I have known the Battistoni family since I was in grade school and that kindled my interest in the field. By the time I graduated from Nazareth Academy I had made up my mind that I wanted to become a dentist.

I learn something new every day, through working closely with our referring general dentists, other specialists in the field, and especially Dr. Battistoni and Dr. Beam.

It is also important for me to set aside time to read dental and orthodontic journals to stay current with the most up-to-date technologies and techniques in our profession. Being active in seeking out continuing education not only provides me with knowledge to share with patients, but also gives me confidence that I am treating them in the most effective and efficient manner.

I am a Director of the Windy City Seminars, a Seattle Study Club affiliate, and the President of the West-Side Branch of the Chicago Dental Society. Additionally, I am an advisory board member of The H Foundation, in conjunction with Northwestern Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Professional Memberships

  • Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics
  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • Illinois Society of Orthodontists
  • American Dental Association
  • Illinois State Dental Society
  • Chicago Dental Society, West-Side Branch, President 2022-2023
  • Windy City Seattle Study Club, Director 2021-Present

Beyond the Practice

My wife, Laura, and I grew up in La Grange and we recently purchased our first home here. We are excited to be back in our hometown to start our own family. We are also delighted to announce the arrival of our son, William, in September 2020!  Our daughter, Emma has been loving spending time with her little brother.

Laura and I are extremely close to our families and all of our siblings live within 15 minutes of each other. Dr. Battistoni is my father-in-law, and my mom, Maryann, retired as our Oak Park Treatment Coordinator!

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with Laura and we both love being active. From swimming and water skiing in the summer to snow skiing in the winter, I love being outside. Family time is important to us, and we love being with our three nieces and nephew. Laura and I are excited to have our kids grow up close to their cousins!

My family and friends mean the world to me. I am most passionate about creating new life experiences and memories with them. These experiences may be unique and adventurous, associated with travel and, oftentimes, new foods. It truly doesn’t matter what we are doing, so long as we are experiencing it together!

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