In most orthodontist offices, kids smile only when the dentist tells them to.
But when Emily Driesman was 8 years old, her father took her to meet his friend Dr. Steven Scher. She thought his office was “a fun place to be.”
Three years later, when she actually got braces, her orthodontist was in Fairfield — closer to where her mother worked. But Emily never forgot Dr. Scher.
Years later — after graduating from Coleytown Elementary and Middle School, Staples (2001) and Emory University — she took a year off before grad school.
And worked as an assistant on the Upper West Side for an orthodontist.
The next stop was Columbia University Medical School. Both her parents are physicians, and Emily wanted a career in healthcare — but not as a doctor.
She’d always been good with her hands. She’d majored in psychology.
She liked the interaction between orthodontists and their patients — “kids just growing into themselves. Being part of that – and able to change their smiles — is important.”
Bingo! Emily realized she could have a career in orthodontics.
In 2013 — after completing her residency at NYU — she spoke to Dr. Scher. The time was not right for her to join his Imperial Avenue practice, so she worked at First Impressions in Fairfield. A number of patients were from Westport. She connected well with them.
A few months ago, Dr. Scher called. After 45 years, he was ready to reduce his hours. He’d always wanted to hand over his practice to his kids — but none went into dentistry. As a native Westporter, Emily was the next best thing.
This time, the timing worked out wonderfully.
In October, Emily bought the practice. She’s not making many changes. But she did need a new name.
Her father came up with a brilliant one: Embrace Orthodontics.
It suggests “braces.”
And the new owner prefers “Dr. Emily” to “Dr. Driesman” — or just “Dr. Em.”
“It’s been great so far,” she says. “It’s really nice working with Dr. Scher — he’s a great mentor.
“We’re keeping the same ideals: a small, personal office where we know everyone. Dr. Scher makes it fun. This is a place of levity.”
Emily loves being back in Westport — both for work and her personal life.
“I see myself in many of the kids who come in here,” she says.
“This is such a tight-knit town. Everyone is welcoming. There’s the beach, downtown, amazing schools — and we’re so close to New York, Block Island and skiing.”
It’s been a year of change for Emily. A month after buying the practice, she got married. Her husband, Dan Keating, works in finance in the city.
“It’s scary being an owner,” Emily admits. “I was nervous. But it’s been a pleasant experience so far.”
That’s also what she hopes her young patients say about her orthodontist’s office.
The exact same office she loved the first time she saw it, nearly 3 decades ago.