Dr. Don Feldman and technician, Natalia Munera, work on patient Alex Moya.
By Stacey Marcus
There is nothing I like more than a genuine nice person who tells it like it is, which is precisely why I fell in love with Dr. Donald Feldman the minute we began our conversation. The Lynnfield resident, whose business Feldman Orthodontics has been in Lynn since 1973, was quick to proclaim his Revere heritage.
Although his professional line of business is straightening teeth, Feldman learned the art of working with people by helping out his father at his supermarket, Arthur’s Creamery, on Shirley Avenue in Revere when he was 10 years young. After he assisted in the supermarket he helped his uncles Jack and Saul cut onions at their food stand on Revere Beach. His father taught him the essence of customer service.
“If a customer brought in year-old sour cream to return he would just give them a new one,” says Dr. Feldman.
After graduating from the University of Vermont, Feldman attended Tufts Dental School where he chose orthodontics as a specialty. “I couldn’t stand the sight of blood and I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” says Feldman.
When he first launched his practice in Lynn, the city was brimming with workers.
“General Electric employed 20,000 people and NYNEX had 10,000 people working in Lynn,” he notes.
Throughout the years the business landscape and demographics have changed, however Feldman maintains a very busy practice serving local patients as well as patients from Gloucester, Swampscott, Marblehead, Beverly Farms and as far away as Salem, N.H. He also sees many second-generation patients. “It’s the same service whether you live on Marblehead Neck or are on public assistance,” notes Dr. Feldman, a lesson he learned from his mentor Samuel Kane who treated many famous sports figures and also grew up in Revere.
Although his business practices have stayed the same throughout the years, his practice has seen many new products. “The new wires make it easier with minimal discomfort. Braces are smaller and elastics are smoother,” he says, noting patients can cut down on the time of visits.
At 73 years young, Feldman has no intention of retiring, claiming he works as hard as he did at 30 years old. He and his wife Karen love to travel the world and have two grown children. Son Craig is an orthodontist in New York and daughter Tracey is a CFO at Bank of America in New York. The couple also has four grandchildren: Holden, Tenley, Ellie and Julian.
Dr. Feldman loves to give back to the community. “I have 75 charities on my office mirror,” he says.
He is very active in fundraising at Boston University where he taught for 20 years and raised $1.5 million for the Orthodontic Chair. He also gives scholarships to the high schools in Lynn to students who want to improve their lives. His mantra for life and business was indelibly imprinted on his heart by his grandmother who told him, “It is better to give than to receive.”
Photo: Paula Muller