Dr. LaFerla is proud to be the first board-certified orthodontist in the Joplin area. He became a Diplomate with the American Board of Orthodontics after completing the necessary requirements of oral and written exams, case studies, and extensive research.
Originally from St. Louis, Dr. LaFerla moved to Carthage when he was in grade school. After graduating from Carthage High School in 1985, Dr. LaFerla began his journey toward becoming an orthodontist, and he is still creating smiles with style right here in Joplin!
- Bachelor of Science in biology – Missouri Southern State University
- Doctorate of Dental Surgery – University of Nebraska College of Dentistry
- Master’s in craniofacial biology – University of Southern California
- Orthodontic residency – University of Southern California
In 1999, Dr. LaFerla opened his private practice in Joplin.
Dr. LaFerla is involved in several orthodontic and dental associations, and through these connections, he is able to participate in a variety of continuing education opportunities that enable him to offer his patients the most current treatment options.
- Missouri Dental Association
- Missouri Society of Orthodontists
- Southwest Missouri Dental Society
- American Board of Orthodontics
- American Association of Orthodontists
- World Federation of Orthodontists
- American Dental Association
Dr. LaFerla has served in numerous positions within his profession, including trustee to the Missouri Dental Association, president of the Missouri Society of Orthodontists, and president of the Southwest Missouri Dental Society. He has served on the boards of several local organizations and volunteered with numerous local charity organizations, including Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM), which provided charitable dentistry in Joplin, MSSU Lionbackers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks (Jasper and Newton counties), MSSU Alumni Association.
He currently serves on the school board for Joplin Area Catholic Schools and is director for the state of Missouri in the Midwestern Society of Orthodontists.
Outside of the practice, Dr. LaFerla stays smiling!
Family is important to Dr. LaFerla, and he enjoys spending most of his free time with his daughter Jadyn. Dr. LaFerla also enjoys traveling, landscaping, water and snow skiing, playing golf, and cheering on his favorite sports teams: the Cardinals, Lions, Huskers, Trojans, and Seahawks.