Meet Dr. Mark Garlington

I think that I have always wanted to be an orthodontist. From my earliest memories, I have always been intrigued by faces and smiles and teeth. I was born in Saudi Arabia, and as a child lived in several foreign countries where my father worked on oil refineries. Every two years, when we would travel back to the USA for vacation and visa renewal, the very first doctor my mom and dad would have us see was the dentist for cleanings and fluoride treatment!

After traveling so much in my early life, my family finally settled in Southern California. It was during the time that I spent having my own orthodontia done that I fully decided that becoming an orthodontist was my career path. I knew I wanted to pursue something in healthcare, and my orthodontist was always so happy and engaging and it truly looked like he loved his profession. I also decided that when I eventually started my own practice I was going to find a great community and become engaged and involved in that community.

I graduated UCLA with a BA in Biology and received my Doctorate of Dental Surgery from USC in 1984. I completed my residency in orthodontics at USC in 1986. While I was at USC, I met an orthodontist who was looking to sell his practice in Long Beach. I fell in love with the city and have lived and practiced here ever since. My daughter Meghan graduated Wilson High School here in Long Beach and attended Long Beach City College. I am currently on my third office location within the city of Long Beach.

My wife and I are involved with several community programs including the YMCA, BLAST, LBCC Foundation, Rotary, and Rancho Los Amigos Hospital. I also try to donate generously to the schools in Long Beach, knowing that those children are the future. When I am not going to some kind of meeting or fundraiser, you can find me on the golf course, which is my only other true passion besides orthodontics!

Professionally, I have always strived to be at the top of my field as a practicing orthodontist. I became board certified shortly after starting my practice and am a member of the Edward H. Angle Orthodontic Society and the American Association of Orthodontists. My team and I constantly pursue continuing education to stay on top of our profession because we know that learning never stops and that our patients always deserve the very best we can give them. We are especially proud of the fact that, in just a few short years, we have become the leading provider of Invisalign® in the Long Beach area and one of only 20 offices in North America that were involved with market testing Invisalign for use in early (Phase I) treatment.

I think the one thing for me that is the most rewarding aspect of my profession is all the many lives I may have influenced, much like the way my own orthodontist influenced my life. A beautiful smile is captivating, warm, and friendly. It shows self-confidence and self-esteem. I have seen so many of my young patients grow up and become amazing adults and it makes me feel so happy that I may have been a part of that transformation.

I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to touch so many lives and have so many wonderful children and adults to interact with every day. I truly love being an orthodontist and cannot imagine doing anything else!

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