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Othodontics and Pediatric Dentisty brand element

Our Doctors

Matthew McNutt Orthodontist Headshot
Dr. Matthew McNutt


Dr. Nar-Panoosian Headshot - Pediatric dentistry
Dr. Narineh Panoosian

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Daniel Howell Headshot - Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. Daniel Howell

Pediatric Dentist

Matthew McNutt Orthodontist Headshot

Dr. Matthew McNutt


Below is a summary of Dr. McNutt’s credentials and experience. However, everyone has a story and we are all more than just a resume. If you are interested in the story of how Dr. McNutt became an orthodontist and what shaped him along the way, continue reading on afterward.



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• Specialty in Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
• Master of Science in Orthodontics
• Doctorate of Dental Surgery


North Carolina State University
• Bachelors of Psychology
• Honors and Scholars Graduate
• Chancellors Aide

Professional &

Community Affiliations

• Member of the American Association of Orthodontists
• Member of the NC Association of Orthodontists
• Member of the UNC Orthodontic Alumni Association
• Member of the American Dental Association
• Member of the North Carolina Dental Society

Military Service

Seven Years of Service: US ARMY Active Duty Veteran & NC National Guard
• South Korea, 2nd Infantry Division
• Fort Bragg NC, COSCOM 82nd Airborne Support
• North Carolina National Guard Veteran Durham, NC

Orthodontist Dr. Matthew McNutt’s story: Patients often ask what led me to a career in orthodontics and I have repeated this story enough times that I thought, why not write about it? My journey to become an orthodontist began December 28, 1994. If you are a child or teen patient in my office, you know it is only a matter of time before I will say, “Always listen to your mother.” The start of my journey is a direct result of following that advice.” I was born in Oregon. I lived in Washington, Montana, Arkansas, Idaho, Florida, Illinois, Alabama and then Connecticut. My family moved to NC the summer before my junior year of high school and I am a proud graduate of Athens Drive in Raleigh NC, class of 1993. Two days after high school graduation I was off to Army bootcamp as an immature teen, not yet ready for college. At the end of 1994 I was visiting my parents for a few days while on leave from active duty Army service. The young me was looking forward to seeing friends and relaxing. However, my mother had other ideas on how my time would be spent. Growing up it was common for her to assign an essay for me to write, sometimes as punishment for some boyhood foolishness. As only a mother can, my mother assigned me to spend a day writing an essay aimed at helping me focus on my future plans and profession after military service. As you can imagine, with the little vacation time I had, I was not enthused about this assignment. Besides, didn’t my mother realize that I was an “adult” now? Little did I know, this essay would change the course of my life. I wanted out of this assignment and quickly began making a list of jobs that interested me to make my mother happy. In her wisdom, she instructed me not to write about or research any particular profession or job. Instead, I was to write about the attributes and qualities that one would experience in an imaginary job and write about the things that would be important to have as a part of my everyday work life. And so I wrote. Here are the highlights: this imaginary job was one where I would set down roots and stay in one community, as our family had moved so many times during the course of my childhood. Try moving to a new school every 2-3 years with the last name McNutt! This job would not be in a large corporation working behind a desk and it would not require travel. My father worked for a large corporation and traveled away from home about a third of the year. This imaginary job would allow me the opportunity to be my own boss and have independence. Work would entail art, science, working with my hands, helping people and making a difference in the community. At this imaginary job there would be people of all different ages and all walks of life. It would afford me the opportunity to take good care of a then imaginary future family. At the end of the day, sitting together at the kitchen table, I watched my mother finish reading the essay. She placed it face down on the table and sat quietly for less than a minute. Then she said, “I think now I understand you better. I want you to cancel your plans with your friends. I am going to call your orthodontist and ask if you can spend all day tomorrow with him before you leave to head to Fort Bragg. I think you might find that his work matches what you are looking for.” That moment changed my life. The next day, my orthodontist was a willing and gracious host. I spent the entire day carefully watching and asking lots of questions. The orthodontist loved his work and talked at length about his training and how satisfying it was to help people in this way. By the end of the day, a spark had been lit. What started out as an idea, turned into dream and then one day became reality. At the Fort Bragg post library, I thumbed threw a college catalog and learned that eleven years of college education was required to become an orthodontist. As daunting as this seemed I decided to go for it. After I completed my three years of active duty in the Army, I began undergraduate studies at NC State. I decided that the best way to be sure that orthodontics was a good fit would be to work for an orthodontist. I met a wonderful local orthodontist who came to campus to speak to students and was lucky enough to be hired for a job opening. In 1996 I started my orthodontic career, working three years as lab tech and a clinical assistant for the three doctors at this practice. This opportunity was a blessing on many levels and I did not fully understand until later just how much it impacted my future. In fact, because of this job, I also hire college students to work in our paid intern program as they prepare to enter dental school. During these formative years at NC State, I also worked as a graphic artist for a local company, often getting up every Wednesday at 3 AM to go to my office to knock out my weekly assigned projects to draw pictures and to do lettering signs by hand, before heading off to class at 8 AM. Add to that four years of NC National Guard service and hours and hours of studying. Needless to say, my first four years of college kept me plenty busy. After graduating from NC State, it was off to four years of dental school at UNC Chapel Hill, followed by another three years of orthodontic residency, again at UNC. Both of these programs were considered to be the number one top rated in the world at the time. The citizens of NC are often not aware that the dentists and specialists that come out of UNC are amongst the best you will find anywhere. During my three years of residency, I also worked weekends and vacations as a general family dentist. I continued this after orthodontic residency up until the Spring of 2010. Working as both a general dentist and as an orthodontist at the same time gave me tremendous perspective on comprehensive interdisciplinary patient care. Back to orthodontics…I began practicing in residency in 2004 and in 2007 I began private orthodontic practice in Cary, North Carolina. Again I was blessed in ways that I did not fully understand until later, as I worked in an office with a very experienced orthodontist who had been a part time professor in the orthodontic program at the University of Michigan for 13 years. She was an expert in the early treatment of young children and during the four plus years we shared an office together, I learned a tremendous amount. During that time I also opened my own independent office in Clayton, NC. At the end of 2011, I then opened my own independent office in Cary. Ever since I have continued my orthodontic practice working in both Cary and Clayton. I have now been working in orthodontics in some capacity since 1996. I have a greater appreciation for how hard our team members work, having literally been in their shoes. I started out as the lowest member of the team, taking out trash, cleaning toilets and emptying the spit trap from the suction machine. My team philosophy is that although our roles are not all equivalent, all of us are equal in the importance of our contributions and are deserving of the same respect. This is why to this day you will hear me answer the phone on a regular basis, I will help you make your appointment, you will see me vacuuming in the office, and yes… sometimes still cleaning the bathroom in reception at lunch time so that parents do not have to suffer through what some eight year old boy with poor aim has done to the potty. So naturally the question is, has orthodontics been all that I had hoped for and imagined? After that fateful day of essay writing, how has it all turned out? Am I glad that I listened to my mother’s advice? The answer is that it has been better than I could have ever imagined and at the same time, there are significant challenges that come with my job that you cannot anticipate until you are doing the job. At the end of the day, I am grateful for my mother’s wisdom and I am still chasing this dream every day, because I never stop learning and I never stop being inspired by what we accomplish with our patients. I have a wonderful wife who is also my partner in running the business of the offices and she has been with me for every step of the way going back more than 26 years at this point. We have been blessed with the adventure of five children. We have also been blessed with an incredible team we call our work family. I am hopeful that the best is yet to come. It is a humbling privilege to have cared for multiple generations of children, to see former patients bring their children in to see me, and now hearing their parents speak of soon bringing their grandchildren to see us. Being able to share the joy and the challenges of this adventure together with our family at home and our family at work is truly fulfilling. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Sincerely, Dr. Matthew David McNutt, October 28, 2022

Southern Smiles Logo

Awards, Accomplishments & Community Service

  • Currently serving Five Year Term As a Board Member of the NC Association of Orthodontists: current Secretary Treasurer, former Senior Director, former Middle Director, and former Junior Director

  • Former Adjunct Faculty UNC School of Dentistry

  • Worked in private practice as a general dentist for six years

  • Served on the UNC Dental School Admissions Committee for three years.

  • Twice received an Advanced Education Fellowship from the Dental Foundation of NC

  • Director of Cary NC Walk For Hope & Healing: served for three years to work locally raising funds to cover the cost of more than 80 cleft lip and palate surgeries for orphan children

  • UNC Mexico Project Alumni: Mission trip to provide dental care to orphans

  • Recipient of the UNC School of Dentistry award for Community Dental Service

  • Served as the American Student Dental Association National Consultant For Pre-Dental Mentoring

  • Five years working with the chair of the department of orthodontics to develop web-based predoctoral orthodontic educational materials

  • Past President & Vice President of the Pre-Dental Honor Society at UNC

  • Local Anesthesia Pain Management in General Dentistry: developed and launched app on handheld devices in 2001 for training dental students 

  • Research & Journal Publication: Impact of Symptomatic Pericoronitis on Health-Related Quality of Life, Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 2008 Dec;66(12):2482-7.

  • Research & Journal Publication: Primary Author on the first scientific paper ever to be accepted by a student author for the publication in the Journal of Dental Education: The first Trends in Immediate Osseous Dental Implant Case Selection Criteria, Journal of Dental Education McNutt, MD & Chou, CH August 2003

  • Research & Paper: Relationships Between Traumatic Visits To The Dentist, and

  • The Acquisition of Dental Anxiety: NCSU Dept. of Psychology 1998

  • 2016 Award from Invisalign Align Technologies for highest orthodontic clinical outcomes in North America for treatment of teens with clear aligners, only one recipient is awarded every two years

Dr. Nar-Panoosian Headshot - Pediatric dentistry

Dr. Narineh Panoosian

Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentist Dr. Narineh Panoosian, otherwise known in the office as “Dr. Nar” brings her kindness, compassion, and world-class training to our pediatric dental team. Children easily connect with her beautiful smile and calm demeanor. Dr. Nar’s goal as a pediatric dental specialist is to ensure that children and parents have a positive informative dental experience. She strives to help children build their self-confidence during dental visits and believes in open communication with parents to provide the best treatment options for every child.

Dr. Nar has an interesting & diverse background. She grew up in Ottawa, Canada before calling the US home and speaks multiple languages. Her passion for pediatric dentistry stemmed from her years of experience and community service in both Canada and the U.S. She donated her time and care to children at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Special Olympics, MOM-n-PA Dental Missions, and Give Kids A Smile Day. It was through these experiences that Dr. Nar realized the significant impact she had on children's development.


During her spare time, she enjoys hiking and taking her bike out for long distance rides with friends. In the summer, you can find her relaxing by the ocean any chance she gets. She is excited to explore the trails & beaches of North Carolina with her fiancé, Patrick. Patrick is a Raleigh native and is completing his final year of oral and maxillofacial surgery training in New York. A fun fact about Dr. Nar that most people do not know: she has a black belt in Karate! Dr. Panoosian is very excited to meet you!



Albert Einstein College of Medicine

  • Completion of Residency in Pediatric Dentistry

  • Residency was hospital based at the Montefiore Medical Center

  • Certificate of Specialty in Pediatric Dentistry

  • Advanced training in sedation dentistry

  • Advanced training in treatment under general anesthesia

  • Advanced training in minimally invasive dentistry

Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry

  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D)

  • Graduate Summa Cum Laude

University of Ottawa

  • Honors Bachelor in Health Sciences (BHSc) – Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences

  • Graduate Magna Cum Laude

Awards, Accomplishments & Community Service

  • Martial Arts: Karate Black Belt

  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification

  • Recipient of the Edward B. and Arnold R. Cook Award in Pediatric Dentistry

  • Fluent in English & Armenian

  • Working language proficiency in French

  • Working language proficiency in Spanish

  • Community Service at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

  • Community Service at The Special Olympics

  • Community Service at the MOM-n-PA Dental Missions

  • Community Service at Give Kids A Smile day

  • Research: Assessing nutritional counseling and obesity prevention training strategies in the U.S. orthodontic residency program (Temple University’s Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health Sciences)

  • Research: Assessing HPV Education in Pediatric Dental Residency Programs: A Survey of Program Directors (Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

  • Member of the North Carolina Dental Society

  • Member of the American Dental Association

Dr. Daniel Howell

Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentist Dr. Daniel Howell: Dr. “Dan” as he is known at the office was the very first pediatric dentist in Cary NC and is a legend in the community. Having founded his practice in 1979, he has cared for generations of children growing up. Cary was still a very small town and there were only ten dentists. 

Dr. Daniel Howell Headshot - Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Daniel Howell received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He received his dental degree from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill along with completing a Masters of
Science degree in oral function and oral anatomy.

As a specialist in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Howell is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the North Carolina Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as an adjunct clinical professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of North Carolina School of
Dentistry at Chapel Hill. Dr. Dan is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Cary, the Cary Rotary
Club, and a former president and life member of the Briarcliff Elementary P.T.A. He has coached Cary youth in the Cary Pop Warner football program and in the Cary Parks and Recreation Department basketball and baseball programs. 


Dr. Daniel Howell and his wife, Jan, have three sons; Rob, Tommy and Mike. They lso have three grandsons and one granddaughter; Harrison, Jack, Sullivan and Beatrice. Dr. Daniel Howell’s phased retirement plan: Dr. Dan will begin a well deserved break and phase into retirement starting some time in 2023. Afterward, Dr Dan will
continue to work on a very part time basis.


Awards, Accomplishments & Community Service

  • Played intercollegiate basketball at the University of California at Santa Barbara

  • Awarded the American Society of Dentistry for Children Outstanding Dental Student at Washington University

  • Awarded the United Cerebral Palsy Fellowship in Pediatric Dentistry at Lenox Baker Children's Hospital & Duke University

  • Presented educational programs in pediatric dentistry at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Annual meeting, the Sandhills Study Club, and the Raleigh Wake County Dental Society Meeting

  • Awarded the Cary Parks and Recreation Department Outstanding Youth Volunteer

  • Long time Cary youth coach in the Cary Pop Warner football program and in the Cary Parks and Recreation Department basketball and baseball programs.

Professional &

Community Affiliations

  • Member of the American Dental Association

  • Member of the Raleigh/Wake County Dental Society

  • Member of the North Carolina Dental Society

  • Member of the First United Methodist Church of Cary,

  • Member of the Cary Rotary Club

  • Former President and Life Member of the Briarcliff Elementary P.T.A.

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