Meet Your Tuscaloosa Orthodontist

Dr. Cowan headshot

Dr. Glen Cowan graduated with a Bachelors of Science from the University of Alabama before attending the University of Alabama Dental School to earn his Doctorate of Dental Surgery. He then earned a Master of Science in Orthodontics from the University of North Carolina and soon opened his practice in Tuscaloosa. Additionally, Dr. Cowan was a part-time clinical instructor for over 10 years in the University of Alabama Orthodontic Department.

Dr. Cowan is a member of the following professional organizations:

  • Sixth District Dental Society (past president)
  • Alabama Association of Orthodontists (past president)
  • American Dental Association
  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • Edward H. Angle Society
  • College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontists
  • Southern Association of Orthodontists
Moundville Braces

Dr. Julie Whitaker earned her undergraduate degree at Clemson University. From there, she went on to the University of Alabama, where she earned both her DMD and Master’s of Science in Orthodontics.

During her academic career, Dr. Whitaker received several awards for academic excellence. Today, she stays up-to-date with the latest in orthodontic treatments and technology to provide patients of all ages with high-quality care.

When she isn’t building beautiful smiles, Dr. Whitaker enjoys giving back to her community. She serves as an active member of the Christian Medical Ministry of Alabama and sings in her church choir.

In her free time, Dr. Whitaker enjoys singing, eating out, and watching college football with her husband, Dr. Brett Whitaker (as a local dentist, he creates smiles, too!)

Why an Orthodontist? Orthodontist vs. Dentist

An orthodontist is a dentist, but a dentist is not an Orthodontist.

All orthodontists are dentists first, but though not every dentist has the qualifications to be an orthodontist. Dr. Cowan continued his formal education for 2 or 3 additional years before receiving the necessary license and certification. As an orthodontist, Dr. Cowan has spent years studying nothing but how and why to move teeth. This includes what to do, how to plan, and how to execute the appropriate treatment plan.

Why does it matter if you see your Tuscaloosa Orthodontist?

Specialists receive additional training to give them the skills needed to deal with more complex orthodontic problems. Dentists receive basic orthodontic training which allows them to perform root canals, extract wisdom teeth, and treat young children who do not need to see an orthodontist yet.

Seeing a specialist like an orthodontist may change your experience in braces by:

  • Providing more treatment options.
  • Giving you more efficient treatment and visits, because it is the office’s focus area of care.
  • Knowing that you’ll receive the best possible outcome on your treatment plan, especially if you have severe bite problems that need to be addressed.
  • Personal experience treating multiple cases that share your unique concerns
  • Being seen more quickly, as a family dentist will be focused on longer patient cases or emergencies throughout the day.

You may think it’s easier to have your orthodontic work completed by your dentist. Convenience shouldn’t be a concern, because you will only be stopping by your Tuscaloosa orthodontic offices every six to eight weeks.

And don’t let price be a problem either! Cowan & Whitaker Orthodontics is proud to provide affordable treatment in the Tuscaloosa area.

Testimonials from our patients


“I was 30 Years old when I finally got brave enough to get braces and I am so glad I chose Dr. Cowan and his team to make my dream smile a reality! He is so precise and attentive! The staff makes you feel like an old friend! I absolutely dread any type of teeth work but would actually look forward to my appointments! Thank you all soo very very much! I will enjoy these results for a lifetime!” -Chancee


“Love Dr. Cowan and his staff. My daughter had her braces here and now we are beginning the journey with my son! The office is run very efficiently, we never wait!! They have made my son very comfortable during this whole process. Very affordable payment plan also! Can't say enough good things about Dr. Cowan and his staff. 5 stars for sure!!” - Jill


“We LOVE Dr. Cowen, his staff and our years of treatment from them! This staff is so personable, professional and knowledgeable!! We have been EXTREMELY pleased with each and every visit!! If you want a Dr who is going to give you honest, affordable and GREAT orthodontic care then you should schedule a consultation and see for yourself... they are all so welcoming and kind!! Thank You, to Dr. Cowen and his staff for taking such great care of our family!!!” - Lacey