By Sheryl Young
Dr. Brian Wells, DMD, is more than just the talented dental specialist who runs the Wells Endodontic Center in the Redfern Professional Park off bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in Wesley Chapel. He’s also a renowned former figure skater with a big heart.
Endodontics is the dental specialty that includes the process known as “root canal.” Nobody likes to think of having a root canal. In fact, the procedure is often the brunt of many jokes – “I’d rather do this than have a root canal,” and so on. But, Wells Endodontics, located about a mile north of the Wiregrass Mall, deserve a second look.
Each year around this time, Wells hosts special events to thank his patients and the dentists with whom he associates. Earlier this month, he hosted a lively Charity Fund Raiser and Appreciation Party at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. Wells’ events have another important purpose besides celebrating his four-year-old endodontic practice: he raises money for “Let’s Cure CP,” a cerebral palsy organization.
“I have a special heart for the cause,” he explains. “My late sister, Jean-Marie, had cerebral palsy. All funds raised at the event benefit people with the illness, like a local child named E.J. Costantino.” At the party, the Let’s Cure CP table was manned by E.J.’s mom, Erika.
Invited guests were encouraged to bring more friends to meet Wells, raise more money for the cause and as a way of networking to spread the word about his outstanding services.
During the special Saturday afternoon, guests were treated to a meet-and-greet and snack lunch buffet with Dr. Wells, and some great gift baskets were raffled off for the charity. Everyone who dared was invited to put on skates and get out on the ice, while Dr. Wells casually joined them on the frosty white surface. There were ice skating exhibits by local skaters who train at the rink – several of them already medal winners in area competitions.
Some Facts About
Endodontists specialize in maintaining teeth through procedures involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, also called the pulp. Pulp damage is sometimes, but not always, caused by a traumatic blow to the mouth.
Endodontists like Dr. Wells are trained in replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets, and can diagnose and treat pain from one tooth that spreads to another tooth or to the head, neck, or ear.
Wells graduated cum laude from the City University of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. He earned his Doctorate of Medical Dentistry degree from the prestigious Harvard University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, and completed his clinical training at Tufts University, also in Boston, where he earned his Endodontic Certificate.
Patients are in good hands with Dr. Wells, who is a Board-eligible Endodontist with the American Board of Endodontics. The office staff includes personnel who are bi-lingual in English and Spanish, to efficiently service the diverse population of Wesley Chapel, New Tampa and the surrounding areas.
Wells and his wife of five years, Maggie, currently live in Lutz with their daughters Olivia and Eva, son Ian, and the family’s Boston terrier, Stella.
“While my family is number one in my life,” he says, “I love being a (dental) specialist and helping people through their pain.”
A Frosty Second Home?
Does Dr. Wells’ name sound familiar to you? If so, you’d understand why he’s decided to hold fund-raising events at a local ice skating rink. Figure skating fans from the 1980s and ‘90s might remember Wells as a U.S. National and world-class pairs figure skater. Wells first competed with his sister Ann-Marie Wells as a Junior level pair. They represented the U.S. at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 1988-89.
His first adult skating partner was Laura Murphy. Together, they won the gold medal at the 1990 U.S. Collegiate Championships. His most memorable partnership was with Shelby Lyons, with whom he won a U.S. Figure Skating Championship bronze medal in 1996 and silver medal in 1998. In those years, they also placed 10th at the World Figure Skating Championships and were close to qualifying for the U.S. in the Winter Olympics.
So, how did a champion figure skater get interested in dentistry?
“When I was a teenager, I had a lot of dental problems,” Wells explains. “I always seemed to be in the dentist’s chair. There was an oral surgeon whose daughter I knew from skating. I told him, ‘I could see myself doing dentistry for a living,’ and he told me to look him up when I was ready for guidance into the field.”
When Wells seriously began to consider what he would like to do as he neared retirement from skating, he did contact that oral surgeon, who was instrumental in guiding him toward his medical career.
“Although I did skate professionally and coach some pairs skating when I first retired from competition, I just didn’t see myself staying in the skating world as a lifelong calling. So, I moved to New York City and started medical school.”
That’s where he met his wife Maggie. “We met on our first day of medical classes,” he recalls fondly. “We were both taking pre-med courses at Baruch College in New York.” Maggie went into internal medicine. Wells studied all the dental specialties and eventually chose endodontics.
He’s still on the Board of Directors for U.S. Special Olympics’ figure skating, again to honor the memory of Jean-Marie. He also started a program while at Harvard teaching other dentists how to deal with special needs children. “Smiles for Miles,” is still going strong at Harvard today.
Ann-Marie, now Ann-Marie Dorsey, currently works in Dr. Wells’ office along with another of his sisters, Mary Beth. Dr. Wells also has three brothers.
Wells specializes in painless techniques with tranquil surroundings.
“There’s a bird conservation area right outside the window, and the office has massage chairs,” says Ann-Marie. “People are so relaxed, we’ve had some fall asleep during their procedures.” But, Wells Endodontics also offers nitrous oxide for patients who remain uneasy about visiting any dental office.
We caught up with patient Bev Zichy at the recent ice skating party. She says she was referred to Dr. Wells by her dentist when in need of not one, but two root canals.
“It’s obvious the precision Dr. Wells had in his skating is something he’s brought with him into his dentistry,” Bev says. “He approaches everything with accuracy and makes you feel so comfortable before he starts. Plus, his whole staff is personable, calming and comforting.”
Bev’s had a lot done to her teeth, and says that although she previously has had some awful experiences, “I would highly recommend Dr. Wells to anyone.”
More testimonies like Zichy’s are available on the Wells Endodontics web page at CitySearch via Facebook. Just enter Wells Endodontics to see some truly five-star reviews.
For patients with latex allergies, Wells’ office is exclusively latex free (none of the surgical gloves or instruments used are made with latex). And, he says he stays current on the latest sterilization methods, so that his record exceeds the highest standards of infection control advocated by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In other words, if you’ve been told you need a root canal or other procedure involving the dental pulp in your mouth, you should definitely consider Wells Endodontics.
Wells Endodontics is located at 3757 Maryweather Ln., Suite 101, in the office park located behind Dunkin Donuts off BBD in the Seven Oaks area. The phone number is 907-7668. For more information about endodontic procedures and Dr. Wells, see WellsEndo.com. You also can “Friend” him on Facebook to see YouTube videos of his favorite pairs skating routines. For more information about “Let’s Cure CP ,” visit LetsCureCP.org.