Our teeth and gums are critical to our nutrition, self-esteem and long-term physical health, so we take upon ourselves to see our dentist to ensure that no nasty bacteria are setting up shop in our mouths. But what makes a good dentist besides the obvious answer of ‘friendly’ or ‘professional’?
Dr. Gary Wessels has made it his goal in practice to help his patients create ideal dental health.
Believing in “Lifting others up, so that their lives may become better…” Wessels first started his schooling in dentistry in his mid-20s, slightly older than most of his classmates, but possessing a high sense of commitment and focus which helped him succeed.
His parents and grandparents spent countless hours with him in tinkering with various bits of machinery, as well as encouraging the development of artistic skill and craftsmanship.
“I certainly appreciate now the sense of facility that I gained from those experiences… the sense that I could physically engage with the world and be effective.”
The steadiness of his hands and the confidence he displays while working, flow naturally from his varied life experiences.
His philosophy of practice can be described by the phrases ‘treat the cause, not the symptom’ and ‘Identify and reduce risk.’
By Wessels’ logic, repairing damage from tooth decay is of limited benefit unless steps are taken to address the root causes of that disease.
Giving advice that comes from a place of genuine care and sincerity knowledge of the patient’s goals and unique circumstances is far more likely to help a patient achieve greater health.
“I am, at my core, relational and creative. These show up in the value we place in on healthy team and client relationships and in terms of proactivity, which many would call prevention, but I’d say it’s more than that. Prevention is looking at what you don’t want and taking action to keep it from happening… On the other hand, Proactivity is looking at what you do want and focusing on creating that. We get excited about helping our patients create better health.”
Our teeth and gums are even important to our physical whole-body health as well according to Wessels, with the seal around our gums acting as a barrier between bacteria and our bloodstream! Heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and other diseases are all problems that we can lower the risk of through proper dental hygiene!
Dr. Gary Wessels is a man who loves to lift up others and is doing that by ensuring that all who step into his practice are treated with the same care he’d want his family to have and helping them in the quest for healthy gums, strong enamel teeth, healthy bodies and ultimately, better lives.
Sam McNair is a fan of adventure novels, as well as writing about the people and places that make Vernon a great place to live. He got his diploma in Writing and Publishing from Okanagan College in 2020.