Lifestyle

I heart my dentist

Dr. Timothy Wezeman numbs patient Steffanie Obitz’s gums before he fills a cavity as dental assistant Kerri Brown lends a hand with suction. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Dr. Timothy Wezeman numbs patient Steffanie Obitz’s gums before he fills a cavity as dental assistant Kerri Brown lends a hand with suction.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Heather Sanchez of Oak Harbor stood outside Whidbey Avenue Dental Care at 7:30 Friday morning with the hopes of getting a tooth filled.

“Even if it’s only one, it’ll be one less hurting,” she said.

Thirty-degree weather didn’t stop patients from arriving early.

Heather Czlapinski and Steffanie Obitz stood at the front of the line, patiently waiting for free dental care.

The dental office opened at 8 a.m., and assistants distributed patient information clip boards to the influx of care-seekers.

The annual event, now in its third year, draws more than 60 patients each year, but this year, the practice expects to see even more, said office manager manager Darlene Kiefer.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook,” she said.

The man behind the loving operation is long-time Oak Harbor Dentist, Dr. Timothy Wezeman.

“Really, the kudos are to my crew,” he said of the two hygienists and

four assistants who volunteer their time to make the free dental care possible.

“Every year, the say they want to do it again,” he said.

This year, Dr. Wezeman has the help of his son, Luke, who recently graduated from New York University College of Dentistry.

Before studying dentistry, Luke taught science at Coupeville Middle School.

“The sad thing is, you can only put out one fire in each person’s mouth,” Timothy said. “You can’t do it all.”

But Joseph Weidel is just happy that Wezeman provides free dental care one day each year.

He’s a return customer: Mouth open wide, and pointing to a silver-capped tooth. This year he hopes to get a cavity filled.

“I can feel it with my tongue,” the 68-year-old said.

“This doctor here — he’s somebody really special. This is really a plus for Oak Harbor.”

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