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Dr. Edward Wilson brings humanity and technology to dentistry

It's not often you meet a dentist who is a gold medal-winning champion swimmer who has competed on an international level. Who is also an avid horticulturalist who has transformed four acres into a series of breath-taking gardens. A committed seminary student and church leader. And a humanitarian recognized by the CNN network as an American Hero for life-changing dental services he has provided to literally thousands of people.

And yet that is exactly who Dr. Edward Winthrop Wilson III ("Trey") is—and more. This multi-faceted individual entered dentistry over 30 years ago, seeking a profession that would simultaneously meet his desire to heal, to teach and to be artistic. Hailing from a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, Wilson got his degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and set out to hang up his shingle in New York City where he continues to have a private practice.

"The common thread coursing through the path of my working life is helping others manage and overcome their fears," says Wilson. "When I was 10, I was hired to teach children and adults to swim. It quickly became clear to me that strength and stamina weren't so important—I had to get my students over their fear of being in the water. And transform that fear into a feeling of calm and safety."

"Even as a young boy, it was extremely satisfying to be able to help others make changes that could improve many aspects of their lives. I knew that this was something I wanted to do with my life's work, which is why I went into dentistry."

Prevention, a comprehensive perspective, building and maintaining excellent doctor/patient relationship, and esthetic mindfulness all serve as the guideposts for Wilson's standards of care. And along the way, like those reluctant swimmers, Wilson has transformed countless people from dental phobics to patients to advocates.

"People tend to believe that ‘if it doesn't hurt, there's nothing wrong' or that ‘white teeth are a sign of a healthy mouth.' I've been very successful in not just debunking these myths but in educating people about the correlation between dentistry's role in their total systemic health."

"The latest boon in cosmetic dentistry has been both a help and a hindrance. When people feel confident about their smile it can truly lead to happier and more productive lives. However, the demand for these cosmetic services can replace the need for treatment to restore health. In addition, with many cosmetic procedures, there is a long-term commitment to maintenance. When not adhered to, it can result in disappointment and disease."

When discussing the next stages of dentistry, Wilson looks backwards—and forwards. An advocate in holistic dental practices, Wilson has long eschewed what he refers to as its "witch doctor" connotations. He is interested in developing natural, plant-based dental care products.

He is also enthused about the role of new technologies in dentistry. "It has changed every aspect of dental research, product development, and care delivery—from lasers and computer-aided diagnostics and fabrications of restorations to vaccines preventing dental decay and gum disease and the use of genetic engineering.

"Patients are now realizing that new dental technologies can deliver painless, thorough and proactive dental care. Overall, it is lessening the anxiety that surrounds dental treatment."

Wilson's professional creed has long been "dentistry from the heart, for the heart." In his relationships with his patients, his approach to dental treatment comes from a place of deep caring for the physical, psychological and spiritual components of well-being. "I'm concerned with not only creating healthy mouths, but healthy hearts and bodies as well."

"What keeps me passionate about my profession are all the ways that being a dental healer, teacher and artist can bring health, beauty and community to myself and others."

Nowhere does this sentiment ring more true than with Wilson's commitment to Tabasamu, a volunteer-run outreach program that annually delivers dental care and education to communities in remote parts of western Kenya and Haiti.

"'Where the world's need and your passion intersect, therein lies your task.' I heard this invitation 40 years ago in Sunday school and it has been a personal ‘mantra' of mine ever since," says Wilson. "In 2004, I began Tabasamu, which means ‘smile' in Kiswahili. Our goal is to create opportunities for people living in the underserved communities of Kitale, Kenya, where there is 1 dentist per 100,000 people, to have access to free dental education, and treatment.

"By our second visit, we had provided dental restorations in two clinics in Kitale to over 160 persons, extracted over 1,000 teeth for those living with pain and infection, and educated over 7,000 students and people living in remote areas with our mobile ‘Tooth Tours' programs. I've learned just how easy it is to make a difference in the lives of others."

Wilson's efforts were honored when Anderson Cooper profiled his work with Tabusamu as one of his American Heroes on CNN in 2007.

"Through Tabasamu, I have faced many obstacles, not the least of which are my own fears," says Wilson. "To confront them, I have employed my tactics as a teacher in the pool and in my dental practice, to create a personal place of empowerment and humility. As dealing with fear is a universal human dynamic, I am certain that ‘the thread' of dealing with fear will continue to course my path as I live out my respective roles as both teacher and student in life's veritable classroom."

 

 
 
 

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logo    Edward "Trey" W. Wilson, D.D.S. , P.C.

  133 E 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
(212)832-4110
  12 Village Square
New Hope, PA 18938
(215)693-1015
 

 

 

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