Black to Life…For a Healthier You
Dr. Timothy Wilson becomes state’s first black pediatric dentist
A native of Detroit, Dr. Timothy Wilson is making history as the first African-American pediatric dentist in Nevada.
Following in the footsteps of Nevada’s first black medical doctor — fellow Detroit native Dr. James McMillan — Wilson is dedicated to making children’s smiles brighter.
“I have been here in Nevada for seven years, and was originally told about the opportunities in Las Vegas by a fellow colleague,” said Wilson. “I did some research and now I have two Star Smile dental offices, and will soon open a third office on Flamingo and Torrey Pines.”
With health care reform still a hot topic nationwide, Wilson is disappointed that dental care is not yet a major part of the discussion. “Medicine and dental care are really tied in together,” he said, “and even though the recent proposed health care bill does not include dental services, I am hopeful that there will be a forthcoming amendment that is inclusive of dental care.”
Caring for the dental needs of young people is often challenging work, particularly given the current economic climate and many patients’ lack of dental insurance. “I am very excited about establishing the Star Smiles Foundation, which will offer free dental care to patients who qualify,” said Wilson. “Dental insurance is very expensive, and a serious situation, because the lack of good dental care can lead to tooth decay that can develop into infection and result in death.”
Not only a renowned pediatric dentist, Wilson is also a humanitarian who was saddened by the recent earthquake in Haiti. “I spent time in Haiti several years ago doing a medical mission there and also in the Dominican Republic,” he said. “It was mind blowing then, witnessing the impoverished country during my mission. I served as a medical doctor, as well as assisting Haitians with their dental needs. Medicine and dentistry are all related, and if I was there in Haiti after the earthquake I would see to the people’s overall medical needs.”
As part of a group of doctors known collectively as Operation Smiles, Wilson is no stranger to reaching out to people worldwide to assist with medical and dental needs. He brings that same passion to his work in Las Vegas, saying he has mastered the delicate balance between sensitivity to children’s emotions and steadfastness in helping improve their health.
“When children first come to my office, it is our objective to make them feel comfortable,” he said. “We have big screen televisions and video games in the lobby, and for those children who are very young we offer sleep dentistry to take care of their dental needs in a safe and peaceful way.”