Dr. George Wilson knows a lot about the mouths of Forest City residents.
For the past 50 years, he has been practicing dentistry. Wilson recently celebrated that accomplishment.
Wilson, who grew up in Belmond, graduated from Waldorf College then transferred to the University of Iowa, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree.
“My brother’s a doctor, and he said, ‘Why don’t you look into dentistry?’ and so I did,” Wilson said. “…It’s fun. I wouldn’t be around 50 years if I didn’t enjoy it.”
Wilson said his sister suggested it to him because "it’s a good profession, provides a good living and allows more free time than he would if went into a medical profession where he’d be dealing with life and death."
In 1969, Wilson came to Forest City, where he joined a clinical practice as an associate because it was halfway between his parents and his wife’s parents and he had relatives in Forest City, he said.
“It’s been easy sailing and really the life for me in Forest City, nice town,” he said.
Wilson worked at the clinical practice as an associate for 17 years before he left and started his own practice, Wilson Dental.
Now 50 years after his first start in dentistry in Forest City, Wilson said the field today is “just better.”
“Kids don’t hate coming, it’s just better,” he said. “I can’t explain it.”
Despite the better equipment, facilities and materials to work with, Wilson said dentistry is still basically the same as when he started.
Wilson’s son, Scott Wilson, has now taken over the office on Clark Street and Wilson helps around the office as much as he can, filling in here and there and taking care of old patients. Wilson and Scott have been working together for over 20 years now.
Wilson said he doesn’t have any retirement plans yet because he plans to just “fade away.”
“I’m luck I’m practicing with Scott,” he said. “It’s allowed me to do that. If it hadn’t been for Scott coming in and practicing with me, I probably would have retired.”
Don’t go into dentistry unless you really like it, Wilson said as advice to new dentistry students.
“For me, it’s fun and if it becomes a job and you don’t go home happy at night, you better get out,” he said.
His favorite part of working in the field of dentistry is working with the people and developing relationships with them, he said.
“These are my patients for years,” Wilson said. “They’re good friends.”