Long-time orthodontist inspires former patient to follow in his steps

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Dr. Dean Evans, who has served the Bluefield, Va. community for 37 years by providing orthodontic treatment to both children and adults, is now in the transitional process of passing his practice on to Dr. Tyler Crowe, a former patient. 

Evans, who’s father was a dentist, grew up in Welch before moving to Princeton in 6th grade. 

After deciding on orthodontics as a profession he went on to attend Concord College and West Virginia University where he then attended the School of Dentistry and completed his orthodontic residency program. Directly out of his residency, he and his wife spent three years in Alaska with the Air Force. Afterward, he returned to the Bluefield area where he began practicing orthodontics. 

“It’s the most fun practice of dentistry,” Evans said. “Orthodontics is just fun. I love the work, I love the kids, I love the adults.”

Crowe said he was Evans’ patient roughly 15 years ago and that Evans is who ultimately inspired him to become an orthodontist.

“After coming here and getting my braces off and just the whole experience I just wanted to be able to provide that experience to other kids,” Crowe said. “The years that you have braces are very impressionable years. Just that impression that you can have. I know what it did for me and how I felt personally about myself through orthodontic treatment, so I wanted to be able to have an impact on other kids in that way.”

According to both Crowe and Evans, they proceeded to stay in touch through the years as Crowe applied to dental school and orthodontics residency where he too graduated from West Virginia University.

As Crowe neared the end of his residency they began discussing his future and what opportunities were ahead locally. 

“To be quite frank, I’m not ready to stop practicing. In my mind I was always focused on another five to 10 more years, and then Dr. Crowe came by and he asked if I would be interested in selling the practice,” Evans said. “So I started thinking about it, and say in five years, I want to practice five or 10 more years, and I put out my for sale sign, I may not get anybody half the quality or half the character that Dr. Crowe is.”

According to Evans the final deciding point came when Crowe advised him that he would keep the full staff – which he says is a rare move by new doctors.

In April, Evans disclosed the exciting news with his patients where he shared that his job is more of a calling he never took lightly and he believes Crowe will ensure optimal orthodontic care to all patients. 

The outpouring of love to Evans by his patients thus included their welcoming of Crowe in May as the two began working together in anticipation for Evans’ retirement. According to Evans, this is to secure Crowe is comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plans and that the patients are likewise comfortable with Crowe. Evans plans to stay a minimum of 60 days or longer based on the comfort level by all parties involved.

“It was important to both of us that this be smooth and the patients feel comfortable with me. So as we plotted it out, we wanted to make sure they had the opportunity to see both of us at the same time. That way it wouldn’t feel so abrupt to anyone,” Crowe said. 

Evans has put optimal trust in Crowe.

“He’s very focused. He’s very detailed for perfection, and as a perfectionist, he’s a perfectionist like I am, it drives you crazy to try to get perfection. It’s just so hard to do that, but he’s very much like that,’’ Evans said of Crowe. “He has a good eye for detail. He’s very very gentle. He’s got good hands. He’s got good patient communication skills.”

Crowe says the transition thus far has been relatively easy as he considers his relationship with Evans to be a friendship unlike the experience of many business transitions. Crowe has also received a positive response from the patients and families.

“I do want to reiterate just the importance that Dr. Evans has had on this community. I remember, this is the guy who had Dr. Dean’s Dodgers, a t-ball team, and shaved his head when one of his patients was going through chemo. So those are really big shoes to fill, and he has just been such a pivotal person in so many lives, so many young people’s lives here. So, moving forward, I’ll miss him every bit as much as the community will miss him,” Crowe said. “He’s still going to be a vital part of this community, just in a different way.”

Just as Crowe and the patients will miss Evans, Evans will likewise miss the people and the impact they’ve had on him while he’s helped their smiles. 

“I’m going to miss them. I’ve had so much fun with all my patients and parents and families. And the thing about this area, the people make this area. There’s no greater people anywhere in the world than right here in this area. They’re good people. They’re strong people. They’re honest. And it’s just a real joy to be able to have that as patients and families, and that’s the thing that’s probably impacted me the most, is just the people,” Evans said.

— Contact Whitney Browning at wbrowning@bdtonline.com

This content was originally published here.

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