AMID WANTON DESTRUCTION, ONE NORTH CAROLINA DENTIST FOUND SOLACE IN (AND ASSISTANCE FROM) CONCERNED NEIGHBORS.
AS RIOTING CONSUMED parts of Raleigh, North Carolina, in early June in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Downtown Dental’s Dr. Brett Wells watched helplessly from home as a local TV news crew captured his practice being ransacked. “It was emotional for me, and I lost it,” he recalls. However, the dentist and tech entrepreneur—he founded the membership-plan platform DentalHQ—chose to focus on the positive rather than dwell on destruction. “Seeing the support of the dental community and how many people called and offered to help,” he says, “it was pretty inspirational how tight our community is.”
More than 50 people volunteered for the cleanup, and early the next morning, Dr. Wells and a small group collected the shattered glass and debris, then reorganized the lobby as a contractor boarded up the windows. Rioters attempted to vandalize the practice again that night, but security guards helped prevent any further damage. By Monday morning, it was back to business as usual—which is to say, doing dentistry amid a pandemic. True to form, Dr. Wells looks on the bright side. “Our office has been super busy, and we haven’t had any problems keeping our schedule full. It’s going to be a good recovery for dentists.”