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Monday, April 15, 2024

Brace Yourself

Orthodontist Dr. Tony Wells works inside a dodecagon with the aesthetics of a mineshaft, but don’t be fooled. He only unearths perfect smiles.

The West Side office of Wells Orthodontics relocated in mid-May to 2222 W. Franklin St. Since 2005, Wells operated out of a building just a few blocks west on the same street.

“Franklin Street has been very welcoming,” says Dr. Crunchy Wells, who is a dentist, part owner of Wells Orthodontics, and Dr. Wells’s wife. “When we moved in down there, we were just renting, and now that we own it, there’s even a better sense.”

A long while in the making, the move got rolling when Michelle Hueck, owner of the former chiropractic facility, visited Wells’s office and offered to sell her building. Tony immediately accepted.

However, the next step was not so swift. Crunchy knew she wanted to create a masculine and whimsical space representative of her husband and his patients, but she stalled the decorating and design process for weeks, fearing an industrial concept might appear too radical. But between the original stone walls built by Dr. Albert McClain and a piece of chair rail brought to Crunchy by Derick Higginson of Vintage Iron Design, she garnered the inspiration necessary to jump into the mineshaft.

A massive team of locals and patients’ families took the leap with her.

Jeff Hatfield of Core Contractors tore out walls and cut new window openings while Jeff Hoffman of Hoffman Plumbing carved through cement to add plumbing for dentistry chairs. Chris Maurer of Maurer Tile Company leveled the floor and installed hospital-grade laminate as Higginson constructed everything from giant gears to the sign for the entry.

When the light fixtures came in, they were too beige, so Kristin Proctor of Illuminating Expressions came to the rescue with her daughter. The two spray-painted each piece the proper color.

“There’s no dentist office I’ve ever seen that looks like this, and there’s not even really a store that looks like this,” Crunchy says of the mineshaft motif. “This was a little edgy.”
Though the décor is visually rough and tough, visitors enjoy cozy waiting room chairs much like the Wells team has enjoyed the inviting West Side community.

“We’ve actually had an influx of patients because it was like we committed,” says Crunchy. “That’s a part of Evansville you just can’t get anywhere else in the world. When they realize you’ve invested in them, they’ll invest in you.”

For more information about Wells Orthodontics, call 812-426-9000 or 812-479-1311, or visit wellsorthodontics.com.

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