BAR HARBOR — High Street Dental has a new dentist, seeing patients here two days per week. Dr. David Wicks began work in February, following the death of Dr. Stephen Moon, who practiced here for 20 years.
“Unfortunately I never met Dr. Moon,” Wicks said. “I’m just trying to continue the care that he’s been providing his patients here.”
Wicks, 61, has been a substitute dentist — someone who fills in for dentists in emergencies — for the last 12 years. Currently, he splits his time among High Street Dental and practices in Newport and Dexter.
“It’s quite rewarding,” Wicks said, the work of helping “a fellow dentist keep their practice running.”
Office manager Linda Eaton, who also worked under Moon, suggested Wicks for the job after Moon’s death. She had previously worked with him at another dental practice.
“I got the call that Dr. Moon had passed away. We needed to get the services of a dentist right away,” Eaton said.
Eaton said initial feedback from patients on the arrangement has been positive.
Wicks, originally from the Catskill Mountains region of New York, has been a practicing dentist for 36 years. His work has sent him to a number of locations, from Chicago to Aroostook County.
“I’ve worked in places from Ashland up in The County down to Bath and a whole lot of places in between,” he said.
He has secured an apartment near the practice, which he said was like walking through a movie set.
“I’ve always enjoyed Bar Harbor, so it wasn’t twisting my arm,” he said. “I’ve been re-energized by this project.”
Wicks said he owns the practice, and the Moon family owns the building, and they have been working together well.
Renovations are planned to update the interior of the building and move the practice to the first floor, making it more easily accessible for aging clients. Work is set to begin at the end of the month, when the tenants downstairs move out.
Typical substitute arrangements last between two days and a year, Wicks said, but this time, he plans to stick around longer than that.
“The average age that dentists retire is 60,” he said. “I think I’m good for another nine.”