The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians are saddened with the loss of one of our members, Brent Wilson of North Carolina. Please take a few moments to read these wonderful sentiments shared by his coworkers, friends and family.

 

                                                        
               

"I had the honor and privilege of having Brent as an employee, colleague and friend for 29 years.  He had the extraordinary ability to make all other veterinary staff members better at their jobs, pushing them just beyond the comfort zones of their abilities.  We spent many hours together pushing each other to expand our knowledge and skill levels in order to set the standards of veterinary dental care in our service area.  There were 14 veterinary associates that learned their dental skills from Brent, from radiology, to cleaning, polishing and periodontal therapy.  He could debate with you the pros and cons of extractions vs. endodontic therapy or whether Kirk or Picard was the greatest starship captain.  He loved veterinary medicine, he loved life, he strived for professionalism at all levels.  He leaves a big hole in my life." ~Dr. John Shontz 

"Brent Wilson, RVT, VTS Dentistry—a well-deserved title that reflects such an enormous part of this wonderful man. However, as with all priceless people who touch our lives, there was so much more that made him great, made him stand out, and continues to make him missed. Brent was a patient mentor, a resilient support system, a calm, compassionate provider of veterinary care, a wealth of knowledge, and a role model to numerous aspiring technicians. He was not judgmental, he was not cynical, and he never made people feel self-conscious in their learning process. Brent was the technician that trainees wanted to work with and learn from. He was focused yet relaxed, informative but never condescending, intense without the stress. He challenged us all to do our best, to make the most of our learning opportunities, and to not let fear of failure keep us from trying. He did all of this with humor and kindness and a genuine love for the profession and the animals he served.Brent was extremely dedicated to the field of veterinary dentistry. He absolutely loved it! The proper terminology, the simple and the complex, the patience it required, the amazing possibilities it held for patients, and the capability it offered to make a pet’s daily life better. He possessed a dental health mindset that he wanted to share with and evoke in his colleagues—to inspire us to see it as more than just cleaning up a diseased mouth. 

He was so passionate about dentistry that we couldn’t help but be drawn in and impressed by what he saw, what he knew, what he achieved, and what he did to educate both us and clients. And speaking of the clients—they absolutely adored Brent Wilson!!! They had complete faith in his abilities, readily entrusting the care of their beloved pets to him without hesitation (many who had been without good dental care for YEARS). He was such an icon at our practice that many believed after he passed away that we would no longer be providing dental work at the clinic. Clients thought the world of him both personally and professionally. They never worried as long as Brent was involved. I think that was one of his greatest gifts—his ability to put people at ease. He provided thorough, top-notch care and service that was genuine, honest, and kind and that touched the hearts of all those he contacted every single day.

Brent started every day with a smile and a warm greeting. He got straight to work, always keeping focus on his patients, but readily helping elsewhere if needed. He loved to tell jokes and regale us with funny stories and even try to talk the occasional politics without ever letting any of us know what side he was on. He was confident and did possess some swagger regarding his skills and experience, but he was never rude or unwilling to take suggestions. He was welcoming and reassuring, the calm during all storms. The day could be frantic and falling apart, cases could be going south, emergencies coming from all sides and he would just look at me and say “Doc, I’ve got this.” And he did have it, for 28 years, like clockwork. 

Brent Wilson was my friend, my teacher, my sounding board, my support system, and my inspiration. From the moment I stepped foot into this practice, Brent welcomed me with open arms and no judgements and with a faith in me that I didn’t even possess for myself. He could certainly drive me crazy somedays—I was one of the people he loved to challenge the most. But I never questioned his motives, I never felt offended or berated, and I never felt insincerity. He always made me feel appreciated and respected. I miss my friend. I miss my colleague. I miss bantering back-and-forth over public radio vs. music stations, friendly admonishments for letting my dog chew hard bones, sly convincing to bring everyone breakfast from Bojangles, debates over standing up vs. sitting down to do extractions, discussions over cases passed and cases yet to come, that proud grin followed by a pat on the back and a “good job, Doc,” that text message saying “I will try my best to be in tomorrow—I never want to let you guys down.” Let us down?? Never a chance of that my friend! You built us up, you made us stronger, you made us believe in ourselves. You made us love teeth and Star Wars and fishing and drawing blood from cat jugulars and placing IV catheters and just showing up at work every day. You made us better people, better caregivers, better friends. And you made me a better doctor. You taught me to trust my instincts and follow my gut. You showed me that some people really do give their all to something simply for the love of it. Rest well my friend……thanks to you, I’ve got this." ~Dr. Ashley Hampton 

 

"He was the brother I never had; patient, caring, encouraging. A mentor. We worked together side by side for over a decade. Words were not always necessary as we instinctively worked together, committed to each and every patient...he the right hand and me the left. I will miss him tremendously." ~Nancy Humphrey 

"Thank you for your contribution to the veterinary dentistry field and overall veterinary field. Our prayers and thoughts are with your family and friends during this difficult time." ~The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians