Wilson said patients are often surprised, not to mention relieved, once they take that first step over the threshold of his office and over the anxiety that comes with it.
"I think when a patient understands what is needed and the process involved, then it is not as fearful," he said. "People fear the unknown, whether it's the unknown diagnosis or they fear their problems are much worse than they really are. Once they actually can see what it is, it's not such a fearful experience."
His longtime business partner, Hart, said it was an honor to work with him and that Wilson will be missed by the entire Capital District.
"Hal is a very, very competent practitioner," said Hart. "Both technically and philosophically, he does great work, which was part of the reason why I was pleased to stay with the practice."
The practice has changed over the past four decades, according to Wilson. Bonding work has changed and the use of computers and digital X-Rays have dramatically altered the industry. Wilson and Hart joked that the only lasers around in the late '60s when they started were those used as experimental military weapons.
"We didn't have computers in a dentist office back then," said Wilson. "When I started you couldn't rely on bonding at all for retention and now we can do all sorts of crazy things that didn't even exist, and then of course, we didn't have the option of placing implants for missing teeth now there are so many choices."
These days, Wilson said, dental X-rays are done digitally so other dentists can look at X-rays instantaneously, and it's less harmful to patients.
"If you go back to my earlier years, a lot of my time was spent repairing decayed teeth," Wilson said. "Now, you see less and less of that."