Four Seasons Dental is entering a new season.
After 30 years in dentistry, all in Mineral Wells, Dr. Saskia Vaughan, DDS, is semi-retiring, selling her practice to Dr. Wesley Wermuth.
Dr. Vaughan will continue performing orthodontics work. But as a photography enthusiast, she will concentrate more on images coming from her camera rather than an X-Ray machine. With her parents in Houston, she will be able to see and care for them more.
"It feels really good," said Dr. Vaughan. "It feels like I have completed a task. I've run the race and I've done it well, I think. I am ready for the next phase. I am glad to still be healthy and not be forced into a retirement. It's nice to still have the energy to do these things."
Dr. Wermuth has been in dentistry a decade after receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree from Arizona State University in 2009. He then earned a Master of Science in Biology degree from Mississippi College and his doctorate of dental surgery from the Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California.
He most recently operated the Wesley Family Dentistry in Boyd. Prior to that he was an associate dentist at a practice in Astoria, Oregon. He was a high school biology teacher and a research technician at Arizona State. He also worked as a dental assistant and lab technician in Mesa, Arizona.
He and his wife of 14 years, Tara, whom he calls his "high school crush," have four daughters ranging in ages from 4 to 11.
They left Arizona and went to Oregon for a couple of years. But Dr. Wermuth's father lived in Fort Worth at one time and liked it, and the family decided North Texas was a place where they wanted to move and raise their family.
"We got the nudge to move to Texas. We've been here a couple of years," he said. "We really like it here."
They initially moved to the Keller area, and he operated a dental practice in Boyd. The family now resides in Aledo.
Dr. Wermuth said he was looking to acquire or open a practice in a community like Mineral Wells.
"I was looking really strong in Weatherford and Azle, and areas like Mineral Wells, and nothing was available," he said. "One of my friends texted me out of the blue and said, 'Hey, I found your practice.' We looked into it. Mineral Wells was an area we had considered.”
Dr. Vaughan listed her practice for sale through a dental practice brokerage company that – sort of like a dating service – tries to find the right matches for dentists looking to buy or sell.
"We were looking for something that was a little more 'ruralish,' kinda small town," said Dr. Wermuth. "I just like the people. I like the small town. They work hard, and are religious."
He said as he and his wife looked more in the practice and Dr. Vaughan, they said they found she has a good reputation, and is involved in the community.
"Getting involved in the community is important to me, being community-minded," said Dr. Wermuth.
"I wanted to find a dentist who had the same philosophies and values. After having many talks, and visits and sit-down meetings here I just felt like it was a good fit. I want to carry out that mission and culture Dr. Vaughan has created, not only within her practice but within the community."
He said he plans few changes, at least early on, as far as hours and staff so that patients can enjoy continuity of care and service.
Dr. Vaughan said being able to sell her practice to someone like Dr. Wermuth fulfills the vision she had for building, and then passing on, her practice.
"When I built this it was with a future in mind," she said. "It wasn't just to work a while and be done. It allows my patients to have a good, solid dentist to go to. There's a lot of drive to go toward corporate practices and a lot of patients don't want to go to corporate practices. They want to have that small-town dentist who knows them. That is what we were wanting to continue to do."
Dr. Vaughan began working with Dr. Walter Thomas in 1989 before opening her own practice and Four Seasons Dental clinic in 1992 on East Hubbard Street. She built and opened the current clinic on S.E. 1st Street in 2006.
"We've been talking back and forth since October," she said of Dr. Wermuth. "I am very excited about having him here and what he is going to do."