Dental Group West combines a rich dental history with the latest techniques

By Chris Galford

dental group west smallThe doctors at Dental Group West enjoy a profession not simply rooted in the latest and greatest bits of technology, but also one that has been polished by a long standing tradition going all the way back to 1948. The people have changed, the procedures have changed, but some things remain the same.

Dr. Richard Thomas understands this sense of tradition well. His own place in the group extends back to one of its founding members, Dr. Robert P. Weisenburger. Initially, Dr. Thomas had gone to Michigan State University’s School of Medical Technology with the goal of becoming a medical technologist. Time proved it wasn’t the right fit for him.

“The more I did it, the less I liked it,” Dr. Thomas said.

Yet what he knew he loved was the life sciences and a career that would allow him more interaction with patients. What form this took shifted some as time went by, but after seven years, and a long chat with Dr. Weisenburger, his family dentist, he found his calling.

“He is the one that really got me interested in dentistry,” Dr. Thomas said. “So I applied to Case Western Reserve University, got accepted, studied hard, and after that, completed a one year optional general practice residency. I then joined the practice here in Toledo the summer of 1984. I worked as an associate, and over the course of a seven to eight year period of time, established my niche. It seems amazing to me, but I’m now the oldest partner.”

Regarding his practice, Dr. Thomas notes that neither he, nor any of his partners, are specialists. They are general dentists, though their knowledge, skill sets and interests vary.

“In our line of work, you don’t call yourself a specialist unless you’ve been through graduate school and specialty training, but any general dentist can do specialty work if they are trained properly.”

Together with his partners, Dr. Robert J. Weisenberger (the son of the aforementioned Dr. Robert P. Weisenberger) and Dr. Tracy Poole, they manage a practice that, with time, has progressed and developed into a progressive, more streamlined model when compared to what dentistry once offered.

“Probably the biggest changes would be how we restore teeth. The technology now is much better. For decades, if you had a cavity in your tooth, it would be restored with silver amalgam. We stopped using this material in 1994. Amalgam is approved by the American Dental Association, but we decided to get away from it partly because of its unsightliness. Now we use direct composite resins which are natural looking and bond to the teeth.”

From cosmetics, to Invisalign braces, to teeth whitening using a supervised, prescription strength process over time, to wisdom tooth removal with sedation, to traditional care, Dental Group West offers a full menu of dental services.

Show your support for local businesses! Call Dr. Thomas at 419-539-2168; visit the website at; or visit Dental Group West at 5532 W. Central Ave., Toledo, OH.