By Libby Hopkins
Do you hate going to the dentist? Does the sound of a dentist’s drill instill fear in you? If so, maybe you should make your next dental appointment with Dr. Harold Welch in Seffner. He has been practicing dentistry for more than 27 years and he goes above and beyond to make sure his patients are pain-free. He has been known to stay after office hours or come in on the weekends to help someone who is having a dental emergency. “If a patient of mine is in pain, I want to help them because it’s part of my job,” Welch said. “I’ve even seen people who were not my patient because one of my patients suggested they give me a call because they were having a dental problem.”
On a recent Saturday, Welch got a call from a patient who was in pain and couldn’t wait to get an appointment during regular office hours, so he told the patient to meet him at the office later that evening to get their tooth fixed. “My patients don’t mind waiting a few hours for me to have my life and then I go and see them,” Welch said. “That’s what’s great about my job, I can take care of people who are in need, but I can do it on my time.” He said he never plans to retire from dentistry. “God willing, I hope to be doing this well into my eighties because I love my job,” Welch said. “If you love what you’re doing, then why stop?”
Welch was the first dentist to open an office in the Seffner area. He has a staff of 12 employees, and several of them have been working with him for more than 20 years. His office is one-of-a-kind because it has an in-house denture, crown and bridge lab. He and his wife, Betsie, recently did some remodeling to his office to give it a fresh new look for his patients. Welch also added new digital x-ray and computerized crown equipment.
Dentistry is just one of Welch’s passions, the other is baseball. He’s the varsity baseball coach at Strawberry Crest High School and his team finished second in their district. He made mouth guards for his team and Armwood High School’s baseball team free of charge. “I love being both a dentist and a coach because I get to build relationships with my patients and the people in my community,” Welch said.
His office is located at 807 W. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. For more information about dental services offered at Welch’s office, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation, contact 684-2279.