Dr. Wesley Teal and his wife, Hazel, opened Carolina Dental Care in August 1987 -- two years after they got married.
Recently, Dr. Teal sold his business, although he continues to work alongside the new owners – Dr. Andrew Spiguzza and his wife, Lacey.
The couple took over the practice after moving to the area from northern Indiana. And, they were not alone. Lacey Spiguzza’s parents and her 90-year-old grandmother relocated with them.
Right now, they are living in the Carolina Forest area while they look for property to build a home near Loris.
Mrs. Spiguzza said when making the decision to purchase the business, they knew they wanted Dr. Teal to continue to practice dentistry. However, now that he is no longer the owner, Dr. Teal will have more time to devote to his true passion -- mission work.
The Teals have been doing missions work since 2008.
“My vacation is missions work,” Dr. Teal told the Loris Scene during an interview in 2017. “I love going to places where people do not have the same opportunities we have here in America.”
Mrs. Teal said she and her husband go on a mission trip annually to perform dentistry in places where such a thing is very rare. Most years it is to Ecuador where they are joined by dental students and support staff from MUSC.
“He is such an important and iconic dentist here in Loris,” Mrs. Spiguzza said of the decision to keep Dr. Teal on the team. “He has a great following and is a wonderful dentist.”
Looking for a change
Dr. Spiguzza was an associate for a large dental firm in Indiana but both he and his wife were craving warmer weather.
“We always wanted our own practice and so we started looking. We knew wherever we went would be a long-term commitment,” Mrs. Spiguzza said.
They saw an ad announcing Dr. Teal was looking to sell his business and knew they were very interested.
“We met the Teals and thought they were great people, so we began the process of buying it,” she said.
Mrs. Spiguzza said the name of the practice has not changed and they have retained all of the workers who were employed by Dr. Teal.
“We just want to be an addition to the group because they have a great thing going here,” she said.
Mrs. Spiguzza, who is in charge of the front office, said her family has fallen in love with the area since they arrived.
“I grew up in a small town and I love the small-town feel,” she said. “Everyone has been so warm and welcoming.”
New Services added
While Dr. Spiguzza will continue to do the dentistry work for which Carolina Dental Care is known for -- cleanings, extractions, implants, and root canals, to name a few -- he will also do emergency work.
In Indiana, Dr. Spiguzza was the head of nine other dentists and they would, on average, extract 300 teeth each day.
“We are accepting patients for emergencies now. So if you have a toothache, or whatever, give us a call. We are opening an emergency side of the practice,” she said.
For emergencies, a phone line will be available after hours and on weekends.
Dr. Spiguzza also offers sedation services for those who cannot handle having dental work done.
For general dental services, or for emergencies, call 843-756-CARE (2273).