Behind the Scenes with Our Partners: Dr. John Darling

When you need a specialized dental health service, we enlist a team of partners to serve you. Dr. John Darling is one of those amazing partners.

Even future surgeons have to start their career path somewhere, and Dr. John Darling started his behind the counter at a candy store.

“I spent my summers in Northern Wisconsin and my first job was at Dan’s Candy Store in Minocqua,” he told us.

Maybe seeing the damage the right hard candy could inflict upon the wrong tooth inspired him. So today Dr. Darling offers a variety of oral surgery services including extractions, implant placement and bone grafting at his practice located on Silver Spring Drive just east of Port Washington Road.

“When I refer a patient to John, he or she comes back smiling,” Mike said. “John prides himself on running a patient-centered practice rather than a high-volume practice. And patients really see the difference.”

John studied all over the country. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated from the Marquette University School of Dentistry. Then he completed a one-year internship at St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu, HI and a four-year oral surgery residency at Sinai Hospital in Detroit, MI.

When he isn’t at his office, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary, his two daughters and his two black labs.


If you’re experiencing any issues that feel like they go beyond your teeth, such as neck, face or jaw pain, remember that DeWan Dental Wellness has a dedicated network to help seamlessly coordinate your care. Reach out and make an appointment with our East Side Milwaukee dentists who will help you meet any dental challenge.

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Even Mom Agrees: Dental Implants a “Piece of Cake”

It seemed like every time our COO Lora’s mom, Janet Keller, visited DeWan Dental Wellness, she needed dental treatment. Once it was a broken tooth. Another time, an infection.

“I always had terrible teeth,” she said. “I’m lucky Lora married a dentist!”

When she lost a key molar nearly 15 years ago, she was sad, but resigned to wearing a partial denture. “I felt lucky to keep my teeth as long as I did,” she said.

When Mike suggested a dental implant to her, even dental anxiety did not keep her from pursuing the treatment to avoid a partial denture.

A dental implant is a small titanium pin or cylinder, which is surgically placed in the upper or lower jawbone. The dental implant replaces the root of the missing tooth, providing an anchor for a new tooth or several teeth.

“I was so nervous for the implant surgery but it was a piece of cake,” she said. “Though I hope I don’t lose any more teeth, I’d have it done again in a minute!”


To learn more about dental implants, we invite you to download our free e-book, Before and After Dental Work, 5 Case Studies. Or feel free to call us or visit our east side Milwaukee dentists to hear about all the options to keep a natural bite.

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DeWan Dental Enjoys “Smallwaukee” Connection with Darling Dental

The team at Darling Dental – back row: Sheila (assistant), Dr. John Darling, Kristy (receptionist); front row: Mary Darling (Dr. Darling’s wife), Shil (receptionist); not pictured: Maisha (part-time assistant)

Dr. John Darling is one of our favorite oral surgeons. When we refer patients to his North Shore practice for an extraction, an implant placement or other specialized oral surgery, they rave about him and his caring team. Dr. Darling even removed Mike’s wisdom teeth.

But the connection goes even deeper now that Ellen joined the practice.

Ellen’s father, Dr. Donald Hoffman, was the chief oral surgery resident in 1981 when Dr. Darling was a first year resident at Sinai Hospital of Detroit.

How’s that for a small world?


Support your “Smallwaukee” dentist, and during your visit we’ll be sure to figure out some common connections! Schedule a dental appointment today.

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Secrets of a Dentist: Go Buy a Lottery Ticket

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Our dentists, Mike DeWan, DDS, SC and Ellen Pelz, DMD, sharing secrets about your mouth.

Mike and Ellen work in dark recesses all day with a miner’s light firmly affixed to each of their foreheads. So it’s no surprise they have secrets and deep insights. They each recently shared a few of their secrets with me  and they all actually have to do with you, their patients!

Your healthy mouth = your winning lottery ticket

“Go buy a lottery ticket,” Mike sometimes advises. “If your teeth are healthy, fortune is shining on you and you are almost guaranteed overall health and success.”

Conversely, oral diseases may be linked to your body’s wellness. You’ve probably read about links between periodontal disease and heart disease. Untreated tooth decay can lead to root canals and ultimately tooth loss. Unbalanced occlusion (the way you bite) can lead to tooth fracture and loss, hypersensitivity and even head and neck pain.

Dentistry is 90% mind meld

Spock from Star Trek would be a great dentist because he could meld his mind with other beings.

“Dentistry is 90% psychological and 10% mechanical,” said Ellen Pelz, our associate dentist. “Most of our job is controlling the psychological factors that patients experience – fear, anxiety and discomfort. Though dentists are highly skilled, the actual mechanics are relatively routine.”

We feel your pain

“I’m sad when someone needs a root canal or breaks a tooth,” Mike said. “But I’m glad I can be there for relief.”

In fact, when a dentist administers anesthetic, his or her blood pressure rises far greater than the patient’s does.

We should be in a circus

Dentists are expert fortune tellers, and if they weren’t so busy caring for your health, they would be a major attraction under the big-top. But it’s not all magic. Your teeth tell a unique story and dentists are trained to read it. The good news is that even if you have some dental challenges, the prognosis almost always is favorable.

People often expect really bad news from a dentist especially if their last dental exam was a while ago. Ellen said, “People expect to be in dire straits, but there’s always a solution. And often it’s a pretty simple solution.”

When numb is null

Not getting numb or having an anesthetic wear off used to be a huge fear among dental patients. These days, dentists have enough pain relief options available to make your discomfort a thing of the past. You can even play a role in ensuring proper sedation. Caffeine and an empty stomach can hinder local anesthetic’s effectiveness, so skip that second cup of coffee and have a snack prior to your visit instead.

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Baby Tooth Extraction: Helpful Tips for Easy Healing

dreamstime_xs_25736624Sometimes a baby tooth needs a little help letting go and needs to be extracted to let the adult tooth come through. It’s usually a much more straightforward procedure than extracting an adult tooth because the roots are embedded in tissue and not bone. But the socket can still be tender for several days afterward. Here are some tips to help a child through the process. Note that these tips can be equally useful for adult recovery!

  • Limit hot foods for several hours until the numbness wears off
  • Keep food choices soft for the first 24 hours. Good choices are yogurt, pudding, pureed soups and, my favorite, ice cream.
  • Avoid brushing the extraction site after the procedure. Rinsing with warm salt water may help with healing and keeping the area clean.
  • Brush the other teeth. Use positive reinforcement to keep the child keep brushing, maybe even offering a small reward. Allow the child to brush the other areas of his/her mouth a little at a time if necessary.

The sensitivity from an extraction should fade within a few days. If it doesn’t, you may want to follow up with your dentist. Do the best you can to encourage your child to keep his or her mouth clean.

Author: Mike DeWan, DDS


For more about your dental health, including quick and easy tips, download our free ebook 10 Secrets to Dental Health. Or, come in to see us! If you’re looking for a dentist in Milwaukee who cares about your comfort and overall health, make an appointment now.

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