Dr. Carlos Meulener has seen a lot of changes since he opened his dental practice in Little Silver 30 years ago.
"I started from scratch in 1982 with no patients," Meulener, 57, remembers of starting his practice two years out of dental school, which he has since expanded to about 1,100 patients today.
For one thing, the scenery has changed for Meulener, as he moved three times from various offices in town until finally settling into his current location in the small, airy building at the corner of Willow Avenue and Parker Avenue that he fixed up in 1996.
He set up shop in Little Silver after initially considering opening an office in Monmouth Beach where he and his wife Patti — whom he married 38 years ago while he was in dental school — were living at the time. "I decided that was too land locked and thought Little Silver was more central and would draw from a lot of towns," he explains.
He liked Little Silver so much that the now Rumson resident ended up moving his family to the borough — by way of Shrewsbury — and staying for about 11 years.
While a lot of Muelener's patients do come from Little Silver, he says that he's also had patients travel from more distant towns, like Freehold and Spring Lake, and one woman who came twice a year from Aruba (her mother lived here).
Because his practice offers comprehensive dentistry — focusing on preventative measures to ensure good dental health — Meulener says he's always looking to add new patients to his practice, but he's about to get some help.
His son, Brian, 33 — who now lives in Little Silver with his wife and two young daughters — decided to return to school, after seven years in advertising, and join his father in the family business when he graduates in four years.
According to Meulener's Web Site, his practice offers general and cosmetic and implant dentistry, including preventive care, periodontal treatments, teeth whitening, mercury-free enamel fillings and porcelain veneers. He also offers advanced laser dentistry, root canal therapy, dental implants and oral surgery.
Aside from more stringent sterilization techniques and the digitization of x-rays and impressions, Meulener says one of the biggest changes he's seen while practicing in Little Silver has occurred outside of his office. "It's gotten very congested," he says of traffic in the area. "It takes longer to get anywhere."