Dr Geoff Bell D.D.S

Dr Geoff Bell D.D.S | Dr Brandon Bell D.D.S

Dr Geoff Bell D.D.S., Carlsbad’s Dentist

As a young child and soft-drink-loving teenager who hated the dentist and had cavities every visit, my initial experiences with dentistry were much like many of you. As such, I have had more than my share of dental work. Because I share those experiences, I realize my job is to make you feel good about your teeth now, not guilty about the past. My personal perspective enables me to understand and relate to people who have significant fears and concerns about dental care.

My childhood dentist would be rolling over in his grave if he knew my occupation today. He was not understanding, gentle, or concerned about why I had so many cavities. My mission is to empower you to become a better patient by making your dental experience comfortable and comprehensible through exceptional and gentle care. My most important role as a dentist is to help you understand how we can work together to prevent future problems. I am constantly exploring and researching new ways to help my patients stay healthy.

The Bell family has lived in Carlsbad for over 40 years. Both of his children Brandon and Julene attended the Carlsbad school system


I did not come to dentistry on a single career path. My journey of employment took many turns; I was a taco fryer at Taco Bell, deckhand on a tanker, waiter at the Hungry Hunter (I was a terrible waiter), houseman at La Costa Resort, dental lab tech, auto mechanic, ski mechanic, surf shop employee and a corrosion engineering technician. It probably doesn’t hurt that my father was a psychologist, but one of the most important things I have learned from these different jobs and life experiences is how to get along with all types of people. In addition, I also learned what I like to do best. My whole life I have enjoyed working with my hands, from jewelry making to working as an auto mechanic. (Working on dental implants is like working on an exotic car with feelings attached.) After graduating with high honors from UCSD in 1974, I found my life’s passion at the UCLA School of Dentistry where I was able to use my ability to relate to others and my hands to contribute to others. I graduated from UCLA School of Dentistry in 1980.

Dr. Bell is always looking to improve oral health even when he is not in Carlsbad

Dr. Bell is always looking to improve oral health even when he is not in Carlsbad

I have lived all over the world including Chicago, Louisiana, Australia, India, Claremont, Mammoth Lakes, Pennsylvania, and finally Carlsbad, California. Having traveled around the world twice on ships, I can say with certainty, that there is no better place to live than Carlsbad. Today I am living my dream. I live in the community I love, Carlsbad, with my wife, Debi, the love of my life for 44 years, three blocks from my office. I have the successful practice I always dreamed of filled with my friends and neighbors. My daughter and son who were raised in Carlsbad have happy successful lives of their own. Our daughter lives here in Carlsbad and travels around the the US as a very successful program manager for a technology firm. She tries to explain to me what she does but it is way over my head. Our son Brandon joined our dental practice six years ago after graduating from UCLA dental school. Sharing my life’s passion with him is a joy. Everywhere I go people stop me to tell me what a great person and dentist he is. Every parent’s dream is for their children to be better than they are, I live that dream. Having lived in India as a teenager I realize how blessed we are to live in the United States and how much of the world lacks for even the most essential, simple things in life like a toothbrush.

The AWB foundation funds new soccer uniforms for the team from Cocal Amarillo every two years.

The AWB foundation funds new soccer uniforms for the team from Cocal Amarillo every two years.

Over the last twenty three years our family has traveled to Costa Rica visiting local schools and isolated areas distributing over 18.000 toothbrushes and providing oral hygiene instructions. We have also provided computers school supplies, fishing gear and clothes for people in need. In addition our patients have helped us to distribute toothbrushes throughout the world to Africa, Mexico, Nicaragua, Rarotonga, Bali, Panama, Cuba, and El Salvador. We also have established the AWB foundation that funds uniforms for local Costa Rican soccer teams from one of the poorest villages Cocal Amarillo. now and into the future. We alternate, one year the boys team the next the girls team. Against all odds the local girls team from the small village played in the national semifinals for Costa Rica.



Carlsbad’s Dentist Geoff Bell distributing toothbrushes in Costa Rica schools

-Geoff

One of the reasons Dr.Bell loves Carlsbad is his passion for surfing.

One of the few times you can not get a hold of Dr. Bell on his cell phone. Don’t worry he checks his messages when he gets out of the water.

Recent Posts

A tribute to my brother Johnny

For those of you who do not know me I am Tio Geoff of the Williams family, Johnny’s brother in spirit. I want to thank my family for allowing me the honor and priviledge of remembering my brother Johnny. You will have to forgive me.  This is hard and if I seem a little groggy its because I was up all last night in a a Copa airlines seat designed by the Marquis de Sade flying here from San Diego  and trying to write this speech. Me lo siento that I can not give this speech in Spanish but my Spanish isn’t good enough and I simply didn’t have enough time to memorize it. I will try to say words that will  do Johnny justice but I know I am doomed to failure. No one could say enough to describe how much Johnny has meant to so many. Some ask aren’t you sad that he is gone yes but he lives on as a part of me and what would have been really sad is if I had never had him in my life.

We met 25 years ago when Johnny and Michi rode up to our house in pavones on horse back. This was before electricity, before cell phones and Pavones was like the wild west with squatter American shoot outs and lawlessness. Johnny rode up and announced he had heard there was a new dentist in town. It sounded like a line out of a grade b western movie.

From that day forward we were friends, more than friends brothers, yes we shared the brother hood of dentistry but it was more than that. In spite of being opposites we shared a cosmic connection a /bond like twin bothers. we were like Danny Devito and Anorld Schwarzenegger in the movie twins. I knew I was not Arnold. Johnny was a dreamer he believed in believing, always exploring, thinking beyond the box asking why not. I was the skeptic, the practical one, always questioning and asking why. The Williams family joke is that I live in a box. Johnny pushed me to expand and get outside my box. Over the years Johnny and I shared our deepest emotions and thoughts from the joys and pains of raising our children, to our hopes and dreams. My cosmic closeness to johnny challenged all my practical beliefs. It was like Star Wars, we could feel a movement in the force whenever a significant event occurred to each other. How could he know how I felt from thousands of miles away? How could I know when he needed me to call?

That cosmic connection happened again two nights ago when I awoke at midnight . My wife asked why I was awake but I had no explanation just a sadness. Early the next morning while making coffee my wife’s phone rang in her purse. Everyone knows I hate cell phones I rarely answer my own phone let alone my wife’s. Still I felt an urgency to pick up her phone found myself scrumbling through my wife’s purse. I had no idea how well a woman can hide a cell phone even in a small purse. But I persisted and when I answered Roberto, Johnny’s son in law told me Johnny had passed at midnight the time that I woke up that night.  I knew then that Johnny woke me up to say good by and let me know he would always be with me. To me it was Johnny’s way of encouraging me to believe in things I do not understand and to reach and touch the ones I love. That is what johnny did for all of us: He encouraged us to expand ourselves to look outside ourselves, and care for others. We are all here because johnny cared about us. By example he showed us to care about each other; to be better human beings. We come here to show our respect and to show we cared about him in return. Johnny gave of himself without expectation of return or even a thank you, .Johnny cared about his family, his friends and his patients because that was who he was not for personal gratification..

Actually he cared about everyone, and everything, the whole world. He was always trying to inform me and get me to join his crusades to save the world whether it was no gmos or fighting the new world order. I tried to explain in my most practical terms that I was just too selfish to care about the whole world, I was just trying to control my own little world. Johnny never gave up on me. He believed in the good of everyone even those who were difficult to change or just plain difficult. Johnny was not selfish he cared deeply about each of you and everyone else. A wonderful lesson in life for each of us to carry forward in life. Johnny will live on in each act of kindness we perform.

No one will ever forget Johnny’s smile, that childish enthusiastic smile, like he had just discovered a wonderful secret and he was going to share it with you or may he had just done something mischievous. His enthusiasm for life infected all those around him whether it was surfing and snowboarding or the latest technology in dentistry. Always on the cutting edge of fun or dentistry he lived life to the fullest and was good at everything he did. One of the first surfers in Costa Rica he shared his passion for the ocean with a true pura vida spirit. Last winter we went skiing /snowboarding together in Mammoth. Johnny had not been snowboarding in over 15 years so where did he go.. to the top, to the Cornice. He managed to fall all the way down laughing the whole way. We spent that night going to different snowboard shops looking for padding for all his bruised body parts. We couldn’t find enough. He had so many bruises we had to go to the pharmacy and make up our own special pads. His enthusiasm unfazed within a day he was ripping from top to bottom. Sharing those wonderful moments of laughter, chaos,and excitement with his family will remain one of my life’s fondest memories.

I am a simple dentist but Johnny as with the rest of his life was an explorer, an innovator who could barely contain himself when describing how he had accomplished the impossible for a patient or discovered a new technique. He was more than a dental mechanic he was a healer who treated patients as whole human beings not just a set of teeth. As a dentist I can tell you he was an amazing dentist but more important an amazing human being who cared for others.

Finally I am not a spiritual person. Johnny was the spiritual twin, a spiritual searcher who explored deeply inwardly and outwardly the meaning of life and god. I do not pretend to understand what happens after life so I offer this poem and its background story as my best `explanation.

Twenty two years ago when my son Brandon was 12 and we were camping in Cabo San Lucas watching shooting stars and satellites, the awesome beauty inspired Brandon to ask me, “Dad, what happens when we die?”

A difficult question from a 12 year old for which I did not have the words to answer directly; instead I related a personal story involving his life.

When Brandon was 2 years old, after getting out of the shower he was bouncing with his sister on her bed next to the window on the second floor of our house. Brandon in his zealousness jumped, bounced, blew through the screen, flew out the window and fell to the rocks below. JP you know how high that is having stayed in our house. I know kids who have fallen off the kitchen table and broken their leg. By all rights he should have been brain dead or crippled. Instead he walked away with a small scratch on his bottom. I know in my heart what happened and I explained it to Brandon: My father who died when I was 18 watches over our family from heaven since his passing and protects us always, caught Brandon on the way down and gently put him on the ground. Brandon claims he remembers floating to the ground but he has heard the story before. I do know he has no fear of heights. Brandon accepted my explanation without further question

The next day I began to read a new Tom Clancy novel. I never read the forward to novels, I am too impatient to begin but for some reason this time I did. In this most unusual place, the forward to a shoot ‘em up spy novel I found this poem. It puts into words my thoughts and feelings regarding what happens after death. I shared the poem with Brandon explaining to him this was a better description than I could give. I believe my father turned the pages for me guiding me so that I could share it with my son as I share it with you. I hope it helps knowing that Johnny is never far away, always smiling and encouraging us to live life to the fullest.

The poem’s title is: Ascension

And if I go

while you’re still here…

Know that I live on,

vibrating to a different measure

…behind a thin veil you cannot see through,

You will not see me

so you must have faith

I wait for the time when we can soar together again,

both aware of each other.

Until then, live your life to its fullest.

And when you need me,

Just whisper my name in your heart,

. ..I will be there

Hernan Sierra provided this Spanish ending La amistad no se trata de quién vino primero o quién te conoce más. Se trata de quién llegó y nunca se fue.