When she was young, Chelsea drove by our Flower Mound practice every day. She told herself, “Someday I’ll work there!” Chelsea thought our practice was the bee’s knees.
As a student athlete with incredible marks, her determination could have taken her anywhere. She was competitive in multiple sports, including the women’s heptathlon, which requires power and endurance to be successful.
In fact, Chelsea’s attributes took her to West Point Military Academy. With great marks, athletic ability, and quality recommendations, she was a golden goose to recruiters who wanted her to represent the Army in cross-country. She completed basic training, but when it was time to plan her academic path at the prestigious school, Chelsea realized that West Point couldn’t properly prepare her for dental school. With her sights firmly set on her goal, she packed up her running shoes and took them to the University of North Texas, where she dominated the field as a two-time conference champion in Division-1 track.
After Chelsea completed her undergraduate studies, her journey took her to University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston to complete dental school. While in dental school, Chelsea married her college sweetheart and they welcomed their first son, Harrison, who had some medical complications at birth. After spending a couple weeks in the NICU with her own son, she realized her passion in advocating for children and being a resource for parents, sparking her interest in pediatric dentistry. Harrison made a full recovery and the family grew to four a year and a half later their son, Miles, was born. Doctor Chelsea Wehr then continued her education with a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry, serving as Chief Resident.
Expanding Access to Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment
Chelsea Wehr, DDS, began making waves in pediatric dentistry before her training was even completed. Every resident conducts a research project during their second year, and Wehr aimed to find a better method of correcting cleft lip and palate in infants. The traditional method involves taking a manual impression of the inside of their mouths, just like it’s done with adults. The impression can then be sent to a lab to create a wearable appliance that, along with surgery, will correct the defects. However, getting a good impression from an infant can prove difficult.
The Wehr method is safe and fast. The dentist uses an MRI scan of the affected baby’s face taken shortly after birth. This image is then used to create a custom 3D-printed corrective appliance. This innovative approach is bound to transform pediatric dental care and provides access to care in areas that don’t have cleft lip and palate specialists.