He lives in Wellesley and works in Wellesley.
He’s your dentist or the dentist of someone you know.
He’s our lovable, intelligent, and humorous Dr. Ejaz Ali.
If you have been in the chair with Dr. Ali, you can sense his sense compassion and light heartedness. He’s a perfectionist, but I guess when your teeth are being worked on, that’s what you’d want.
But not every side of a person is visible at once, and there’s a lot you wouldn’t know about Dr. Ali, even if you worked with him every day. I bet if he were to tell his patients some of his stories, no dental work would ever be done. That’s why I sat down to have a brief but in-depth “interview” with Dr. Ali, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing his angle on a few subjects, like family, dental school, and the game of chess.
Dr. Ejaz Ali was born in Quetta, Pakistan and spent much of his life growing up in the large city of Lahore. One of his boyhood afterschool activities was practicing the art of Jujitsu, which he continued for many years. It was a structured program that tamed some of his “wild child” and allowed him to vent extra energy, “like letting the steam out of the kettle.”
When it came time to pick a career, Dr. Ali first started in medical school. He did not like it, and with opposition from family, he transferred into dental school. Ironically, many of his friends had been in dental school and some of them ended up switching to medical school. Reflecting on his decision, Dr. Ali knows he made the right choice to become a dentist, based on his personality and desired lifestyle. “I wouldn’t take any of their places,” he says, referring to some of his friends in advanced medicine, “but they’d take my place in a heartbeat.”
His college experience was not just limited to the classroom. An organic chemistry professor introduced him to Chess playing – an educational tool the professor insisted his students master before the actual chemistry coursework began. Dr. Ali appreciates how playing chess with the other students laid the foundation for a lifetime of strategic thinking and contemplating the multiple possible outcomes and consequences of actions. Chess helped him develop skills that are very applicable to his work as a dentist, including the ability to think on his feet.
It’s safe to say that dentistry soon became a family affair when Ejaz met Femina, also enrolled at De’Montmorency College of Dentistry. (You can read more about Dr. Femina Ali’s story here). They married and became the two Drs. Ali upon graduating from dental school in 1982.
Dr. Ali soon had his hands full with a move to the United States in 1987, and the birth of daughter Zarah in 1988 and son Zann in 1990. On top of that, he also studied at Tufts School of Dental Medicine and graduated in 1994.
It was right after Dr. Femina Ali graduated from Tufts University in 1997 that Drs. Ali and Ali opened Wellesley Dental Group at its current location.
Dr. Ali is not afraid of change. A few years into business and feeling up for a challenge, he took on CEREC®, a technology that merged virtual reality with dentistry. Training to learn the CEREC CAD/CAM system and techniques proved to be the most difficult set of courses he’s taken as part of his continuing education. “It is a very different way of doing things,” says Dr. Ali, who notes that it was the first time he was using computer software as a substitute for his hands. Software continues to be developed and Dr. Ali is aware that “the whole field of dentistry is moving” into a semi-virtual realm.
Since it seems that Dr. Ali has incorporated most of the current available technology for dentistry, I asked him “What’s next?” He wants to continue to place dental implants while improving the surgical experience for patients.
Although he’s a very focused person with his craft, Dr. Ali makes time to spend with his family. Coaching soccer, supporting his children in school activities and athletic events, and travelling was a highlight for Ejaz while Zarah and Zann grew up. He still enjoys travelling, and mentions that his children were always a pleasure to be with on family vacations, even when they were very young. One place he would visit again is Paris. “It’s one of my favorite cities – it’s majestic. Everything about it is gorgeous,” he says, though seeing new places is more important to him. Someday he’d like to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
As obstacles and challenges face him, I believe Dr. Ali will always play the role of climber, rising up to the occasion with energy and and an open, clever mind. Those that know him might say he adapts, evolves, and grows with each new endeavor. These days his favorite color is red, but he quickly lets me know that could change in the future too.
You can follow Dr. Ejaz Ali on Twitter @bostondmd and find him on Facebook too!