North Carolina dentist shutters practice after 56 years

Gerald Lutz, DDS, closed his Fallston, N.C.-based family dental practice May 10, reports The Shelby Star.

"I couldn't move fast enough," said Dr. Lutz. "My thumb started getting numb and then the other fingers. In the dental industry, you have to pick little things up. If you can't do it and you drop something, it doesn't look good to the patient."

The 86-year-old began his dental career in 1965. He recalled when it cost just 50 cents to pull a tooth — 25 cents without numbing it.

Dr. Lutz refused to adapt to new technology, never using a computer or calculator.

"Insurance companies gave him a fit because he would not file electronically," said Jada Clay, Dr. Lutz's receptionist. "Everything was done through him through the old system. Checks were mailed to him. He did everything … getting the check in, figuring out what they were paying and how much the patient owed."

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