Shopping and service opportunities near Fort Dodge's Corridor of Commerce keep getting better as the boom along this thriving thoroughfare continues.
Thursday, area residents in need of dental care got a new option. Aspen Dental opened at 2953 Fifth Ave. S.
Aspen Dental characterizes itself as "a large and fast-growing network of dental care providers." According to information provided by the company, its dental practices nationally recorded 2.2 million patient visits in 2011. That included 490,000 new patients. It has more than 340 affiliated practices in 22 states.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Aspen Dental regional manager Jason Jodoin poses in one of the procedure rooms at the new clinic.
The company's new Fort Dodge office will be headed by Dr. Laura Nijssen, who received her dental degree from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. She will head a team that includes a hygienist, two dental assistants, a lab technician, office manager and patient services representative. The 3,200-square-foot local Aspen Dental facility has seven treatment rooms.
Nijssen said she is excited to be serving the Fort Dodge area.
"My clinical philosophy is to take a comprehensive approach to oral health - on the first visit, each patient receives an initial examination and a full set of digital X-rays, which helps me develop a treatment plan that addresses both their short-term needs and long-term health," she said. "Then I'll work with the patient to move forward with their treatment in a way that makes sense to them. My team and I will be providing a full range of general dentistry services, from preventive care and restorations to dentures."
Kasey Pickett, who is the East Syracuse, N.Y.-based director of communications for Aspen Dental Management Inc., said in an email communication to The Messenger that the company has a straightforward goal in entering the local dental marketplace.
"Unfortunately, across the U.S., there are many communities with significant unmet need for dental care," she said. "The dentists and staff at Aspen Dental are motivated by a simple purpose - to help patients get the care they need - and Aspen Dental practices are located in communities like Fort Dodge where there is a need for quality, affordable dental care."
The statement issued by the company announcing Aspen Dental's expansion to Fort Dodge highlights four key aspects of its business approach:
A wide variety of payment options,
Convenient hours and location and
A variety of options for denture patients.
Aspen Dental in Fort Dodge will provide comprehensive exams, hygiene services, treatment of periodontal (gum) disease, extractions, fillings, oral surgery, whitening and crown and bridge work. According to the company, the Fort Dodge office features digital radiography and offers advanced screening for oral cancer. A wide variety of full and partial denture options will be available. The existence on an on-site denture laboratory is intended to facilitate quick turnaround for denture repairs, relines or adjustments.
Asked what sets Aspen Dental apart from the competition, Nijssen stressed convenient, high-quality service and communication.
"We're very focused on removing barriers that may have prevented patients from getting care in the past," she said. "For example, we're open extended hours and some Saturdays, so that patients can see us at a time that works best for them. Plus, in today's economy, we know that many patients struggle to afford dental care, so we make every effort to make it affordable."
Pickett said that walk-ins and emergency patients are welcome at Aspen Dental.
"Additionally, Aspen Dental offers fees that are below market average, special promotions and senior discounts and free new-patient exams and X-rays for patients without dental insurance," she said.
The Aspen Dental hours in Fort Dodge are Monday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays are by appointment. The office will be open one or two Saturdays each month.