After months of construction, Prairie Dental has finally made the move to their new location. Construction began on the new location—which is the old Southwest Healthcare clinic—almost immediately after the hospital moved to their new location a few blocks away.
By COLE BENZ
Jen Sarsland purchased the building when it was vacated, but the purchased agreement had been in place since December 2016. Sarlsand owns the building but she and Dr. Pat Kelly will still operate Prairie Dental together.
Sarsland told the Pioneer that the renovations went very well.
“Honestly the building process went very smoothly,” she said. “Everybody worked well together.”
She did admit that timing the different contractors was one of the harder parts of the whole move, but said there were few issues that occurred during the whole process.
“It went more smoothly than I thought it would, but was probably the toughest part,” she said.
Along with the inside structure, they also had to pipe in nitrous, a suction system, and an air compressor system.
“That was a lot of plumbing that had to be done too,” she said.
When Sarsland first spoke with the Pioneer in May, she said they had a target date of October, and they’ll make that mark.
“We kept saying October, and we’re making it, so that’s exciting,” she said.
Prairie Dental was set to start seeing patients at the new location on Thursday, Oct. 19, and Sarsland and her staff spent the previous few days moving and organizing. But they got nice weather for the move.
“It’s going to be a nice week for moving,” Sarsland said at the time of the interview.
Those privy to the old Southwest Healthcare layout may recognize some portions of the building after the renovations, but not much. Because of the way dental offices operate, they had to expand the exam rooms to meet their needs. The whole building went down to the studs before they built it back up the way the doctors needed.
Sarsland told the Pioneer that the rooms need to be bigger because they more or less do surgery in the rooms, so they need the room to house more equipment.
They moved almost all of their existing equipment over from the old location on Highway 12, but they did purchase some things brand new.
One new machine they’ll be using now is a 3D cone beam x-ray machine, that will allow them to take 3D images of patients’ teeth and mouth. This should allow for better and earlier diagnoses.
“It’s more diagnostic,” Sarsland said. “It’s better to diagnose different issues that people are having, you can see them better on a three dimensional picture than a two dimensional.”
This machine will also allow the doctors at Prairie Dental to better prepare patients when they go see specialists for things like teeth implants.
“It’ll prepare them better and make treatment planning a little easier, maybe less trips to the specialist if we have to refer them,” she said. “Down the road we might look into placing them here.”
The dental office will also feature patient monitors, so eventually patients may be able to watch television during their appointment, but it’s mainly for treatment review of x-rays and other materials.
“The bigger point of that is that we’ll be able to show them their x-rays and inter-oral pictures and the patients will be able to see that stuff easier because we’ll have a patient monitor for them to see it on,” she said.
Sarsland said that she was able to seek assistance throughout this process from their supply company, Patterson Dental. She was able to get insight on new layouts and was even given the opportunity to tour offices in Fargo to see how the different layouts work.
Sarsland reiterated that nothing will change as far as Prairie Dental is concerned. She owns the building but the two doctors will still operate the practice.
The community can get a glimpse of the new location and the changes they made on Nov. 3 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. when they host an open house.