BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A local dentist is close to finalizing plans to open a second office in Fort Madison.
Over the past several years, Dr. Mark C. Pothitakis has been in expansion mode and the last phase is close to completion. On April 19, Pothitakis will be opening his west end branch, the former home of Dr. Charles Holmes, who retired at the end of 2017.
Pothitakis has updated the former Holmes Dentistry building on 48th Street, adding a fifth dental room and bringing in digital technology. Each room has an expanded window that looks toward the west end bluffs of Fort Madison, a view that the doctor said hopes provides a sense of peace to his patients.
The dentist of 26 years has added a few new walls here and there, brand new carpeting and LED lighting and has created an efficiency of space, while bringing in the latest in dental technology including digital dental records and x-rays.
He said an open house will be scheduled and then office hours will start the week following.
“I’m going to have an open house. Many of Dr. Holmes’ patients have been seeing me at the other location and they are asking when we are opening out here. They were hoping it would be January, but I just wanted it to be right and I didn’t want to rush it.”
Starting out, Pothitakis said he plans to be in the west end office on Wednesday and Thursday and Dr. Johnathan Dingeldein, one of his associates, will be in the east end office on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
He bought Dr. Courtney’s practice just months before he bought Holmes’ practice and has created, what in business circles is known as a dental service organization. He said the DSOs are growing in popularity with independent businesses and equity firms buying up dental offices and consolidating services.
In some of those operations, ownership isn’t local, but Pothitakis and his family have been in business in southeast Iowa for decades and engage in a multitude of philanthropic endeavors including donating to various charities and organizations.
Pothitakis said it’s important to him that people see him as a local business with customer service at heart.
“That’s where our success comes in, we’re here to take care of you whatever level that care is and we do our best.”
He said he plans on hiring an additional dentist, which would bring the total to five including himself, to see patients in his DSO.
“I’d like to get to five. We have four now, but I think we’ll need another dentist to handle the demand. It’s pretty high in Fort Madison so, ultimately, that dentist may end up here. It’s all worked out well, the dentists that work for me are all great. In addition to Dr Dingeldein, Dr. Ronald Stein and Dr. Barbara Gipple, provide dental services at our other offices.”
He also plans on having three hygienists, two assistants and one front desk employee to answer phones at the office.
But Pothitakis, who lives in Fort Madison with his family, said rebuilding the offices and getting them ready for patients is something that’s just as exciting as the dental work itself. “I’m excited about bringing more services to my hometown.”
The new office is located at 4723 Avenue J, right across the street to the east of the Baxter Sports Complex and Lost Bear Coffee. His other office is at 726 Avenue G. Pothitakis now has 6 offices in Fort Madison, West Burlington, New London, Mediapolis and Burlington.