Pothitakis surpasses 30 years in dental field

Fort Madison native now just enjoying practice, patients


FORT MADISON - Just over 30 years ago Dr. Mark Pothitakis walked into his very first dental office and took care of his very first patient.

That was 1992 in the small southeast Iowa town of New London.

Now Pothitakis owns six offices in five communities and, at 59 years of age, is just settling in for the last decade or so.

His son Nicholas is about two years from graduating from University of Iowa Dental School, and will be joining his father in the business.

Mark said he loves his career and how it has developed. The business acumen he got from his mother Inez and father Nick, who ran the Palms Restaurant in Fort Madison for decades, has positioned him to now enjoy his career and push for 40 plus years in business..

"I think I have at least another 10 years or so in me. You never know what tomorrow brings, but I'm just enjoying the patients and the staff and the communities," Pothitakis said Wednesday.

Pothitakis started in 1992 in New London and then purchased his first office in Burlington in 1999. Since then he's opened additional offices in Mediapolis, West Burlington, and two locations in his hometown of Fort Madison.

"Fort Madison is where I learned everything I knew about the business and where I have so many friends and family, so it made sense for me to eventually include my hometown in my practice," Pothitakis said.

He said during COVID he didn't see patients in New London for a year and closed the office and those patients came to his offices in West Burlington and Fort Madison. He has since opened a new office in New London to see those patients.

"The secret to 30 years in business is building relationships. Not just relationshipos with original patients, but now two generations of those families and also with staff and communities," Pothitakis said.

"Southeast Iowa is a wonderful place to live and work and I am lucky to be able to enjoy my career here.

"I didn't initially have plans to expand to several offices, but following the purchase of Charlie Thie's office in Burlington, I saw that I could effectively manage an expanding business. This of course, takes a great staff to accomplish. It's been an honor to serve these communities and I look forward to do it for many years to come."

“I think I am just a people person and have a passion for meeting new people. I love learning more about my patients and their families. Some of these patients have been with me from day one. They are family and they are friends,” he said. In some businesses you see a patient or customer and then they are gone but these people have hung with me and followed me through the years. I am now seeing some of the kids and grandkids of my original patients. It really seems to come full circle.”

The circle will continue when Nicholas comes to join the business.

“I am looking forward to him coming. He is learning so many new things that I am excited to bring into the business. He will be a great addition to our existing dental providers which currently include Ronald Stein, David Courtney, Barbara Gipple, Jon Dingeldein and Ali Bassler. I have the best dentists and staff anyone could ask for. They make my job easy," he said.

"The real secret is I love what I do. I think every day is a great day and I look forward to going to work. I am blessed to have great patients and amazing staff. Many employees have been with me for 20 years or more and they help to keep things running smoothly. I also credit my family who have always been supportive of all the decisions I make and get behind me to make it happen."

Pothitakis has offices located at 320 North 3rd Street in Burlington, 511 Columbia Street in Mediapolis, 503 West Main Street in New London, 726 Avenue G and 4723 Avenue J in Fort Madison, and 1223 South Gear Avenue in West Burlington.

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