Sunday, March, 2012
PLATTSBURGH — High Peaks Dental in Plattsburgh is currently involved in a major expansion that has seen the local dental office move to a more spacious and user-friendly facility.
Doctors Michael O’Connor and William Caldon recently opened their brand-new facility on the second floor of the strip mall on Route 3 that houses Plattsburgh Medical Center. The facility’s 5,000 square feet of office space provides up to 14 exam rooms, with nine of those rooms already operational.
“We had moved beyond our capacity in the old place, particularly when we were in the office together,” O’Connor said of the former office space on the corner of Oak and Cornelia streets in downtown Plattsburgh.
“We started with four treatment rooms (at the old facility) and expanded to six rooms, but there was little more we could do (to expand) there,” Caldon added as both dentists shared their thoughts on the recent move to 675 Route 3, which is just before the intersection with Military Turnpike.
O’Connor first opened his dental office in a building that he rented on Healy Avenue in 1978. He moved to the Cornelia Street location five years later when the opportunity to purchase the building became available.
Caldon, who was stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base and was the last dentist to leave the base before its closure, joined High Peaks Dental as an associate in 1996. A year later, High Peaks Dental purchased a practice in Saranac Lake, eventually adding Dr. Donnon O’Neill to the staff and moving from Saranac Lake to a facility in Lake Placid.
The Cornelia Street facility also created parking challenges as the business continued to expand, and the building was not appropriate for bringing on new associates as O’Connor and Caldon considered continued growth.
“If we did bring in new dentists, there would be no way to train them (at the Cornelia Street office),” O’Connor said of the transition new dentists would need coming into the practice.
The doctors began aggressively seeking a potential new location three years ago and came across the Route 3 strip mall as a possibility. Plattsburgh Medical Center had been on site for many years, and a medical laboratory was also leasing space on site. But a large, relatively unused attic area offered much potential for expansion.
“In designing the facility, we looked to a company that designed space ergonomically,” Caldon said of the pair’s decision to hire Design Ergonomics from Massachusetts. “Our rooms are more efficient for both patients and providers. The rooms are smaller but have less cabinet space and rely more on mobile carts.”
Designers transformed the attic space into a modern, state-of-the-art dental center that features a spacious and comfortable waiting room as well as a small technology center where patients and family will eventually be able to use computer stations while awaiting their procedure.
The patient exam rooms line a long corridor and feature chairs that include a heat source and a massage mode for patients to use while undergoing their procedures.
The practice now offers digital panoramic X-rays, a procedure that was available at the Lake Placid Office but could not be used in Plattsburgh because of space issues.
There are also exam rooms dedicated to conscious-sedation dentistry, a process that has been growing in popularity for people who have an aversion to dental procedures.
“It’s used predominately to treat patients who have a high fear and haven’t been to a dentist in 20 to 30 years,” O’Connor said. “It’s also beneficial for people who want to get a lot of appointments done in two or three treatments.”
The facility’s design also incorporated a possibility to add even more exam rooms as needed.
O’Connor and Caldon have also hired Kevin Conroy to help oversee expanded growth as well as Paul Gingrich to handle community relations for the dentist office.
The expansion also allowed them to hire new dental hygienists and other staff.
The dentists, who purchased the building along with partner Larry Jeffords, are also considering looking at the Route 3 facility as the central hub as they expand with more satellite stations across the North Country.
They would also be interested in opening other space in the building to dental specialities and other health-care providers, O’Connor noted.
High Peaks Dental will continue to offer its annual free day of service for people who need teeth cleaning, fillings or extractions. This year’s event will be held Sept. 8, and the partners believe the new facility will provide a lot more opportunities for residents who want to take advantage of the free day of dentistry.
As read in the Press-Republican
Plattsburgh NY 12901