Uplift Family Dentistry ready to brighten area smiles
Uplift Family Dentistry is ready to assist patients in Red Oak and the surrounding area to keep their smiles bright.
The office held a ribbon cutting event Aug. 27. Uplift Family Dentistry is located at 1700 E. Summit St., the former office of Dr. Terry Gillespie. Dr. Carla Kucirek is the office’s new owner and dentist, and she has already been practicing for nine years. Kucirek said she decided to pursue a career in dentistry after having been a teacher.
“I studied to be a Spanish teacher and ended up teaching English with the Peace Corps. When I came back, I decided to go into dentistry. My dad is a dentist and my mom was a nurse, so being in the healthcare field has always been one of our family values,” Kucirek said. “I had to go back to school to get all the prerequisites, so I did two years of science classes that I didn’t take when I was studying to be a teacher before even getting into dental school.”
Kucirek originally hails from Lewiston in northern Idaho. The Idaho dental program’s connection to the Creighton University School of Dentistry brought her to Omaha to study dentistry, then later to Southwest Iowa and Dr. Gillespie’s former practice.
“I met my husband Adam and got married in Omaha. My husband was excited to live in a rural area, and so we ended up in Imogene. When Dr. Gillespie was ready to retire he contacted me, and that’s what brought me to Red Oak,” stated Kucirek.
Unlike other businesses that require extensive overhauls before they can open, Kucirek said buying the practice was an easy transition, as the building was already set up for a dental practice.
“The office already had the flow of everything. The dental team was already here; the patient base was already established, so it was fairly turn-key. I tweaked some things to make it more my style, but generally everything stayed pretty consistent.”
That being said, Kucirek said she did add some new features to the office to make the patient experience that much better.
“We now have a digital scanner for patients that need crowns. That replaces the impression material in the patient’s mouth. We also created a membership plan so patients who don’t have insurance are able to afford dental work a little better,” commented Kucirek. “Esthetically, we did a paint job on all the inside and outside, got some new flooring, and three new operatories. We also outfitted the office with plumbed laughing gas that is up to the codes of today, making things a little more modern, and we’ve added more employees, including a second hygienist who just started. We have seven in total and they are absolutely fantastic!”
Since transitioning from teaching to dentistry, Kucirek said there’s one key part of the job she most enjoys.
“I really love being able to help people. I find it’s really rewarding when someone is able to be out of pain thanks to me, and or happy with their smile. We’re always trying to find ways to improve the patient’s experience and get them to their optimal dental health. It’s very fulfilling.”
Kucirek said she’s greatly enjoyed being able to continue practicing dentistry in Red Oak. “We just moved south of Red Oak. We really love our new home, and our kids are starting at Inman Elementary and the Red Oak Early Childhood Center. We also joined the Montgomery County Family YMCA and we’re trying to implement some lifestyle changes at the same time,” Kucirek explained.
Kucirek also had a special message to any potential patients that may have a fear of getting dental work completed.
“We’re here for the patient. We’ve got all the things they need to relax. We have laughing gas, blankets, pillows, sunglasses, and even relaxing music. We encourage patients to bring their earbuds and plug in to their phone during appointments. If the patient needs a little extra nurturing or a hand to hold, we can do that for them, too,” said Kucirek.
Another comfort, advised Kucirek, is the advances that have taken place in the field.
“There have been a lot of advances in pain management, and it’s practitioner-dependent how comfortable they want to make their patients and what they do to alleviate their discomfort. There have been advances to injection techniques, and better and more efficient numbing solutions. What’s really important is the communication. If something is bothering the patient, all we have to do is stop. We’re very patient-aware,” Kucirek commented.
While Uplift Family Dentistry has retained the former patient base, Kucirek said they’re open to new patients who want to try Uplift.
“We do have openings. Now that we have a second hygienist, we’ll be able to accommodate new patients sooner. They’ll want to have their insurance information ready to go, and they can fill out forms and request appointments online at upliftredoak.com,” Kucirek stated.
Kucirek said Uplift is happy to take care of the people of Red Oak and are hoping to be able to serve the community for a very long time.
“We’re here to answer questions or just let people come in and take a look and see if we’re a good fit. We also see kids as well and have an in-house membership plan for kids up to the age of 25,” advised Kucirek.
Uplift Family Dentistry is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 8:30 to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays..
For more information, call 623-5404, or visit upliftredoak.com.