Devils Lake dental clinic soon to be found in a new location

Louise Oleson Journal Managing Editor
Dr. Kirsten Andrews stands with two pieces of new technology that make it possible for same-day crown preparation, manufacture and placing.

Johnson Family Dentistry is making some changes in the year ahead and the biggest change of all will be its new location.

The dental clinic was founded by Roger Johnson and built in its present location, across from the Devils Lake Post Office, in 1983. That location has served the practice well for over 30 years.

Kirsten (Johnson) Andrews,  is the founder’s daughter, and now serves as the practice’s only full-time dentist, for the time being.

In her years in practice with her father, who is now fully retired, they noted some issues that the 503 Third Street NE location had, like inadequate parking, especially for patients with mobility concerns.

Plus, as the years passed, dentistry has changed and with it the technology needed to keep in step with those changes.

For example, the large 3-D x-ray machine, Andrews pointed out, it’s the first of its kind in the region and the only one for several miles around. An alcove had to be designed and built for it, but it would be much better and more private if it had its own space.

Andrews is excited about what is ahead and hopes to add staff right away and eventually maybe even another dentist, down the road a ways.

For the time being, however, she is expanding the services that she provides including same-day crowns that are made on site, implants, clear alligners and limited orthodontia, to name a few.

In the new location, which is the former Master Bakery Store and, later was Flatlanders Pizza factory, between Cenex East and Citizen’s Community Credit Union on Highway 2 they plan larger and more dental operatory rooms, private conference and/or consultation rooms and space for the latest technology in dentistry, like the 3-D x-ray machine and the computerized components of the crown-making technology.

It will provide nearly double the space they have in the present clinic.

Andrews and husband James have been working with architects Anderson, Wade and Whitty from Minot to design the new facility.

“A lot of thought has gone into this project,” Andrews said.

“It is time to put my mark on the place, make it my own,” she added.

She’s been in on the planning from the very start.

“The building that’s there is a good, solid building and it will form the basic footprint of the clinic with an addition, a new roof and a lot of cosmetic work done to the facade,” Andrews said.

Local contractor Dennis Gleason will be general contractor for the project.

Just recently they finalized the plans and hope to see construction begin yet this month with bids being let in the next couple of weeks..

Andrews says everyone has been very helpful, including neighboring Cenex, which granted them a general maintenance easement so they could begin. She adds that  Forward Devils Lake and the city of Devils Lake have also been helpful as they worked to make this dream a reality. As a result they were able to secure a building loan at a lower interest rate, moving the plan forward.

“By August we hope to be moving in to the new clinic in our new location,” Andrews said with a smile.