Family Dentistry Associates of Monona relishing new office’s space, technology

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Dr. Mark Fohey and the staff at Family Dentistry Associates of Monona began welcoming patients at their new office, located at 602 Tower St., in early April. At 5,000 square feet, the office is two and a half times the size of the previous location on Franklin Street. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

With the additional square footage, the number of treatment rooms increased from three to eight, five of which are currently equipped. Other additions include basement space for storage and an employee lounge. Both the front desk area and the waiting room offer more space.

Family Dentistry Associates of Monona will celebrate the opening of the new office with an open house on Saturday, June 3, from 1-4 p.m.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Family Dentistry Associates of Monona has been a fixture in the community for over 30 years. Dr. Steven Kurth opened the office at 101 Franklin St. in 1985, and was joined by Dr. Mark Fohey, who later purchased the business. Over the years, Fohey has been joined by Dr. Christi Larson and his own daughter, Dr. Jessica Wilke, as well as an experienced, attentive staff. Together, they’ve provided patients with a range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. There was just one problem: they were running out of space.

“There were only three treatment rooms and there was no basement for storage,” explained Fohey of the 1,800-square-foot building. “We’d been there a long time.”

The best solution, he said, was to construct a new office. 

That decision was made easier, Fohey added, now that his daughter is part of the practice. She’ll provide continuity for the future, he said.

Last July, ground was broken at 602 Tower St., between Fisk Farm and Home and the Davis Street Car Wash. In the ensuing months, local contractors went to work building and equipping a new, state-of-the-art office, which opened to the public at the beginning of April.

“Building a new office was a huge undertaking,” shared Fohey, who developed the designs with the help of consulting group Primus Dental. Based in Cedar Rapids, they focus on building dental offices. 

“They helped from start to finish with things like design, bidding, construction and permits,” Fohey said. “They were very good.”

The result was a 5,000-square-foot office, two and a half times the space of the previous location, noted Fohey. The number of treatment rooms increased from three to eight, five of which are currently equipped. Of those five, three are hygiene rooms and two restorative rooms. Other additions include basement space for storage and an employee lounge. Both the front desk area and the waiting room offer more space.

“This is so big,” he said, looking around at the new space. “The staff is really excited about the new clinic. They feel good having a nice place to go to work.”

For the new office, Fohey said he pulled aspects he liked from both Waukon Dental and Dental Associates of Prairie du Chien, the two clinics linked with Family Dentistry Associates of Monona. 

“The office has a circular flow similar to Waukon,” he remarked. “Hygiene is on one side and restorative on the other like in Prairie.” 

Whereas he focused mainly on functionality, Fohey said the building’s aesthetics—everything from the stonework to the furniture and artwork—are largely attributable to his wife, Kam.

The building is eye-catching, featuring a slate-colored facade with white accents. Stonework flanks the front entrance and lines the bottom of the building. Inside, cool grays, blues and chocolate browns greet patients.

One touch patients have particularly noticed are the nearly 20 pieces of artwork—eight of which were done specifically for the office—created by Holmen, Wis.-based Jamie Heiden, whom Fohey said Kam discovered at one of the McGregor arts and crafts festivals. 

“[Heiden] takes a photo and enhances it to look like a painting,” Fohey commented. 

While all the pieces reflect rural life, the eight originals show scenes from the area. A group of three, located in the waiting room, highlight Monona. One depicts the old office on Franklin Street.

Along with the new look and larger space, Fohey said the office now includes a lot of up-to-date, cutting edge technology. 

“We have digital equipment and x-rays and paperless charts,” he said.

The office continues to offer Invisalign, the clear alternative to braces. They now have a CEREC unit that can create a crown while the patient is waiting in the chair, allowing the work to be completed that same day.

“They’ve had the same technology in Waukon for two years,” noted Fohey. “We never had it here because we didn’t have space to devote to it with everything else going on. Now we do. There’s no office in a bigger city that would have more technology than we do.”

Fohey said another perk at Family Dentistry Associates of Monona is that they do their own root canals and extractions, saving patients from having to travel.

Multiple dentists and hygienists allow patients to select the person with whom they’re most comfortable.

“There’s nothing we can’t offer that a practice in Dubuque or La Crosse can offer, both in experience and quality of care,” Fohey said.

With the new office, a front desk person, who will rotate between the different clinics, and a dental assistant, who will just be in Monona, were added to the staff, Fohey said. On any given day, there is usually one doctor, one hygienist, three to four dental assistants and two to three front desk staff in the office.

“We have one dentist here at a time, but I could see two at some point,” he commented. “We will add more staff as we grow, and hopefully equip new rooms. There’s room for expansion without adding on to the building.”

With the new office, Fohey said they hope to draw more patients, not just from Monona, but also the surrounding communities.

“Once we get them here, we hope to treat them so well that they will want to come back,” he said.

Family Dentistry Associates of Monona will celebrate the opening of the new office with an open house on Saturday, June 3, from 1-4 p.m. 

“There will be food and a chance for people to tour the facility and ask questions,” Fohey shared.

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