It's been more than 30 years since Massachusetts dentists Ron Weissman and Sam Shames pooled their resources and, inadvertently, started a dental service delivery revolution.
Back then Shames had a small dental practice on Beacon Street; Weissman saw his in his own Newbury Street office.
"We knew one another, and got to talking about things. I was interested in advertising, and he was interested in multi-specialty practices," Shames said. "That was the handwriting on the wall."
That was also 27 Gentle Dentals ago – on Thursday Weissman and Shames were on hand for a ribbon cutting at their newest dental center launch, a dentist-owned practice on Main Street – their first New Hampshire location.
"We hope to continue to grow in New Hampshire," Shames said.
Gentle Dental brings together several dental specialties under one roof, so a patient in need of oral surgery or orthodontia, for instance, can have a consultation on the spot.
Not only does it keep costs down for patients, but it's convenient, offering evening hours and weekend appointments.
"Even back in the 1970s, we could see what what happening. It was what the public demanded," said Shames. "It's a better way to deliver dentistry to the public."
Shames, a course director at Tufts University when he isn't overseeing his dental empire, says the collaborative approach to dentistry brings out the best in dentists.
"There's a natural enhancement of quality when doctors work together," Weissman said.
"And there's an internal peer review that comes about naturally," Weissman said.
Dr. Eric Anthony, 28, is a product of that approach. He is now director of the Nashua practice, moving up from being an associate at the Waltham Gentle Dental.
"I'm honored to be here. This is a fabulous opportunity," Anthony said.
Weissman said building new practices, like the one in Nashua, and seeing young dentists work alongside other dental specialists has been exciting and rewarding for both he and Shames.
"We feel more than good about what we've built," Weissman said. "When we die, we're going to dental heaven."
The practice provides the following services – cleaning, cosmetic dentistry crowns and bridges, dentures, emergencies, extractions, fillings, gum treatment, implants, Invisalign, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, root canal, teeth whitening, and veneers.
For more information find Gentle Dental online, or call 603-886-0000.