River Town Family Dentistry ribbon cutting at new facility

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A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at River Town Family Dentistry on Feb. 23 to celebrate the completion of the newly-built facility. Front from left are Erica Rork, Dr. Alicia Walke, and Heather Berns; back row, Katie Krall, Eva Moore, Bella Moore, Amy Schaber, Staci Wessel and Rhonda Ungs. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at River Town Family Dentistry on Feb. 23, marking the official grand opening of Dr. Alicia Walke, DDS, and her dedicated staff's new 4000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art dental facility. 

Greater staff efficiency

As patients enter the new facility staff members Rhonda Ungs, office manager/patient and treatment coordinator, and Erica Rork, financial and insurance coordinator,  greet them in a modern atrium lobby. The spacious area includes comfortable seating, plenty of natural light and a beverage station. The larger front desk allows staff members to check patients in and out with ease, avoiding the bottleneck that used to occur in the former facility, enhancing patient experience. 

Improved level of patient care

The additional space includes separate areas for private offices and a break room, which was all combined in the previous facility. A consultation room has been added for patients requiring more private conversations, and the administration team now has a private office so they can take private phone calls away from the front desk. 

The new facility provides a private office for Dr. Alicia where she is able to review treatment plans, radiographs, and take private phone calls with specialists. 

The new building is ADA accessible and has six fully-equipped treatment rooms, and is plumbed to allow for two additional treatment rooms in the future.  

The sterilization area and lab were combined in the former aging facility. "We now have the space for a separate sterilization area and lab," noted Dr. Alicia. "In our new sterilization area we have an instrument washer and M11 sterilizer which allows us to store our instruments in a more organized, sterile, and readily accessible fashion."

Dr. Meyer, DDS, MS of Dubuque Orthodontics, who comes monthly to Guttenberg, will now have a separate area for his own sterilizer in the new facility, which is more convenient for his staff.  

The new lab is set up to accommodate new technology in the future as River Town Family Dentistry grows and expand their digital dentistry skills.

"We also have a pantomograph machine, which takes a radiograph of all teeth and surrounding structures at one time. This improves our ability to find pathology such as tooth infection and oral cancer," Dr. Alicia explained. "We have also just acquired nitrous gas for our patients with dental anxiety or fear to make them more comfortable."

Happy staff

"The staff at River Town Family Dentistry are enjoying all the beauty, space and functionality of their new ‘work’ home," reported Ungs.  "They have not stopped smiling since Dec. 19th when we went live with our patients."

Heartfelt thanks

Dr. Alicia addressed the crowd during the ceremony and expressed gratitude to her contractor, project supervisor, subcontractors, lending institutions, dental equipment suppliers, Dr. John Barron, the City of Guttenberg, and Mayor and City Council members. "So many individuals spent countless hours bringing this project to life and did a fantastic job building the most beautiful, efficient, and functional building I could’ve asked for," she said with gratitude. 

She also thanked the River Town Family Dentistry staff for the many hours they spent moving and organizing supplies, coordinating patient schedules, and learning and adapting to new systems to improve patient care.  "I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated group of women, and I am so thankful they have stayed with me through all of the transitions I have asked them to weather," she shared. 

Dr. Alicia also thanked her extended family for all their love, support and hard work, and lastly her husband, saying, "My amazing and wonderful husband who drops everything to help me, whether it’s as simple as putting up a painting or bulletin board to helping me move a huge heavy x-ray machine.  I am forever grateful for your willingness to treat my building project as your own and guide me along in the process."

Patient reactions

"We love seeing the reactions on our patients' faces when they enter our new building for the first time," Ungs told The Press. "They are very pleased with the large windows, spacious rooms, hallways and handicap accessibility. The natural light given by the many windows is a true favorite.  Privacy is very important to our practice and the new consultation room has been a great addition for many.  They also enjoy the beautiful views of the town of Guttenberg from the dental chairs in our operatories."

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