Stillwater Dental Associates had its humble beginnings back in October 1975 when Dr. Ronald W. Bailey first opened his small practice at the corner of Pine and Penobscot Streets in Bangor, Maine.
His office consisted of two small treatment rooms (called “operatories”), a small dental lab (and we’re talking TINY here… you probably have closets that are bigger!), a small consultation room, and a combination waiting room/reception office. His staff included himself and one hygienist (who is still working for him more than 38 years later), one assistant, and one secretary, who just happened to also be his mother, Marion Bailey. As those who worked with Dr. Bailey back then will recall, the storage area was in the dark, dank recesses of the basement, accessible only through a small door down narrow wooden stairs.
We Enjoy Each Other and Our Patients
Though modest in design, it was rich in fun and laughter, as Dr. Bailey loves humor and did all he could to make sure his patients had a memorable and enjoyable dental experience. On one occasion, he and his staff dressed up for Halloween, with Dr. Bailey in a full Big Bird costume, though he had to eventually take off his Big Bird head in order to see and breathe.
Throughout the years, our staff members have maintained a light-heartedness and appreciation for fun and laughter that has gotten them through some of the more challenging and stressful days and provided many happy memories for both patients and staff. Below is a photo of our current front desk team who surprised us all this year by showing up in ELF costumes at our Christmas dinner.
Our Expanding Office
Eventually, the practice grew beyond what could be accommodated by the original facility and Dr. Bailey began looking into other options. After much research, he decided to purchase the property at 778 Stillwater Avenue and with the help of friends and family, built his own building, which is our current facility.
Initially, the new office was contained on the upper level only and included four operatories, an office for Dr. Bailey, a tiny staff eating area, and the current reception area. The lower level was occupied by a medical doctor and part of the upper level was occupied by a local church using it for office space. But as time went by, the practice continued to grow so when the upper and lower level rental spaces became vacated, Stillwater Dental expanded throughout the whole building to create 10 treatment rooms, multiple administrative offices, and a larger staff lounge.
At the time we first moved to our new office, we were still doing our books and appointment scheduling by hand. But in 1988, we launched into the age of computerized technology to better manage the needs of our growing practice. And we have been upgrading and adding new technology every since to assure that we provide our patients with the latest cutting edge services available.
Modern Technology and Techniques
We now are able to provide same-day crowns using our Cerec CAD-CAM design and milling machines, and patients get to watch as their new tooth is being designed by their dentist. Starting in 2014, we will have three CEREC machines, including their newest “Omni Cam”, to assist with designing porcelain crowns, in-lays, on-lays, and veneers.
We also now offer Velscope specialized light beam technology to screen for abnormal cells not able to be seen with a regular visual exam and which has been found so successful that most insurances now cover this cancer screening procedure.
And starting 2014, we will be adding 3-D Cone Beam Imaging, which is advanced radiograph (x-ray) technology providing exceptional capabilities for diagnosing, treatment, and education of our patients, including imaging videos.
Along with out commitment to our clients is our commitment to our community so we try to look for opportunities to participate in community outreach. One October, a number of our employees participated in the Walktoberfest, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Bailey provided T-shirts with our office name and logo and we all walked to raise money for diabetes treatment and research. We also joined forces as a staff to walk together in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure when one of our own dental hygienists was diagnosed with melanoma.
On other occasions our employees have donated gifts to needy families during the holiday season. And numerous staff participated in a Health Fair at a local Wal-Mart, including the son of one of our staff members who donned a Moose outfit and could be seen going around Wal-Mart like the pied piper, followed by numerous adoring young fans eager for dentally themed toys and learning activities.
Patients, Friends, and Family in One
We take pride in being interested in our patients as people and families, as well as being our dental clients. Thus it is not abnormal for us to often send a card, flowers, or personally attend funerals of patients or their family members, and our providers often send cards to acknowledge graduations, retirements, or special occasions, and we even take great joy in having balloons waiting for patients when they arrive for dental appointments if we find out they are coming in on their birthday. Our patients also love getting a warm herbal-scented cloth facial towelette after services. Our desire is to dazzle, delight, and wow you with outstanding service and personalized attention every chance we can. It not only gives us great joy to try to make coming to the dentist feel like you are coming to visit with friends, but we enjoy being friends with everyone. And I’m sure by now you’ve received a big hug from Dr. B!
The Best Staff
And we also try to take time to acknowledge our hard working employees. Here is a photo of some ways we celebrated Administrative Professionals Day this year, just as an example.
With over 7,000 active patients, ten treatment rooms, and over twenty employees, we are one of the largest dental practices North of Boston. And with multiple operatories and dental care providers, we can provide you with the convenience of being able to schedule multiple family members at the same time. We also offer text and/or email appointment confirmation options for your added convenience. And did I mention that Dr. Bailey’s wife Gayle lends her creative touch to our practice by changing our décor for each new season. Here is just a sampling of her handiwork.
We firmly believe it is our genuine affection for our staff and our commitment to compassionate care and excellence in professional services that keeps our staff and clients loyal to our practice. Nearly one fourth of our staff have been working at Stillwater Dental for 20 years or more, and another fourth have been with us for 15 or more years. When people work together that many years, they become familiar faces to our patients and we have gotten much enjoyment out of serving several generations of families during our 38+ years serving the Bangor community.
This patient loyalty became more apparent when we were contacted by Market Surveys of America in 2010 and informed that local residents had voted for their favorite businesses in their annual Best of the Best survey and that we had been voted Best Dental Care Practice for the greater Bangor area. It was the first year they added a dental practice category, and we feel humbled and honored to have received that award many times in the following years as well.
Perhaps it is best stated by our patients themselves who have sent numerous cards and letters over the years telling us how they feel about their care here in our office:
“I just wanted to say a special ‘Thank You’ for your kindness to me over the past week (actually, the past 20 years!). I was really having a difficult time and each time I looked in the mirror or at a photo, I didn’t like the smile I saw. Thank you for your great chair-side manner…it means so much. Nobody really likes sitting in a dentist’s office! (Thought I’d throw that in, in case you were unaware of it!). Your staff has always made me feel comfortable. So far (other than re-training my mouth and lips to adjust once again!) things are great.” (Barbara)
“I can’t say enough how grateful we were to be taken in on such short notice, and treated with such concern. We have had many opportunities to “show off” [my daughters] new smile, and have had nothing short of complete amazement at the excellent results. I have been recommending [you] continually, to everyone at the school, to her regular Pediatrician who was most impressed with the quality of the work done. Please share my appreciation once again with the doctor.” (Connie)
So if you’re looking for a dental office for personal or family dental needs, please give us a call today at (207) 947-0717. Our experienced staff will be happy to assist in answering your questions and setting up an appointment that will work with your schedule. We’d love to have the pleasure of welcoming you into our dental family!
We also are proud to be partnered with Scottsdale dentist office in Scottsdale, AZ, featuring Dr. Byron Larsen, DDS.