25 and still going strong
After more than 25 years in dentistry Kurt Chroust still likes going to work every morning. Sure, there are days when the alarm clock rings and he grumbles, but all in all he wouldn't change a thing.
"I like what I do more now than I did when I started. I'm really fortunate," said Chroust.
Chroust opened his dental practice in Rosemount in 1985 in the physicians building on Chippendale Avenue.
Chroust received his undergraduate degree in biology from Carthage College in Kenosha Wis. He then attended The University of Iowa dental school.
Fresh from completing a residency at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis, Chroust decided to open a practice in Rosemount because it was small town that was projected to grow. And he wanted to grow with a community.
"Rosemount at that time was much smaller," said Chroust.
Over the years as Rosemount grew from a sleepy little farm town to a busy suburb, and Chroust Dental has grown and thrived along with it. In 2007 the practice built a new, state-of-the-art facility, a few doors down on Chippendale Avenue.
"We built this with the idea we'd continue to grow," said Chroust.
The office was built with patients in mind. Each workstation has a television and headphones for patients to watch as they're getting work done. Or they can listen to music. There is a window at each operatory with a bird feeder outside to help patients relax while they're in the chair.
"We try to make the experience as comfortable as possible," said Chroust.
The attention to patient experience has been a big change in the dental profession over the past 25 years, and Chroust believes that is a good thing.
"It's a changing landscape and we try to stay on top of it," said Chroust.
For Chroust, that means educating patients about their condition and the procedures available. The facility has a private room for consultations where patients can ask questions. In the chair Chroust has a small hand-held camera so he can show patients exactly what he sees. Chroust said it has been an excellent educational tool.
"It comes in really handy and I think the patients appreciate it," said Chroust.
While all the fancy gadgets help, Chroust said the most important thing he offers to patients is friendly, experienced employees who are dedicated to patient care. Chroust has a staff of seven people. The average tenure with the office is 12 years.
Chroust said patients appreciate seeing familiar faces each time they come in the office.
"Our patients know the staff and like seeing them," said Chroust. "The staff makes my job easier."
Another positive change in dentistry over the years is dental materials. Chroust said the technology behind the profession has changed considerably over the years.
"In school one of the most boring classes I had was dental materials, which taught you what all the different tools were and how things worked. But over the years it has become fascinating. The advancements are incredible. Things are so much stronger and prettier," said Chroust.
To stay up on the advancements, Chroust and his staff often attend continuing education programs. Recently Chroust completed the first year of a post-doctoral program in esthetic dentistry at the University of Minnesota.
After more than two decades practicing, Chroust said he couldn't be happier with where things are headed. He's grateful for his family, especially his wife, who support him and for the support of the community that has supported his growth.
"I couldn't imagine doing anything else," said Chroust.