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Providing quality care: Local dentists merge practices at Summit Dental

Dr. Mark Nelson (left) recently merged his practice with Dr. Kristin Nelson at Summit Dental in Rosemount. Submitted photo

ROSEMOUNT—If you received dental care from Dr. Mark Nelson, you may have recently received a notice in the mail that his office at Dakota Dental and Implant Center was closing at the end of January. No need to worry though, because Nelson is still in the area for your dental care needs. On Feb. 5, Nelson merged his practice — and entire staff — with Summit Dental in Rosemount.

The move will allow Nelson to work together with Dr. Kristin Nelson of Summit Dental to provide better availability and the same high-quality care patients have come to expect.

"I'm full time, working exactly the same schedule I was working in my other facility," Mark Nelson said.

"We don't want our patients to think that he is completely leaving or retiring, because he's not," Kristin Nelson added.

The concerns of Mark leaving were real as patients who have become accustomed to their dentist for the past 38 years, were unsure if they'd see their dentist again. Instead, patients will have access to options previously unavailable when both dentists practiced solo. Due to the joint effort, coverage has been expanded and the dental office will be open more hours. Full-week availability and increased emergency coverage are a major part in this.

"We've been telling our patients that they can continue to see me if I was their primary dentist or him (Mark) if he was their primary dentist," Kristin said. "They have that option for coverage."

"(We) can also select who's going to be available for emergency coverage," Mark added. "There's two people to cover now, rather than just one of us."

Quality care

Keeping the same style of care was a major factor in deciding on the merger. Neither are big fans of corporate dental offices that have become increasingly popular in the Twin Cities. Being able to keep the dental practice running as a private-practice facility was a boon for both of them.

"We are both local, we know people in the community," Kristin said. "We are trying to keep that part of dentistry alive."

Kristin said one of the biggest problems with corporate dentists is that there is almost always a different person at each patient visit. Mark, being one of the most renown dentists in the area for implants, will now have a mentor of sorts in implants, further reducing the need to see a different dentist during a visit. Kristin began her training on implants on Feb. 15 in Florida. The same place that Mark trained.

To Mark and Kristin, it's just one more step in providing the quality care they aim to give the patients they care about.

"It's a very relationship-oriented business model," Mark said. "You get to know and really understand where your patients are coming from. They become almost like family in some cases."

Jake Pfeifer

Jake Pfeifer is a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, which encompasses the Hastings Star Gazette, Farmington-Rosemount Independent Town Pages, South Washington County Bulletin and Woodbury Bulletin. He previously worked as a sports reporter and outdoors editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and as a multimedia artist/editor for Detroit Lakes Newspapers.

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