Demand for round-the-clock dental services spawns more locations

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A round-the-clock dental practice that opened downtown two years ago is finding that its emergency services are in such high demand that the owners plan to have four locations in the Indianapolis area by this summer.

Dr. Shirley Ferreira in December 2014 founded 24 Hour Dental Care from her traditional Midwest Oral Health practice on Virginia Avenue in the Villaggio condominium building. More than two years later, there's still nothing in the city quite like it.

Midwest Oral is now known as Circle City Dental, and 24 Hour Dental Care is no longer located there. Ferreira in September 2015 moved the all-hours service to 5,000 square feet of space (more than double the size of the downtown location) at 7225 S. U.S. 31 because it was cannabllizing her day practice, said her husband, Dr. Dean Stratman, also a dentist.

“We became very, very busy,” he said. “We were getting 600 patients a month.”

The two followed the move to the south side in December by opening another office, at 8060 N. Shadeland Ave. near East 82nd Street and Interstate 69, in Castleton.

They have no plans to stop there, however. They’re close to finalizing a lease for a west-side office at Ronald Reagan Boulevard and U.S. 36, which should open in April. On top of that, they’re negotiating for space on East Washington Street in space fronting the Sam’s Club near North German Church Road. That should open in July, Stratman said.

“Our patients are pain-driven,” he said, noting that patients routinely will drive from Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois for immediate relief.

One, for instance, on a recent Friday drove from Marshall, Illinois, along Interstate 70, about two-and-a-half hours away.

“I asked her if she was visiting and she said no, she’s here to get her tooth pulled,” Stratman said.

The most popular procedures are tooth extractions, root canals or crowns. The business is typically at its busiest when traditional dentists are closed.

About 40 percent of patients have no insurance and roughly 30 percent are on a government plan, Stratman estimated.

Each location is staffed by four full-time dentists, with one present at all times.

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