Dental office drills down on new home

·3 min read

By Jamie Mountain

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

ENGLEHART – The times are changing and it was a time for change for the Englehart Dental Office.

Owned and operated by Dr. Julie Williams, the business has a new home as it recently opened the newly constructed office building at 35 Third Street. It’s located just down the street from its original office space at 39 Third Street.

The Dental Office held an official ribbon cutting ceremony with its staff in front of the new location on February 24 to celebrate the move.

“I was just ready to have my own space, something I designed myself,” explained Williams in an interview at the new office building.

“It just felt like the next step in the career.”

Williams said she put plans into motion for the construction of the new building in January of 2020 but the process really began that March.

The old pizza place building that used to occupy the land of the new office then was demolished in July, she noted.

“Once it finally got going, it got going,” said Williams with a smile.

“I just had the design (of the new building), I made it myself. None of the designers liked it but I just wanted my own space. I didn’t want anything too big, just my size.”

Once she purchased the lot from the town, Williams said she was able to design the building size-wise on it.

She noted that she originally planned to have a basement in the new building but ran into sewer and water line issues as well as encountering poor soil conditions.

“So it’s just on a (concrete) slab now and that changed plans a little bit, but it worked out OK, we still have some storage around. It changed the chemical room slightly, so it changed in the planning as well. That delayed us a good month, month-and-a-half with the redesigning.”

Williams said that the COVID-19 pandemic also affected how she was able to carry out her construction plans.

“It definitely made material sourcing and everything very difficult,” she said.

“The flooring took eight weeks when it should have been like two weeks, that delayed everything. Thank goodness I ordered all the dental equipment like nine months before needed because that didn’t come in until November and it would have been bananas if it didn’t come in.”

Williams said the pandemic also “put a little bit of a damper” with how everything surrounding the dental office’s operations flowed while the new building was being constructed, but it wasn’t too much to overcome.

“We were able to get open for dentistry before ground broke, after the delays. We had to close to dentistry until the end of May (in 2020) and I was really worried about continuing but we got to open again,” she noted.

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK

Williams noted that the dental office has been open for three weeks and so far the reception from its patients and the community has been positive.

“It’s been fantastic, they’re loving the new space,” she said.

“A lot of them are saying ‘Thank you for investing in the community’ and it’s true, I didn’t really think of that effect, but it’s true. It was just always my game plan to stay (in Englehart) so now at least we have our own space to stay.”

Williams said her goals for the future are just to enjoy the new office space and provide her patients with a lot more enhanced services.

“We have digital x-rays, more computers and everything, we’re finally up to the 21st century” she noted.

“Long-term I just want to practice for the next 20 years, really, in comfort and in my own space. This was just the next step, I was ready.”

Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker