Wedding Orthodontics, Ben Thompson DMD, and the Greater Owensboro (GO) Pediatric Dentistry have shared a parking lot on Veach Road for more than four decades. The trio of dental enthusiasts recently opened new locations on the Fairview Drive extension, still sharing a parking lot.
The new locations sit adjacent to the new Daviess County Middle School and are less than a mile from the Pleasant Valley Road exit of the bypass. All three owners cited a growing clientele, advanced technology, and a desire to create a more welcoming environment for their patients as reasons for the move.
All three practices are fully operational and boast the latest dental and orthodontic technology. The offices are accessible from Calumet Trace across from the Malco theatre or by turning on Fairview from KY 54. Fairview is expected to connect to Thompson Drive soon, making for easier access, which was also a motivator for the move.
Ben Thompson’s father Shelby opened Thompson DMD on Veach Road in 1978. He said his family had created many memories at the location but that it was time for an upgrade.
“We were outgrowing our space and wanted to move a growth area of town,” Thompson said. “The fact that we’re close to the bypass is a huge plus, and the new middle school was also a part of the allure.”
Thompson’s relationship with Justin Wedding and Blake Dickens, who owns GO Pediatric Dentistry, made the decision to move an easy one.
“We all get along so well, so it made sense to do it together,” he said. “Patients can expect the same quality level of care, with some more advanced technology.”
Dickens purchased Dr. Carol Braun Pediatric Dentistry from Braun nearly 2.5 years ago, and has since changed the name to GO Pediatric Dentistry to foster more growth opportunities. GO specializes in pediatrics but also serves adults with special needs.
“We provide a lot of preventative and routine work using some advanced behavior techniques for individuals that might struggle with anxiety,” Dickens said.
Braun had been at the Veach Road location for more than 37 years. Dickens is hopeful that the new site will do the same for him.
“It’s a larger space with more technology, and it’s more modern and inviting for our young patients,” he said. “We have arcade games in the waiting room and televisions above all the stations so kids can watch TV while they get their teeth cleaned.”
Wedding purchased the orthodontic practice from Dr. Anthony Durall, who opened shop on Veach in 1981. Wedding and his wife Madison, who serves as the business manager, joined the team in 2017.
Wedding said he has several patients that travel substantial distances from all over the tristate and that the new location provided easier access. He added that the bulk of their clientele are middle-school-aged kids, so proximity to the new middle school was also a plus.
“We were doing well at the previous location, but we were approached about this land off the bypass and thought it would be significantly more convenient,” Wedding said. “We were able to add more technology and create a welcoming space for all of our patients.”
Several generations of tri-state braces wearers will remember Durall’s wooden nickel plan, where he would distribute wooden nickels in exchange for positive dental practices. Patients could then exchange the nickels for various prizes.
Wedding has strived to enhance the practice, creating a new wooden nickel store at the new location. However, he did say that their patients range in age from seven to 78, which was something they kept in mind when designing the new office.
“It’s interesting to build an office with such a diverse age range in mind. We wanted it to be fun for kids but comfortable for adults,” he said. “It feels like a modern and comfy home in some areas and a fun center in others.”
A fan favorite at the office is the new “pop-a-shot” arcade game, which he said gets tons of play in the waiting room.
“Our main goal was for people to come to our offices and say, ‘man, I can’t believe this is in Owensboro,’” Wedding said. “We sought to create something special and foster an environment where the community feels like they’re a part of something special, and I think we’ve done that.”