With the addition of Dr. Alexay Tamas, DMD and a new Mexico location, Dr. Cedric Papa can’t help but be excited for the current and future patients of Gentle Healthy Smiles.
Dr. Tamas is no stranger to small towns as she grew up in Robinson, Illinois.
She went on to graduate from Roseman Dental School in Utah before landing a great opportunity with Gentle Healthy Smiles, which moves her just four hours from her hometown.
“So coming out of dental school, the most important thing to me was to find an opportunity that would provide a mentorship and would allow me to do dentistry,” Dr. Tamas said.
Though Dr. Tamas just came out of dental school, Dr. Papa said he’s impressed with her delicate care in working on patients.
He shared an example of an observation he made of Dr. Tamas giving an injection to one of his patients. The patient said it was the best experience they’ve had with the procedure. Dr. Papa, who prides himself on making his patients have the best experience possible, knew he had indeed found a dentist who approaches the job the same way he did.
“I couldn’t be happier; it’s just a perfect fit,” Dr. Papa said of hiring Dr. Tamas. “Her passion and determination I’ve seen rivals that of my passion and can turn that into excellence to work with the patient.”
Though Dr. Tamas is currently working on patients in Vandalia, last Wednesday was her first for running the new Gentle Healthy Smiles location in Mexico, Mo.
Longtime dentist Dr. Bruce Garrett, DDS served his patients for 40+ years before recently contacting Dr. Papa and telling him about his plans for retirement.
After analyzing what it would take to expand the brand to Mexico, Mo. to meet the needs of patients there, Dr. Papa received a lot of support from Dr. Garrett’s patients helping him to know the time was now to expand.
The vision led to a $38,000 remodel of the former Dr. Garrett’s location at 626 E. Summit St., Suite C., in Mexico, Mo. through the guidance of the building’s owners.
With updated equipment and a renovated look, Dr. Tamas and her staff opened their doors for the first time on Wednesday, August 10.
After a couple of months with some of Dr. Garrett’s past staff helping patients in Vandalia during the change over, they can now schedule appointments in Mexico, Mo. Those staff members include dental assistant Jamie McCallum, who worked with Dr. Garrett for 13 years. Becca Silvey is also working at the newly remodeled business.
“It’s really a blessing to be back in Mexico to serve those who couldn’t find a ride to Vandalia,” Dr. Tamas said.
As the customer base builds, Dr. Papa said more days and hours will be added to the new location.
He didn’t think he would be able to open the Mexico location as soon as he did but said Dr. Tamas was so good that he couldn’t get her there soon enough.
“That’s just how good she is,” he added.
Dr. Papa is excited to have the new location already open.
“This is me saying you’re welcome to Mexico,” he noted. “I want to say thank you to all of our current Mexico patients.”
He said the new location also opens up scheduling in Vandalia. It also gives the business the ability to serve patients in eight dental chairs instead of just five.
Perhaps one of the biggest keys to success for the Mexico, Mo. location is the ability for Gentle Healthy Smiles to accept the large variety of insurance plans it does.
An Open House for local professionals will be held on September 9 from 3-6 p.m. with a ribbon cutting. Another Open House will be held on September 10 and will feature a Bounce House, helium balloons, hot dogs, and a raffle for prizes that can be redeemed when making appointments with the dental office. Local radio stations will also provide live remotes for the event.