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Dentists find room to grow after marrying practices PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 18:22

Hometown Dental owners Mike Hansen and his wife Katie open a new, high-tech clinic with plenty of room for both of their patients

    Dentists Mike and Katie Hansen have a brand new home for their practice, Hometown Dental Clinic, in Port Washington, with enough space for both their patients after the couple combined their clientele several years ago.
    “We needed to expand and grow because there was no way we could continue to work at our old office. It was too small,” Mike said. “Our new office is three times the size of the old place, and everybody has been very receptive to the new location.”
    The couple moved in October to 2580 S. Spring St., after operating in an old house on Grand Avenue in Port Washington.
    The move allowed them  to invest in some new dental equipment, including new patient chairs with an integrated computer system and a panoramic X-ray machine.
    “We didn’t have to move much of our equipment over because we purchased everything new,” Katie said. “It’s a lot easier to build a new building and fit in all the technology we wanted to put in vs. retrofitting a 150-year-old building.”
    Mike said there were a few glitches at first while getting used to the updated technology, but now the equipment is providing better access for the dentists and less time in the hot seat for patients.
    “There’s no longer extra machines we have to pull out or auxiliary things we have to bring in because it’s all built in,” Mike said. “Everything we did was to make it more convenient for the patient and to make our jobs efficient.
    “Let’s face it. Nobody likes going to the dentist, so the less time they have to spend in the chair the better.”
    Mike bought the practice in 2004 from dentist Kurt Macek, who owned it for about 30 years.
    “I first bought the practice straight after school when I graduated,” Mike said. “I was poor, living above my dental office and doing grocery shopping out of my dad’s fridge to get hot dogs and pizza.”
    Katie joined Home Town Dental after the couple had their first child, Claire, who is 3 years old. They also have a 1-year-old son Jack.
    Katie said they met at Mike’s clinic, where her mother works, when she was an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying biology.
    “Mike would say I was stalking him,” she joked.
    At the time, Katie wanted to become a pediatrician, but after working as Mike’s assistant, she decided to pursue dentistry.
    The couple said it’s a benefit working together because they are able to alternate their schedules between the office and their two children.
    “The dynamic is great because we’re able to be at work and interact with patients and then go home to be with the kids,” Mike said. “Sometimes, however, you think you’re always around work. Even when we’re at home, it’s work-centric because a lot of the things we discuss are about our day and we bounce ideas off each other.”
    Katie said being a mother helps her handle younger patients who might be afraid of the dentist.
    “Prior to having kids, you know to show compassion and be sincere because it’s a scary environment. After having kids, it definitely flips your view on their behavior and how to manage them better,” she said, noting Mike usually passes off the children to her.
    “I enjoy working with kids, too. When they’re very well behaved,” Mike added. “She has motherly instincts that are different than mine.”
    The couple, who both graduated from Port Washington High School, consider their new office to be an investment in the community and the 2,400 patients they serve.
    “I want the patients and staff to know that we appreciate them all and that’s reason why we were able to build this place and make it what it is today,” Mike said. “Port means a ton to us. It’s our home where we grew up and it’s where we’re raising our kids. The fact that we could come back home to work is huge.”

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