A new business, The Radford Family Dental Office, is opening up in Elkin on Sept. 1 at 1550 N. Bridge St. in the Elkin Village Shopping Mall. The business is iwned by couple Rebecca Radford and William Radford Jr.
Dr. William Radford has worked for several years for other corporations and this is the first time he has ever struck out on his own.
“He’s always worked for other people since he got out of school and he’s wanted to work for himself,” said Rebecca Radford. “We live just ten minutes down the road and we wanted an area that was local and close by so we wouldn’t have a long drive. I’ve lived in the area my whole life and he’s been here for about two and he’s lived here for about a year or two.”
The dental tradition has run in William Radford’s family for years. William was inspired by his father’s work in the field while growing up. After high school, William Radford Jr. went to UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with a bachelors in biology and decided to stay there for dental school. Four years later he graduated with a doctor in dental surgeries. He met Rebecca at Happy Tooth in Mount Airy. A year ago he decided he wanted to start his own place.
“I like my job,” said Dr. William Radford Jr. “I’ve always had a good time and felt comfortable doing dentistry. I’ve also learned that I like working with children. I was a little hesitant at first of doing it all day but it’s something I’ve learned I really enjoy. It’s a bit different from working with adults. There’s a lot involved in helping children go through the experience with that fear factor and even every now and then you run into an adult with that same factor.”
For Dr. William Radford Jr., the decision to open his open practice has been an inspiring move.
“We had a few different reasons,” he said. “I’ve always worked in a corporate environment but I think there’s a lot to be said about independence. You reach a certain point in your career when you want to strike out on your own. You’re relations may change in a corporate office if your manager moves on. You also have more freedom while going by the state guidelines so you have more freedom to perform your practice not only to the best of your ability but also for the best of the patient.”
One of the concepts for Radford about having in private business was the freedom to make his own choices and find what was best for the patient.
“There are some dentists who want you to find things wrong with someone’s teeth so they can make more money,” said Rebecca Radford. “That’s not the kind of dentist he is. If he finds something wrong, he’ll fix it. He wants what’s best for the patient.”
“There are differences in opinion over whether you should treat this thing or that thing and you may not have as much control over that as you may like,” said Dr. William Radford Jr.
At his new office Radford will be performing a variety of dental tasks including removables, dentures, crown and bridges, fillings, extractions, and root canals.
“I like a lot of things about the job,”said Radford. “I like the technical aspects but it’s also kind of artistic in making something look good. It allows you to help give somebody a great smile and that can help somebody get their life back.”
Rebecca Radford has also been involved in the dental field for a few year. After graduating high school she was office trained as a dental assistant.
Dr. William Radford Jr. has one part-time hygienist and on full-time dental assistant.
“We want to stay small,” said Radford. “We want to know our patients and build a relationship with them. We have a lot of personal focus. We are also in a new face on things as a part of the younger generation of dentists and we’ve got some very nice equipment to start us off. There’s a lot of need for dentists in the area around here. After that you have to start looking farther away such as the Winston Salem area.”
It’s taken about eight months for the Radford’s to get the new dental office off the ground.
“We started setting things up at the beginning of the year,” said Rebecca Radford. “It’s just took that long to get permits and get everything together because there’s a permit for every little thing, even for the sign. We started looking at this location back in January. Everything fell right into place. It’s typical for it to take six months to a year to get a practice together.”
The office will be opening up on Sept. 1 and they already have five patients signed up for the first days.
“We just had the phones turned on last week and got on the radio station last week,” said Rebecca Radford. “We’ve had a lot of interest and a lot of people we’ve talked to. It’s been picking up.”
While the Radfords would like to keep the office small, they are looking forward to giving more patient education in the future.
“We hope to see the place just full of patients,” said Dr. William Radford. “We want to offer some classes for new mothers because there’s a lot of stuff you don’t hear about regarding oral hygiene for your child.”
“It’s also important to get a child into the office earlier to help prevent a lot of future pain and dental problems for that child,” said Rebecca Radford. “We would like to encourage mothers to get their children started in the office earlier for cleanings so they can get use to the environment.”
“It takes a year or two to really build up a practice,” he said. “We hope to be seeing patients in here on full schedules and hopefully have a full-time hygienist. We’re not looking into doing any gigantic expansions in the future but continuing the practice and seeing what happens.”
William and Rebecca Radford live about ten minutes outside of Elkin with their three daughters Taylor, Emma, and Carly.
Troy Brooks can be reached at 336-258-4058.