Beata A. Carlson, DDS, takes a nontraditional approach to dentistry and offers her patients quite a different experience from your average dental office. She provides state-of-the-art natural, biocompatible and holistic dental treatments on the first floor of her converted bank building, and what she calls “life extension services” on the second floor. She considers her approach to be proactive, using holistic methods and products to improve and maintain oral health and prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Carlson has been practicing holistic dentistry since 1995. She’s a member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a group that researches the biocompatibility of dental products, including mercury fillings and fluoride, and the risks of root canals. She purchased a holistic dental practice from a retiring dentist, then a second one when the natural-dentistry owner passed away.
Carlson was born in Poland. When she was 13, she and her family fled the communist regime to Africa. After three years, they emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland, where she eventually attended the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. “I chose dentistry because I come from a medical family background and am an artist myself,” Carlson explained. “Dentistry is an art form, and I could see myself creating beauty in teeth.”
When asked what led her to practicing holistic dentistry in particular, she replied, “I have always been a natural girl!” She recalled that at the age of 19 she frequently listened to her family discuss the ineffectiveness of medicine around the dinner table. “I became a chem major, so I saw the toxicity of mercury and other dental treatments firsthand. This led me to a natural-dentistry approach, which serves my purpose of helping people get healthy naturally,” she said.
Her goals are to “First do no harm. Second, handle gum disease with ozone treatments, homecare and pH testing. Third, use special cleaning devices that allow us to treat gum disease thoroughly. And fourth, use lasers for minimally invasive procedures.”
In addition to offering cosmetic dentistry, implants, dental hygiene and periodontal treatments, Invisalign and dentures, Carlson also practices sleep apnea dentistry and provides laser treatments for snoring. Her practice also focuses on nutrition and education as vital to improving patients’ oral and overall health.
“I have a biomimetic approach to dentistry, which means life mimicking dentistry,” she said. “You have respect for tooth structure and try to preserve as much of it as possible when doing restorative and esthetic dentistry. Even orthodontics can be approached from that viewpoint.”
As a holistic/natural dentist she uses the IAOMT smart protocol for removing mercury fillings. “This procedure keeps everyone safe,” she said. She also uses ozone therapy to disinfect the oral cavity and periodontal pockets, during and after extractions and while placing fillings and restorations. Ozone air
and water are used to kill bacteria, fungi and other biomaterials while removing their byproducts and other debris at the same time.
Holistic dentistry appeals to her patients – and she has quite a following. As the practice grew, and she decided she wanted to start offering life-extension treatments, Carlson realized she needed to merge her offices and expand her footprint. “It was hard to run both practices and I wanted to have more space,” she said. “It also was difficult to duplicate staff as some were trained in different procedures. Combining the two allowed me to consolidate my resources, use our strengths with trained staff and provide better patient experiences with more procedures. I also wanted all new equipment and a more ergonomic design and flow of patients.”
A unique business partnership
Carlson and her business partner, Karilyn Trammell, jointly own the practice and the 3-acre property. Trammell, who isn’t a dentist, runs the business side of the office.
“Karilyn and I met some time ago,” Carlson explained. “She lived in California, and I was in Pennsylvania and eventually we both moved to Clearwater. In 2015, we started to work together. We had a mutual interest in running the business using Hubbard Management Technology and have received training in how to manage and expand a business. With that our friendship and partnership grew. We had business ideas, but we were hindered by the space and location. Like Mr. Hubbard declared, ‘It is not man’s dreams that fail him, it is the lack of know-how required to bring those dreams into actuality.’”
Carlson and Trammell use Hubbard College Press materials to train staff in the workplace. “We worked hard, and we were able to achieve our goals together and are still expanding,” Carlson said.
Time to make a move
As the practice’s patient base continued to grow, and Carlson started offering some limited spa treatments and life-extension services, she began looking for a building in which she could increase the number of dental operatories from 6 to 10, plus add rooms for the other types of treatments. Trammell said that buying a building was a business decision with the goal of making their “rent dollars” go toward future expansion and revenue generation.
“I always wanted a bank building that was two stories,” Carlson said. “I saw a small dental office once in a one-level bank building that had the sterilization area in the vault, and I thought it was cool. But there wouldn’t have been enough space to enlarge the operatories. Dentistry is claustrophobic and we always need more space. I wanted something different, and to put the sterilization center in the vault.”
Carlson now has about 4,000 square feet of space, almost double the size of her old location, and only 10 minutes away, which is convenient for everyone – staff and patients alike. It houses four hygienists, six assistants and will accommodate the two associates she plans to add soon. The new location also has ample room for her cone beam computed tomography unit, Fotona Laser, PerioLase laser, iTero, Sirona CEREC Omnicam with milling unit, 3Shape TRIOS, DigiDoc hand-held digital sensors and cameras, a state-of-the-art sterilization center – and much more. “Basically, we have the newest and best technologies available,” Carlson said.
The life-extension services the practice offers include facial esthetics with platelet-rich fibrin, and an I.V. room, which is their newest addition. “It was for me,” Carlson said with a laugh. “I had no time to go and get an I.V. to maintain my good health. As I had some space in the office, adding the I.V. room was a good idea. We will offer this to healthy patients, who can receive an I.V. of vitamin C or a Myers’ cocktail after mercury removal or tooth extraction. It helps the body naturally recover.”
Unconventional floor plan and inspired décor
Patterson Dental equipment specialist Thaddeus Siewert described the ambience of the new facility as “very comforting but modern, very lit up and cheerful. Very welcoming and high end.”
“It was an old bank building that was completely remodeled. I think it was built in the 1980s,” he continued. “But what is really unique is the two-story aspect of it. There is an atrium sort of effect. A lot of natural light comes in from upstairs down to the bottom level, which is where the clinical side of things is located. On the top level, which circulates around that atrium, are the offices where they do spa therapies, laser therapies and things like that. It’s uniquely designed and it’s very different.”
Carlson wanted to keep the space open, clean looking and simple. “I have always liked a modern look, such as glass, mixed metals, neutral colors and open-space plans. I saw some offices online that had glass partitions and was inspired by that. It wasn’t easy, because most designers wanted to give me regular walls.” Patterson sales representative Charlie Zoller described the area of the building that houses the clinical operatories: “It has really tall ceilings and they didn’t want to reduce the open space feel of the place, so they left the operatories open at the top with only partial walls. The walls are all glass with custom-made glass pocket doors. Most of the operatories have all glass walls, which is beautiful. The doctor was adamant about putting those in and maintaining the open feeling.” This did present some issues because with no sidewalls to run lines through, everything for the electrical equipment and computers had to be run through the floor. They have since added some frosted glass in the hallways to provide some privacy for the operatories. The thick glass keeps everything quiet, and patients haven’t mentioned any discomfort or concern about lack of privacy.
Because of the pandemic, Carlson and Trammell weren’t able to travel to the A-dec headquarters in Oregon, so they (along with Zoller) met with the A-dec rep in the Tampa branch. They reviewed the equipment together and developed a plan for the new office. Carlson chose the A-dec 500 series chairs for all the rooms and Continental style units in all the operatories. Some of the rooms have upper cabinets and the hygiene rooms have lower rear 12 o’clocks. “They definitely like the Continental style and are really excited about the new Continentals because of the extended reach,” Zoller said.
Every room also has an ozonator. Although plumbed for MedGas, they are using only the oxygen to generate the ozone air and water they use during oxygen therapy procedures.
Trammell said that the results of modernizing the office have been increased production, treatment acceptance and referrals. The modern high-end spa atmosphere and custom fixtures provide a boutique experience. She also noted that “staff are more resilient because they like the environment. They’re proud to work with us and they talk about it. It has decreased stress for the entire practice. The flow of patients and staff through the practice is now ideal. We’re not running into each other and there is plenty of room for patients to move about.
“The staff are happier using the new equipment,” Trammell continued. “Patients are super comfortable in the new chairs and know that we use the latest technology to take the best care of their teeth. And the facility presents as clean and sanitized, which with the pandemic continuing was perfectly timed.”
“We’ve had a 25% increase in production by having a larger space to deliver treatment,” Carlson added. “Our state-of-the-art equipment has made it possible to deliver more dentistry and help more people.”
Patients love the new technology, the new atmosphere and the clean, fresh space. “The patient flow is more ergonomic,” Carlson said. “Dentistry is more comfortable for them now. I feel that patients want beautiful smiles but also want to be healthy. So natural, holistic or biological dentistry takes that into account, and it helps to prevent toxins from entering the body through the mouth. The result is a healthier patient.”
Working with Patterson Dental
“Patterson has been a true partner of ours for many years; if we need anything we always call our reps,” Trammell said. “They always have suggestions for us, and even make me feel better if I’m having a bad day. “Charlie and Thaddeus have been amazing – helping with the design, selection of equipment and financing. They were on standby when we opened and if anything came up, they were at the site to help us. If anything happens with the equipment, they are only a phone call away. “Without Patterson as our partner on this project, I’m sure we would have experienced delays, overspending and grief,” said Trammell. “We had options for vendors, but we knew that we could trust Patterson to get us successfully completed and opened. We were right!”
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This article originally appeared in the winter 2022 edition of Advantage magazine. Download the full publication (PDF).