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Mott dentist expands with new office in Dickinson

Dr. Kristen Manolovits was looking to expand her dentistry practice, so she recently opened Apollonia Dental in Dickinson.

Manolovits acquired her first dental office in Mott in January 2007 and opened in Dickinson this past February.

"I guess it was just part of my overall vision that I wanted to be able to help as many people as possible," Manolovits said. "Dickinson is a...growing community and it needs dentists."

Manolovits said the inspiration for the name of her Mott and Dickinson offices came from a gift she received in college.

"When I graduated from dental school, my confirmation sponsor gave me a medal and it was a St. Apollonia," Manolovits said. "She is a patron saint of dentists."

Manolovits's new office is located in what was formerly Dr. Don Stromsborg's office. Before taking over the office, Manolovits began working in Dickinson shortly after Stromsborg passed away this past August.

"In the few months that I worked here before...the Dr. Stromsborg team was very welcoming and helpful," Manolovits said. "I thought they had a good philosophy of care with their patients."

She added that two individuals from Stromsborg's team have continued working through the ownership transition.

She also has two employees from her Mott office traveling to Dickinson a few times a week.

Stromsborg's patients also welcomed Manolovits into her new office, she said. She added several of Stromsborg's former clients have continued their dental care through Manolovits.

"Many clients of Dr. Stromsborg's had been clients for a long time," Manolovits said.

Since Manolovits took over the Dickinson office, she has updated the facility.

"Dr. Stromsborg had some great equipment that lasted him about 27 years," Manolovits said.

She added some of it had to be replaced.

"They used to have paper charts, but now we've updated to computers, which is nice," Manolovits said.

Other changes include new chairs, an upgraded vacuum pump and new hand pieces.

"We've switched to electric," Manolovits said of the hand tools. "They're quieter."

The old hand pieces were air driven. The facility's X-ray equipment has also been upgraded.

"We have digital X-rays now, which is nice because we no longer have to use chemicals," Manolovits said. "Everybody's being more aware of the environment and we don't have to dispose of the chemicals which, of course, are not good."

She added digital X-rays minimize radiation exposure as well.

"We also have intra-oral cameras," Manolovits said. "We can actually take a picture of their tooth...and show them it."

She said the cameras were purchased as part of her effort to educate clients.

"We wanted to show people and talk to them about what's going on," Manolovits said. "We always want to use the very best treatment options and cutting-edge technology to get people the best treatment."

Although she enjoys her profession, Manolovits said she didn't always want to go into dentistry.

"I didn't really decide until I was at the University of Mary," Manolovits said.

Some of her classmates were taking dentistry classes and spoke to Manolovits about the profession.

"They just kind of talked with me about the pros and cons that they'd weighed out. The advantages and disadvantages," Manolovits said.

After listening to what they had to say, Manolovits decided to go into dentistry herself. She said part of what drew her to dentistry is her social nature.

"I like working with people and being on a team," Manolovits said. "You also get to work with your hands a lot and be creative and artistic."

After she graduated, she moved back to her hometown.

"After going to school in the Twin Cities, I think you maybe learn to appreciate some of the things you take for granted," Manolovits said. "I really wanted to come back because of the people and the sense of community."

She started working with the Gjerstad Dental Clinic in Mott with Dr. Larry Gjerstad, who was her dentist while growing up. After about six months, she purchased Gjerstad's practice. He has continued to work alongside Manolovits.

"He's a very active dentist still," Manolovits said. "He's been practicing for over 40 years, so he's got a lot of experience."

Working with Gjerstad has given Manolovits the opportunity to expand into Dickinson.

"Since we have two doctors in Mott, it's kind of nice to be able to have the flexibility to spread out," Manolovits said.

She added Gjerstad plans to retire in a few years, so she would like more dentists to work at her office.

"My hope is that we can find more dentists to come work with us," Manolovits said. "I just like the idea of being able to work with somebody and have someone to consult with through hard cases."

Additional dentists would allow her to have her Dickinson office open more.

"I want this to be open five days a week and have...a bigger practice," Manolovits said.

While her Mott office is open five days a week, her office in Dickinson is only open Monday through Wednesday.

"I work at both offices," Manolovits said.

Apollonia Dental in Dickinson is located at 1019 Villard Street. To make an appointment, call 701-483-0857.