NAPLES — When it comes to alleviating children’s anxiety over visiting the dentist, Pediatric Dentistry of Florida provides an undersea environment of whimsical whales, sharks and other sea life to help take a bite out of their apprehensions. Practicing in Fort Myers since 1992, Dr. Tim Verwest reinvented his approach in 2013 when he rebranded the business and opened a new office that is part theme park at 8016 Summerlin Lakes Drive.
When his next location opens in mid-July, Verwest will expand his footprint into Collier County with a new, 4,000-square-foot office at 1035 Piper Blvd., Suite 103 in Naples. Just as at the Fort Myers location, when parents bring their kids to see the dentist, they will be immersed into a world of aquatic wonder.
“We wanted to create an office to take the brand we have built in Fort Myers and create something inviting not just for the kids, but to the parents as well,” Verwest tells Coffee Talk. “Sometimes when you put things together as a clapboard office, it doesn’t deliver the results you want. We want to make a unique and pleasant experience for everybody.”
From the reception desk to the waiting room to the six-bed open bay to the three private treatment rooms, the practice transports young patients to a world of an underwater shipwreck and sea life including a coral reef, various species of tropical fish, stingrays, a mermaid and a 16-foot whale shark and blue whale suspended from the ceiling.
Verwest is also becoming a landlord. The entire building is 10,000 square feet with 6,000 square feet being leased to a urology practice. Verwest has invested $2.5 million in the building, with build-out by Lee Berchtold of Fort Myers and whimsy provided by Imagination Dental Solutions of Alberta, Canada, with a Florida office in Pompano Beach.
Declining to disclose build-out costs compared to a traditional dental practice, Verwest says the investment will pay off in more ways than patient comfort.
“I think the environment helps attract quality personnel,” he tells Coffee Talk. “When they see you have created an office space that is comfortable, that is up to date technologically and is a pleasant space to work in, it gives them a sense that this is a real practice.”