4th Street Dental Studio – Columbus, Ohio
Robert Wood II, DDS
Dr. Robert Wood II, is a third-generation artisan, specializing in the art of a smile at his 4th Street Dental Studio in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Wood mixes art and the science of dentistry to help his patients achieve and maintain captivating smiles and robust oral health.
Dentistry is often referred to as an art because it is focused aesthetically on making smiles beautiful. Dr. Wood has had a love for art ever since he was a child. Visiting his grandfather and uncle at work, and watching them care for patients inspired him to follow in his family’s footsteps. “I thought of my grandfather as an artist using his hands to sculpt,” says Dr. Wood. “I have always been involved in art and wanted it to be at the forefront of my practice.”
A Lasting Impression
Dr. Wood spent eight years working in public health and as an associate in private practice, after earning his doctorate in dental surgery from the acclaimed Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. His experiences reinforced his desire to branch out on his own so that he could provide dentistry the way he wanted to — with care, personalization, and an artistic touch.
“When you are in public health, you have different standards and metrics,” explains Dr. Wood. “In my own private practice, I’m not working on billable hours and I can take as much time as I need to make my patients feel comfortable. I am also free to be more innovative in the use of new technologies and methodologies to enhance patient care."
Once his mind was made up, Dr. Wood placed a call to Henry Schein and asked for help. “Henry Schein has always been a partner wherever I worked,” he says. “They are who we ordered supplies from and they were always checking in and offering advice. When I moved to my wife’s hometown of Columbus, the first person I reached out to was my Henry Schein Equipment Service Specialist, Brett Gerboth.”
“When Dr. Wood first called me, he was interested in learning about some new technology,” says Mr. Gerboth. “He mentioned that it was time he pursued his own practice, but didn’t know how to start. I connected him with local real estate agents, contractors, architects and lenders that specialize in dentistry practices.”
With the help of a real estate agent, Dr. Wood found the ideal location with growing commercial and residential populations in Columbus’s vibrant, historic Italian Village. At the time, he was working as an associate at a local practice, so he needed his Henry Schein team to oversee the buildout and ensure his vision was achieved.
“I’ve never opened my own practice,” Dr. Wood notes. “This is what Henry Schein does. Brett has a lot of experience and already had a lot of influence. If I can trust him to find the commercial real estate broker and banker, why not trust him with everything else?”
Drilling Down and Building Up
With an eye for detail and a focus on patient needs, Dr. Wood spent the next year working closely with his Henry Schein team. Mr. Gerboth along with Henry Schein Field Sales Consultant, Jacob Howell, took Dr. Wood to local practices so he could see various office layouts. They also attended a Midmark design seminar in Versailles, Ohio, so he could see the latest technologies in dental care and patient comfort.
Impressed with the technology, level of customization, and overall quality, Dr. Wood selected Midmark to provide nearly all furnishings and dental equipment for 4th Street Dental Studio. Midmark even customized the laminate on his cabinetry to match a unique textured steely blue color that he requested.
Knowing intimately what Dr. Wood wanted and needed, Mr. Gerboth worked with Henry Schein’s Integrated Design Studio to draft and tweak a floor plan until it best met the doctor’s vision. Mr. Gerboth also became his eyes and ears when dealing with other vendors and contractors.
Just as construction was nearly complete in March 2020, Dr. Wood got notice from the state that he had to shut down due to the pandemic. During that time, riots resulting from the Black Lives Matter movement caused damage at his new dental facility. However, Dr. Wood retained his unflappable sense of calm and unwavering positive attitude.
“Dr. Wood is very unique,” says Mr. Gerboth. “He sees the positive in everything. He told me that the delays were a blessing because they allowed him more time to focus on learning how to use his new practice management software and to ensure he had everything in place. He really had no concerns about starting his practice, despite the setbacks.”
Art of the Smile
Dr. Wood officially opened 4th Street Dental Studio in May 2020. Providing comprehensive and restorative dentistry to residents of Italian Village and the surrounding communities, he enjoys developing relationships with patients and is empathetic to the anxiety some people experience when visiting a dentist.
“When you enter the building, you immediately get a feel for who Dr. Wood is,” says Mr. Howell. “Dr. Wood’s incredible sense of design and attention to every detail is on display throughout the dental practice.”
The main walls of the ultra-modern 2,100-square-foot, 5-operatory facility, are painted with the custom textured steely blue, to match the doctor’s favorite color. Murals and paintings bursting with color tastefully adorn every wall of every room, including the two working operatories. And according to Mr. Gerboth, every art piece has a story. Some of the more abstract art is microphotography of actual scanned dental structures as seen under an electron-microscope!
The patient entryway looks like a trendy meeting place. Sunlight reflects off the blue walls and brightens up the spacious, yet cozy area. Patients can wait on the luxurious light-brown leather sofa, the equally comfortable light modern blue chairs, or sit in one of the tall chairs at the coffee bar. A painting of 24 circles, each representing the color of a different skin tone with the words, “We are all one,” printed below the circles hangs on the wall next to the seating area.
Dr. Wood’s sunny disposition is reflected as well. On the table in the waiting room, he has a sculpture made from the rocks thrown through his window the night of the riots. The glass is from his broken window. “They were really nice rocks,” he says with a smile. “My message is to spread love, not hate.”
Equipped to the Teeth
Between visits to the Midmark design seminar and having worked in diverse environments, Dr. Wood paid close attention to trends, and incorporated what he saw as the most efficient designs in each room. The two treatment rooms are fashioned with comfortable free-standing Midmark Ultra Comfort dental chairs with rear delivery with cabinets lining the walls of each room. Screens are set up across from each patient chair, so patients can see their scans as the doctor discusses treatment options.
When patients lie down for procedures, there are televisions on the ceiling facing down toward them, to help distract them and put them at ease. “My uncle was a pediatric dentist,” says Dr. Wood. “I remember sitting back and watching cartoons in his patient chair. Adults are big kids and the distraction works.”
The sterilization room is the practice’s showpiece, according to Mr. Gerboth. “It’s a truly spectacular, customized, Synthesis sterilization center. It’s durable and designed for incredible flow and efficiency,” he explains. “Dr. Wood customized it with the entire run of the cabinetry, specific to how he wanted it. What makes it stand out for a growing practice like this is, you can change out modules within the cabinetry to meet new practice needs simply by pulling out a drawer from a single cabinet and converting it into two drawers, or vice versa.”
The imaging area contains a Dentsply Sirona 2D machine which produces sharp, high-resolution HD digital quality images using a fraction of the radiation required by traditional dental X-rays. It also eliminates the use of uncomfortable plastic bite-down pieces.
Dr. Wood and his staff of four just celebrated their one-year anniversary. Business has been steadily growing with an increasing number of repeat patients. It’s grown so much that Dr. Wood is looking for just the right artwork to add to a third operatory in the coming months.
Mr. Howell visits Dr. Wood at least once a month to check in with him.
Dr. Wood concludes, “Often, I really don’t need anything because everything is running so smoothly. I can’t say enough about Brett, Jacob, and the rest of the Henry Schein team. Working with them, I was able to take an empty space and watch it come to life, filled with my dream.”
Now that’s something to smile about!