AP NEWS

Gleason family provides dental care for 52 years and counting

February 21, 2019

For a pair of Beatrice brothers, dentistry is more than a profession. It’s their family’s way of life.

Dan and Tim Gleason see patients in their father, Dave Gleason’s, dentistry office. Gleason, who is retiring at the end of this month, first opened his doors in 1967 an office he converted out of a house and has practiced dentistry in Beatrice ever since.

His older son, Tim, set out to be a dentist right away, while his brother, Dan, worked in finance before going back to school to join the family business. All three men are University of Nebraska- Lincoln graduates. Dave grew up in Beatrice and moved back after college to start the clinic.

The family has long-standing ties with Beatrice, and said they deeply value the community. The Gleasons have owned businesses in Beatrice even before the dentistry practice began.

“There was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to stay in Beatrice,” Tim said.

In 2017, the Gleasons moved from the old office to a new facility, which increased their number of stations from four to eight, with room for three more. They are happy with the new building, and they expect to add more stations soon.

The new facility is designed for patient flow, and the brothers think that the enhanced treatment experience will allow them to grow their practice even further.

The brothers said that technologies have been radically advanced in recent years in dentistry. One area in which that has been clear has been crowns.

In the past, the Gleasons said, crowns had to be molded in a time-consuming process that required multiple visits. Now, the brothers can fit patients for dental implants, create the implant, and place it in the mouth all in the same visit.

They use a technology called a CEREC machine, which allows them to create a 3D color model of a person’s mouth. They use the information to make a plan for the imprint, which the machine then carves for them.

They also have a cone beam 3D X-ray machine which allows them to see inside people’s jaws, ensuring they can safely and accurately treat patients. Dan said the technology works as a small CAT scan, allowing them to track specific nerves and other body parts in the mouth.

The brothers said that they understand not many people are particularly excited to visit the dentist, and they believe one of their biggest challenges is easing patient anxiety around dental work.

“It’s important for us to make them as comfortable as possible,” Tim said.

The Gleasons enjoy working with each other, and they believe that working as a family keeps them close.

“We’re the best of friends,” Tim said. “We’re similar guys and think the same.”

The brothers hope to continue to grow their practice, and they are always happy to be early adopters of new technologies. They expect many new developments to come out soon.

The Gleasons see about 5,000-7,000 regular patients each year.

As the field changes, one thing is constant for the Gleason brothers— life in Beatrice is the right fit for them. Their friendships with patients add fun and community to their work.

“I think what makes it special is we build a relationship and see them around town” Dan said. “If we worked somewhere else, we might not have that.”