North Bend dentist Kelly Garwood’s new digs in downtown North Bend are full of surprises, some of which she may show you at her open house, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20.
Garwood moved last December into her new location, the former home of North Bend Montessori school. An extensive remodel, a new home in the heart of North Bend, and some smart additions have made for positive changes for Garwood, her team and her patients.
Garwood shared these differences at her new office.
A former renter, Garwood bought the building at 142 Main Avenue last fall as a retirement investment. Most people know it as a former Montessori school. But, decades ago, it was the office of the local phone company. One of her discoveries during the remodel was the old company log book. The phone company’s cinder-block utility building is now storage.
Garwood added one extra patient station, for a total of five chairs, at her new place. The stations themselves are now larger and more private.
The extra room gets put to good use by the dentist. She’s left-handed, so trays and tools swivel. Before, Garwood had to stop, move patients and herself to do some jobs. Now, it’s easier for everyone.
“Anybody can work in here,” she says.
You can see Mount Si from every room.
“We have one lady that brings her binoculars, so she can look for goats while she’s waiting,” Garwood said.
One seemingly small feature is the one Garwood’s very excited about. It’s a single lightswitch in the back that controls every light in the building.
“It’s brilliant,” she said. “There’s a lot of lights in here. At the end of the day, you don’t have to go through and turn off every one!”
Learn to brush
Garwood added a special alcove, common at orthodontic offices but less so at dentists, for teaching children—and grown-ups—how to brush properly. A floor-length mirror lets the little ones see their technique. A box of toy rewards sits under the counter. This alcove was former assistant Helen Jensen’s idea.
“Staff has said they feel less tired at the end of the day, because it’s more ergonomically organized,” Garwood said. “You’re doing the same amount of work, but it’s easier on the body. Patients have said it feels calm and soothing.”
Garwood has made a lot of changes here, inside and out. An all-weather deck stayed, but a children’s play area became a paved alley with parking. There’s still a children’s basketball hoop in back, which kids use now.
Now, Garwood is part of the heart of downtown North Bend, “which is different,” she said. The remodel could be part of an ongoing facelift for downtown North Bend.
“We had a lot of people walk in and say they’d seen it change,” Garwood said. “I’ve had people say, too, that they hope this inspires other buildings that need to be updated. It’s such a nice building here, maybe it’ll spread.”
• Garwood Dental’s new office is located at 142 Main Ave. N., North Bend, just behind Chaplin’s North Bend Chevrolet.
Photographer Chris Williams’s gem-toned waterfall gets pride of place in the waiting room.
New roomy patient areas, designed for ambidextrous use.