Buckley stepping back as only Jasonville dentist
After more than three decades as Jasonville’s only dentist, Dr. Mark Buckley has decided to transfer ownership of his practice to two new individuals.
Though, Buckley said, his patients will not be getting rid of him too easily.
As of July 1, Buckley had transferred ownership of Shakamak Community Dental Center, located at 206 S. Meridian St. in Jasonville, to Drs. Steven Kellett, of Linton, and Tyler Richey, of Riley.
For the time being, Buckley said he will stay on at the practice two days a week for a couple more years.
“I’m tickled to death they are letting me stay at all,” Buckley said with a laugh.
The practice, which has sat in the same spot for about 36 years, will now be called Shakamak Family Dentistry, but the new owners stress not too much will change during the transition, including the staff.
“When I started talking about retiring, I promised the community I wouldn’t shut the doors behind me and leave them without a dentist and I promised my staff I wouldn’t leave them without a job,” Buckley said.
Both Kellett and Richey -- who are long-time friends formerly from Terre Haute -- are 2014 graduates of Indiana University School of Dentistry. Kellett currently owns Linton Family Dentistry, while Richey owns his own dental practice in Terre Haute.
Kellett said the dental practice’s longstanding relationships with patients and the community was a big draw for the two as they discussed purchasing the practice together.
Buckley noted since opening the office in 1981, he is now seeing fourth and fifth generations of families.
Kellett said the two believe the best idea to keep the practice successful is to continue the traditions Buckley has offered for decades, while also bringing in some new ideas. Richey added the initial focus will be streamlining the administrative side, while also making some upgrades.
“We don’t want to come in here and change everything. We want to maintain the same dental philosophy, but we can also make some improvements with technology like adding digital x-rays, and we can offer more procedures,” Richey explained.
Kellett added the two have been impressed with the cycle of frequent patient visits, including several who come in for scheduled six-month cleanings and check-ups. Richey said their goals as dentists is to educate their patients, offer options and allow them to make the best choices for their dental care. Buckley’s practice will make that possible.
Buckley said the transition to a part-time role in the dentistry to prepare for retirement is a bittersweet one, considering his 36 years in the same place has consisted of a lot of the same patients and their families over the years.
The dentist office opened in 1981, not long after Buckley graduated from college. Buckley said he “started from scratch” after the Worthington native learned there had not been a dentist’s office in Jasonville for about 25 years. A former teacher reached out to him, asking him if he ever thought about coming back to the area to work, which is what spawned more than three decades of service to the area.
But, on the other hand, Buckley said he is excited to see what the future holds as Kellett and Richey take over the business. He said the three of them together will offer their patients more than he was able to alone, including more time to attend training and stay up-to-date on new capabilities within the dental industry.
“They are teaching me things,” Buckley said.
Buckley said the two new owners are a perfect fit for not only the practice, but the area.
“They are from Terre Haute, so they are Wabash Valley people. They get it. Their wives get it,” Buckley said of welcoming the dentists to the area.
Buckley added he enjoys the fact he can bring in these fresh, new faces to Jasonville to service his long-standing patient list because he can see his former self in their new journey.
“They are going through the same cycle I went through, but I’m looking back as they are looking forward,” Buckley said. “They’re young, and we have to support them. As our population continues to age, we need young people to come here and take care of us.”