A Spouse's Perspective

Dr. Chrysostom’s wife discusses how Heartland Dental’s support ultimately affects both dentists and their families

A dentist office is a unique and dynamic place. Dr. Chrysostom’s wife, Kay, can relate to this after working in an orthodontist office for 34 years. One day she was putting braces on an assistant of Dr. Chrysostom (Dr. Deno) who asked Kay if she’d be interested in going on a date with him.

Dr. Chrysostom and his wife, Kay
Dr. Chrysostom and his wife, Kay

“I’m a widow,” Kay said. “My previous husband died 10 years ago, and I was under the impression that I would never, ever get married again. Ever. From the moment I met Deno though, I knew he was special. That was it. We never looked back.”

Around the time that Dr. Deno and Kay got engaged, he began to talk with her about the idea of affiliating with Heartland Dental. The two had conversations about what that process could potentially look like, but Kay did not want to influence his decision in any way. They didn’t know a lot about Heartland Dental aside from what they had researched and heard from other people. Her biggest fear, which she expressed to Dr. Deno, was that the company would stifle him.

“I was afraid that Heartland Dental was going to make him give up a lot of command and presence in the office. I knew he wouldn’t do well in a situation like that,” she said. “He consulted me, but I felt he ultimately needed to make the decision on his own.”

In 2014, Dr. Deno and his team at West Columbia Family Dentistry affiliated with Heartland Dental. Soon, Dr. Deno was no longer bombarded with every day stresses of the office like meeting payroll, maintaining the building, team management, etc. Although he never outwardly expressed the strain that those non-clinical tasks were taking on him, Kay said she noticed a change once they weren’t part of his every day routine.

“It was like somebody turned the lights on,” she recalled. “There was a peacefulness around that maybe wasn’t there when he was in private practice. When he comes home now, he doesn’t have to worry about paying the bills or whatever he had to do before. He just gets to be a dentist. I know his life has extended many years because of that, and I am so grateful.”

She also commended the staff for the way they supported Dr. Deno’s decision and worked together as a team throughout the transition. She said the process was seamless for them, and has seen the biggest improvement in the entire staff’s education level. In today’s day and age, she said she believes it’s critical to keep up with the ever-evolving industry. Heartland Dental’s support has helped Dr. Deno and his team exceed their continuing education standards and develop their clinical and leadership skills. Dr. Deno especially enjoys being a mentor for younger dentists and sharing his knowledge with them.

This past winter, Dr. Deno and his wife hosted a Christmas party for Heartland Dental supported doctors in their area, their wives and some dentists who were still unsure about Heartland Dental. Kay was the mastermind behind the idea and thinks it helped bring the group closer. There was food, drinks and a bluegrass band in the living room. By bringing everyone together in a lively, intimate environment, Kay hoped to convey one message.

“I think it’s important to know that you’re in Heartland Dental as a family. The supported dentists and their wives need to know – you are not competitors in this. You are brothers and sisters. You have somebody backing you up.”

Due to the success of the Christmas party, Kay is already planning a picnic for this summer where she hopes to welcome even more members from her Heartland Dental family.