BEMUS POINT - This month celebrates the first anniversary Tracy Culver, DDS, has owned the Bemus Point Dental Centre. The family dentistry practice at 9 Merz Ave. sees all ages and was purchased from Dr. Gerald Peppy.
''We want to reach as many people as we can,'' says the dentist. ''We are accepting new patients.''
She opened this practice after coming from Tri-County Hospital Dental Clinic, for which she headed a satellite office in Salamanca. The office staff consists of one former employee and some new. Kathy Haight, office receptionist, represents the former. The chairside assistant is Cathy Hiller, who has been with the new dentist several months. Jessica Shaw, hygienist, is the newest addition. They accept most insurance and are in-network with Guardian.
''She's had former patients track her down from Perrysburg and Little Valley,'' Jessica states.
''She's a very gentle dentist,'' Cathy puts in. ''I can vouch for that. I have been to others (who are not). She is compassionate and all about helping people and doesn't try to talk them into something they don't want.''
The staff told about a recent incident where a patient came in thinking he needed two fillings. The dentist examined his mouth and assured him that under the circumstances, he did not need fillings.
''His comment was, 'Many would have given me the fillings anyway,''' says Ms. Hiller. ''I once heard her tell a patient that she doesn't remake everyone's smile just to make a million dollars.''
''Half of our patients come in claiming they are afraid of dentists. I coddle them and tell them everything I'm about to do before I do it,'' says the doctor. ''Sometimes it just means taking extra time with those people. We sometimes go step-by-step.''
The receptionist tells about children who may be afraid and how they are encouraged to look around at leisure and return another day to actually be seen by the dentist.
A few people have expressed to the assistant that they hope the dentist is as good as the former and others have shown their concern about seeing a woman dentist, but have come away appearing that they are pleased.
''We're all 'people people,''' says Dr. Culver. ''I think we mesh very well.''
The staff is currently in the process of putting together a cookbook with their own recipes and those of their patients with the proceeds going to an undetermined charity.
''We're all about food,'' says Cathy.
''When I was 10 I mastered the no-bake cookies,'' smiles her boss.
The co-workers eat their lunch together every day and have decided they should each bring a dish to pass at least once each month.
Jessica admits she got all of her recipe submittals from her grandmother. Cathy said she is expected to make the crunchy peanut butter balls ''every year for my kids at Christmas.'' Dr. Culver often makes the Polish sausage with apricot jelly for holidays and Mrs. Haight says she makes the cheesy chicken chowder on cold winter nights.
Each hopes their recipes will be enjoyed by the readers.