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For Peter J. Repole, DMD, and his wife, Mary, the coastal town of Eastport, Maine became a beloved vacation destination because of its breathtaking natural beauty and small town atmosphere.
The couple visited frequently from their home in northern Virginia, where they owned a successful dental practice. Located on Moose Island, Eastport is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the closest major city and is attached to the mainland by a causeway.
Mary, whose mother was born and raised on the island, describes it as a place that “feeds the soul.” For this reason, she and Peter began spending more time there. As they began to feel more connected with the community they also recognized the dire need for another dentist in the area.
The year they both turned 67, after working side by side as doctor and hygienist for more than 30 years, Peter and Mary decided to forgo retirement, opting to embark on an unforgettable life adventure. They sold their Virginia practice, moved to Eastport and opened a dental office on the lower level of their newly built home. At Dentistry on Cobscook Bay, Maine, the Eastport community and surrounding area receive dental care in an operatory with a stunning view of the bay.
Despite the remote location, the Repoles still receive the kind of service they did when working in a major metropolitan area. “If I have a problem, my Patterson rep, Mark Cassidy, makes sure it gets attended to,” said Peter. “If anything goes wrong, that day or the next I can usually have a solution. Recently we had an issue with an intraoral camera. It is a piece of equipment I find invaluable for documentation and patient education. With the help of Mark and Dennis Martin, an equipment specialist, I was able to get a replacement quickly. There is no next-day air for shipping, but they got it to us rapidly, which made a big difference.”
The Patterson team has helped the Repoles with everything from designing the office space, ordering technology and dental supplies, and the purchasing and servicing of equipment. Dennis created a space with one operatory, a full lab, sterilization and panoramic areas, as well as a second operatory plumbed and wired for future use.
“Ultimately, our goal is to transition this practice to someone who wants to live and work in this community,” said Peter. “This is an underserved area,” he added. “We hope to make a big difference for people who live here. Practicing in an underserved area can be very challenging, but the need is great and the patients are appreciative. It is rewarding both professionally and financially.”
Once a vacation destination, Eastport has become home for Peter and Mary. It’s a place where they can put their skills and experience to use helping the community. Whether that means seeing a patient who can’t be seen by another dentist because they are booked up, or treating someone with an emergency in the evening or on the weekend, the Repoles are helping to meet the needs of the community – one they now call home.