BATAVIA — The sign on the door may not have his name on it yet, but Dr. Adam Gregor is on his way as a dental practice owner at 180 Washington Ave.
Gregor is taking over from longtime dentist Dr. Michael Kubiniec and his wife, Sharon. The couple stayed on into April to help Gregor get settled.
The transition, Gregor said, has gone pretty smoothly.
“Dr. Mike’s practice, they built a great practice here, so it was almost like I could walk right in and continue the care of the patients,” said Gregor, who completed the purchase of the practice by the beginning of February. “They stayed on for a couple of months and even though they’re not in the office anymore, they’re still a great resource to me. We still talk all the time and reach out … so, I’m very thankful for that.
“From February through April he was finishing up some cases with some patients, helping me with the transition,” Gregor said. “Here and there, we still have cases we work on together, but for the most part, he’s enjoying his retirement.”
Gregor said Kubiniec had stayed up-to-date with new technology for the office.
“I really appreciated that in finding the dental practice I wanted to purchase,” Gregor said. “I know a lot of the technology he offered, but he just knows all the intricacies of it. The main thing was him showing me how he would work certain things with the technology here. That’s where I got the most mentorship from him.”
Gregor said he learned everything about the business aspect of the practice from Sharon Kubiniec.
“Me coming in as a new business owner … you don’t know what you don’t know. She was huge in helping me understand all the behind-the-scenes work that comes with running a business — payroll and accounting and all those things,” Gregor said. “We do have an office manager that has stepped up to help fill Sharon’s shoes, but for right now, I am doing most of those behind-the-scenes things. I think it’s important for me to do them to understand them, before possibly delegating those responsibilities in the future.”
Aside from Gregor, there are a dental assistant, two hygienists and two front-desk employees, all full-time. Five of them were working there while Kubiniec had his practice, Gregor said.
“Now that Sharon has left, we did hire a new person recently to fill all the roles and responsibilities that Sharon had previously had,” he said. “I think that was important to the Kubiniecs and me. We didn’t want to make a major shakeups. We wanted to keep the same staff. We didn’t want any sweeping changes — new doctor coming in with his new staff and wiping the slate clean. We wanted a transition of care and trust with the patients, and having those familiar faces with the staff is important for us.”
Gregor recalled first making contact with Michael Kubiniec, who retired after a 35-year career in Batavia, in September or October.
“It’s like the ultimate job interview. Dr. Mike wants to feel comfortable with the dentist that replaces him and I want to feel comfortable with my ‘forever’ dental practice. We met each other and I toured the office. We made sure it was a good fit for both of us,” Gregor said. Gregor, an associate dentist in Buffalo for five or six years before coming to Batavia, said because the Kubiniecs helped with the transition, Kubiniec’s former patients have put their trust in him.
“For the most part, patients have stayed with the practice. I do understand that I’m coming in as a new person. Some patients don’t have the same comfort level with me as they did with Dr. Mike,” he said. “My goal is, at the end of my career, hopefully I have patients who stayed with me for 30, 35 years, just like Dr. Mike’s patients did.”
Gregor said he knew he wanted to own a practice and he felt comfortable with the opportunity here.
“I know it’s where I’m going to settle my dental roots and stay until I retire here,” he said.
These days, there are about 2,500 active patients of the practice, Gregor said. The practice is accepting new patients.
“You never know what the future may hold,” he said. “If we grow so much, maybe I would need another dentist here to help handle the load. With the patients Dr. Mike had, I’m very comfortable being the solo dentist just like he was. The biggest thing is getting to know the patients — what they like about the dentist, what they don’t like. making them feel like they’re welcome here …” he said. “When I’m checking a patient that’s had their exam for the cleaning, I’m trying to ask them, ‘Are you from Batavia? How long have you been a patient of Dr. Mike’s?’ and get to know them on a personal level.”
The Kubiniecs said the transition at the practice was seamless.
“The best recommendation we could give Dr, Gregor is that he too will be our dentist. We have full faith in his abilities,” they said. “Dr. Gregor has already placed an implant crown on Dr. Mike. Our patients are wonderful and the trust that has been built over the years with Dr, Conrad Kubiniec and Dr, Mike has been passed to Dr. Gregor.”
Their patients knew they wouldn’t sell the practice to just anyone, Michael and Sharon Kubiniec said.
“We needed to know that our family and friends were being placed in great hands. Dr. Gregor cares about each and every patient and made a point of saying he would like longer appointment times to get to know each and every patient. He takes the time to connect with his patients,” they said.
Sharon Kubiniec said she and her husband have officially been retired for over a month now and are truly enjoying each and every day.
“Tomorrow is never promised and we just want to enjoy Western New York and all of wonderful lakes, mountains and parks at our disposal. We plan on doing some kayaking on Canandaigua Lake and hiking the Adirondacks,” she said. “But we love Batavia and our ties to the Batavia Rotary Club and our wonderful friends and family will keep us here for years to come. We have been blessed to meet and care for such a wonderful community and to make friendships with so many of our patients.”