Long-time Martin City business polishes enduring relationship with community.
A new face at one of Martin City’s oldest businesses is giving our community another reason to smile. Dr. Jason Weber has joined the team at the Dental Care Center of South Kansas City on 135th Street next to Rosehill Gardens. Weber’s expertise is an ideal complement to a practice already known for exceptional customer care under the leadership of founder Dr. Greg Stiver.
A Rich Oral History
They say if you’re lucky enough to find work you love, it doesn’t really feel like work. That’s the case for Dr. Weber. He can put in long hours without even noticing.
“I can get lost in my work. I like to travel and do some other things on the side, but I never really feel out of balance because I love what I do. This is just fun for me and I enjoy getting better at it all the time.”
What’s the best part for Dr. Weber? Surgery. He thrives on the challenge of difficult cases and custom treatments.
“I love doing big reconstructive surgeries that might involve things like taking teeth out and putting implants in,” says Weber. “I like surgery because it’s an advanced procedure that not every dentist can do. It takes extra training and constant studying to really master it. Doing it well is like an art, really.”
The Dental Care Center of South Kansas City is the perfect place for Weber to sharpen his wide-ranging skills. He says the comprehensive care model allows him to tackle just about anything.
“We can pretty much do everything right here. Not too many dental practices can say that. Historically, you know, you would go to a dentist who would diagnose you and then send you to a specialist, or maybe several. Then you’re traveling all over and the insurance and records get confusing. We streamline all of that under one roof for a better experience overall.”
Like Dr. Stiver, Dr. Weber is a graduate of the UMKC School of Dentistry. He graduated in 2014 and practiced for a short time in Grandview and Shawnee before everything suddenly changed in November of 2018.
“Within a two week period, I got married, took over management of my father’s dentistry practice in Topeka and joined Dr. Stiver in Martin City two days a week. It was a lot to go through at one time, but also really exciting.”
As the son of a dentist, Weber was exposed to the profession at an early age. However, it was an adventure in Central America that really inspired him. Weber went on a mission trip to Honduras where he helped people in poverty with fillings and tooth extractions.
“They were just so thankful,” says Weber. “They had no money and tried to pay me with livestock, handmade clothing or anything else they had. It was such a good feeling to bring relief to people who really needed it.”
Specialists Behind the Smiles
It’s no surprise that Dr. Weber and Dr. Stiver find themselves working side-by-side. Both are gentle, devoted professionals who share the same genuine passion for helping people stay healthy and happy.
“I see myself in Dr. Weber from time to time,” says Dr. Stiver. “It’s really gratifying to watch him evolve and back him up in that process. He’s just a good guy and a solid dentist.”
Weber couldn’t ask for a more seasoned mentor. Stiver is in his 35th year of practicing dentistry. You would think he’s seen it all by now and may even be a little restless. But Stiver says his love of his work is just part of who he is.
“I never grow tired of it and I’m always training to enhance my skills and improve different aspects of my business.”
Stiver’s business has grown to include state-of-the-art equipment and 17 people ranging from hygienists and dental assistants to office staff. The size of the team makes it one of the larger dental practices you’ll ever come across. It’s popular too, and Stiver makes a point of sharing the credit.
“The people who work here are the number one reason we’re successful. I’ve been very selective over the years in choosing the right people for our culture. Now we have a crew that are experts at staying completely focused on our patients at every level.”
“Dr. Stiver has crafted a patient-centered team across the board,” says Weber. “Everyone is just phenomenal with making our patients comfortable and treating them like family. Yes, we have advanced equipment and skills, but I really think customer service defines our practice.”
“We get so many glowing reviews and that means everything to me,” adds Stiver. “People actually look forward to coming here. That says it all.”
Brushing up on Comfort
Dr. Stiver’s team gives special attention to every step of the patient experience to make it all as pleasant as possible. Their commitment and discipline are essential for what Stiver calls a high-touch approach.
“Everyone knows a trip to the dentist can bring anxiety so we are very focused on relieving that tension. When we say we want you to feel at home, we really mean it and I think it shows.”
It’s true, you can’t help but love the feel of the Dental Care Center. Calming colors, images and messages are everywhere. Treat yourself to a cup of freshly brewed coffee, take a seat in a cushy chair in front of a big screen TV or surf a little on free WiFi.
All the amenities along with a soft environment complete with scented candles are an invitation to relax. You might think you’re closer to a spa than a dentist’s chair.
“It’s not just a nice touch. It literally attracts customers,” says Dr. Weber. “I’ve heard directly from patients. Like, a mother will bring her daughter in for an appointment, take a look around and say, ‘Can I be a patient here?’ It happens all the time.”
Dr. Stiver says Ginger, his wife and office manager, is the one responsible for transforming the office a few years ago.
“Ginger just jumped in and made us what we are today — comfortable and pleasant. Her work here has been truly remarkable and we’re better for it.”
Calming sedation techniques pick up where the calming atmosphere leaves off. Dr. Stiver is an expert at sedation. He says he started focusing on it about 15 years ago to help extreme anxiety cases that prevent some people from ever seeing a dentist.
“Now we offer several levels of sedation from very mild forms to intravenous that’s commonly associated with surgery. It’s all very safe.”
Stiver is constantly refining his sedation expertise and earns recertification regularly. He says sedation combined with a relaxing environment and a friendly staff creates a whole new perception of dental care.
“About four in ten people are afraid of seeing a dentist. We’re working to change that and we believe we’re making a real difference.”
A Salute to Giving Back
The Dental Care Center of South Kansas City happily shows support for the community it serves, and much of that support benefits military veterans.
“About once a year we’ll devote a full day to providing free dental care to veterans,” says Stiver. “It’s a really valuable service and who deserves it more than those who have served us all?”
The Dental Care Center also created a program to raise money for the support of veterans with PTSD. Stiver says every time the Dental Care Center receives a patient referral, he donates $25 toward the purchase of a highly-trained service dog through the organization Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH).
“When our referrals add up we purchase a dog and help deliver it to a veteran. That usually coincides with our free dental clinic day. It’s hard to describe how meaningful these dogs can be as companions for veterans who are suffering.”
A True Believer in Martin City
Dr. Stiver has been practicing in Martin City for 33 years, which tells you all you need to know about his feelings for the neighborhood. He’s watched revitalization grow from an idea shared among friends to a movement with momentum.
“I was part of a small group years ago that included people like David Van Noy (RC’s Restaurant) and Steve Okenfuss (Reno’s Powersports KC) and tried to get the ball rolling toward getting the community more organized to plan and make improvements,” says Stiver. “That effort eventually led to the formation of the Martin City Community Improvement District (MCCID) and it really took off. Just look around.”
Stiver says he couldn’t be more excited to see the area on the upswing after all of these years, and he’s not surprised.
“I mean it gives me a reason to smile every day. Martin City just has such a positive vibe. Everyone here enjoys being here. The improvements are wonderful. I especially like the lights and decorations around the holidays.”
“When I first arrived last year, the staff was quick to get me over to Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse and all the other local attractions,” says Weber. “Martin City Brewing Company may be my favorite. You can’t beat that grilled tuna sandwich! When you’re out and about for lunch or dinner, you can see that something special is happening here. No doubt.”
“What makes Martin City special is it offers a bit of that small, hometown appeal but yet you’re about five minutes away from everything else,” adds Stiver. “What a great dynamic. That’s why Martin City is going to take off.
”Thank you Dr. Stiver, Dr. Weber and everyone at the Dental Care Center of South Kansas City for your commitment to your patients and Martin City’s Future. We’re proud to have you in the neighborhood!