By Doug Hare EBS Staff
BIG SKY – Mountain Pearls, Big Sky’s first full-time dentistry, opened for business in early June. A renovation that took about three years has finally paid dividends. The office has cutting-edge technology including a 3D panoramic X-ray machine, but the first thing you notice when you walk into the recently finished facility is the calm, inviting ambience.
The vibrant paintings that decorate the office could make you feel as if you’ve accidentally walked into a museum. With a dedicated waiting room for children, a massaging recliner in a soothing waiting area for adults, sunlit exam rooms, ample one-on-one time with the doctor during your visit, and a hot steam towel at the end, customer experience has been the focus since the conceptual phases of the project.
After earning her doctorate of dental surgery from the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Dr. Kim Chapman has owned and operated a dental practice in Seattle for over 15 years. Born and raised in Colorado, Chapman looks forward to selling her practice and devoting herself full-time to her new Big Sky location.
Chapman graduated magna cum laude from Seattle Pacific University, and prior to dental school, she completed two years of graduate work in neurobiology and molecular biology at the University of Washington. With her strong academic background, Chapman says that she continues to stay informed of the latest dental techniques and scientific research through continuing education leaders and study clubs such as the Kois Center, The Pankey Institute, Seattle Study Club and Implants Northwest LIVE.
“Mountain Pearls’ goal is to provide Big Sky residents and visitors with a fresh approach to comprehensive dentistry, and relaxing dental visits,” Chapman said. “It’s important for healthcare to be predictable in outcomes, but also an enjoyable experience for the patient.”
Mountain Pearls is committed to environmentally sustainable products whenever possible. Instead of plastic disposable giveaway toothbrushes, the office provides patients with biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes with bristles made from castor beans. Instead of mainstream toothpaste products which contain ingredients such as carrageenan, detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial colorants, preservatives, BPA, artificial sweeteners and plastic beads, Chapman offers samples of more eco-friendly toothpaste brands such as Hello and Dr. Bronner’s.
“Our digital X-rays not only drastically decrease the radiation exposure to patients—as low as 10 percent of the exposure compared to traditional films—they also eliminate the need for toxic fixing and developing solutions to be kept on site and then disposed of as hazardous materials later,” Chapman said.
Last July, Chapman and her husband Chad Robbs were married at Soldiers Chapel in Big Sky. From IT support to managing contractors, Robbs was instrumental in getting the business up and running, and he will continue to be involved with the operational aspects of Mountain Pearls. Both outdoors enthusiasts say they look forward to enjoying all the recreational opportunities that southwest Montana has to offer.
A grand opening is slated for Thursday, June 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. There will be a Big Sky Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, a meet-and-greet with Seattle artist Ayhan Yavuz whose work is currently on display, wine and cheese, and a raffle for prizes.