New dentist buys Plains business
July 22, 2021
MT West Dentist in Plains has changed hands, but the previous owner and new owner hope to continue excellent care to its community of patients.
Dr. Blake Sherwood and his wife, Dana, purchased MT West Dentist from Doctors Andrew and Elizabeth Ordelheide, who had the business since 2011 when it was in a rented building in downtown Plains. The Ordelheides then purchased the former Wildhorse Elementary School in 2015 and converted the 83-year-old building into a dental business. The Sherwoods and the Ordelheides finalized their transaction on July 7, but the Ordelheides agreed to stick around for a while to help with the transition.
"The main point I would like to communicate to the community is that our goal is to continue the legacy of excellent care, integrity and making sure our patients are listened to and heard," said Sherwood, who graduated from dental school in 2018. "Our team will do everything we can to be a dental provider this community is proud to tell their family and friends about," he added. His wife, who grew up in Helena, will serve as the office manager. "We offer a full scope of general dentistry services," said Sherwood, who added that they will also continue to bring in a root canal specialist when needed.
Sherwood was born and raised in Missouri. He attended Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine from 2014 to 2018, graduating in the top third of his class. He also attended the yearlong Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program, where he received advanced dental training. He is a graduate of the Air Force's Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. He also worked as a dentist at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri for two years.
He said they wanted to settle down in western Montana to be closer to his wife's family. "My wife and I both feel most at home with the pace and people that come with rural living. When I met the Ordelheides and saw how they cared for their patients, I knew I had found something special here in Plains," said Sherwood. He said he felt humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of caring for this community in the same way the Ordelheide dentists have for 10 years.
"We are truly grateful for their arrival here in town and they will be an excellent addition to the community," said Andrew Ordelheide. "Our future plans only involve ensuring that MT West Dentist continues to provide the best dental care in the county, to whatever end that means for us," he added. Sherwood said they plan to send out a letter to the active patients to let them know of the new ownership.
Sherwood plans to keep the same name for his practice. He will be working with Ordelheide and Dr. George McKee in the dental chairs while Elizabeth helps Dana with the office management. "Andrew and Elizabeth are committed to making sure the community is cared for throughout this leadership transition," said Sherwood. "They will stay as long as is necessary to make sure that the practice is running smoothly for the community."
"This community deserves to have world class dental care right here, and that is what we always wanted to build, and we have," said Andrew Ordelheide. "It doesn't matter who leads it moving forward because it was designed to endure and be a place where people can come and be served as a human and not as a number," he added.
The Ordelheides will most likely stay and help with the business at least through September. Sherwood said he would strive to have at least two dentists available at any time. He said he has always loved the sciences and considered a career in medicine as a physician, but was told that as a dentist he could own his own business, be his own boss, and work with his hands in an artistic way. It also gave him the opportunity to provide a "listening ear in a medical setting." He observed a friend in the dental field and determined dentistry would be a good fit for his personality and interests. Hours at MT West Dentist will be Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will have a team of 12 staff members - which includes the three dentists - on duty each day.
"It is time now to pass own the responsibility of stewardship to someone who has the energy and follow through to honor the systems that were created," said Ordelheide. "We're proud to pass off the legacy to someone who will continue to honor its goals and values."