William Lay, DDS, has opened American Family Dentistry at 325 21st St. NW in Waverly. The Blaine, Minn. native was previously practicing in the Des Moines area.
illiam Lay, DDS, wanted to get into his own practice but still stay in Iowa.
Lay was with a dental clinic in the Des Moines area, but had a restrictive covenant that prevented him from opening his own office around the state capital city. He looked around the Cedar Valley and found an office space here in Waverly.
So, on March 3, Lay opened American Family Dentistry at 325 21st St. NW. In the six months since starting the clinic, he said he’s starting to get to know the people in town.
“I’ve joined the Rotary club, meeting other people who have been in Waverly longer than I have,” Lay said. “Business is picking up, so I’m getting to know people through the office as well.”
American Family Dentistry provides general dentistry, orthodontia and periodontia, according to its website at afdwaverly.com. Lay does most of the general dentistry, and works with orthodontist Avi Goel.
He said starting up his own independent practice has been stressful.
“There’s a lot to learn, especially about running the business,” Lay said. “There are tax things and OSHA things and HIPPA things, you know, government regulations that you have to get accustomed to. There was a big learning process, and I’m still learning.”
Lay is originally from Blaine, Minn., about 15 miles north of Minneapolis, but born in Milwaukee, a third-generation Chinese-American.
His uncle and aunt, Kuong and Anh Kov, are dentists in the Phoenix area, so Lay was inspired to get into the field by them starting at age 8.
“My aunt and uncle went into dental school one after the other,” Lay noted. “I got exposed to that probably all throughout my teenage years.”
He earned his dentistry degree at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor after getting his bachelor’s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He said being a dentist is his way of helping people.
“Sometimes with medical professions, you have chronic illnesses, where they take months or years to get better, for dentistry, I can see the results of my work 30, 45 minutes later,” Lay said. “Definitely when we have someone coming in in pain and then have them better 30 minutes later, that’s a pretty nice feeling.”
He added that his patients appreciate the artistic nature of the field.
“Your smile is definitely the first impression for a lot of people,” he said. “A lot of people are self-conscious. It’s nice to give people that satisfaction.”
Lay said his goals for his practice are rather step-by-step.
“I’m just trying to get the office busier,” he said. “We really want to be known for having specialties in the same office.
“A lot of times what you have happen a lot … you’ll go to the dentist, you need braces, and have to go here. If you need something else, you go there. We’re hoping to build the office so that it’s a one-stop shop. It makes life more convenient for people.”