NORTH LIBERTY — Dr. Cody Kriegel says he got into dentistry because “a nice smile can change someone’s life.”
And he became a business owner because he wanted to use a different kind of dental treatment to give people their nice smiles.
Kriegel, with his wife, Allison, opened Corridor Dental in North Liberty on May 1. There, Kriegel practices biomimetic dentistry, which uses minimally invasive, conservative techniques to treat damaged teeth using dental restorative materials that mimic the natural tooth material.
“When you do a crown, you remove 60 to 70 percent of healthy tooth structure that doesn’t need to be replaced,” he said, referring to traditional dentistry procedures. “You go from a weak tooth to a really weak tooth. It’s a backward process.”
Kriegel, who grew up in the Troy Mills and Coggon area, graduated from Coe College. He considered going to medical school, but decided dentistry was a better fit.
“It’s a blending of engineering, art and a medical background,” he said. “It’s a cool career path.”
After graduating from the University of Iowa dental school in 2015, Kriegel followed the typical route of a new dentist by working as an associate in an existing private practice. After a year, he left that practice to spend six month in Illinois learning surgery and implant skills.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
When he returned to Iowa, he went to work at a corporate dental practice in Iowa City. But he didn’t like the “numbers game” of a corporate practice or the corporate constraints on the techniques he could use.
“I saw dentistry different from what I was surrounded by,” he said. “A minimally invasive approach is not traditional. I did a lot of research about how we as dentists can do more with less.”
Last year, three months pregnant with their first child, his wife told him to “just do it,” and they began looking for a location to open their own practice. They quickly settled on a highly visible location off Interstate 380 in North Liberty, after demographic research showed the rapidly growing area had room for a new dental practice.
Building a practice from the ground up meant purchasing all new equipment and building a patient pool from nothing. And the move threw Kriegel into the “entirely different world” of being a business owner.
“They don’t teach a minute of business in dental school,” he said.
To compensate, the Kreigels established a support team that includes a lawyer, CPA and experienced practitioners who serve as mentors. They also hired an assistant who has a background in dental insurance.
Allison Kriegel handles the front office and marketing.
As they grow the business, they plan to add another assistant and two dental hygienists. For now, Kriegel is taking another non-traditional approach to dentistry — performing all the teeth cleaning himself.
“It give me an opportunity to build rapport with my patients,” he said.
l Know a business in operation for less than a year that would make an interesting “Ground Floor?” Contact email@example.com.
At a Glance
l Owners: Dr. Cody Kriegel, DDS, and Allison Kriegel
l Business: Corridor Dental
l Address: 2345 Landon Rd., Suite 300, North Liberty
l Phone: (319) 359-6700
l Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
l website: corridordentalnl.com