Taking Care of Teeth: Larson Orthodontic Specialists
husband-and-wife team have big plans for new, centralized office in Altoona’s River Prairie
Larson Orthodontic Specialists is busy building more than better smiles these days: The family business is also building a beautiful new office in Altoona’s River Prairie.
Drs. Matt Larson and Katie Miettunen Larson recently broke ground on what will become a brand-new 9,000-square-foot office, providing plenty of room for the team and patients of the growing orthodontic business. Built by Hoeft Builders – who also remodeled the Larsons’ Eau Claire office – the new location is expected to be finished by late this year.
Located at the corner of Meadowlark Lane and Blazing Star Boulevard next to Cabin Coffee, the new clinic will give patients a scenic panorama of the nearby park as well as easy access to all of River Prairie’s commercial and recreational amenities.
“We really love what we do, and I think having this great space to work out of is going to make our work day that much more enjoyable and fun,” Dr. Katie said.
The couple opened their practice at its current location in 2012, and they have expanded and remodeled it several times. But as the business has grown, it has reached a point where the doctors can’t work together efficiently in the current clinic, Dr. Matt explained.
“We really love what we do, and I think having this great space to work out of is going to make our work day that much more enjoyable and fun.” – Dr. Katie Miettunen Larson
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing space and privacy were already a primary goal for the Larsons. The new clinic will emphasize more distance and privacy for patients and their families with dividers between chairs and private rooms when desired. However, with ample natural lighting and frosted-glass dividers, they feel the design will maintain the open, friendly feel they have always strived to achieve. “River Valley Architects was awesome to work with and they helped us design this space,” Dr. Katie said. “We had a vision, and they really brought it to life.”
That vision includes accommodating the growing share of adult patients – nearly half of the Larsons’ new patient exams this year have been for adults – while also creating a space that appeals to kids. For example, a new waiting area for kids will feature a touch-free gaming system.
In addition to increased space and privacy, the clinic will create room for enhanced technology: The Larsons plan to add a cone beam CT scanner, which will allow them to capture 3D images of their patients’ teeth. Coupled with an expanded 3D-printing lab to create retainers and aligners in-house, the added technology will broaden the range of treatment options and improve the patient experience.
The new office will also allow the Larsons to merge their two smaller offices – in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls – into one centrally located facility, providing a greater availability of appointments for all patients. “We feel like we can build one really incredible office where we can provide all of these amenities and treatment benefits that we know we wouldn’t be able to do in two separate locations,” Dr. Katie said.
The couple added they are grateful for the support of the community that has allowed their business to grow to the point where building a new office is possible. “This new space will better reflect our brand and who we are,” Dr. Katie said.
Larson Orthodontic Specialists