Mann Dentistry passes the “crown”
Mann Dentistry is officially changing hands. Dr. Ron Mann is hanging up his coat and, with his wife Laurie, will head east to spend time with his children and grandchildren. Mann said that he is looking forward to relaxation during his retirement. Mann said that though he is not intending on buying another practice, he may take on some volunteer work and fill in for dentists wanting to take time off. “But that depends on the next little while,” he chuckled. “I may just want to chase after the grandkids.”
In July of 1984, freshly graduated from dental school, Mann was eager to begin his practice in a small town. Born in Canton and later, Pierre, Mann said that he really enjoyed his childhood and wanted to raise a family in the same way. “It was sort of a fluke deal,” he said, saying that originally his sights were set on the Beresford/Tea area. One day, after expressing his desire to start a practice to a former dental school colleague, it was presented to him that the dental practice in Philip was for sale. Mann had traveled to Philip a couple of times during his high school years, so he was familiar with the community.
Dr. Ken Dietrich, the dentist at the time, was practicing out of the property that is currently across the street from the Philip Hospital (the property is currently used for housing staff). “I bought the practice on a Friday and went to work that Monday,” Mann said. After some time, the Philip Clinic was building a new facility, so Mann moved into the existing facility. Mann had hoped that someday his practice would be connected to the Philip Clinic, but logistically it didn’t work out. After 10 years of operating out of the old clinic, it was time for Mann Dentistry to grow. Mann Dentistry moved to where it is today on Philip Avenue, just south of the Philip Clinic.
When reflecting over the last 37 years, Mann stated that he got very lucky. “There’s a lot more to Philip than that highway,” he said, adding that the life he and his family built in Philip definitely worked out and was a good one. Mann said that he has enjoyed the Philip community and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to raise three children and work in Philip and out of his satellite office in Wall, all of these years. “That’s the highlight really, being able to raise a family here. Everyone has been so kind. I can’t thank them enough,” he said.
Mann said that he has had some amazing employees over the years and that his practice was built in part because of their exceptional service. “This is the fastest 36 years that I’ve ever experienced,” said Mann. “It has been a nice ride, and it’s gone by so fast,” he added.
Wednesday, March 17 is Dr. Mann’s last day serving the Philip community and surrounding areas. Dr. Kimberly Trask is purchasing the practice (including the satellite office in Wall) and will begin working in the clinic on Tuesday, March 30. The week and a half transition period will allow for Dr. Mann to clean out the office, as well as his home, which is also being purchased by Trask. “It’s also kind of funny how that happened,” said Mann. “One day we were at the house talking about the selling of the practice and Dr. Trask asked if we were selling the house too,” he added. After some discussion and a tour of the home, Dr. Trask was sold. “I think Dr. Trask will fit in perfectly. She’s from a small town and will be a good fit,” said Mann. During the transition period, there will be office staff as well as dental staff in the office. Appointments can still be made at this time. Dr. Trask will begin working on Tuesday, March 30 after her contract ends with Veteran Affairs in Sturgis.
Dr. Kimberly Trask is no stranger and in fact, prefers small-town living. Born and raised in Flandreau, S.D. (just north of Sioux Falls), she looks forward to the opportunity to raise her family in a smaller community. Trask is married to Joe Trask, from Elm Springs, S.D. and together they have two children, August (2) and Vivian (5 months).
Trask has worked in the dental industry for 10 years. She attended Augustana College for her undergraduate degree and the University of Nebraska for dental school. Following her graduation from the University of Nebraska, Trask became a small business owner with her father, who is also a dentist. Together they operated a private practice, with Trask doing so for seven years.
Following her marriage, the Trask family moved west river. She sold her portion of the practice, their house sold and in a matter of a few months they were settled in. In 2019, six months after the birth of August, she accepted a position with Fort Meade. “Going from private practice to government work, although rewarding, was very challenging,” said Trask.
Interestingly enough, Trask says that her father was the one who bridged the connection between her and Dr. Mann. “They knew each other while attending dental school,” she said. Everything seemingly fell into place after that.
Trask says what she is most excited for is getting back to seeing children and their families. “I am excited to not only get back to the small-town environment, but I have also missed small business,” she added. Trask stated that the current employees and office staff will remain the same, with the addition of dental hygienist, Aubrey Slovek.
Trask didn’t hesitate when asked what her favorite aspect of working as a dentist is, “Helping people,” she said. “It’s my absolute favorite part,” she added, saying that whether it is to help ease pain or boost self-confidence, she is up for it. “I know the chair is a vulnerable spot to be in. I work to get to know and build a relationship with my patients,” she said.
Friday, March 19 there will be an open house at the dental clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where community members can send their well wishes with Dr. Mann and offer warm welcomes to Dr. Trask. If you cannot attend the open house, the Mann family will be at the Steakhouse at 6 p.m.