“We want to make our patients feel welcome and at home,” says Dr. Kenneth Hancock, describing the philosophy behind his Olympia dental practice. “Anything to make them feel more at ease, that’s what we want to do.”
Dr. Hancock has practiced dentistry in the Olympia area for a decade now, and has 15 years of experience in the field. Originally from Chicago, he and his wife Heather are pleased to now call Olympia home.
“The people here are so nice,” says Dr. Hancock. “We just fell in love with this whole community. We really wanted to stay here and be members of the community full-time.”
After studying dentistry and graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1996, Ken joined the United States Air Force and served at Scott Air Force Base for three years. He then moved to a private practice in St. Louis before relocating to the Pacific Northwest in 2000; Heather’s family had moved to the area from Chicago, and they wanted to be closer.
Dr. Hancock then worked for the United States government, for the Indian Health Service, for six years before working part-time as an associate for a dentist in the Rochester/Centralia area while making plans to open his own private practice.
“We purchased this practice and made a few changes to make it more our own,” says Dr. Hancock of his building on East 4th Avenue, near the Olympian. “It’s been three and a half years and we’ve seen a lot of growth. We have wonderful patients.”
Calming blue walls, dark woodwork, and a warm fireplace greet you as you enter the lobby.
After a recent remodel, the space now has four brand new opatories, where most treatments occur. Warm wood tones, modern lines, and massive picture windows looking out over greenery framing the passing cars make the space comfortable, not clinical.
“I’m a very practical person and I wanted it to be functional, clean, but not ostentatious,” says Dr. Hancock. “I don’t want patients to come in and go, ‘Well, I see my dental treatment is going to pay for this remodel.’ That’s not the type of provider I am or the impression I want to give.”
The office also offers a separate space for younger patients or one-hour in-office bleaching.
Dr. Hancock describes himself as a good, general dentist, “kind of a meat-and-potatoes guy.” The practice does offer some cosmetic dentistry, but it’s not the focus. “I do a little bit of everything, except braces,” he continues. “For that, I’ve got really good providers in the area where I can refer patients.”
“I was always interested in science and medicine,” he continues. “I wanted to find something where I could provide good care for my patients and be able to spend more time with them.” Dr. Hancock likes that he feels no pressure to get patients in and out the door quickly. “I can spend the time to chat and get to know them.”
“I’m not really a shirt-and-tie person,” Dr. Hancock says with a laugh. “We’re pretty informal. We like patients to come in and feel relaxed. And of course we just want to give the best treatment we can provide for our patients.”
Helping make that happen is Dr. Hancock’s staff of two full-time dental assistants, a full-time receptionist, and a part-time denturist.
“My receptionist is very versed at weeding through the different types of insurance” – Dr. Hancock is a preferred provider for the vast majority of larger insurance plans – “and it’s great that we have a denturist available, so we can do immediate denture repairs. He does a great job.”
Dr. Hancock also accepts the medical coupon for young children. “It’s a great community service when we can see these small children and get dentistry done that’s needed and identify problems early on,” he says. “It’s really rewarding.”
Dr. Hancock and Heather – who works part-time behind the scenes at the office when not busy working as a nurse – have two sons, Connor and Parker. Dr. Hancock, his practice, and his family are big supporters of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and sponsor the annual cystic fibrosis walk, Great Strides.
If you spy a happy tooth costume dancing in front of Dr. Hancock’s office, that’s his 11-year-old son, Parker, who loves to don the outfit and wave at passing cars along busy East Fourth Street. “People wave back and honk,” says Heather.
Parker makes his way slowly and cautiously outside to pose for a photo with his dad, careening in slow motion under the bulky costume. “We always make sure he’s not too close to the street,” Heather says with a laugh.
Kenneth Hancock DDS
1401 East 4th Avenue
Olympia, WA 98506
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 8am to 5pm