By John Butters, The JOURNAL
Don?t tell Sergey Floryanovich, D.D.S., that America doesn?t offer opportunity.
?It?s wonderful here. You can still repeat the old saying ?If you have a dream, you can fulfill it,?? he said.
A naturalized citizen celebrating his 10th anniversary of dental practice in Washington, Dr. Floryanovich will soon be relocating his business to 1051 West Madison Street, where he has purchased the practice of Dr. Karen McFarland.
Floryanovich is the owner of Dental Care by the Square, currently located at 205 South Marion Avenue in Washington. The doors will open at the new location on Aug. 30.
?Our newer and larger space will allow us to add more functions to better serve our valued patients,? he said.
Floryanovich, or ?Dr. Serge? as he prefers to be called, left his native Belarus in 1995, joining a brother who had moved to Spokane, Washington. His reasons for leaving the former Communist country are several, but it was the government?s refusal to allow him to become a dentist that provided the impetus.
?They told me I could be a veterinarian. They would not let me be a dentist,? Dr. Serge said.
He also got crossways with the government regarding military service. A committed Christian, Serg said he was beaten by the Soviet military for refusing to take an oath that would have obligated him to kill.
?At that time, Christians were persecuted. They didn?t want people to believe in anything but the Communist Party,? he said.
Floryanovich knew it was time to leave Belarus, but at that time it was not easy; it took five years for him to obtain a visa.
But when he arrived in Spokane, he knew the wait had been worth it. Now married to his wife, Anna, the couple took whatever jobs they could find while he searched for a job in veterinary science.
Fortune came their way when a local veterinarian hired him and after finding his work was excellent, encouraged him to get the necessary licenses for practice in the U.S.
However, Floryanovich still wanted to be a dentist and his wife wanted to become a doctor.
?How could we do that? We had no support for this,? he said.
Taking a chance, they enrolled at Eastern Washington University where they both graduated with degrees in microbiology. When Anna was accepted by the University of Iowa College of Medicine, they moved to Iowa City and both enrolled at the university, Anna for emergency medicine and Floryanovich for dentistry.
?The U of I College of Dentistry offers the best education in the U.S.,? he said.
In 2008, Dr. Serge learned that his instructor, Dr. John Helscher, was interested in retiring from his practice in Washington. The two quickly became friends and Dr. Serge eventually took over the practice, renaming it ?Dental Care by the Square.?
Dr. Serge said his growing practice now needs more room. Not only has he added new equipment, such as his Cerek machine, but the services that go with the equipment.
?The Cerek machine helps us make crowns while our patient is still in the dental chair,? he said.
Dr. Serge has also added dental implants to his practice and has received a Fellowship designation for the procedure.
?Our goal is to continue to grow our practice and bring good care and health to our Washington residents. Washington is a very welcoming community,? he said.
Dr. Serge said one of the principles of his practice is to offer consistency in the care of his patients.
?We have a passion for the profession and we have a great staff to help them,? he said.
Employees at the clinic include Melissa Roundy, office coordinator; Rebecca Hotchkiss, hygenist; and Jessicah Ihrig, dental assistant.