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Riverdale Dental continues to grow

August 18, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

When Markus Sherry opened Riverdale Dental 30 years ago in Pine Island, who would have thought it would become one of the largest locally owned dental care company in Lee County?

Today, Riverdale has six locations, including one in North Fort Myers at 13720 N. Cleveland Ave., which was named "Best of" by Neighbor readers. Locations in Lehigh Acres and Pine Island were also given the honor.

Tammie Stephens, the practice manager for the past 23 years, said when Sherry got started he was involved in the Pine Island community, starting up Pine Island Little League, among other things. Soon, the practice grew, eventually coming to North Fort Myers in 2005.

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Gemayel Aquino, second from left, and the team from Riverdale Dental, at 13720 N. Cleveland Ave.


"We didn't start up with that in mind. We have patients who have asked us to come to their area and just expanded throughout the county," Stephens said.

Gemayel Aquino, an associated dentist at Riverdale for three years, said it's quite an accomplishment, seeing as this is pretty much his shop.

"As a professional, you're always seeking to be the best you can be. That's what I do with all my patients. I'm happy to be recognized," Aquino said.

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Riverdale, which employs six full-time people and two part-timers, offers a full slate of dental services for people of all ages, including cleanings, fillings, crowns, dentures, implants, extractions, bridges and more. Aquino will also do more advanced surgeries that some in the area won't do.

Any trip to the dentist can be scary. It's never comfortable to have someone's hand in your mouth. Aquino said the most important part of his job is to make sure the patient feels at home.

"The biggest thing we deal with is fear. We spend time talking to them and getting on their level, relating to them and identifying those problems," Aquino said. "It really opens up the doors to them and make them comfortable."

Aquino said that fear of the drill and needle is why some don't go to the dentist for years and let their teeth go.

"It makes me feel awesome that I have the ability to alleviate someone's fear. I've been blessed with doing something other than with my hands," Aquino said.

Stephens said that practice has been happening at their six offices, which is why customers voted them the best.

"We care about the whole person and that's helped us build out patient base," Stephens said. "It's a great honor. Because we care about them as a whole and make them feel like family, it brings them back."

Riverdale also has offices in Gateway Fort Myers Shores and Buckingham.

Riverdale Dental is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 995-6200 or visit



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