Kinder, gentler Marco Dental Care puts the customer first

Nobody likes going to the dentist. But everybody needs to, and Marco Dental Care figures they have created a system to take care of all your dental needs, and keep you smiling.

“There are a lot of advantages for the patient in the way we practice dentistry,” said Marco Dental founder Dr. Fred Eck, DDS. “We try to avoid problems through comprehensive diagnostic practice. This allows the patient to better under the problem, and provides more accurate diagnoses.”

Marco Dental Care utilizes all-digital imaging, allowing doctor and patient to view the scans from multiple angles, and instantly put up onscreen in office, examining room or share with colleagues for a remote consultation.

“We have a CAT scan machine in the office, which allows 3-D images, unlike an x-ray, which is 2-D,” said Eck. “Less than five percent of dental offices nationwide have them.”

Even their regular x-rays are digital, he said. “It’s all digital sensors – no films – which means no scattered radiation. With our system, there’s only a miniscule amount of radiation compared to regular x-rays.”

Another advantage, said Dr. Eck, is the comprehensive nature of the practice, providing “one-stop shopping” for most dental needs.

“You can get all your needs met, and never have to leave the island,” he said. “Pretty much all dental procedures are done here in our office – crowns and veneers, cosmetics, root canals, facial pain, TMJ treatment, complex implant dentistry.

“We do the Lanap procedure for periodontal work. It replaces the old ‘cut and suture’ method, so this is a non-surgical alternative. We do a lot of sedation dentistry, where you can relax and not even remember the procedure. Most offices don’t even offer that.”

Getting in to see the dentist is easy at Marco Dental, said Eck.

“Call us in the morning, and we guarantee a same day appointment,” he said. “We started that two months ago.”

They are busy enough to have outgrown their 2,000 square foot offices at the SunTrust Building on North Collier Blvd., he said, and are seeking larger quarters, as much as 6,000 feet. Dr. Eck divides his time between the Marco office and their Bonita Springs facility, and is seeking another full-time dentist for Marco Island to augment the work of Dr. Stacey Vlachos, DDS.

The success of the practice keeps them busy year ’round, he said, but there are seasonal changes.

“We see more emergencies in the season, broken teeth and the like. In the summer, we slow down and do bigger cases, more comprehensive procedures.” Many of their patients fly back down to have work done during the summer months.

While some consumers have embraced “dental tourism,” traveling to Latin American countries to find cheaper prices, Eck said Marco Dental Care can compete in that arena, too.

“That’s unique to our practice. If you want the best thing, we can do that. If you want the cheapest thing, we can do that, too,” he said. “They are not the same. We give people the option. We can give you seven different prices on crowns, and explain the differences. There is a wide range of price points available, and we offer free consultations.” Between the Marco and Bonita offices, said Eck, they field 40 calls a day asking for price quotes.

And they take dental insurance. “We participate in almost any plan, as long as it’s a PPO, and not an HMO,” said Eck.

But perhaps the most important thing is treating the patient as a person, not just a filling or a crown.

“We’ll talk to you, explain the options, and make sure you get what you want,” said Dr. Vlachos. The patients encountered at the office seemed to like the Marco Dental approach.

“I’m back for a second root canal,” said James Hanlon, “I had such a good time with the first one. They’re wonderful here, and the girls are very personable.”

Marco Dental Care is located at 950 N. Collier Blvd., suite 305, in the SunTrust Building. For more information, call 239-389-9400, or go online to

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