Editor’s Note: We spoke with Dr. Romesh Weerasooriya, one of the owners of Tarpon Shores Dental with offices in Englewood, Venice and Sarasota. The Englewood office is located at 1861 Placida Road (Suite 105). Please call 941-474-9548. Learn more at TarponShoresDental.com.
Dr. Mesh, when did
you come to Englewood?
My family moved to Englewood in 1977 when I was 7. I was born in Sri Lanka and our family moved to the U.S. when I was 2 and so I consider Englewood my home. I attended Englewood Elementary and Lemon Bay High School. I received my college undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and Dental Degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. I’ve been in practice here since 1994.
What would you like
to share about your brother and partner Dr. Shanaka, as well as your father?
I’ve had the privilege of working with my brother and fellow dentist Shanaka since 2000. Our father, Dr. Lakshman “Lucky” Weerasooriya, was one of the founding physicians of Englewood Hospital. He showed us by example what it meant to be a truly caring healthcare provider, that put the needs of his patients before anything else. He played an instrumental role in shaping the approach that Shanaka and I have towards our own patients and the profession of dentistry.
What’s the history of your dental business?
Tarpon Shores Dental was started six years ago as a patient-centric, multi-location, dental group practice. Shanaka and I merged our Englewood practice with the Venice practice of Dr. Scott Thompson, and then acquired the practice of a retiring friend of ours, Dr. John Quirk. His practice was located on St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota. In March of 2018, we opened Shore Dental in North Port. This practice has extended and weekend hours and is available as a walk-in care center for urgent dental care needs. One of the things that makes our partnership work well is that Shanaka, Scott and I communicate well and we split the primary roles of managing our business.
What are your primary services?
We provide general and restorative dentistry. That includes preventative dentistry, checkups and cleanings, periodontal therapy, tooth-colored fillings, all-ceramic crowns and bridges, dentures and partials, dental implants, teeth whitening, and emergency dental care. We are certified by the Dental Organization of Conscious Sedation (DOCS) to use oral medications to deliver a more comfortable dental experience.We also do porcelain veneers, all-porcelain crowns and bridges, and computer-aided smile design. Our Ceramist Kevin Davis does chairside customization of porcelain restorations. We have also taken extensive continuing dental education to treat and manage more complex, comprehensive dental needs. This includes full mouth dental reconstructions, with and without implants. Our website has more details.
What do you enjoy
about being a dentist and what are some of the challenges?
There are two primary parts of dentistry that really appeal to me. First is the artistic and creative element of dentistry that goes into treatment planning and the execution of the final result, be it a single tooth restoration or a full-mouth reconstruction. Second, I truly enjoy creating and building relationships with my patients. This is a critical component to truly understand what each patient’s needs are, what their wishes are for their oral health and then creating a custom plan for each person. The primary challenge I face as a dentist is the fear and anxiety that some patients feel about dental care. This is why Tarpon Shores is committed to creating a physical environment that’s peaceful and inviting. We also use oral medications to help manage the anxiety that some patients feel.
What would you like
to share about your family and your interests away from work?
My wife Jeneen and I will be celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary this July. We met at the University of Florida, and she’s a pharmacist at Englewood Community Hospital. I have been truly blessed to have a life partner that has been very supportive of me through my career, and a true friend. We have a daughter Maya who is a senior in high school this year. She’s planning on attending college in the fall, and we are still waiting to finalize her college decision (go Gators!). As far as interests away from work, I enjoy fishing and traveling with my family. Some of our memorable trips include hiking in Patagonia, visiting Sri Lanka to share my heritage with Maya, and our most recent trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ve also taken up road cycling to help counter my affinity for good food.
Can Englewood retain its small town charm with continued high growth?
There’s no question that Englewood has grown and evolved over the past 30 years. What makes Englewood so special to me is that it continues to maintain its small town feel despite high growth. Englewood is a unique community that has access to some of the best natural resources in the region, including scenic beaches, beautiful waterways for boating and well maintained state parks. As a business owner and a fisherman, I feel its important that we continue to foster growth while protecting the natural resources that make Englewood special.