Pediatric dental practice coming to New Bethlehem | News

NEW BETHLEHEM – A Pittsburgh-area dental practice will soon bring healthy smiles to area children with a new location in New Bethlehem.

Concentrating in pediatric dentistry, Miracle Dental Associates will share building space with Dr. Benjamin L. Carrico at his Wood Street office beginning this October.

“I’ve always felt that a pediatric dentist is one of the more underserved specialties in Clarion, Armstrong and Jefferson counties,” Carrico said last week, noting that he’s wanted to see a pediatric practice in the area for several years.

“There’s a healthy population of kids that need to be seen, and there’s no pediatric dentist in the tri-county area,” he continued, explaining that it can often take up to a year or more to get into a specialist in Pittsburgh, and the drive can be intimidating for many people. “It just made sense to get a pediatric group to come north.”

It was that longtime desire that led Carrico to Dr. Brittany Kinol through a mutual friend who indicated that Kinol was interested in expanding her pediatric dental practice, Miracle Dental Associates, into a rural area.

“I’ve been practicing dentistry since 2004,” Kinol said, explaining that she began her career working in private practice, before moving into public health and missions work overseas. In 2016, she started Miracle Dental Associates to address issues of access to care in the pediatric dental population.

“My initial focus was on the mobile aspect, and then I directed my attention to establishing offices to accommodate more in-depth care,” she said, adding that children often need treated with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and IV sedation.

In 2017, Kinol opened her first office in Wexford, followed by two more offices in Greensburg and Pleasant Hills. Since then, Miracle Dental Associates has grown to include six full-time pediatric dentists and two part-time pediatric dentists. The practice also employs two full-time general dentists, including Kinol, and one part-time general dentist.

“This will be the fourth office,” Kinol said of the New Bethlehem location, noting that Miracle Dental Associates also provides tele-dentistry and mobile teams, the latter of which has been visiting Clarion four to six times a month since 2017, providing care to children in the Clarion Area and Clarion-Limestone school districts, as well as Clarion-Jefferson Head Start. “It will give us a more permanent location and more bandwidth to provide more comprehensive care.”

Kinol said Miracle Dental Associates will be at the New Bethlehem site Mondays and Wednesdays providing preventative care — such as cleanings, x-rays, fluoride and oral hygiene instruction. Starting in 2023, the office will be adding Tuesdays and Wednesdays every other week, providing services including nitrous oxide, minor restorative work and routine care.

Existing Miracle Dental patients can be seen at this location, and new patients, infants to age 18 — with the following insurances, UPMC for You, UPMC Dental Advantage, Cigna, MetLife, United Concordia and Dominion Dental — will be accepted.

“We’re going to start out gradually and hope to add more advanced services in 2023,” Kinol said, noting that she hopes to eventually bring tele-dentistry and IV sedation to the area.

“This is going to be a growing and evolving practice,” Carrico agreed, explaining that the potential addition of an anesthesia team will allow for some more advanced procedures to take place locally under one roof, without area families having to make a trip to Pittsburgh.

“I think that’s going to be the end benefit really,” he continued. “We’re going to kind of bring Pittsburgh to them.”

Kinol noted, however, that even with expanded services, there will still be procedures that her practice can’t address locally. When that occurs, some may have to make the trip to one of Miracle Dental’s other offices to see a specialist.

“We hope to make a small difference now and a more significant impact as we go on,” Kinol said reflecting on the possibilities of the new office location.

Although Kinol will be leasing space in Carrico’s office, the dentists pointed out that Miracle Dental services will not be exclusive to patients of the Dr. Benjamin L. Carrico, DMD practice.

“This isn’t just a referral base for our patients,” Carrico said. “I eventually want every dentist in the community and the surrounding three counties to be able to use Miracle Dental.”

Kinol concurred, saying that many pediatric patients will be referred back to their family dentists for their routine dental needs.

“We can be the dental home for those that don’t have one and will encourage continued care for those that already do,” she said..

Kinol and Carrico also mentioned that new services do not mean that everything patients experience will be unfamiliar and new. In fact, familiar faces will actually be among the staff of Miracle Dental, including Taylor (Shumaker) Grejda, a New Bethlehem native and a Redbank Valley High School graduate, as Miracle Dental’s hygienist, and Crystal Haines, a longtime resident, at the front desk.

Carrico expressed gratitude to Miracle Dental for their decision to locate to New Bethlehem.

“It’s great that they’re coming up here,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to be able to provide a level of care that we’ve never been able to offer in this area before.”

For more information on Miracle Dental Associates, visit www.miracledentalcare.org.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *