Wright Center

Wright Center in Jermyn

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and hence a wonderful time to stress the importance of putting a premium on your oral health.

The month-long observance celebrates the benefits of proper dental care and the invaluable work of dental hygienists. This year, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association has partnered with Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals Inc., on its NDHM “Celebrating Resilience” campaign, which will spread the message of resiliency among the dental hygiene community and its commitment to oral care technology and innovation.

With that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate all of the terrific dental care professionals throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, including our own highly committed dental health staff at The Wright Center, who operate out of our Scranton and Jermyn practices and provide safety-net dental services to the community as part of our patient-centered medical home model.

Our talented dental staff includes Dr. Joseph Ercolani, Dr. Caitlin McCarthy and myself, as well as five certified public health dental hygienists: Marisa Duchnik, Barbara Keller, Bernadette Lukasik, Jennifer Macejkovic and Gay Polt. I can say without hesitation that all of these outstanding professionals are completely devoted to providing exceptional dental care to our patients.

It is no secret that regular and thorough dental care creates beautiful smiles, but also leads to better overall health and quality of life.

Our teeth are something we tend to take for granted, but when we practice proper dental hygiene, we are keeping our mouth, teeth and gums clean and protected from tooth decay — aka cavities — and more serious forms of disease. That includes periodontal (gum) disease, which is caused by a bacterial infection under the gum tissue that progressively deteriorates the gums and bone, leading to severe pain and, quite often, tooth extractions. If untreated, gum disease may also affect other parts of the body, with recent research showing a potential link between oral infections and diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

As a result, we really need to be proactive about our dental health, from brushing and flossing our teeth and drinking fluoridated water on an everyday basis, to making regular trips to the dentist.

Here at The Wright Center, we offer comprehensive dental services to families, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. We have a sliding fee discount scale available to eligible patients based on family size and income. Our umbrella of services includes cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions, dentures, emergency care and oral cancer screenings.

A commitment to good dental hygiene really doesn’t take that much effort, but the long-term benefits are manifold. So, I encourage you to make the investment, because it will truly give you something to smile about.

For more information on The Wright Center’s dental health services, please visit https://thewrightcenter.org/services/dental.

Satya Upadhyayula, D.M.D., is a board-certified general practice dentist who joined The Wright Center for Community Health earlier this year and is accepting new patients of all ages. He previously completed an oral and maxillofacial surgery internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore. He lives in Old Forge. Send your medical questions to news@thewrightcenter.org.