By Sophia Ricco
ProHEALTH Dental wants Huntington to smile brighter. The company has opened its first dental practice in Suffolk County in the heart of Huntington village.
The company’s expansion to Suffolk comes with a brand new state-of-the-art office that opened on Dec. 3.
Known in the medical field for its sprawling network of urgent care, patients care and specialized medicine facilities, ProHEALTH is branching into dentistry services. After putting together a model that integrates medical and dental services at their Lake Success location, ProHEALTH Dental felt it was time to bring this care further east.
“We believe that this is the model of the future,” ProHEALTH Dental CEO, Norton Travis said. “It’s time to break down the historical barrier between medicine and dentistry and have these important healthcare professionals work together to improve the oral and overall health of their patients.”
The business came to fruition through collaboration with Huntington native Dr. Richard Rongo, who practiced at Huntington Village Dental for 15 years. Rongo chose to merge his practice with ProHEALTH Dental to “even better serve his patients,” he said. He will be joined by another longtime local practitioner, Dr. Israel Brenner, and by various specialists.
“Although, we are part of a larger health system, we’re still a community dental practice. It’s really important that we give our patients the best care since we live and work here,” Trish Rongo, marketing liaison for ProHEALTH Dental, said.
Since many people feel nervous or uncomfortable visiting the dentist, ProHEALTH Dental tries to create an atmosphere that is friendly, relaxed and patient-focused.
“The doctors here are very gentle and our hygienists are very experienced. I can tell you from experience, once a person comes in and gets comfortable here, the anxiety goes away,” Trish Rongo said.
ProHEALTH Dental’s expansive office is able to provide a variety of services, from pediatric care to oral surgery to orthodontics. The goal is to allow patients to have all their dental care under one roof. All ages are welcomed; Dr. Rongo’s youngest patient is under a year old and his oldest patient is 99.
“We’ve been taking care of Huntington mouths for many generations,” Rongo said.
ProHEALTH Dental is able to bring these services with advanced equipment that can be found in multiple rooms throughout the large office. There is a special area for children, called “pediatric bay” that has calming blue colors and fun artwork on the walls. They utilize the most advanced sterilization system in the business and capture advanced digital imaging x-rays, that give a full view of the upper and lower jaws, teeth, temporomandibular (the joint connecting the jaw to the skull) joint, and sinuses.
“There is no question that the future of dentistry is to serve the needs of the entire family and access the latest technology which is very difficult to do as a solo practitioner,” Dr. Rongo said. “The partnership with ProHEALTH Dental allows us access to expand our office hours while still offering the personalized care our patients have come to expect from our staff. The merger with ProHEALTH Dental brings us one step closer to recognizing the importance of oral health as an integral part of a patient’s overall wellness.”
By taking their level of patient care, known as the “dental home” approach, and upgrading it to a deluxe office, the dentists can make patients comfortable while using state-of-the-art equipment. But ProHEALTH Dental is hoping that if patients focus on preventative care, they won’t be requiring further services.
“ProHEALTH Dental is trying to merge the gap between medical and dental to give better overall health,” Dr. Rongo said. “You can’t be healthy if your mouth is not healthy.”
The dental practitioner works with ProHEALTH doctors to encourage patients to keep up with their oral health and visit the dentist twice a year, an ADA recommendation.
“If you have gum disease, this could allow bacteria to enter your system and this can lead to stroke, Alzheimer’s, it’s been linked to major chronic diseases,” Rongo said. “We want to get ahead of that.”
ProHEALTH Dental promotes good dental health for all and offers a VIP program for patients without dental insurance. For $249 a year, an adult will be provided two oral examinations, cleanings and x-rays, plus 25% off further dental care and $500 off full orthodontic treatment. A child can receive the same benefits plus fluoride every six months for $199 a year.
“We understand that dentistry can be expensive… We’re trying to not make it cost prohibitive,” Rongo said. “You can have anxiety going to the dentist, then there’s the anxiety of the bill at the end. We want to get rid of that anxiety.”
35 Gerard St, Huntington