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Dentist office in Luzerne County provides for patients with special needs

The facility in Plains Township helps patients with complex medical or behavioral challenges who are often overlooked.

PLAINS, Pa. — A new dentist office has opened its doors in Plains Township with a specialty that Dr. Laura Holena says is often overlooked. 

"We cater to both children and special needs, patients that otherwise would not be able to get treatment in a regular dental office, whether it's because of behavioral needs, medical needs. We take care of very complex medical conditions as well as behavioral patients," Dr. Holena said. 

She says there is a big need for this kind of dentistry. 

"Our area has a huge need, so from where I am here, we draw patients from about a three-hour radius. So we pull patients from north Philadelphia to the New York border to the New Jersey border out through State College. Patients are seeking this kind of care," Dr. Holena said. "I do see patients now even that are in their 20s and 30s that have never been seen by a dentist before because they say that they've never known that this was out there."

You can see the dedication to the mission all over the office at Special Care Smiles in Plains Township.

"I try to buy pieces from patients that I see as well so that when they come in, they get to see their artwork on display," said Dr. Holena. "This entire office was designed right from the ground up based on the patient base that I wanted, so our treatment rooms have wider entries that we could fit gurneys and wheelchairs into them. We have a console room that's completely wheelchair-accessible. We have decorations, even in the console room, to make our patients feel comfortable. There's like a wheelchair and crutches, so that way they see things that you know they may not see in other offices."

Special Care Smiles is hosting an open house this weekend on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is inviting anyone interested in specialized care to stop by for some games, giveaways, and, oddly enough, ice cream.