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Family dental office faced with tough decision
October 17, 2017

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MUNCY - Finding a good dentist, and one who is very accommodating with full services, might be easier than one would think. For in Muncy, there exists a husband and wife team who have been in business together for the past twenty six years. The family has been serving the Muncy and surrounding area since 1954.

The owners, Dr. Mary Bennardi and Dr. Thomas Barberio have come to a tough decision. Since the practice was first started by Mary's father, Rudolph Bennardi, the location has always been in the Muncy borough. Except for the first two years, the practice began in Montgomery at the Masonic Building before locating in downtown Muncy between 1956 and 57 according to Mary. "I was born and raised here in Muncy," she said.

Now the couple is at a crossroads. Since 1991 the family dental practice has been growing at a steady pace. The location at 42 South Main Street, and once a residential historic home, has outgrown the needs of the practice. "We need to expand," they said and for the past year have looked at land and property before coming to a conclusion. "We didn't want to pull another business out of town," Bennardi said. She and her husband Thomas met in dental school and combined their professional talents to family dentistry with Mary's father. "We don't want to leave here," said Dr. Bennardi who is also on the Muncy School board and raising three sons in the Muncy community along with her husband and partner.

With the newest state of the art technology taking up more space, having to hire more help, and opening up their practice to offer more services such as restorative and cosmetic work in addition to prevention, root canals and extractions, the two dentists definitely decided on expansion.

"We just hired another dental hygienist, and now we are up to three," added Dr. Bennardi. All of them are full time, and they anticipate hiring another one in the next ten years. "We need more dental chairs too."

"We do as much as we can here. We can make a crown in one day," Dr. Bennardi explained with the CEREC machine. It is a patented, registered machine that uses a 3D image of your tooth and makes a custom made crown with a color match all in one visit. The design and construction is computer aided to fit over the existing tooth. Crowns and bridges are made of zirconia and porcelain. No more second visit while using a temporary crown.

Another form of newer technology they have added is the 'All on 4' dental implants. "All the teeth are on four implants." This can replace dentures, making teeth more permanent. Drs. Bennardi and Barberio are working with local oral surgeons to place the implants. "Then we can restore them," said Dr. Bennardi. "And we may have to hire another auxiliary staff in the near future," she said in order to advance to a higher tech digital office.

In order to see more patients, Drs. Bennardi and Barberio will be adding more space to the back of the existing location. "We don't want to take dentistry away from Muncy," explained Dr. Mary Bennardi.

A construction permit was approved by the borough of Muncy and customers will notice the breaking ground. Tanglewood Construction is doing the work and an architectural plan was designed by Tony Visco of Picture Rocks. The entire process has taken almost two years of planning according to the dentists.

"We had to go through the Muncy Historical Society as well to make sure we met the historical requirements," said Dr. Bennardi. The additional 2700 square footage will be added to the rear of the building blending in with its original historic structure. "We are changing the waiting room and adding a full basement." They are hoping to get it under roof before the cold weather. A side entrance for patient parking will be added and parking in the back and the front of the building will remain the same. The handicap entrance also will be replaced.

"We have four operatories now, and will need to shut down one or two weeks to make the transition so contractors can move computer and electrical lines," said Dr. Bennardi.

Currently the family dental practice serves close to 3,000 patients, some who have been with Dr. Rudolph Bennardi from the start. And to this day, they promise to serve up to their motto by "treating patients the way we would expect to be treated."

For more information the Bennardi & Barberio can be reached at 570-546-3419 or visit their website for a full list of dental services.

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