ShareThis Page
News

Monessen dental group traces its roots to 1924

| Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011

Dr. Joseph M. Dudas Sr. began practicing dentistry in Monessen in 1924.

It became a well-known family practice as five sons joined him. Drs. Tom and Joseph Dudas practiced general dentistry, while Dr. Martin Dudas was an orthodontist and John and Richard Dudas did lab work.

Just two years out of dentistry school, Dr. James Belasco was working in the Century III area when a hygienist told him there was an opening for an associate with Dudas' practice. He joined the Monessen practice in 1986.

Shortly after earning his dentistry degree, Dr. Eric Ober was looking to purchase a dentistry practice. At the same time, Dr. Martin Dudas was looking to sell his practice.

"He and I talked and decided to go in together," Belasco said of his partner, Ober.

That's how the dentistry practice rich in local tradition evolved into the expanding practice of Belasco, Ober and Associates.

Belasco and Ober maintained the practice in Monessen for five years before moving to their current main office at 1108 Fayette Ave., in Washington Township. The office provided more space, Belasco said.

"With the new sterilization regulations, we needed to upgrade everything," Belasco said.
Belasco, Ober and Associates expanded, capitalizing on old, established practices in the valley.

The practice has satellite offices at 600 Furlong Ave. in Roscoe and at 144 Third St. in California.

The Roscoe practice was acquired from Dr. Charles Page in 2002.

The California practice was acquired from Dr. Richard Birch in 2008.

Dr. Joslyn McWilliams practices three days per week each at Roscoe and Washington Township.

Dr. Gina Rakosky, wife of Dr. Eric Ober, practices three days per week at the California office.

The California office also participates in the Medicaid program known as UPMC For You, one day a week.

Dr. Christopher Munn practices general dentistry, participating in the UPMC for You program.

At the Washington Township office, there are four general-practice
dentists as well as an orthodontist.

Even in retirement, Dr. Martin Dudas is still finishing some cases Dr. Gail Lundquist recently began practicing orthodontic dentistry out of the Washington Township office.

In addition, assistants see patients throughout the week.

Dr. Suzanne Coyne practices periodontology, diagnosing, preventing and treating gum disease. Dr. Brian Borodaty practices prosthodontics, the care of implants and crown and bridge work.

Two laboratory technicians work at the on-site lab, Cathy Furio and John Dudas.

"Having three offices allows us to reach more people," Belasco said.

"It allows us more flexibility of scheduling. In an emergency, if a patient can't be seen in one office, they can be seen in another.

"These (satellite) practices are smaller. Some people prefer that, while some people like the bigger offices."

Belasco evolved in the field from patient to dentist.

Treated with orthodontics for his teeth, Belasco said he learned about the guided growth form of orthodontic dentistry practiced by Dudas.

Belasco has been practicing dentistry for 27 years.

He depends often on the staff of more than 30 to get things done, Belasco said.

"I like working with a big staff," Belasco said. "The are a lot of young associates, and they bring a lot of new knowledge out of school."

He also enjoys improving the quality of life for his patients.

"You can make a difference in people's lives," Belasco said. "They eat better, speak better.

They smile.

"The daughter of one of my patients (recently) said, ‘Mom, that's the first time in three years I saw you smile."

Ober has lived elsewhere, but he loves the Mid-Mon Valley.

Ober said he also likes the flexibility of general dentistry.

"I get to do everything," Ober said.

"I do all of the different aspects of dentistry.

"I also like the people. The people of southwestern Pennsylvania are extra nice."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me