Watch your mouth, Catherine’s in town

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

CATHERINE KASPRAK sits in the reception area of Bridgton Dental Hygiene, which recently celebrated one year in Business.

Catherine Kasprak didn’t waste any time taking advantage of the law she and other dental hygienists worked so hard to get passed. Kasprak opened her own business, Bridgton Dental Hygiene Care on the Portland Road, in March of 2010 — just two years after the law was passed allowing dental hygienists to open their own independent practices.

“I am delighted to open my practice in Bridgton, and look forward to a long and healthy relationship with my patients,” Kasprak said. “My goal is your healthy, happy smile.”

As a four-term president of the Maine Dental Hygienists Association (MDHA), Kasprak and other hygienists lobbied the Legislature for licensure of an Independent Practice Dental Hygienist (IPDH), which was passed in 2008. The next year, she earned her Independent Practice Hygienist license, and was named the MDHA’s Registered Dental Hygienist of the Year. She now serves as the association’s immediate past president.

The law was passed in an effort to increase access to much-needed oral health care. This new designation of dental hygienist creates an entry point into the dental delivery care system, putting patients into the pipeline for any necessary treatment by a dentist.

“IPHDs offer a dental home for patients of all ages, and strive to maintain a healthy working relationship and referral list of area dentists,” Kasprak said. She not only offers cleanings and periodontal maintenance and scaling, she can also do temporary fillings, x-rays, sealants, re-cement temporary crowns and give both fluoride and desensitizing treatments.

It’s been a long yet upward climb to independence for Kasprak, who began work as a dental assistant in Boston’s Kenmore Square after graduating from Boston University in 1976. Three years later, she became a registered dental hygienist after attending a community college in her home state of Pennsylvania. All told, she has practiced dental hygiene in the general, periodontal and public health fields for the past 30 years.

Along the way, Kasprak also has been active in public service work. She has held various officer and liaison positions within the Dental Hygiene Association at local, state and national levels. She was also instrumental in the creation of Healthy Smiles Children's Dental Program at the White Mountain Community Health Center in Conway, N.H. She received the "Watch Your Mouth, Champions for Children's Oral Health" award from New Hampshire. Currently, she serves as advisor for the Healthy Smiles Dental Program at the White Mountain Community Health Center, and continues to see patients in a private dental office.

Kasprak also works hard to keep current with new procedures and products in the dental field. She continues to attend seminars and training classes; she received a Dental Laser Certification in 2004. Today, she and her husband Paul live in Fryeburg, after raising two children.

Kasprak’s dental hygiene practice uses evidence-based materials to provide the most up-to-date preventive therapies to help her patients reduce and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. She even sees children with their first tooth, or by age one.

Bridgton Dental Hygiene Care’s hours vary; for more information, visit her website at www.bdhc.me or call 647-4125.

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