New dental clinic opens in Green Bank

Green Bank, W.Va. – Community Care of West Virginia is opening a new dental clinic in Green Bank, with a husband and wife dental team and a crew of dedicated assistants. Josh and Laura Abbott graduated from WVU Dental School in May and moved to Pocahontas County to begin their first practice.

Dr. Josh Abbott attended high school in a city, but says he’s more of a country boy.

“I went to Parkersburg South, but I actually, I lived outside of the city,” he said. “We had about a half-hour drive to get to school or to the store, so I’m kind of used to being out in the middle of nowhere. We lived out on a farm. But my wife, on the other hand, she grew up in Charleston. She was used to being right there and only taking five minutes to get places.”

Laura Abbott says she loves her new rural surroundings.

“I love it,” she said. “I love how slow the pace is and just how it’s beautiful out here. The weather is nice. We have a big yard for our new puppy. So, it’s just really quiet is the main thing. I’m used to big city life, you know, Charleston and then Huntington and Morgantown. So, I’m really liking everything out here.”

The former city girl says dentistry runs in her family.

“Growing up, my Mom was a dental assistant and my cousin is actually a dentist in Charleston,” she said. “And he, one summer, my tenth grade summer, he asked me if I needed a job and I was like, ‘yeah,’ you know and he was like, ‘I need an assistant and I could really use the help.’ Since then, I’ve just loved it. So, dentistry seemed pretty perfect.”

Dr. Laura Abbott seems well-suited to help people overcome dental phobias.
“There’s a lot of people that are afraid of the dentist,” she said. “One of my big things is I would love to help people get over those fears. One of the main things we learned in school was to get people here before they have issues, before, you know, it blows up and then they only associate the dentist with pain. I would love to reverse that.”

Josh Abbott talks about coming to a huge county that previously had just one dentist.

“It’s kind of a daunting thought,” he said. “We don’t know, really, how busy we’re going to be. We’re very happy to be here and excited for the opportunity to be able to help the people that are in that kind of a need. Because I know it is hard if you have to drive an hour or two to get somewhere.”

Office manager Donna Shearer says Community Care has been working for years to improve dental access here.

“They were at Northern Pocahontas County Health Clinic for a few years, in Durbin, and they saw the need in this county – that we needed some facilities,” she said. “So, that’s when they decided to build the new clinic here in Green Bank, the medical clinic. And then in Marlinton, we opened that one up. And they knew that we needed a dental clinic and they worked really hard to get this clinic here. It’s been in process for a few years. This is our first dental clinic – the first clinic we have – and we are also starting to go into schools. So, we’re going to be school-based health.”

Head dental assistant Kristin Buzzard grew up on Droop Mountain.

“I call it Andy Griffith-ville,” she said. “It’s a very tiny town. Everybody knows everybody. And I’ll tell you – it’s very local and I absolutely loved it. But, I’ll tell you, we definitely need dentists around here.
“I actually went to Dr. Shaw. I loved him. He was a customer of my Dad’s and I knew him for a very long time and he is absolutely wonderful. He was – he was a very good dentist.”

Dental hygienist Cristina Liptrap, from Buckeye, brings a lot of experience to the new clinic.

“I’ve been doing hygiene since 1998, since I’ve been in school,” she said. “So, I’ve been doing it for about 14 years. And I help people with toothaches; I help people with daily cleanings and just taking care of their teeth and learning how to care for their teeth, if they don’t know how to do it. I help the community, because there is such a need for a dentist here, so, we’re excited to have some new dentists here.”

The new clinic will provide a wide range of dental services, including extractions and root canals. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 304-456-5439.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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