By Karen Zautyk
When New Jersey Monthly magazine came out with its annual list of the Garden State’s 364 Top Dentists “as chosen by their peers,” it included a name familiar to West Hudson residents.
Among the 60 orthodontics specialists cited in the article in last month’s issue was Dr. Dennis J. Fry, whose office is located at 487 Kearny Ave., between Oakwood and Pavonia avenues.
Fry, a lifelong resident of Kearny, has maintained his practice at the same site for nearly 40 years. Today, his staff includes an associate and five dental assistants. That and a busy waiting room attest to his popularity.
As noted in the magazine, orthodontics deals with “the straightening of teeth using fixed or removable appliances.” In other words, braces.
Posters and artwork decorating the office proclaim, “Braces are beautiful!” Which, these days they are. And maybe invisible, too. It’s a far, far cry from the mouthful of metal that persons of your correspondent’s advanced age recall.
In fact, asked how dentistry has changed over four decades, Fry cited “the materials, and the concentration on aesthetics.”
“More and more people, both children and adults, are looking for a beautiful smile,” he said.
This includes not only teeth straightening but also whitening.
For some people, a visit to the dentist can be anxiety-ridden, but Fry assured us that’s not the case at his practice, since orthodontics is “noninvasive.” And we can testify that the folks we observed in the office, including the youngsters, all seemed pretty relaxed and right at home. You could tell by their bright smiles.
Fry, born and raised in Kearny, graduated from Queen of Peace Grammar School in North Arlington, St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pa., and Fairleigh Dickinson University dental school.
After a two-year stint in the Navy, serving at Parris Island, S.C., Fry returned to Kearny and completed his graduate studies in orthodontics at UMDNJ in Newark.
As his biography notes, “this Kearny boy” is dedicated to his hometown and “has proudly served his community, not only as a professional, but also as a member of the Optimist Club,” which helps “the youth of today realize their dreams.”
Just as Fry realized his. Some of those dreams were dreamt in his childhood home, a house across the street from the Lincoln Theater. The Fry family no longer lives there, though.
“Today,” the doctor said with a chuckle, “it’s a dentist’s office.” For more info on Dr. Fry’s practice, visit www.frybrace.com. Or call 201-991-1253.