Dr. Oshins has gypsy practice until upgraded clinic is ready

The Enterprise — Anne Hayden Harwood

Oshins’ smiles: Steve Oshins is a traveling dentist for the next few months, as he works to rebuild his Carman Road office, which was damaged in a December fire. Oshins says he can’t wait to get back to the comfortable surroundings with which his patients are familiar.

— Photo provided by Steven Oshins

Dental office damage: The reception area and waiting room of Steve Oshins’ dental practice on Carman Road is in shambles after a fire damaged the rented space shortly before Christmas. Oshins hopes to have it overhauled into a state-of-the-art office by June.

GUILDERLAND — Steve Oshins’ dental office was destroyed in a fire shortly before Christmas, but he remains hopeful that it will be rebuilt and better than ever by summer.

The office he rents, at 3905 Carman Road, sustained damage when a gas line supplying a rooftop heating unit broke.

He was closed for business at the time, but the other two businesses in the plaza, Ruggiero’s Pizzeria and Deli and The Dance Studio, had clients and customers inside. The people were quickly evacuated from the building.

The Guilderland Fire Department, along with volunteers from Guilderland Center and Fort Hunter, extinguished the fire within 15 minutes, but cut holes in the roof to access the heating unit, which was sitting between the peaks.

Oshins’ office, located between the other two businesses, was the hardest hit, particularly by water damage, from both the fire hoses and his sprinkler system, as well as smoke damage.

Oshins had dreamed of being a dentist ever since he was 6 or 7. He graduated from the University of Buffalo Dental School in 1992, and practiced at St. Clare’s Hospital before setting up in Guilderland in 2000.

He started his dental practice from scratch, and is now up to 800 patients. He called the practice his “baby” and said he spent more time there than at his townhouse.

In February, Oshins said seeing the damage to his office was no easier than it had been after it first happened. He is still in the process of getting everything cleaned, and then the holes in the roof need to be repaired.

He plans to design a whole new office and said the practice will be back “bigger, better, and stronger.”

Oshins has been working out of another local dental office since January, while one of the practicing dentists is on vacation, but his time there will expire this week.

He encourages patients to locate him through his website, www.oshinsofsmiles.com, or on his Facebook page.

“The community support has been great and patients have been very understanding,” said Oshins.

Prior to the fire, Oshins had begun offering his patients a Quality Dental Plan, which he described as an in-office dental savings membership plan, something he hopes to continue offering when he re-opens.

“Patients have been excited about that; it’s a good way to save money if they don’t have dental insurance,” he said. “We are trying to make dentistry more affordable.”

Oshins said he had a lot on his plate, but expects the whole process to go quickly. He hopes to reopen his office on Carman Road by early June.

“Although I haven’t really skipped a beat, I can’t wait to get back into my comfortable surroundings, in a location patients are familiar with,” Oshins said.

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