DR. LAURA BRIDGES- Dental Health Center of Holmdel
January 9, 2017
From the age of five, Laura Bridges knew that she would one day become a dentist. And she did. Laura founded Dental Health Center of Holmdel in 1990, after receiving her DMD degree from Fairleigh Dickenson University. That she stuck to her young dream—more than successfully realized—is all the more remarkable for the glamorous professional paths she could have taken instead.
In 1985, in the middle of her second year of dental school (preceded by part-time work as a dental hygienist), Laura was selected Miss Bergen County and became first runner-up in the Miss New Jersey Beauty Pageant. A lawsuit erupted over the winner’s residency status, and Laura found herself in a media firestorm, giving daily TV interviews and receiving job offers from broadcast journalism bigwigs. “I turned them all down,” says the then 25 year old, who appeared on Page One of the New York Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. “Usually the pageants are a stepping stone for something in the media, but I was definitely more of a shy person and really liked the one-on-one interaction with people,” she explains. “I just wasn’t interested.”
Besides, Laura had two more years of dental school; and while she had also steadily worked as a model, dentistry
was her real true love—thanks to a childhood dentist with whom she had such positive and memorable experiences.
“That’s it,” the Jersey City native remembers saying to herself. “It’s what I’m meant to do.”
After Laura’s first year running a practice in Holmdel, she asked her best friend, Rosanna Santini, to join her. Dr. Santini, an NYU College of Dentistry honors graduate who, like Laura, practices general dentistry, is skilled in cosmetics such as veneers. Their goal, then and now, was to have a multi-specialty practice. “We’ve been able to attract a number of
world-class professionals,” Laura says with pride. Dr. Blaine Keister is expert in virtually all fields of dentistry, from implantology and pediatric dentistry to oral surgery and adjunctive orthodontics. Dr. Young Cho, who earned academic honors at the prestigious Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, is a widely respected periodontist. Continuing education—a priority at Dental Health Center of Holmdel from day one—that involves much time and travel, is as important as keeping up with technology, Laura notes. “Technologically speaking, we have absolutely everything that you can possibly put in a dental office,” she says. Included are an advanced 3-D Cone-Beam Computed Tomography
system, which provides precise dental and facial imaging for optimal treatment planning, and a sophisticated crown, inlay, onlay, and veneer fabrication, coloring, and fitting system called CEREC.
People come to DHC from all over, even flying in from other states—including Arizona, and as far away as Canada—because of the reputation and caring, stress-free environment that DHC provides, says Laura. These patients are mostly word-of-mouth, joined by many new ones from a very familiar source. “We’re now seeing multiple generations, children and grandchildren of long-time patients. Gratifying? Oh my gosh, it’s unbelievable!”