Our History

Learn about our history at Orthodontists Associates of Western New York by watching the following educational video by by Dr. Dominic Colarusso Jr,. Contact our experienced Buffalo orthodontists today!

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Our history began with my father, Dominic Colarusso, Sr., who graduated from dental school in 1951 and practiced dentistry for eight years, after which he brought his family back to New York and achieved a certificate of proficiency from Columbia University in 1961. Once he had earned his certificate, he began his orthodontic career. Dr. Colarusso, Sr., gained many associates during the initial years of his practice, one which was Dr. Carl Gugino, who frequently traveled extensively around the world, teaching orthodontics. The doctors created large study clubs in countries such as Italy, Japan, Germany, and France, and they incorporated many contemporary European orthodontic practices in their practice in Western New York.

From a historical perspective, orthodontists were instructed to wait until children reached a certain age before commencing orthodontic work. This trend was more of a reactive approach to orthodontics instead of a preventative or proactive approach to treating patients. Dr. Colarusso, Sr., and Dr. Gugino, the latter of whom was responsible for developing the Zero Base Orthodontics philosophy, bucked the trend in their practice, creating a level or orthodontic treatment unlike anything else available at the time.

What we know as modern orthodontics started in the 1950s. Dr. Colarusso, Sr., and Dr. Gugino were already practicing orthodontics when the discipline truly began. In 1984, I graduated and joined the group of associates, and we purchased our practice in Olean, New York, though I commuted to the Buffalo area several days each week, beginning in 1984. By the end of the ’80s, my father and I were the sole practitioners. In 1993, we rebranded our practice as Orthodontists Associates of New York. We wanted to choose a name that reflected the fact that we are a group of specialists. We are not dentists practicing orthodontics; again, an orthodontist limits her or his practice to the field of orthodontics, rather than general dentistry.

At the same time that we renamed our practice, my cousin Dr. Steven Hietanen joined our team of associates. In addition to the practices that we had in Olean and Orchard Park, we opened a new location in Hamburg. Approximately seven years ago, we took on another associate, Dr. Andrew Dusel, and launched a practice in Lancaster. Throughout our four locations, our quality of comprehensive service and our long history with the discipline of orthodontics are second to none in Western New York.

At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile.

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