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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2015:06:22 23:26:30

Dr. Erica Lesniak Burns believes a dream does not become reality through magic – instead it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

As the primary dentist at Century Dental’s Throop location, she is anticipating the expansion to Scranton, which is currently underway.

“I look forward to expanding my hours and allowing better access for my patients,” she said.

Lesniak-Burns was also recently appointed to the position of school dentist at North Pocono School District. She volunteers her time and services to provide dental exams for those students that may not otherwise be seen by a dentist, as well as speaks with children at Moscow Elementary Center in the month of February for National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Her career path in dentistry began in high school when her uncle, Robert Lesniak, an endodontist in Kingston, asked her to work in his office.

She said at first she had her reservations, and thought, “teeth? Really?” But she decided to give it a try.

“After only a few days, I fell in love with everything about dentistry – the interaction with people, the ability to help someone and just the overall atmosphere of the office,” she said, adding it was then she decided to pursue a career in dentistry.

Upon graduating from Scranton Preparatory School and Penn State University-University Park, she made the move to Philadelphia where she attended Temple’s Kornberg School of Dentistry. She graduated in 2006 and stayed in Philadelphia while her husband, Justin, finished his residency in oral surgery. The couple then decided to move home since they were both born and raised in the Scranton area.

Her uncle, Robert Lesniak, has been her greatest mentor.

“He knew that I had what it took to go into this field,” she said. “He believed in me and encouraged me to follow my dreams.”

Lesniak-Burns is also the first woman in her family to go on to college, let alone to go on to dental school.

The never-ending love and support of her parents, Glenn and Barbara, who have always believed in her and sacrificed to get her to where she has gotten to today, has been a tremendous help to her.

She attributes her success to hard work and dedication.

“It took countless hours and sacrifice from both myself and my family for me to get to where I am today,” she said.

She and her husband try to instill in their children – Emma, Noah and Madeline – the philosophy that you are where you are in life because of the time and hard work you put in.

“It’s not always easy, but in the end it’s the hard work and determination that made us successful,” she added.

Lesniak-Burns is a member of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, Scranton District Dental Society and Temple Dental Alumni Association. In her spare time, she enjoys doing Crossfit at Crossfit Vertex and spending quality time with her family.