header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 6
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages

| Friday, Jan 22, 2021
John Scaramella DDS in an examination room with a Dental Cone-Beam Computed Tomography system that creates 3-D images of the teeth and mouth at his office in Newhall on Tuesday, 011220. Dan Watson/The Signal


When Dr. John Scaramella, a dental surgeon, moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1978, there were only 18 others in his field.

Now, more than 40 years later, Scaramella has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of dentists who have come through the SCV.

While Scaramella has since sold his practice in December, he said he isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, especially as his services are so needed in the current COVID-19 world.

Early years

After growing up nearby in Granada Hills, Scaramella said he watched the SCV grow, and looked forward to being one of the firsts in the dental field in the area.

“In 1979, when I opened my office, I was able to ride my horse to the back of my office, make my calls to my patients, then ride off — that worked out very nicely,” Scaramella said, chuckling.

Scaramella worked in the office suites of Santa Clarita’s first orthodontist, Dr. Alan Barbakow, on Lyons Avenue, where antique Western-themed memorabilia hung from every square inch.

When Barbakow completed another office, just as unique and only just down the road, Scaramella moved there, where he’s been ever since 1983.

Since then, Scaramella has seen Newhall transform from a ranch town into the bustling community it is today, though still he thinks it’s better today than it was back then.

Assisting the community where he could

In the early 1980s — before seat belts were widely used — Scaramella began working with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

“We had a lot of trauma in Santa Clarita, and we took care of all the facial fractures,” he said, adding that in addition to the car crashes on Interstate 5 were the crashes on sets at the nearby Indian Dunes filming ranch. “It was remarkable.”

John Scaramella DDS, left, and his wife Holly, a dental assistant at Scaramella’s office in Newhall on Tuesday, 011220. Dan Watson/The Signal

These surgeries were usually done at night after a full day at the practice, and though that meant sleep was infrequent, Scaramella said it was definitely worth it.

“We helped the community, and that was nice,” he added. “Luckily, seat belts and airbags cut down on the amount of trauma.”

Scaramella continued to assist the hospital for 35 years, and still goes on calls here and there.

Another passion of his was teaching, as he’s also certified in both advanced and basic cardiac life support, along with pediatric life support, CPR and anesthesia practices, and enjoys assisting other local doctors and nurses in learning the trade.

“I’ve been teaching since 1976,” he said, adding that he’s taught at his alma mater, University of California, Los Angeles.

Finding his successors

It was during these teaching experiences that Scaramella met Dr. Alexei Mizin, a doctor of dental medicine, and Dr. Gary Landa, an oral maxillofacial surgeon, with whom he would teach courses — and they would later be those he would pass the torch on to.

“He’s a legend in our oral maxillofacial surgery societies because he’s taught a lot of people, so he’s got big shoes to fill,” Landa said.

Mizin agreed, adding, “The knowledge and the tradition he has and has shared with us, is (invaluable).”

They are expected to transition the practice to the name Newhall Oral Surgeons, and while neither are new to the field of oral surgery, they maintain hopes of continuing Scaramella’s philosophy.

John Scaramella DDS at Scaramella’s office in Newhall on Tuesday, 011220. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We’re trying to continue his philosophy of patients first, but also grow (our services) into the realm of maxillofacial surgery,” Landa added. “There’s a potential to serve more people.”

“He has an impeccable record and reputation as a practitioner, and we’re trying to maintain the same brand, if you will,” Mizini added.

Not yet ready to leave it all behind

Scaramella had been thinking about selling the practice for a couple years, which finally came to fruition in December, though he was unable to go directly into retirement.

“We have a great community here in Santa Clarita,” he said, adding that not only have his employees been with him for nearly 20 years, but also have his patients, with generations coming into the office. “That’s been the hardest part — I’ve been taking care of patients, and I’ll still take care of the patients I’ve been seeing for a long period of time. … I still enjoy what I do.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also made him all the more willing to stay and help.

“They have lots of infections that come into the hospital, so if they can come in here, we can treat them and that prevents them from having to go to the emergency room or be admitted into the hospital, which they don’t have any room for anymore,” Scaramella said. “There’s a small, little window, … so if we can take care of infections here and free up a hospital bed, that’s a much better thing.”

For now, Scaramella expects to go from working five days a week to just four, leaving some time for fishing, he hopes.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages
Following months of renovations and preparation for a grand reopening, the city of Santa Clarita-owned ice rink has a new name and brand, The Cube - Ice and Entertainment Center.
City Reveals New Name of City-Owned Ice Rink
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 2,110 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccine Allocation to Increase Next Week; SCV Cases Total 26,403
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
State Updates Blueprint, Outdoor Activities and Theme Parks Set to Reopen
The Newhall School District announced Friday the implementation of the first Junior Kindergarten program in the Santa Clarita Valley which will offer students who turn five years old between July 1 and Sept. 1 the opportunity to enroll in school and enjoy the benefits that both Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten currently provide.
Newhall School District Announces First Junior Kindergarten Program in SCV
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
SCV Adventure Play Foundation to Host Virtual Spring Thing Fling Fundraiser
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Broadway Maestra Georgia Stitt to Speak at COC’s Virtual Insight Series
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
Valencia-Based Lundgren Management Inks 5-Year Deal with El Camino Community College District
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
City Looking for Teams to Compete in ‘The Incredible Chase’
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,327; Public Health Advises Against Non-Essential Travel
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Hart District Football Players Begin COVID-19 Testing, Full-Contact Play
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Project Scientist for Mars Perseverance Continues Caltech’s Lecture Series
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
L.A. County Library, LACMA Partner to Offer Virtual Arts Programs
Santa Clarita LLC, which owns the undeveloped 900-plus-acre Whittaker-Bermite site, recently filed for voluntary bankruptcy, and is working to sell it to a global industrial real estate company for possible commercial and residential development, officials said Wednesday.
Whittaker-Bermite Owner Files Bankruptcy, Selling Land
William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members Wednesday discussed a potential March 29 start date for junior high and high school in-person instruction, provided the number of L.A. County COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
Hart District Mulls Over Possible March 29 Return
The Santa Clarita Valley is now home to a new branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, following a recent vote from the association’s board of directors.
NAACP Branch Coming to Santa Clarita Valley
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
Water Advisory Issued for Los Angeles County Beaches
This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the kickoff for the “California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge,” a global competition that will award up to $1 million to the boldest, most revolutionary proposals to eliminate the digital divide and expand high-speed internet access to all Californians.
State Schools Chief Kicks Off ‘California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge’
1940 - NYC premiere of "The Marines Fly High" starring Lucille Ball, filmed in Placerita Canyon [story] Marines Fly High
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 116 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 144th fatality since the pandemic began.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 144th Death at Henry Mayo; Decline in L.A. County Cases, Hospitalizations
%d bloggers like this: