IT’S AUTUMN, which means it’s once again time for our annual rundown of the country’s top dentists age 40 and under. This year marks a clean dozen: 12 years of the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40. (This means that the older cohort from our inaugural list back in 2011 are now—as they surely don’t need to be reminded—in their early fifties. Tempus fugit.)

It’s a credit to the profession that while we look hard from coast to coast for honorees, there’s never any shortage of fresh talent to fill the pages ahead. As ever, we’ve opened the ranks to Generalists and Specialists and organized them accordingly (and alphabetically). Pore over their career histories, marvel at their most memorable patients and soak in the wisdom, both personal and professional, they’ve accrued over their time in practice. (You’ll also learn which doctor once toured with the Jonas Brothers.)

The key to the long-term success of any industry—certainly of any medical pursuit—is a regular infusion of new blood to tackle the profession’s most urgent needs and work to solve its most pressing problems. This year’s 40 Under 40 fill that bill admirably and serve with great distinction. We’re sure you’ll enjoy getting to know them every bit as much as we have.


Elizabeth “Betsy” Carmack, DDS, a member of the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 in 2019, is also a member of the American Dental Association, the Vermont State Dental Society and the American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE). She and her husband, Tyler, co-own multiple practices in Vermont’s Manchester-Bennington region.

Brian Danielsson, DDS, MAGD is a general dentist who owns an eponymous practice in Ridgecrest, California. A member of the Incisal Edge editorial advisory board, Dr. Danielsson is also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Bansi Mithani Doescher, DMD is the head dentist and owner of Smile Team, with four practices located in the greater Philadelphia region. She graduated in 2009 from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Doescher is a three-time recipient of Philadelphia magazine’s Top Dentist award and was a 2021 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree.



IG: @thelandingdentalspa
Age: 38
City: Morgantown, West Virginia
Name of Practice: The Landing Dental Spa
Education: DDS, West Virginia University School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: After practicing as an associate for just under a year, Dr. Ayers came to realize that in order to care for patients in the environment she most desired, she’d have to join forces with like-minded dentists to make it happen. So along with Dr. Carly Lemley, Dr. Ayers established the almost resort-like Landing Dental Spa in 2011. Having practiced together ever since, the two doctors have nine full-time and two part-time employees and own their own building. A mother of two with her husband of 19 years, Dr. Ayers oversees the pediatric dentistry student clinic as a part-time clinical faculty member at her alma mater, the West Virginia University School of Dentistry.
Sage Advice: “Treatment-plan your patients based on their needs, not on the financial gain that could come from their treatment. It may take longer to get where you’d like to be financially, but you will have built a great reputation and trust with your patients. This, in turn, will grow your
patient base and your business.”


IG: @fusiondentalnc
: 36
City: Raleigh, North Carolina
Name of Practice: Fusion Dental Care
Education: DDS, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: After earning her doctorate, Dr. Bassiri completed a year of residency in advanced education in general dentistry at North Carolina’s Fayetteville VA Medical Center, where she honed her skills in understanding surgical placements and restorative dental implants, treating medically complex patients. She and her husband, Dr. Kiarash Bassiri, an optometrist, set out to live their dream of a shared practice, providing superior eye and dental care to their community. In 2014, the Bassiris opened their practice, aptly named Fusion Dental & Eye. Dr. Bassiri is the mother of two sons, Kiyan and Ryan.
Why She Became a Dentist: “My parents risked their lives to move my brother and me to America for a better future. I wanted to pursue a career where my passion and love for what I do would allow me to serve my community and give back to this country and honor my parents’ sacrifices. I love art, science and people, and dentistry proved to be the perfect blend of all three.”
Something People Don’t Know: “My brother, Dr. Erfan Imeni, became a dentist four years after I did, graduating from the same school. I have two brothers-in-law who are dentists as well, so we’ve become a big dental family!”


IG: @the_flossery 
: 32
City: Waltham, Massachusetts
Name of Practice: The Flossery
Education: DMD, FAGD, D-ABDSM, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Chebbi, a new mom, recently published the book Eat, Sleep, Breathe Oral Health: Why Your Mouth Matters and is working on a second. Her focus is on sleep apnea, jaw pain and the mouth-body connection, and she can speak about such topics with patients in English, Spanish, French and Arabic. She’s a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. Chebbi also practices in Abu Dhabi, where she is creating the United Arab Emirates’ first dental sleep center for children. She supports her Waltham community with free smile makeovers for survivors of domestic abuse and scholarships for college-bound seniors.
Most Memorable Patient: “Ms. M was middle-aged and had been sleeping poorly since she was a teen. I fitted her with an oral appliance, and she was in tears of joy and relief after waking up from a fully restful night’s sleep for the first time in years.”
Exciting New Trend: “Our medicinal approach to dentistry, such as silver diamine fluoride and xylitol, are helping us treat disease more conservatively and less mechanically while conserving as much tooth structure as possible. I’m excited to see the new tools we will be using to restore caries with minimal drilling, or using the body to restore its own tooth structure with the use of stem cells.”


IG: @my_sparkling_smile 
: 39
City: Sarasota, Florida
Name of Practice: My Sparkling Smile
Education: DMD, University of Louisville School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: During her junior year of college, Dr. Conrad lost her father, a dentist. Determined to follow him into the profession, she attended the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, then entered a corporate practice for
four years. She went on to expand her education to include conscious sedation, implant placement, grafting and geriatric dentistry. In 2014, she packed her bags and moved to Florida. Five years later, she purchased the office she was working in and founded My Sparkling Smile.
Why She Became a Dentist: “I saw the difference my father made. I spent a lot of time in his office growing up, and I saw how he put people at ease. A single tooth can make a person not want to share their smile with the world—so I’m passionate about creating an environment that makes people feel comfortable so they won’t
fear fixing the part of their smile they try to hide.”
Most Memorable Patient: “I was in dental school. I was talking to my patient during a denture appointment while melting the wax on her occlusion rim. I turned around to talk to her and my ponytail caught on fire. Luckily, another classmate
ran over and put my lab coat over my head and put the fire out.”
Inspiration: “My grandmother Opal Clarke taught me that you’re never too old to make your dreams come true. She started her catering business in her sixties and retired at 83. During that time, she fed two presidents, two governors and many superstars including Billy Ray Cyrus, Wynona Judd and Naomi Judd.”


IG: @dr_mday
Age: 29
City: Salt Lake City and Riverton, Utah
Name of Practice/Affiliation: Rose Creek Dental; University of Utah School of Dentistry
Education: DDS, University of Utah School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: A native of West Jordan, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb, Dr. Day attended dental school at the University of Utah and volunteers with the annual Give Kids a Smile event, as well as with University of Utah students at events around the area. She currently teaches part-time at her alma mater and helps with a considerable amount of dental research alongside fellow dentists with TRAC Research and Clinician’s Report with Drs. Gordon and Rella Christensen.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “Desensitizer and occluding paper. My assistants tease me about how often I ask for them and always make sure to have both on hand for every patient, just in case. They joke that I can resolve 80 percent of dental problems with desensitizer and adjusting occlusion.”
Inspiration: “There are very few female dentists or specialists in Utah. There’s a periodontist here in the Salt Lake Valley, Dr. LaRisse Skene, with whom I’ve worked a lot. She’s my inspiration in all aspects of my life. She has worked hard to build female representation in the Utah Dental Association, and she volunteers at dental events in the Valley. She has helped me navigate contracts, given me clinical and business advice, included me in study clubs and always has a listening ear. She’s everything I aspire to be, both as a human and a clinician.”
Something People Don’t Know: When she’s not running, cycling or hiking, Dr. Day can probably be found reading a thriller or mystery novel.


IG: @gloaestheticsatbridgeport 
: 35
City: Bridgeport, West Virginia
Names of Practices: Dieringer Dental; GLO Aesthetics at Bridgeport
Education: DDS, West Virginia University School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Dieringer spent her first six years in dentistry as a hygienist, after which she attended WVU School of Dentistry. She now owns and operates two businesses, Dieringer Dental and GLO Aesthetics, and is a member of the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics. Dr. Dieringer is also trained in Botox for TMJ treatment and is a member of organizations including the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association. She has also served as an adjunct assistant professor at her alma mater in WVU’s Department of Dental Practice and Rural Health.
Why She Became a Dentist: “I always had a passion for the profession and chose to make the transition [from hygiene] to advance my skills and knowledge while also gaining the ability to eventually own a practice.”
Exciting New Trend: “A new favorite of mine is the use of plasma-rich protein. The plasma component contains stem cells and growth-rich platelets and, when injected into the skin, accelerates the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin. It also improves skin texture and tone and reduces fine lines and scarring. We often use it in conjunction with our micro-needling services.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A 97-year-old hygiene patient who has since passed—I met him when I was just 22 and kept in touch with him through dental school. We were ‘pen pals’ for several years, as he stressed the importance of handwritten letters. He was the kindest soul, and we had the best conversations about hard work, family and living life to the fullest. Ironically, I now own the office in which I used to treat this patient.”


IG: @myidealdental
: 36
City: Dallas, Texas
Name of Practice: Ideal Dental
Education: DDS, Oklahoma University College of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: In addition to his daily practice, Dr. Doan is the managing clinical director at the burgeoning clinician-founded, clinician-led DSO DECA Dental, where his responsibilities include the management of all clinical training, as well as piloting clinical initiatives such as implants, digital dentistry, CBCT and AI. He’s currently working on DECA’s coast-to-coast expansion and assisting with clinical support for doctors throughout this period of rapid growth.
Why He Became a Dentist: “My mom. Where she grew up in Vietnam, basic dental care and dental education weren’t available for her. When [my siblings and I] were younger, she would make sure all four of us never missed a dental appointment, and to this day, she will remind me to get my cleaning and exam each year.”
Sage Advice: “Your hand mirror is your best friend. Learn to master it early; your back and neck will thank you.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I was a contestant on American Ninja Warrior.”


TIKTOK: @swoledds
Age: 33
City: Fort Hood, Texas
Affiliation: United States Army Dental Activity at Fairbanks Dental Clinic
Education: DDS, MPH, The Ohio State University
Why He Was Nominated: Currently an Army captain,
Dr. Geuy calls himself “just a regular guy.” A regular guy, that is, who, while playing professional baseball as a pitcher in the minor leagues, became homeless after a career-ending car accident. Later, with some assistance from family and student loans, he decided to return to Ohio State for his Master of Public Health and then dental school. The Swole Dentist now boasts some 1.1 million followers on social media. Up next: entering the Army’s two-year AEGD residency.
Tools He Can’t Live Without: “Dental tool: my 3.5 expanded field wireless light loupes. Life tool: music. Humans are programmed to enjoy music. If you don’t, that just means
you haven’t found the kind that you like yet.”
Exciting New Trend: “Social media, namely TikTok. It helps us connect on a more real, authentic level with the general population. When we put a friendlier, more familiar face on dentistry, have conversations with our patients about possible outcomes and discussion of risks and benefits, and set expectations early on, treatment acceptance and postoperative concerns and complications are alleviated almost entirely.”


IG: @ai_dentistry 
: 38
City: Allen, Texas
Name of Practice: Allen Institute of Dentistry & Orthodontics
Education: DDS, Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Haider never intended to become a dentist, let alone a business owner. The first female in her family to pursue a doctoral degree, she started college looking into a career in software engineering. She soon discovered it wasn’t a fit and began her path to dental school. After working as an associate for several years, Dr. Haider decided that she, like her physician father, would pursue practice ownership. She took a course in business ownership, found a perfect location near Dallas—and in 2015, with two children under age 4, opened the Allen Institute of Dentistry & Orthodontics.
Why She Became a Dentist: “I come from a pretty traditional Pakistani family; my sister, sisters-in-law and [female] cousins were married young and didn’t have careers. I was working toward a college degree because that was just the most logical step after high school. I wanted to be in a field where I could make a difference. I’m also good at working with my hands, so dentistry seemed like a pretty good fit.”
Sage Advice: “Go outside your comfort zone. Ask for help and surround yourself with good people who like to help others. Then, when you’re more experienced, you can give back to younger dentists whose shoes you were once in.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I love eating chocolate and have the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know—but I keep my teeth clean!”


IG: @cupsdentalboutique 
: 36
City: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Name of Practice: Cusp Dental Boutique
Education: DDS, Howard University
Why She Was Nominated: An owner, managing member and dentist at Cusp Dental Boutique in Virginia Beach, Dr. Hamlin is a 2019 graduate of the American Dental Association’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership and a recipient of the Pierre Fauchard Academy Award, among much else. She is a member of Airway Circle (a professional organization for those who deal with airway-related issues), the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals.
Most Memorable Patient: “My first infant frenectomy release that wasn’t my child. The response from the child and mother was so positive. It solidified my desire to continue to help families affected by restricted tethered oral tissues.”
Inspiration: “Boss lady dentists doing things differently all over the world.”
Sage Advice: “Don’t be afraid to be different. Do your best to identify problems but focus on the solutions rather than the problems. Finally, network and join organized dentistry. It’s hard for your voice to be heard when you don’t have a seat at the table. Network, earn your seat, use your voice.”


: 30
City: Seattle, Washington
Name of Practice: Seattle’s Downtown Dentist
Education: DDS, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: In addition to being an Invisalign provider, Dr. Kanack is a member of the Seattle–King County Dental Society, the Washington State Dental Association and the American Dental Association. He enjoys exercising, world travel and caring for his two Scottish Fold cats.
Sage Advice: “Dental school does not prepare you for what your life will be like in this profession. Be flexible and go easy on yourself as you adjust to your career.”
Inspiration: “My longtime close friend and [fellow 40 Under 40 honoree] Megan Morrison [see page 39]. One of the most kind, genuine and hardworking people I’ve ever met.”
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “Optrasculpt. I can’t imagine doing composites without it.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I started my own interior design and furniture refurbishment company in 2020.”


FB: @grovestreetdental
: 35
City: Jersey City, New Jersey
Name of Business: Revere Partners
Education: DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Krell is a general dentist with a business background. He’s managing partner of Revere Partners, the first independent venture capital fund focused on oral health. He previously built out the Barchester Bay Group, a portfolio consisting of more than 35 ventures, and has held key roles at medically oriented startups including New York City–based Simplifeye and Verena Solutions in Chicago. He oversaw provider and clinical growth initiatives at Quip, the oral health and subscription electric toothbrush company, and was a strategic provider of innovation and development at Oscar Health, which went public in 2021.
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “A tiny screwdriver—the kind required for every single children’s toy. I have two young daughters, so this is a very common request. It’s probably also good for tightening implants, but that’s beside the point.”
Most Memorable Patient: “My wife. She cried and said I was mean—not true! She denied every diagnosis I made. First and last visit.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I’m a big tennis fan. Roger Federer is my favorite player. I’ve attended every single U.S. Open since I was born.”


IG: @cosmeticdentistsofdallas
: 34
City: Dallas, Texas
Name of Practice: Hamlett & La Mastra, DDS
Education: DMD, LECOM School of Dental Medicine
Why He Was Nominated: A Dallas native, Dr. La Mastra attended Baylor University as an undergraduate before earning his DMD from LECOM. His practice, completely metal- and mercury-free, focuses on general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. He’s a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of Clear Aligners and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Backed by his experience and certification in Invisalign, Dr. La Mastra teaches nationally and is one of the youngest faculty members in Invisalign history.
Inspiration: “My grandfather, whom I was named after, who was a dentist and orthodontist. Also my mentor and friend Dr. Kenneth Hamlett—the guidance and advice I receive from him are invaluable in the realm of general and cosmetic dentistry.”
Sage Advice: “Hit the ground running with CE, like how to give painless local anesthesia and perfecting smile design to simple fillings. Dental school barely scratches the surface of what you need to know and how to be a good doctor chairside.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I am in the process of getting dual citizenship in Italy.”


IG: @dr.benlawlor
: 37
Cities: Auburn, Gray and Portland, Maine
Names of Practices: Maine Dentistry, Maine Dentistry Auburn, Maine Dentistry Portland
Education: DDS, Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Lawlor embodies perseverance and determination. One of nine children, he was inspired to become a dentist by the one he visited as a kid. His dentist treated the Lawlor family—who at times were homeless and experienced financial strain—at no charge, and in return, the future Dr. Lawlor helped around the office. Today, he’s the proud owner of three successful practices around Maine.
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “My intra- and extraoral cameras. There’s no way we can educate patients without showing them what we see. Once they see their teeth and their bite, something just clicks, and they feel grateful rather than think we’re trying to push treatment on them.”
Why He Became a Dentist: “I had two ambitions as a child: to become a fighter pilot or a dentist. I had less than ideal eyesight as a child, so fighter pilot was ruled out—and my dentist was influential in convincing me to embrace dentistry. I also liked working with my hands, and I wanted to run my own business.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I used to be a Registered Maine Guide and would guide whitewater rafting and camping trips in the Maine wilderness.”


IG: @thelandingdentalspa 
: 40
City: Morgantown, West Virginia
Name of Practice: The Landing Dental Spa
Education: DDS, West Virginia University School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: After working in Florida for two years after dental school, Dr. Lemley returned home to West Virginia to work in private practice. She and her business partner, Dr. Heather Ayers, opened the Landing Dental Spa and recently celebrated their eleventh year in practice. Dr. Lemley is on the faculty of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry’s Rural Health Program and has participated in her local Smile Program for the last five years.
Why She Became a Dentist: “When I was starting high school, my grandparents hired a man who had nothing. He was in his late thirties and didn’t know how to read or have any employment skills but wanted desperately to work to help his family. They taught him to read and took him to the WVU School of Dentistry because he never had the means to care for his oral health. He ultimately needed full-mouth extractions and dentures. I had the opportunity to see him smile for the first time since he was a child. This had
a profound impact on me.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A gentleman who asked me to set his ex-wife’s diamond engagement ring into his upper left canine. He ‘wanted to flash her a smile every time he saw her.’ After a lengthy consent form was created and signed, he left with a big smile.”
Something People Don’t Know: “My family and I were on three episodes of Family Feud with Steve Harvey. We won over $20,000!”


Twitter: @inertiadental 
: 32
City: North Reading, Massachusetts
Name of Practice: Inertia Dental
Education: DMD, LECOM School of Dental Medicine; AEGD residency, Medical University of South Carolina
Why She Was Nominated: If a beverage bar, massage chairs, warm towels and comfort dogs sound like what you’d find at a spa retreat, then Inertia Dental has hit its intended mark. Dr. Marcovici planned this exact experience when designing her practice. She had no existing patient base and opened her doors two weeks before pandemic shutdowns began—while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan and with a newborn daughter at home. Despite these challenges, Dr. Marcovici has built a successful high-tech practice.
Inspiration: “My father immigrated to the U.S. from a small village in Romania and opened his own practice as an OB/GYN by the time I was in high school, so I was introduced to business ownership early. I got to work there in the summers and loved helping people, but I didn’t love how my dad was never home for important events because of the crazy hours. I spoke with my dad about career paths, and he introduced me to the idea of dentistry for a good work-life balance and helped me find dentists to shadow in my hometown, including my personal dentist. I had my wisdom teeth extracted by him, and he allowed me to keep them to practice endodontic procedures later in dental school.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I competed internationally as a U.S. Women’s Open Volleyball player. My husband and
I are avid scuba divers, and he proposed to me inside a shark tank at the Myrtle Beach Aquarium.”


IG: @amandakmccauley
: 35
City: Bothwell, Washington
Name of Practice: McCauley Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Education: DDS, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Undeterred by the advice of many, Dr. McCauley quickly pursued a path to private practice while simultaneously starting a family. In 2013, the year she got married, she completed her AEGD at the Medical University of South Carolina, moved to Washington state and became an associate dentist. Within two years, she had opened a startup practice. Before her practice was six years old, she had earned her Fellowship with AGD, became a Kois graduate and had two children. Wholly committed to her family (two boys now 5 and 4), she leaves the office by 4 p.m. daily to pick them up from school.
Inspiration: “I want to achieve accreditation with AACD in the next five years while being a hands-on mom who enjoys world travel with my family.”
Exciting New Trend: “I received my new Desktop Health Einstein printer in July. I’ve begun beefing up my Exocad skills and streamlining my smile makeover process.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I was the president of my a cappella group in college [at the University of Virginia], UVA Hoos in Treble, and sing in friends’ weddings to this day.”


FB: @romemcclellandentalgroup
: 39
City: Kansas City, Missouri
Names of Practices: Rome McClellan Dental Group; Grain Valley Family Dental
Education: DDS, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. McClellan received a full scholarship from the U.S. Army to attend dental school, is a Dawson Scholar and has practiced in locations as diverse as Hawaii, Colorado and Illinois. He’s the CEO of a dental group that owns eight practices, all under the umbrella of Dynamic Dental Services Group, his own DSO. He and his executive assistant, Amanda Siegner (also an Army vet), created Veterans Dental Network (, a nonprofit organization working to bridge the care gap for vets transitioning from military to civilian life.
Exciting New Trend: “I love all things digital design. We have a great partnership with Align Technology, and together we’re able to take care of complex bite problems.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I completed a winemaking certificate from the University of California, Davis.”


FB: @marketridge 
: 31
City: San Antonio, Texas
Name of Practice: Market Ridge Dental
Education: DDS, Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: A native of Amarillo, Texas, Dr. Morrison is a member of the Texas A&M Odontological Honor Society and a recipient of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists’ Predoctoral Student Achievement Award. She’s also trained on Invisalign and Bioclear composite veneers.
Why She Became a Dentist: “I wanted to be in health care since I was little. In high school, we once had a career day, and a dental hygienist got me interested in the profession. I love getting to work with my hands, be creative and make a difference in people’s lives.”
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “My iTero.”
Inspiration: “My childhood dentist, Dr. Steve Austin. Once I decided to go into dentistry, he generously offered to let me work in his office during summers. He played a huge role in shaping me into the dental provider I am today.”


: 35
City: Salt Lake City, Utah
Name of Practice: Nelson & Tillmann Dentistry
Education: DMD, Roseman University of Health Sciences
Why He Was Nominated: During dental school, Dr. Nelson’s supervising doctor was so impressed with his personality and skill that he invited him to work at his practice with him alongside his son, Dr. Wesley Tillmann. A few months later, Drs. Nelson and Tillmann purchased the practice and built a new state-of-the-art facility near the original location. The practice, which grows by referral only, is staffed by friends from dental school. Greatly respected by his patients, Dr. Nelson has even been known to sing to them to ease their dental anxiety.
Exciting New Trend: “I love the flow of technology in the practice. The ease of being able to CT scan, intraoral scan and manufacture crowns and devices keeps getting better and smoother. Patients love that everything can be done digitally and all in-office.”


Twitter: @idspringfield 
: Under 40
City: Springfield, Missouri
Name of Practice: Innovative Dental
Education: DDS, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: One of only 300 Cerec mentors in the world, Dr. Olson is set on expansion. He offers preventative, implant and cosmetic treatments in his 29,000-square-foot, $15 million office, which has been open for over a year.
Most Memorable Patient: “I completed a full-mouth implant restoration for a young guy. Obviously, he had a better smile and this was fun to witness, but I wasn’t prepared to see how important the treatment was for his quality of life. The weekend after completing his final restoration, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a video of him driving a speedboat, laughing with his young daughter and honking the horn. I realized that the implants holding in his upper and lower smile were responsible for the moment, since dentures would have found themselves at the bottom of the lake. My wife could see the tears welling up in my eyes. I saved the video to my phone and tagged it as a favorite; I look back on it from time to time to remind myself of what we’re doing for people.”
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “The combination of 3D imaging between my Cerec PrimeScan and the Axios 3D Cone does more for patients than any tool in our office. 3D imaging is the heart and soul of our practice.”


: 39
City: Olympia, Washington
Name of Practice: Dr. Leah Olson, DMD, Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
Education: DMD, University of Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: A native of Washington state, Dr. Olson now owns
her practice in its capital city, where she has settled after moving around Washington with her husband. She recently completed a 10-month course on implants and has trained in gum rejuvenation under the noted Dr. John C. Chao at California’s Pinhole Academy. She enjoys taking her two children—a son and daughter—camping and to Seattle Seahawks games.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “My great assistants, Shamra and Hollie.”
Sage Advice: “A lot of nervous or anxious patients do a lot better if you explain what you’re doing before you do it. This isn’t the case for everyone, but the best way to go about it is to communicate. I have patients who do a lot better knowing what’s going to happen before it does, and some who don’t want to know anything. Communication is one of the most important aspects of the dental-patient relationship.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I enjoy playing [massively multiplayer online role-playing] games. Some of the ones I’ve played over the years are EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Day of Defeat, Rainbow Six Siege and, currently, Call of Duty—Warzone.”


IG: @royalcdc 
: 32
City: Pontiac, Michigan
Name of Practice: Royal Chiropractic & Dental Centers
Education: DDS, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: Though he graduated cum laude from Michigan’s Oakland University in computer science and engineering and has a background in artificial intelligence research, Dr. Oza pursued a career in dentistry. Working in his family’s practice, he dedicates his life to patient-facing care, while constantly keeping abreast of his other varied interests.
Why He Became a Dentist: “I wanted to be in a field that allowed me the opportunity to utilize my clinical skills in dentistry and medicine to improve people’s lives while still being able to apply my knowledge in computer science and artificial intelligence to come up with innovative ways to provide care.”
Exciting New Trend: “Digital dentistry. Like so many other fields that have been improved by technology, dentistry is finally getting its upgrade. Whether it’s digital impressions, 3D wax-ups or clear aligners, dentistry has just begun its digital upgrade.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I’m a total nerd! I love working with computers: tweaking them, building them and programming them.”


Age: 35
City: Richmond, Virginia
Name of Practice: RVA Dental Care
Education: DDS, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Pelais was the program director of Advanced Education in General Dentistry at his alma mater, VCU, which is the only dental school in Virginia. Mentoring is a huge part of the program, which he oversees in its entirety. It includes five resident dentists who focus on implant and digital dentistry. Though guiding younger dentists will likely always remain part of his professional life, Dr. Pelais returned to private practice this summer, eager to provide direct patient care once more.
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “Implant driver.”
Something People Don’t Know: Insert heart-eye emoji here: “My wife is my high school sweetheart.”


IG: @isaacsongentledentistry
Age: 31
City: White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Name of Practice: Isaacson Gentle Dentistry
Education: DDS, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Hailing from two dental parents, one a dentist and the other a hygienist, Dr. Peterson has been a part of the profession for as long as she can remember. She’s passionate about the relationships she builds with the people in her chair. “I honestly just love teeth,” she says. “I have a desire to learn, and there are always new techniques and new technology to keep my dental life interesting.”
Exciting New Trend: “Digital dentistry. When I changed jobs and moved to my current office, I was impressed by the amount of scanning being done. We try to scan every new patient, and it’s amazing to see their reactions to what their teeth look like. It’s easy to explain dentistry when they can see exactly what I’m talking about.”
Something People Don’t Know: Dr. Peterson enjoys golfing, cross-country skiing and biking—and was a member of the 2022 U.S. Olympic curling team that competed in Beijing.


Twitter: @capscrowns
Age: 34
City: Naperville, Illinois
Name of Practice: Caps & Crowns Dental
Education: DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; MPH, Nova Southeastern University
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Reen recognized her love of dentistry early in life, when she volunteered at dental-care camps in India. Upon graduation, she practiced for a few years; in 2014 she moved to the United States to earn her master’s in public health and her DMD. After four years of private practice in Indiana and Illinois, she started her own venture, Caps & Crowns Dental, in 2020. Her practice earned a prestigious reputation amid the pandemic, during which health care practitioners of all kinds struggled with procedural changes and inventory shortages. Within a year, she was nominated for Naperville’s best dentist through a vote by local residents.
Inspiration: “My aunt was the first dentist in my family. Along with a successful career, which gave her financial independence, she devoted enough time to her family. The great work-life balance that dentistry allowed her motivated me to carve out a similar path for myself.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I started my all-girls book club, Literati Ladies, during the pandemic. Every month we read women-centric stories, socialize, brainstorm and leave as happier people after these meetups.”


IG: @bethlehemdentalarts
Age: 33
City: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Bethlehem Dental Arts
Education: DMD, Boston University School of Dental Medicine
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Rudani and his wife, also a dental professional, co-own their tech-forward practice. In addition to his DMD, Dr. Rudani has an MS in public health from Tulane. His practice, which offers iTero scanners, laser oral cancer screeners and clear aligners, has a completely digital workflow. He’s a member of the International College of Dentists, American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics, American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Why He Became a Dentist: “To feel the joy and satisfaction after changing someone’s life by giving them the healthiest smile they can have. It brings immense happiness to me, reminding me why I’m a dentist.”
Sage Advice: “To be the best student throughout your professional career, keep learning all the time, as much as you can. With that, have quality time with your loved ones and enjoy the ride.”


FB: @runiondentalgroup
Age: 38
City: Gahanna, Ohio
Name of Practices: Runion Dental Group
Education: DDS, The Ohio State University
College of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: A husband, dedicated father of five sons, youth sports coach, entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast, Dr. Runion operates a comprehensive implant restoration practice that utilizes a fully digital workflow and a full-service in-house lab, focusing on same-day full arch restorations and handcrafted ceramic smile designs. He has two locations that serve central Ohio and surrounding areas. Runion Dental Group has grown to more than $7 million in collections in 2021 and is constantly improving its patient-centered services through technology and team training.
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “I can’t imagine practicing dentistry without our intraoral digital scanners and dental restoration design software—these tools have made practicing dentistry a whole new world compared to my analog training and early practice years.”
Most Memorable Patient: “I often remember one of my first patients in dental school. She was a young female who presented with a mouth full of unsavable, diseased teeth but also had a tumor in her neck. She thought her neck bump was from a tooth infection, but it turned out to be a large tumor. We formed a strong bond through all her treatment as I followed her through the different specialty clinics at the dental school and hospital. I was part of her tumor removal surgery and performed her dental rehabilitation. She taught me so much about the emotional connections we make as clinicians and how much impact we can have on our patients’ lives. I think about her a lot in my daily practice and the many life lessons I learned from her case.”


Age: 39
City: San Francisco, California
Name of Business: Retrace
Education: DDS, University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: After being recruited to UCSF to pursue a triple doctorate (DDS, MD and Ph.D.), Dr. Sadat became one of the world’s first engineers to begin developing novel artificial intelligence algorithms to identify pathologies on dental radiographs. During his residency, he saw a unique opportunity to apply his technologies to simplify claims processing and boldly left the residency. He later founded Retrace, the first AI health care clearinghouse providing real-time connectivity between dental practices and payers. Retrace currently supports 251 insurance companies, thousands of providers and millions of members.
Why He Became a Dentist: “To better understand oral health care delivery in combination with my background as a bioengineer to help develop novel technologies that can help both patients and providers.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I wrote and developed many of the core AI algorithms we use at Retrace in dental school over a decade ago.”


Age: 30
City: San Antonio, Texas
Affiliation: United States Air Force
Education: DMD, University of Louisville School of Dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Creator and host of one of the top general-dentistry podcasts, Dental Digest, Dr. Seibert is on a mission to provide free, high-caliber resources to dentists worldwide. She’s the founder of Dental Digest Institute, a continuing education program, and is a key opinion leader for Crest, Oral-B and Elevate. Within the Air Force, she’s an infection control officer and radiology officer, among various other duties.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “Teflon tape, believe it or not. I use it for everything from isolation to delivering an onlay/overlay to customizing wedges. I’m MacGyver when it comes to Teflon tape.”
Exciting New Trend: “I’m fascinated with overlays and how they offer a more conservative approach to cuspal coverage.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I know how to unicycle. I learned how in elementary school and was featured in the town parade.”


IG: @shinkawadental
Age: 32
City: Fresno, California
Name of Practice: Shinkawa Dental
Education: DDS, University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: Animated by a passion for helping others, Dr. Shinkawa is committed to increasing access to quality dental care and oral health for the underserved. He has worked alongside his father and sister at their practice for the last five years and enjoys developing long-lasting relationships with his patients.
Inspiration: “My dad has been a true mentor. He has been practicing dentistry for over 40 years and still loves it—I wish there were a 40 Over 40 award I could nominate
him for. Every day he shows up with a smile and a passion to serve his patients.”
Exciting New Trend: “The power of social media for dental education. I never thought I would have the courage to dance in front of a camera, but it has been such a fun experience making dancing videos with my family. Using these videos with dental tips has gotten the attention of many people who are laughing and learning while watching them.”
Most Memorable Patient: “I had the opportunity to take part in a local event known as Adopt-a-Vet, where dental providers offer necessary dental care to veterans. It was such a rewarding experience to be able to connect, build a relationship with and provide care to someone who has served our country.”


IG: @harbourdentalcare
Age: 39
City: Jacksonville, Florida
Name of Practice: Harbour Dental Care
Education: DDS, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Snyder heads a rapidly expanding dental group that employs more than 45 team members and seven associate dentists. He’s certified in IV moderate sedation and has completed the Midwest Implant Institute Externship Program. He plans to expand from three to more than 10 locations throughout Northeast Florida over the next five years. He also donates time and resources to a clinic he developed with Mission House in Jacksonville Beach, where he provides dental care at no cost to patients in need.
Most Memorable Patient: “Michael, who was referred to me through the Dental Lifeline Network. He presented with all his teeth, but I knew we would have to extract them all. He had one of the most extreme cases of maxillary tori and exostosis I’ve seen; a traditional set of dentures was not an option. Although this was a completely donated case, I decided to use an advanced alternative: five maxillary implants and three mandibular implants. Zest provided locators, Blue Sky Bio donated implants and Dynamic Dental Solutions provided free lab work. Michael was blown away by the results and now seems like a new person. He’s constantly smiling and reports that he has a newfound sense of worth and confidence.”


IG: @theivorydentalco
Age: 36
City: East Amherst, New York
Name of Practice: The Ivory Dental Co.
Education: DDS, State University of New York
at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: Founder of The Ivory Dental Co., Dr. Sweeney is also a clinical faculty and accredited member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics who travels around the country teaching health care professionals the ins and outs of Botox, dermal fillers, TMJ and orofacial pain treatment protocols. (She’s also a Buffalo Bills fan and an expert in houseplant cultivation—she has more than 100 of them.)
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “iTero 5D with NIRI technology. Having the capability to diagnose cavities through infrared technology before they even show up on X-ray has been career changing. I’m able to perform more-conservative dentistry, and patients are thrilled that their treatment doesn’t take as long.”
Most Memorable Patient: “My first Hybridge [implant] patient. He was a recently retired gentleman who was traveling to all
50 state capitals with his wife and just wanted to be able to enjoy a steak on his trips. She surprised him by putting off a kitchen renovation so he could afford to fix his teeth first.”


IG: @clearwavedental
Age: 38
City: Coral Springs, Florida
Name of Practice: ClearWave Dental & Aesthetics
Education: DMD, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Szpoganicz, ClearWave’s founder, was born in Texas, raised in Brazil and educated in Spain, California and Boston. His multicultural background, which includes mission trips both nationally and internationally, has fueled his desire to help people through dentistry. “Dr. Tad,” as he’s known, was awarded a fellowship in the prestigious International College of Dentists.
Why He Became a Dentist: “I come from a family of dentists: my sister, uncle, grandfather and cousins. However, it never dawned on me that I wanted to pursue dentistry until I took immunology in college. That course and its continued citation of pathology and the body’s interaction in the head and neck area furthered my interest. Additionally, there is no greater reward than having the ability to relieve someone’s dental pain, perform a lifesaving procedure or give someone the ability to smile and restore their dignity and confidence.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I am a brewer and make quality beers and wine—a hobby that started just before dental school
because of a challenge by my father, a university chemistry professor, who posited that craft beer has significant nutritional value.”


City: Logan, Utah
Name of Practice: Tawzer Dental
Education: DMD, Oregon Health & Science University
Why He Was Nominated: A father of four, Dr. Tawzer believes in investing in himself, his family and his future. He is currently a mentor/instructor at the prestigious Implant Pathway clinic in Phoenix. He’s also a commercial and residential real estate investor and developer. His investments include hotels, the Palmia beer company—and he even owns a dental assisting school. He and his practice were featured in Implant Practice US and Dentaltown, both online and in print, earlier this year.
Why He Became a Dentist: “I come from a long family history of farmers and construction workers, most of whom never graduated from high school. I wanted to pave my own path and follow my real, true passion. I love the surgical aspect of dentistry and the challenge it brings. There’s never an end to the learning it requires.”
Inspiration: “Too many to count. All my fellow mentors at Implant Pathway who continue advancing and educating the cutting edge of dental surgery. Dr. Josh Nagao, ‘Implant Santa,’ has been a huge inspiration. My wife, Whitney, who has supported me through countless weekends away while at CE courses. And my father and mother, who taught me at a young age the value of real estate investing and developing.”
Most Memorable Patient: “My daughter, who was 8 at the time, punched me while I was giving her anesthetic for a lower extraction. We still laugh to this day that I should have dismissed her from the practice for her physical aggression.”


Age: 40
City: New York, New York
Name of Practice: Alex Vasserman DMD
Education: DMD, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Why He Was Nominated: After completing his GPR residency program at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, Dr. Vasserman took a two-year implantology continuum at Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, where he earned a fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantology. A Spear- and Kois-trained dentist, he’s an active member of the ADA, the New York State Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is also director of the New York City chapter of the Seattle Study Club.
Most Memorable Patient: “He’s a very famous celebrity. I see him on television all the time and think, ‘I’ve treated his mouth!’ ”
Something People Don’t Know: “I used to be in a punk band called the Sharp Lads.”


IG: @doctorjocelynvida
Age: 35
City: Mission Viejo, California
Name of Practice: Vida Dentistry
Education: DMD, University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: “Dr. Vida” is a creator of beautiful and confident smiles. Excelling in cosmetic dentistry, she operates her Orange County practice with integrity and compassion, helped by a strong focus on her own spirituality. Endlessly working, she’s focused on building her practice, furthering her career and sustaining her commitment to excellence in dental care. She hopes one day to become a lecturer in cosmetic dentistry and have multiple practices in Southern California and Las Vegas.
Why You Became a Dentist: “Because I was born an artist, a healer, a natural leader and networker who wanted to be a detective, a doctor and a surgeon, help take away pain in emergencies, give therapy, be a business owner and make people over with stunning cosmetic procedures, all at once. Dentistry connected it all.”
Inspiration: “Women who have transcended barriers to create empires led by their own faith. Shamans and maestros who can spiritually heal by knowing so many divine secrets of the universe.”
Sage Advice: “Just go. Take the risks in front of you. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. And really learn to listen to your patients. Empathy and communication will take you to the most beautiful places as a doctor, not production or money. Don’t forget you’re supposed to be a healer.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I’ve walked on fire with Tony Robbins and got a perfect score on my Perceptual Ability test to enter dental school. My imagination is on another level, and I’ve been able to channel messages for strangers from other realms. Shhh.”


FB: @tusdentalnyc
Age: 34
City: Brooklyn, New York
Name of Practice: Tu’s Dental
Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: Born in Vietnam, Dr. Vu fled with her family to the United States in 1992 to escape their home country’s communist regime. She quickly established herself as a stellar student, earning a full-ride scholarship to Georgetown Day School, then winning a Gates Millennium Scholarship. She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated magna cum laude in chemistry. She’s a passionate researcher who has studied and presented on finding a drug to cure Kaposi’s sarcoma, and is deeply involved in charitable work with underserved children as
well as Vietnamese immigrants.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “A great mindset. When I started my business five years ago, I had a lot of anxiety and doubts about my capabilities. I got a life coach who helped me believe in myself. Coaching has given me the wisdom to know that a great mindset can
take you anywhere.”
Most Memorable Patient: “My office manager, Hazel, had come to me as an intern five years ago. Within a few days of working for me, she began to develop an abscessed tooth that made her face become swollen, and we were able to complete a root canal for her. This experience ultimately inspired her to become a dentist—and this fall, she will be attending NYU Dental School.”


Age: 33
City: Amarillo, Texas
Name of Practice: Windmill Dental
Education: DMD, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
School of Dental Medicine
Why He Was Nominated: Having grown up on a cattle ranch in New Mexico, Dr. Whetten is no stranger to hard work. In Amarillo, he walked local neighborhoods with his wife and two children, knocking on doors and introducing himself as the new dentist in town, and guerrilla-marketed himself to every business he could with offerings of donuts—not a bad business model for a dentist. In short order, Windmill Dental became a thriving practice with more than 2,500 active patients and 500-plus five-star reviews.
Sage Advice: “Find a significant other who supports the holy heck out of you. We know life has no problem consistently reality-checking you; you don’t need more of that. My wife is amazing. When I was thinking of doing a startup after multiple failed attempts at acquiring [a practice], she pushed me into it. When I have a crazy business idea, she’s all behind it. CE, go for it. Expenditures for the practice, here’s the checkbook. When I’m around her, I’m the best dentist and an incredible business owner. You need somebody you see every day who tells you how amazing you are, keeps your confidence high and supports your decisions.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I’ll be honest: I’m a heck of a dentist, but a hell of a cowboy.”


FB: @dentricity-dental-specialty
Age: 32
City: Covina, California
Name of Practice: Dentricity Dental Specialty
Education: DDS, University of Southern California School of Dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: For his extraordinary industry involvement. In addition to serving as a staff dentist at a nonprofit clinic for employees in the thoroughbred horse racing industry, Dr. Wong is president of the Chinese American Dental Society of Southern California, which boasts more than 400 active members. He’s part-time faculty at USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry and supervising dentist for the dental hygiene program at a local community college. He is also an independent consultant for Dental Lab, a supply company.
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “Earplugs designed for musicians. I use them every day in my practice to protect my ears from the high-pitched noises in a dental operatory.”
Something People Don’t Know: Dr. Wong is fluent in six languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Spanish and Taiwanese.



Age: 31
City: Salt Lake City, Utah
Name of Practice: Radiodontics
Education: DDS, Texas A&M College of Dentistry; oral and maxillofacial radiology residency, UCLA School of Dentistry
Specialty: Oral and maxillofacial radiology
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Andreasen, who lives in South Jordan, Utah, with his wife and three children, is the founder of Radiodontics, an online radiology practice. He works with providers across the country, offering CBCT reporting services. He also regularly lectures on basic and advanced CBCT interpretation and radiographic evaluation.
Most Memorable Patient: “I had a consultation with a doctor whose patient had developed burning pain beginning in the left jaw. The pain had spread and was causing horrible secondary muscle pain. The patient had been treated with multiple medications and had been seen by multiple doctors. Sitting down with the doctor to review the CBCT, we were able to immediately diagnose the patient with Stage 0 MRONJ—medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw—and get the patient started on appropriate treatment. This case sent chills throughout my whole body as soon as we figured out what was going on.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I have a full stormtrooper costume that I’m putting together for Halloween, for parties—and for any other event I can justify wearing it to.”


Twitter: @appelortho
Age: 35
City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Appel Orthodontics
Education: DDS, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why She Was Nominated: Alongside her father-in-law, Dr. Steven Appel, and her husband, Dr. Andrew Appel, Dr. Appel has helped create an orthodontic legacy in Philadelphia and its suburbs. The trio have built and developed five practices that provide exceptional orthodontic services to patients at every socioeconomic level.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “A diamond frisbee bur. It allows for the best incisal adjustments, or ‘manicures,’ at the end of orthodontic treatment and takes finishes from A to A-plus.”
Most Memorable Patient: “In my third year practicing, I had the pleasure of treating a college girl who underwent orthognathic surgery for a severe underbite. The result was beautiful, and she and her mom were so happy with the outcome that we all cried happy tears together. It had a lasting impact in my mind of how important and life-changing our work can be.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I was a competitive gymnast growing up.”


FB: @appelorthodontics
Age: 37
City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Appel Orthodontics
Education: DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Orthodontics
Why He Was Nominated: Having long known he wanted to be an orthodontist, Dr. Appel finally joined his father’s practice in 2013. He graduated with highest honors from Temple Dental and is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He earned his certificate in orthodontics from Tufts as well and is lucky enough to work alongside his father and his wife, Dr. Andrea Appel.
Why He Became a Dentist: “I grew up seeing my dad come home from work always happy. He loved what he was doing and never seemed overly stressed. It occurred to me that this must be an awesome gig.”
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “A bird beak. The fine-tuning that helps make orthodontic cases look fantastic can be readily achievable with some classic wire bending skills.”
Exciting New Trend: “In orthodontics, 3D printing is expanding in exciting ways, including brackets that can be printed in-office with custom prescriptions. There are fantastic applications for this technology, and the future should be bright.”


Twitter: @shadygrovepedatricdentistry
Age: 37
City: Rockville, Maryland
Name of Practice: Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine; specialty certification, University of Maryland
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: A board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Ball served as chief resident at the University of Maryland, where she cowrote the Guidelines on Restorative Dentistry for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Her office, which opened in the throes of the pandemic, focuses on children’s oral health, airway health and minimally invasive treatment options. Born in Iran, Dr. Ball grew up in Germany and now lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and two young children. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and partners with the Hope for Henry charitable organization, sponsoring the Super Rewards for Super Kids program.
Most Memorable Patient: “A gentleman in his late fifties. After I gave him his oral hygiene kit during our first visit, he took out the toothbrush and asked, ‘What is this?’ Despite never having brushed his teeth, and despite all of them requiring removal, he did not have a single cavity! It was a valuable lesson for me that everyone’s oral biology is different.”


FB: @northandoverdentalpartners
Age: 37
City: Boston, Massachusetts
Names of Practices: North Andover Dental Partners; OB1 Dental
Education: DMD, CAGS, MSD, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Prosthodontics
Why He Was Nominated: Born in Boston to a pair of dental specialists, “Dr. Oz” was seemingly destined for a career in the industry. He moved to London and then Pakistan with his parents, earning his BDS and becoming a doctor at age 21. Dr. Oz returned to Boston and earned his DMD, then taught at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine for a brief period. He continues to teach implant and esthetic dentistry, both in the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.
Why He Became a Dentist: “It was the perfect blend of art, creativity and patient care.”
Sage Advice: “Ninety-nine percent of your problems will come from 1 percent of your patients. Communicate well.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A drag queen for whom I made dentures. She was fab-u-lous!”
Something People Don’t Know: “I trained in ballet and jazz and am also an artist.”


IG: @drameerbaroudi
Age: 36
Cities: Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois;
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Name of Practices: Dr. Ameer Baroudi Beverly Hills
Education: DDS, Nova Southeastern University
Specialty: Operative and aesthetic dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: A world-renowned concierge dentist and lecturer, Dr. Baroudi views dentistry as a lifestyle—and as such he’s a jet setter who practices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dubai. Specializing in advanced restorative and aesthetic dentistry, he has been praised many times over for his achievements. He was the youngest clinical professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry; he formerly served in the school’s Restorative Dentistry department and was designated for a Junior Faculty Award at UIC.
Most Memorable Patient: “As a private concierge dentist, I’ve seen patients from all around the world with different backgrounds and beliefs. For one of them, I did dentistry on a private jet.”
Exciting New Trend: “Private concierge dentistry, which I’ve been doing for years, is designed for those who value unsurpassed convenience, exclusivity and the highest level of luxury for individuals and families.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House in 2020 for community service. I am blessed to give back.”


IG: @ptcorthodontics
Age: 38
City: Peachtree City, Georgia
Name of Practice: Peachtree City Orthodontics
Education: DMD, Medical College of Georgia
Specialty: Orthodontics
Why He Was Nominated: After college, Dr. Bragassa was accepted to dental school at the Medical College of Georgia on a Health Professionals Scholarship Program (HPSP) military scholarship. After serving for five years as a general dentist in the U.S. Air Force between 2010 and 2015, Dr. Bragassa and his wife lived in Charleston, South Carolina, where their triplets were born. He returned to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for orthodontics and to become an Air Force reservist. He completed his 27-month orthodontic program in 2018, and he and his family moved back to his wife’s hometown to take over Peachtree City Orthodontics, where he practices today.
Exciting New Trend: “Digital orthodontics utilizing 3D printing, in-house clear aligner therapy, customized braces and dental monitoring.”
Something People Don’t Know: “My wife, Michelle, and I have 10-year-old triplets. Two girls, Ava and Emma, and one boy, Bryce. I continue to serve as a general dentist in the U.S. Air Force Reserves at Dobbins Air Force Base in Atlanta. I grew up playing several sports—many mainstream sports, but I also raced motocross. These days I love to spend my free time playing golf, tennis, skiing and riding mountain bikes.”


IG: @riversideoralsurgery
Age: 36
City: Livingston, New Jersey
Name of Practice: Riverside Oral Surgery
Education: DDS, Howard University
College of Dentistry
Specialty: Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Why She Was Nominated: Bolstered by a strong history of public service, Dr. Brown is a founding member of WIND, which provides free continuing education platforms for female dental specialists. She has traveled on mission trips to Cameroon, Jamaica and Haiti, serves as a National Health Service Corps provider and volunteers with local food missions and Give Kids a Smile. Her professional background includes surgical experience in a number of hospitals and clinics. Dr. Brown currently serves as faculty to the residents at NYU Langone’s AEGD program.
Exciting New Trend: “Regenerative treatments are really exciting.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I’m pretty much an open book, but one thing people might not know is that I’m a connoisseur of ice cream. I love to eat it and come up with interesting flavors; I enjoy making ice cream in my free time.”


Age: 39
City: Dallas, Texas
Affiliation: Texas A&M University School of Dentistry
Education: DDS, FACP, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Prosthodontics
Why She Was Nominated: After spending a decade in private practice in New York and New Jersey, Dr. Chu moved to Dallas to dedicate her professional life to academia. She currently teaches at Texas A&M University School of Dentistry and is the happily married mother of a 6-year-old son.
Exciting New Trend: “Digital impressions, printing and milling laboratory restorations. Hopefully, technology will contine to make our job more efficient and patient care more comfortable.”
Most Memorable Patient: “During my prosthodontist residency in Veterans Affairs, I had the honor of treating a 95-year-old World War II vet. I enjoyed all his stories from when he was a TV broadcaster in the 1960s. He was able to name every classical music piece on the radio during our appointments. Since we shared an interest in music, he would often tell me I had the best taste of anyone in
the hospital. A real privilege in my career.”


FB: @bellbrook.pediatric.dentistry
Age: 40
City: Bellbrook, Ohio
Name of Practice: Bellbrook Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DMD, University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Dr. Carpentino moved to New York City after dental school to complete her general practice residency program. Next, she attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she received her Pediatric Specialty Certificate. She opened her own pediatric practice in Bellbrook, Ohio, in 2018, and has privileges at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where she performs hospital dentistry. She is a Diplomate of, and board-certified by, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Sage Advice: “Work very hard.”
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “For dentistry, it’s the dental mirror. For outside dentistry, it’s my hair straightener, makeup and blow dryer.”
Inspiration: “My family—my husband and two kids, Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma—who have always been very supportive on all decisions.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I love biking. Four or five days a week, as time permits.”


Age: 35
City: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Bryn Mawr Orthodontics
Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why She Was Nominated: A recipient of the S. Eugene Coben Award for advancing the field of orthodontics, Dr. Conn recently opened a state-of-the-art private practice that focuses on facially integrated orthodontics using braces and Invisalign. After dental school, she completed a residency in orthodontics at Temple University, where she also earned a master’s in oral biology. In 2020, she became board-certified; this year, her peers recognized her as a Top Dentist in Philadelphia magazine.
Why She Became a Dentist: “For a seventh-grade assignment, I wrote about wanting to become an orthodontist. I’m one of those—strange?—people who knew exactly what they wanted to be at a young age. My passion began while I was an orthodontic patient, and my career has been driven by my desire to provide patients with that same life-changing moment I had the day my braces were removed.”
Inspiration: “My mom, who moved to the U.S. when she was 18 and did not know any English. She was told she would never get into medical school. Against all odds, she graduated from NYU School of Medicine and is now a radiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering, a leading cancer institution.”
Exciting New Trend: “Custom digital braces. I use software to digitally create an ideal smile and bite for each of my patients. The braces are 3D-printed to fit each patient’s teeth perfectly. I can be more precise and achieve patients’ treatment goals quicker and with a high level of detail.”


FB: @phillypediatricdentistry
City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Philadelphia Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DMD, MS, MPH, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: In addition to her work as a faculty member at Stony Brook University and Temple University overseeing hundreds of dental students, Dr. Cordero-Ricardo has held positions in the American Dental Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates. She’s a mother, pediatric dentist, biomedical engineer and proponent of nutrition as a community partner
in The Food Trust, a Philadelphia nonprofit.
Why She Became a Dentist: “Dentistry is a beautiful balance for me. Science, art, human connection.”
Exciting New Trend: “Interprofessional practices that include dentists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and lactation consultants.”
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “Espresso machine. I drink a lot of coffee.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A child for whom I was carefully restoring a front tooth. He kept asking if I was finished yet, to which I responded, ‘You would not rush an artist, would you?’ When I did finish, he stood up and exclaimed, ‘masterpiece!’ I loved it.”


IG: @mycoloradosmile
Age: 34
Cities: Westminster and Winter Park, Colorado
Name of Practice: Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics
Education: DDS, University of Illinois at Chicago
Specialty: Orthodontics
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Cronin, born and raised in southern Illinois, was valedictorian of her high school class. She graduated first in her class at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as an integrative biology major, and was selected for a prestigious orthodontics residency at the University of North Carolina. She and her husband, Dr. Scott Czarnik, later moved to Colorado, where they opened their joint practice. Dr. Cronin is a faculty member at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s in Denver, where she serves on the cleft palate and craniofacial team.
Why She Became a Dentist: “Orthodontics allows me to positively affect patients’ lives by providing them with more confident smiles. This was my personal experience as a teen, and I never forgot the impact my smile transformation had on my self-esteem.”
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “My breast pump. It has made it possible to sustain my No. 1 job as a mom to ‘two under 2’ while working in a fulfilling career as an orthodontist and small-business owner.”
Something People Don’t Know: “Before dental school, I toured across the United States with the Jonas Brothers as a brand ambassador.”


FB: @mycoloradosmile
Age: 36
Cities: Westminster and Winter Park, Colorado
Name of Practice: Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics
Education: DMD, MS, University of Illinois at Chicago
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why He Was Nominated: A fan of all things related to his Chicago hometown, especially the Cubs, Dr. Czarnik graduated from the University of Illinois there. His path to dentistry took a short detour, as he traveled around the country researching bumblebees’ population decline before graduating third in his dental school class and being chosen for an esteemed orthodontic residency
at the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Dr. Carolyn Cronin, moved to Colorado and started their own ortho practice.
Sage Advice: “Never be above the seemingly small things you learn in dental school or early in your career. There are no shortcuts, and to be a true master of the craft you must know every detail inside and out.”
Most Memorable Patient: “Ava had a unilateral cleft lip and palate and extreme dental anxiety when she first came to see me. Over the course of her complex orthodontic treatment, I gained her trust, and we started each appointment with her teaching me a new song and handshake routine. Despite Ava living in Minnesota and I in Colorado, we still stay in touch. It was a truly feel-good moment to recently learn that Ava completed her final round of surgery while excelling in high school. She inspired me to volunteer as a specialist on the craniofacial cleft lip and palate team at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Patients like Ava remind me of how rewarding a career in orthodontics can be.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I received my bachelor’s degree in chemistry, but it wasn’t until after graduation that I discovered my love
for fermentation. Show me something I can ferment, and I’m all in. My current hobbies include brewing beer, kombucha and sake. Next up is kimchi.”


IG: @pumpkinpediatricdentistry
City: Fairfax, Virginia
Name of Practice: Pumpkin Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DMD, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: This board-certified pediatric dentist completed her general practice residency at Hackensack UMC Mountainside Hospital in her home state of New Jersey, then did her pediatric dentistry training at Howard University, a Historically Black College at which she had the highest grade point average over her two years of postdoctoral study. Dr. Floyd has served on mission trips providing care to children in Haiti and Morocco. Although she has vast training, it is her caring approach and gentle bedside manner that has made it easy for patients and their families to love her. When she’s not practicing, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two children.
Why She Became a Dentist: “During senior year of high school I looked through my college coursebook for a career that was unique and rewarding. I came across dentistry and immediately thought, ‘I’ve never seen a black dentist before.’ I thought it would be a great opportunity to help spread awareness and diversity for minorities in dentistry.”
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “Molt mouth prop. It allows me to successfully complete procedures in both ideal and less-ideal patient behavior.”
Sage Advice: “Be open to opportunities. Be flexible. Don’t be afraid to claim where you belong.”


FB: @gaocadmin
Age: 35
City: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Name of Practice: Greenland Advanced Oral Care
Education: DDS, University of Detroit Mercy Dental School; MS, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education; Maxillofacial Prosthetics & Oral Oncology Fellowship, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Specialties: Advanced prosthodontics, maxillofacial prosthodontics and oral/dental oncology
Why He Was Nominated: Before his first year of dental school, Dr. Greenland was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma. By the following May, he was in complete remission, returned to Detroit Mercy and graduated in 2015. He then completed an Advanced Prosthodontics residency at the Mayo Clinic, focusing on complete oral rehabilitation using removable/fixed prosthodontics and material science within a hospital multidisciplinary setting. He concluded his fellowship year at MD Anderson Cancer Center, focusing on maxillofacial prosthetics and oral oncology.
Most Memorable Patient: “My first denture patient in residency, a World War II veteran with a stubborn attitude and unforgettable stories. Though we started on rough terms, we found ways to schedule several denture checks because we enjoyed the conversation, and he was happy to smile again. I learned a great deal from him.”
Sage Advice: “Get involved in your local or state dental association. Years of leadership positions in governance and insurance affairs with the Michigan Dental Association helped me gain indispensable skills.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I collect and restore fountain pens and bottles of fountain pen ink.”


FB: @mhallortho
Age: 39
City: Nashville, Tennessee
Name of Practice: Hall Orthodontics
Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why She Was Nominated: Having faced the pandemic head-on, Dr. Hall didn’t shrink in the face of a challenge. In 2020, she opened her Nashville ortho practice as one of the area’s few female practitioners in the field. She’s a wife and mother of four children who loves to cook and coach her kids’ soccer teams.
Sage Advice: “If I could offer my younger self advice, it would be to go into business ownership sooner. You don’t need to work for anyone else, and you don’t need to wait for the perfect opportunity. If you dream big and work hard, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
Exciting New Trend: “The advanced technology around 3D printing is incredible. We’re a completely impressionless office using the iTero impressionless Scanner, and all our appliances, models and Invisalign are 3D-fabricated. Gone are the days of messy, gooey impressions.”
Something People Don’t Know: Long a successful athlete, Dr. Hall spent a few years as part of the U.S. Olympic development soccer team and was captain of her Division I team at Lafayette College.


IG: @lakeviewsmiles
Age: 39
City: Chicago, Illinois
Names of Practices: Lakeview Smiles and Sonrisa Family Ortho
Education: DDS and orthodontic specialization program, Universidad de Carabobo (Valencia, Venezuela); postdoctoral advanced clinical training, UCLA
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Jones, a native of Toledo, Ohio, was raised in Venezuela and trained in both hemispheres. Over a decade, she has owned and operated two multispecialty practices that she built via Instagram and word of mouth. Amid the chaos of the pandemic, Dr. Jones completed her second postdoctoral program. She’s currently working on a “pay it forward” study club, which teaches internationally trained dentists how to navigate the U.S. licensure process. To date, Dr. Jones has helped more than 300 dentists achieve their licensure goals. She was recently appointed a visiting faculty member at NYU School of Dentistry, her dream school growing up.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “My favorite podcasts: People and Practice, from Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein; The Illuminate Orthodontic Podcast, by Chris Setta; and A Bit of Optimism, from Simon Sinek. This last one is not specific to dentistry, but it’s beautiful to start your day with a good serotonin boost.”
Inspiration: “My mentor, Dr. Enrique Garcia Romero, who created a beautiful orthodontic philosophy with an unparalleled understanding of the three-dimensional aspects of occlusal plane management. He’s an example of how orthodontic treatment must be carefully planned and positioned to achieve the highest standard of care.”
Exciting New Trend: “Remote monitoring and virtual consultations. Creating the workflow for virtual consultations has been the silver lining of the post-pandemic practice and has forever changed the way I connect with my patients.”


FB: @hobokensmilespecialists
City: Hoboken, New Jersey
Name of Practice: Hoboken Smile Specialists
Education: DDS, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: A New York City native,
Dr. Kapoor makes use of her diverse educational background to support her career in pediatrics. Her undergraduate degree in psychology—childhood development, specifically—from Barnard College helped her hone her skills in reduction of patient anxiety. Dr. Kapoor has earned numerous academic honors, has been published in the New York State Dental Journal for her work on ectodermal dysplasia and made a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
Inspiration: “My mother. My parents were able to provide opportunities in education that they did not have. She has always made sure, irrespective of the obstacles, that I keep my mission alive: my desire to help people and provide them information in the most transparent way to empower them to make decisions about their care.”
Something People Don’t Know: “How involved in and passionate I am about my culture. I can read and write in Hindi and have been doing Indian dance since I was 3 years old. I am highly spiritual and passionate about meditation and relaxation techniques.”


FB: @dkosmiles
Age: 38
City: Lakeland, Florida
Name of Practice: Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics
Education: DMD, Nova Southeastern University
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why He Was Nominated: Upon graduation from dental school, Dr. Kelso joined the Navy and was commissioned as an officer. He served four years in San Diego; after an honorable discharge from the Navy, he earned his degree in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics from Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Board-certified, he is an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association.
Most Memorable Patient: “Do dogs count? During my military service with the Navy, I performed a root canal on a bomb-sniffing dog while deployed to Afghanistan.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I am the first person in my family to graduate from college.”


Age: 36
City: Roanoke, Virginia
Name of Practice: Drs. Farley and Kumar
Education: DMD, UNLV School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Prosthodontics
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Kumar served as an active-duty officer in the Air Force from 2015 to 2020 and received his AEGD at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base in 2015. While stationed in Japan, he was awarded the Commendation Medal for Excellence in Service, and currently serves in the Tennessee Air National Guard. He now leads a practice, which is limited to prosthodontics. He’s a member of Roanoke Valley Collective Response, an organization focused on addressing the opioid crisis in southwest Virginia, and is deeply committed to community service.
Why He Became a Dentist: “I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007. The university was rebounding from a terrible tragedy, and I wanted to start my life as soon as possible. I was working for a great consulting firm but felt a calling beyond consulting. One night, my best friend, Vlad, came over to my apartment for dinner and we spent the night talking about my passions: working with my hands, biochemistry, helping people, solving problems. He blurted out, ‘Why don’t you become a dentist?’ The thought stuck, and a year later I opened my acceptance letter to dental school.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A 55-year-old quadriplegic came to my office desiring to eat a healthy meal again. He had been in a devastating car accident at 40 and was slowly regaining function. Through limited verbal and handwritten communication, I discovered there was a funny, determined person behind that broken body. He would arrange transportation for the two-hour drive just to receive care. He would bring coloring book pages he made for me, and I would send him home with a well-fitting denture and a big smile.”
Something People Don’t Know: “When stationed in Japan, I would regularly catch and prepare my own yellowfin tuna nigiri. The secret is in the rice.”


IG: @exemplaroralsurgerychs
Age: 37
City: North Charleston, South Carolina
Name of Practice: Exemplar Oral Surgery Center
Education: DMD, Medical University of South Carolina; OMFS residency, The Ohio State University
Specialty: Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Leach, a Charleston native, was awarded the DeChamplain Scholarship for Excellence in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina and was named Most Outstanding Student at The Ohio State Universty College of Dentistry. He has studied under the president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, trained as a registrar in the Maxillofacial Unit at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, and has served on a mission trip to Honduras. He’s a Diplomate and Fellow of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Why He Became a Dentist: “Orthognathic surgery. I saw jaw reconstruction performed in the hospital I was working in one summer during college, and I couldn’t believe a dentist could perform such life-changing procedures. I was hooked from that moment.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A bilateral custom total joint patient in private practice. She had already undergone seven surgeries, leaving her in worse shape than when she began. I proposed a custom total joint reconstruction, but she had second thoughts. It took two years for her to come around after weighing her options. The surgery was a huge success, and the patient is so happy she can eat without pain again. It completely changed her life.”


IG: @terrificteethpd
Age: 39
City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Terrific Teeth Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DDS, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: After an itinerant childhood spent living around the world, Dr. Lewis launched her pediatric practice just outside downtown Pittsburgh. Following her graduation from VCU’s School of Dentistry, she completed a general practice residency in New York City and practiced for two years as a general dentist before finishing a pediatric residency in which she was chief resident. During this time she specialized in oral health, child growth and development, dental trauma, sedation/anesthesia and patients with special needs.
Most Memorable Patient: “During dental school, I worked at a rural clinic and saw an elderly lady. She was working toward dentures but wanted to extract only one tooth at a time due to her anxiety. I convinced her to let me try to take out more than one. That day we ended up extracting all 10 remaining teeth. In return, she gave me a seashell from her honeymoon that she carried with her for strength. I initially refused to accept it, but she insisted. While I have carried that seashell with me for every major dental event since—written boards, clinical boards, oral boards and more—I also apply daily in my pedo practice the lesson of calming an anxious patient and walking with the patient and parents when completing difficult dentistry on apprehensive little ones.”


IG: @murphydental_implantcenter
Age: 36
City: Murphy, Texas
Name of Practice: Murphy Dental & Implant Center
Education: DDS, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Periodontics
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Ling, who is married to Dr. Jenny C. Tai (see page 63), is a board-certified periodontist and implant surgeon. During his time at Penn Dental, he received the Director’s Award for outstanding clinical and academic performance. His and Dr. Tai’s practice, Murphy Dental & Implant Center, provides all aspects
of implant and periodontal care, including a cutting-edge surgery room complete with 3D-imaging technologies.
Exciting New Trend: “There are multiple ways to regenerate periodontal bone loss. I provide services ranging from the traditional bone graft to growth factors to LANAP laser treatment. Staying on top of the newest technologies and not settling on just one method of treating a certain condition allows me to provide patients with options and customized plans.”
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “My CBCT scan.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I like bubble tea, I used to play piano and I have played competitive Go Chess, an Eastern chess game.”


IG: @smilesbydrnehi
Age: 33
Cities: Newport Beach, Ladera Ranch and San Clemente, California
Name of Practice: Barkate|Nehi Orthodontics
Education: DDS and MS, University of Southern California School of Dentistry
Specialty: Orthodontics
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Ogbevoen is proud to be a “Triple Trojan,” having completed his bachelor’s degree, dental school and orthodontics residency at USC. He has quickly become known as an engaging and caring expert who takes pride in providing an amazing patient experience. Dr. Ogbevoen continues to use the newest technology to ensure his patients have options in reaching their smile goals.
Inspiration: “My family. My parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria and sacrificed so much to give me all the opportunities possible. I want to make them proud and pay them back a fraction of all that they have given me. Also, being a fairly new ‘girl dad’ has inspired me to work hard every single day to be an example for them.”


IG: @parksdentistry
Age: 36
City: Huntington Beach, California
Name of Practice: Park Pediatric & General Dentistry
Education: DDS, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry; pediatric residency, University of Southern California School of Dentistry
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Park, founder and owner of her practice, is thoughtful and considerate with staff and patients alike. She credits her ability to focus on patient care to her office manager and staff. She’s in the office four days a week; she spends the fifth day working with USC dental residents at a nonprofit clinic.
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “My loupes. Babies’ teeth and mouths are small. I sometimes do exams and cleanings in the car for severely anxious children, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without my loupes and light.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A severely anxious patient with special needs who had an over-retained baby tooth that took over two hours to get out. It took a lot of time, patience and trust throughout the years, but now the patient is able to do treatment in the office.”
Exciting New Trend: “Laser dentistry. Especially in pediatrics, it’s a wonderful tool to aid anxious children.”


Twitter: @jordanvalleychc
Age: 37
City: Springfield, Missouri
Affiliation: Jordan Valley Community Health Center
Education: DDS, University of Missouri–
Kansas City Dental School
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Wife, mother of three and director of pediatric dentistry at the Jordan Valley CHC in southwest Missouri—she’s also associate director of the Missouri site of NYU–Langone Hospitals’ Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry program—Dr. Popejoy is strongly committed to community service. She focuses her efforts on overcoming underserved kids’ access-to-care gap and has spent the last seven years advocating for those on Medicaid. She’s the clinical director for Special Smiles for Special Olympics, past president of the Missouri Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and will be an alternate for the ADA’s House of Delegates later in 2022.
Exciting New Trend: “I’m excited about the popularity of the topic of pediatric airway interventions. There are a lot of indications that breathing issues during sleep have a plethora of health effects.”
Tool She Can’t Live Without: “It’s not a physical tool, but I could not live without flexibility. You never know how a child is going to react in a dental setting, and you must be able to switch plans or behavior management techniques quickly and seamlessly.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I studied for a year in Cambridge, England. During that time, I got to travel Europe for weeks at a time with very little money. That last fact led to hilarious experiences at hostels, sleeping on park benches and in public transportation terminals, and living off baguettes and cheese.”


FB: @riversideoralsurgery
Age: 35
City: Englewood, New Jersey
Name of Practice: Riverside Oral Surgery
Education: M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine; DMD, University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Rosenstock, a Toronto native, earned his DMD on a prestigious scholarship. After graduating with high honors, he went on to earn his M.D. from Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx and completed a highly competitive six-year oral and maxillofacial surgery program. He specializes in surgeries involving head and neck cancer, as well as facial reconstruction, treating medically compromised patients, salivary gland diseases, orthognathic surgeries, pediatric anesthesia and comprehensive pediatric oral surgery. He has authored peer-reviewed journals and has presented at implant and pathology conferences across the country.
Most Memorable Patient: “I treated a 4-year-old with a significant dental infection and facial swelling, who was nervous and extremely apprehensive. I sedated him in my office and extracted the tooth. He did amazing and was extremely proud of himself. Several days later he sent me a video thanking me. It’s one of the sweetest things a patient has done, and the reason I do what I do.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I love Italian techno, and I can DJ.”


IG: @stephenrothdds
Age: 30
Cities: New Hyde Park and Glen Cove, New York
Affiliation: Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Education: DDS, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
Specialty: Oral and maxillofacial pathology
Why He Was Nominated: A board-certified oral and maxillofacial pathologist—and passionate
Ohio State Buckeye football fan—Dr. Roth performs histologic exams of biopsy tissue and clinical exams of patients at Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Medical Center. When he isn’t working
on his educational oral-pathology Instagram page and YouTube channel, you’ll find him somewhere
in the world, travel-hacking his way from country to country.
Exciting New Trend: “Digital microscopy—one day, all microscopic slides will be read on a computer.”
Most Memorable Patient: Dr. Roth has had many. “The fun part of my job is the ‘zebras,’ or rare pathologies that we encounter. I haven’t met a lot of my most memorable patients, as I only saw their cells under a microscope.”
Something People Don’t Know: Dr. Roth has taken sign-language classes, is a Pelotonia Century Club rider and has seen more than 150 Broadway and off-Broadway shows.


IG: @oceanpediatricdent
Age: 36
Cities: Toms River, Manahawkin and Cream Ridge, New Jersey
Name of Practice: Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates
Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: After graduating with honors and distinction in clinical practice and pharmacology and therapeutics from Penn, Dr. Sones completed his residency in pediatric dental medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he was chief resident. He has been recognized by his peers as one of the Garden State’s top pediatric dentists in both New Jersey Monthly and New Jersey Family magazines. He’s on the board of trustees and serves as vice president for the Monmouth–Ocean County Dental Society, and is an attending clinician at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Why He Became a Dentist: “From a very young age, after losing my father to colon cancer, I knew I wanted to be in health care. It was not until working closely with my own pediatric dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Blum, that
I knew I wanted to be the same. He used to say, “I have a license to practice dentistry, but my true license is to goof off all day long, and it’s socially acceptable. At the same time, I get to help children and make a difference.”
Tool He Can’t Live Without: “Kindness! There’s something to be said about treating others the way you want to be treated. I try to practice as though every child I see is my own.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A little girl who had just turned 3 came into the office for an emergency visit and was immediately crying hysterically, clawing at her mother. She was terrified. I noticed she was wearing a princess outfit. So I quickly grabbed a Tooth Fairy costume that was more than a few sizes too small and walked in to introduce myself as Dr. Matt, the Tooth Fairy. At the end of her visit, she gave me a big hug,
and my heart melted. Meaningful interactions like that are some of the reasons I love being a pediatric dentist.”


Twitter: @stonesurgicala1
Age: 38
City: Westlake, Texas
Name of Practice: Stone Surgical Arts
Education: DDS, University of Missouri–
Kansas City School of Dentistry
Specialty: Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Stone, founder and owner of her eponymous practice, performs full-scope surgeries, with a focus on facial cosmetic surgery and corrective jaw procedures. She received her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently on staff at three hospitals, including Baylor Scott & White in Grapevine and Irving, Texas, and Methodist Health in Southlake.
Inspiration: “My husband and his perseverance.”
Most Memorable Patient: “My orthognathic surgery patient who gained so much confidence after jaw surgery that she started dating again.”


FB: @murphydentalandimplantcenter
Age: 34
City: Murphy, Texas
Name of Practice: Murphy Dental & Implant Center
Education: DDS, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Periodontics
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Tai is half of the power couple at Murphy Dental & Implant Center, which she runs with her husband, Dr. Ted Ling. She is skilled in cosmetic, restorative, periodontic and implant dentistry, and was named best teacher by the Department of Periodontics at Penn Dental, her alma mater. In addition to providing patient care, Dr. Tai teaches in the graduate prosthodontics program at Texas A&M University College of Dentistry.
Why She Became a Dentist: “I love interacting with people and giving them a better smile.”
Sage Advice: “Keep learning.”
Exciting New Trend: “Digital dentistry.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I swam across a lake at age 7.”


Age: 39
City: Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Name of Practice: Cranberry Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Vaddi earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and her dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She became board-certified in pediatric dentistry and served her residency at the Children’s Medical Center of Washington, D.C. After spending seven years working as an associate dentist in the Pittsburgh area, she decided in 2018 to purchase a practice, which has since experienced tremendous growth.
Why She Became a Dentist: “I was drawn to dentistry because of my positive experience with my general dentist growing up, as well as the perks of being able to own a business and dictate my own work schedule. I became a pediatric dentist so I could shape a child’s perspective of dentistry and turn it into a positive experience at any age.”
Most Memorable Patient: “I had a young patient in my pediatric dental residency at Children’s Medical Center in D.C. who had a severe case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is a rare and serious disorder that affects the skin and mucous membranes. Patients with SJ are mostly treated in the burn victim unit. This little boy was an absolute joy to work with and came to each appointment with a big smile despite the daily discomfort and pain he must have been experiencing. He was a constant reminder not to sweat the small stuff, and it was an absolute honor to treat his caries and ease his suffering.”


FB: @butlerpediatricdentistry
Age: 33
City: Westminster, California
Name of Practice: Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry
Education: DDS, University of Southern California School of Dentistry; MS in pediatric dentistry, Nationwide Children’s Hospital at The Ohio State University
Specialty: Pediatric dentistry
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Vo has a history of charitable work including mission trips to Guatemala. He is planning to open his own practice, Tiny Tooth Co., in the next year or two. It will be a fully digital office, including patient onboarding, and emphasize positive dental experiences for children. It will be located in a high-visibility area: near pediatricians, schools and child-friendly attractions.
Inspiration: “My mom and dad. They both escaped Vietnam in hopes of providing a better and brighter future for their children. They both continue to stay humble, sacrificial, resilient and selfless. I am beyond blessed to have them as my parents.”
Most Memorable Patient: “An 8-year-old girl from Guatemala
I met during a mission trip. She was being made fun of because of her chipped front tooth. We had a language barrier, so I was not fully able to understand what was going on until my friend helped translate. After fixing her tooth, I handed her the mirror and she started to cry. It gave me chills. She then hugged me—and at that moment, the language barrier became common understanding. She helped me realize I made the right career choice, and I’m so thankful to be a part of this amazing profession.”
Something People Don’t Know: “I love to take naps.”


IG: @wholedental
Age: 39
Cities: Birmingham and Roseville, Michigan
Name of Practice: Whole Dental Wellness
Education: DDS, University of Iowa College of Dentistry; MS and specialty certification in periodontics and dental implants, the University of Illinois at Chicago
Specialty: Periodontics
Why She Was Nominated: Dr. Weiner’s people-first approach has been a beacon to her success. She’s an adventure seeker—she has dived with great white sharks and been buried in an avalanche while heliskiing—but nothing, she says, compares to the experience of building her legacy dental practice. In just the last four years, she has purchased five practices in the greater Detroit area and has plans to continue scaling to make an impact on those she serves.
Most Memorable Patient: “I treated a sweet ‘seasoned’ lady a few months after we opened our first Whole Dental Wellness location. She came in with lots of pain and loose teeth due to severe chronic periodontitis. She had been struggling for many years to chew comfortably. She was health-conscious and missed being able to crunch a carrot or enjoy Michigan cherries. All she said was, ‘Please, do what you can.’ Using LANAP laser technology we were able to treat her relatively painlessly. I’ve never experienced such gratitude from a patient. We laughed about how she was now finally able to look forward to sweet corn and cherry season!”


IG: @wagnerortho
Age: 40
City: Palm Harbor, Florida
Name of Practice: Wagner Orthodontics
Education: DMD, University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Orthodontics
Why He Was Nominated: Dr. Wagner was born in Florida and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. After earning his DMD, he completed a year’s residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, then returned to his home island to specialize in orthodontics before finally purchasing a practice (now Wagner Orthodontics) in Palm Harbor, just outside Tampa. He is the father of a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter.
Inspiration: “My parents have always supported me in my career and helped me any way they could. My dad’s hard work and perseverance sparked my desire to provide for my family, never settle and build my successful practice. Furthermore, my grandfathers have been a great inspiration—both were entrepreneurs, and no matter what life threw at them, they would reinvent themselves to succeed in their next venture. The greatest lesson instilled in me by my ‘Abuelo’ was always to try to help the person in need, with a smile and no expectations.”
Something People Don’t Know: “In college, I was recruited as a hair model for a Paul Mitchell event. Only did that once.”


FB: @wuorthodontics1
Age: 37
Cities: South Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Claremont, California
Names of Practices: Wu Orthodontics; Little Crown Pediatric
Dentistry & Orthodontics
Education: DMD, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Specialty: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
Why She Was Nominated: After graduating from MIT as class president, she went on to study dentistry at Harvard. She and her husband have opened, from scratch, four pediatric and three orthodontic practices across the Los Angeles area.
Why She Became a Dentist: “At MIT, I was teaching kids how to solder circuit boards, and I realized I loved bending wires and mentoring kids.
I shadowed an orthodontist who watched movies between patients, and
I thought, what better profession than becoming an orthodontist? To this day I have yet to be able watch a movie while seeing patients, though.”
Most Memorable Patient: “A 9-year-old girl came in for a mini-implant assisted RPE. After numbing her palate with local anesthetic, I placed four mini-implants. I was sitting her up and she asked, ‘When are we going to start?’ She had no idea we were all done! I like to think that I’m gentle,
but I think she was just one tough cookie.”
Something People Don’t Know: “As MIT’s senior class president, I gave the commencement speech in front of 10,000 people. I was so nervous—my legs were shaking the entire time. I also grew up playing the piano, violin and guitar. Now, with three kids, I’ve taught myself how to play the ukulele too, and the kids love to sing with me while I play.”