DENTISTS, FIRST AND FOREMOST, are health-care providers. That’s job one. But in a sense, they’re also beauticians. Aestheticians. Artists, even. Giving people a new smile — a feature that brings with it renewed poise and self-confidence — is simultaneously an act of healing and a bestowal of glamour. Not a bad day’s work, all told.

For the seventh year running, Incisal Edge has canvassed the country to showcase some of the top young dentists currently practicing these magical arts. Having tracked down 40 of the finest, we invited them to New York City and promptly turned the tables, treating them the way they treat their patients — with care, consideration and abundant high style.

We had them photographed à la Hollywood red carpet, of course; that has been a staple of the 40 Under 40 since its inception. This year, however, in recognition of the aesthetic work these doctors do, we also brought in noted painter Eric Waugh (see page 56), who rendered them all in colorful portraits worthy of a museum wall.

Healers. Confidants. Masters of their medical craft. The Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 for 2017 are looking better than ever. Turn the page and meet them, won’t you?


AGE: 35

CITY: Los Angeles

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Northeast Valley Health Corporation

EDUCATION: DDS, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Because of her devotion to providing compassionate, quality care to her patients. She has dedicated her life to both working with and volunteering for underserved populations in Southern California. She is also an adjunct professor at her alma mater.

WHY SHE BECAME A DENTIST: “I’m grateful for my family members who are dentists — great role models who guided me into dentistry. My passion for the profession was furthered as a pre-dental student volunteer at [University of California, San Diego] clinics. I saw firsthand how improving someone’s smile could positively affect self-esteem and overall health.” INSPIRATION: “My family has inspired, influenced and supported my decision to become a dentist. My mentor in community health, specifically, is Dr. Irvin B. Silverstein. As the director and adviser of the UCSD clinics and pre-dental society, he has shown many students the importance of serving the underserved and broadening access to care.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “In community-health dentistry, the biggest challenges are barriers to care. These include the lack of education on the importance of routine dental care and the inability to seek proper care when finances are limited. It breaks my heart to see a 6-year-old at the dentist for the first time with grossly decayed teeth, or an adult who has had teeth extracted because they couldn’t afford treatment. So much of the dental disease I treat can be prevented with early education and regular dental visits.”


AGE: 32

CITY: Granger, Indiana

SPECIALTY: Oral and maxillofacial surgery

NAME OF PRACTICE: Granger Oral Surgery & Dental Implants

EDUCATION: DDS, Indiana University School of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: The son of a dentist, Dr. Anderson completed his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency through the Gundersen Health System immediately after earning his DDS. The board-certified surgeon continues to do dental implants, wisdom-teeth removal and full-arch rehabilitation.

PHILOSOPHY: “That’s impossible — but I’m going to try.”

INSPIRATION: “My father, who laid the groundwork for what it looks like to provide excellent care with sincere compassion.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Micro-buser. It allows me to manipulate soft tissue with precision for implants and also functions as a periotome for extractions.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “I performed an indirect sinus lift on the chief of my hospital during residency. I’ll never be anxious about a procedure after up-fracturing the sinus floor while he was awake.”



AGE: 36

CITY: Morrisville, North Carolina

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Triangle Family Dentistry

EDUCATION: B.S. in computer engineering, North Carolina State University; DDS, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: In addition to founding one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing practices, with six locations and 18 doctors, Dr. Baky led a clinical team to Turkey in 2015 and 2016 to serve Syrian refugees. He’s an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and is certified in Invisalign, Lumineers and oral sedation.

INSPIRATION: “My father, who always taught me that if you do a task, always do it to the best of your ability. This has been the backbone of my education and professional career.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “I’m an engineer by training, so I always get the newest toys that help deliver a better patient experience. My favorite tool is my CEREC for 3D imaging and milling. I love watching patients’ reaction when they see it at work.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “Consolidation. Dentists used to be islands, but the group model is exploding, and I am excited to be a part of it.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Do what you love in dentistry, and get good at it. If you love implants, learn them and place them. If you love endodontics, learn and do your own endo. Treat your patients right, and success will come.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “A 13-year-old with spina bifida. He was the most positive kid in the world. He had to face death constantly and was regularly in the hospital. He was always happy and realized that God gave him limited time, and he wanted to take advantage of it.”


AGE: 36

CITY: Portland, Oregon

SPECIALTY: General dentistry


EDUCATION: DMD, Boston University

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Ball purchased a downtown Portland practice three years ago and has grown the business each year since. Philanthropy is important, too: She participates in and helps finance mission trips to Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Brazil; she also attends fundraisers for organizations such the Cascades AIDS Project, a Portland-based HIV prevention and support group, and Make-a-Wish Oregon.

INSPIRATION: “People who never stop trying to be better. No one at my office is OK being average, and that inspires me to be better every day.”

WHY SHE BECAME A DENTIST: “Dentistry changes and saves lives. I’ve provided dentistry abroad, where extracting a tooth may be the difference between life and death, and I’ve done dentistry in Portland, where I’m changing the way a person feels about his or her smile — or actually giving someone a smile. I feel blessed and honored to be a dentist.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “The movement toward digital. Part of what I love about our profession is that we’re at the forefront of technology and innovation. Dentists love to tinker. I’m excited about 3D printers and CAD/CAM, as well as scanners that can be used on every patient to show us change over time.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Put the patient first, and the rest will follow. Also, dentistry is about educating patients, not trying to sell them something. Educate them, then let them decide what’s best for themselves.”


AGE: 40

CITY: Dana Point, California

SPECIALTY: Endodontics

NAME OF PRACTICE: Dana Point Endodontics

EDUCATION: DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry; certificate in endodontics, VA Long Beach Healthcare System

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Boehne has a distinguished background in both academia and philanthropy. He was a contributing author of the 2016 textbook Avoiding and Treating Dental Complications: Best Practices in Dentistry, and was co-chair of an endodontics-technique course at UCLA in 2014. He is involved with many charitable organizations, such as the Flying Samaritans, the Sumba Foundation, the Friendship Shelter, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and Safe Families.

INSPIRATION: “Dr. Gary Carr. He has done so much for endodontics, from developing our techniques and instruments to personally mentoring literally hundreds of up-and-coming endodontists.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “The focus on irrigation. With better irrigation, we can perform less structurally invasive endodontics, because we aren’t relying as much on physically drilling away tooth structure to clean out canals. I think this will translate into fewer fractured roots and better long-term outcomes.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. Boehne is a lauded surfboard shaper, shaping boards for professional surfers including Jamie O’Brien and Albee Layer. Surfers around the globe commission custom work from him


AGE: 39

CITY: Philadelphia

SPECIALTY: Pediatric dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Doc Bresler’s Cavity Busters

EDUCATION: DMD, Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry; certificate in pediatric dentistry from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: The son of a pediatric dentist, Dr. Bresler is now CEO and president of one of Pennsylvania’s largest children’s practices, originally founded by his father more than 35 years ago. He’s also the founder of Red Lion Surgicenter, the nation’s first ambulatory surgery center dedicated to providing dental care under general anesthesia. In addition, Dr. Bresler leads an annual dental mission to Haiti.

PHILOSOPHY: “My father taught me three important lessons: First, find out what you’re good at and become the best at it. Second, always put your patients’ needs first, and rewards will follow. Lastly, when climbing the ladder there are two ways to get to the top: You can either step on others along the way, or you can pull them up the rungs with you. Sharing your knowledge and experiences is the only way to truly be successful.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Forget all the fancy equipment and technology. My most useful instrument for diagnosis is the air/water syringe. Rinsing and drying off a tooth will show you all you need to see.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “New esthetic restorative options for primary teeth and 3D imaging.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Balance — work hard, but also play hard.”


AGE: 40

CITY: Munster, Indiana

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Compton and Broomhead Dental Center

EDUCATION: B.S. in finance, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; DDS, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: The Chicago native is trained in Botox treatment by the American Academy of Facial Esthetics to help his patients with TMJ and TMD relief. In addition, Dr. Broomhead owns and operates a dental implant center, where he places over 75 implants per week. He is also trained and certified in sedation dentistry. His practice includes a division he operates called Dental Home Health (DHH) — a program that provides at-home care to patients who lack the means or ability to go to an office. He’s also a member of Team Fox for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, and participates in an annual back-to-school event in which he personally provides more than 500 area children ages 4 to 13 free dental care, including exams and fluoride treatments.

WHY HE BECAME A DENTIST: “Most importantly, I enjoy giving someone their smile back. The smile is the most basic human expression, and the greatest thing someone can wear. A beautiful smile brings great confidence, as well as an inner happiness that cannot be measured. I get the pleasure of bringing this change to people every day.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “In June 2016, I participated in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. The competition consisted of swimming 1.5 miles across the San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz Island to the Golden Gate Bridge, biking 18 miles through the hilly streets of San Francisco and running another eight miles. I was the No. 1 fundraiser for the foundation for this race.”


AGE: 33

CITY: Westerly, Rhode Island

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAMES OF PRACTICES: Scituate Family Dental; Thames River Dental (in New London, Connecticut)

EDUCATION: DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; completed one-year AEGD program, the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Capalbo is a third-generation dentist, the seventh in his family. He’s dedicated to continuing education, having taken courses in implant restoration, 3i Diem System denture conversion and overdenture restoration, as well as classes on periodontal disease.

PHILOSOPHY: “My life philosophy, which spills over into dentistry, is to give more than you take each day.”

INSPIRATION: “My grandfather, father, uncle and two older brothers are all dentists — all still practicing, aside from my grandfather, who passed away— along with a sister-in-law who does pedo. It’s tough to pick just one, but it would be my father, the hardest-working and most dedicated person I’ve ever known.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “This isn’t exciting, but it’s true: digital radiographs. I’ve been in so many practices that don’t take routine radiographs, and it just blows my mind. It’s the one irreplaceable diagnostic tool — without them I don’t know how I could even do my job.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I started a golf clothing line this year. I love to golf, and I also love clothing, so I decided to start my own brand. It’s in the beginning stages and has a long way to go, but it’s something I enjoy doing in my limited free time.”


AGE: 32

CITY: Clearwater, Florida

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Chamberlain General and Sedation Dentistry

EDUCATION: DMD, Nova Southeastern University; general practice certificate and IV conscious sedation, the Ohio State University

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Chamberlain has been shadowing dentists since he was in high school; he opened his own new practice at age 27 in the summer of 2012. He has expanded it to include four treatment and two hygiene rooms. In addition to incorporating the latest technology, Dr. Chamberlain’s training in sedation means he can better treat phobic patients. In 2013 he founded a nonprofit, Believe in Smiles, which enlists local dentists to provide full-mouth rehabilitation to patients selected by his pastor.

ON STARTING A NONPROFIT: “I’ve always wanted to do pro bono work, but I can’t save the world — and who am I to make decisions about who is ‘truly in need’ of dental work? So I delegated that responsibility to my pastor, Randy Evans, at Grace Christian Fellowship. This helps those in need by having a third party decide who is in need of care.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Love what you do, or you’ll hate your career. As dentists, it is very difficult to say no to helping others — but you have to remember that in order to help others, you must take care of yourself first.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “If I told some of my old classmates and professors that within five years, I would start my own dental practice from scratch, get married, buy a house, have two kids and juggle everyday life,no one would believe me. I’m amazed at what five years can do to someone.”


AGE: 29

CITY: San Francisco

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Marina Park Dental

EDUCATION: DDS, University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Cho moved from her home country, South Korea, to the Bay Area for college and dental school. At age 27, she bought a 30-year-old practice in the heart of San Francisco, and has built it via technology and art in her dentistry, focusing all the while on patient care and comfort. She is involved with the Christian Medical Dental Association, and volunteers for various nonprofit organizations in San Francisco.

SAGE ADVICE: “I’ve been pretty active about seeking advice from those who’ve
been around the block—but I’ve also realized you have to be picky about from whom you seek mentorship. You want to make sure the advice you take aligns with your values and dental philosophy.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “In 2012, I was on a mission trip in the Philippines. I met a 7-year-old orphan, who made it across town and stood in line by herself to get several teeth extracted. I was amazed not only at her courage to get dental treatment by herself, but also her calmness and maturity as we went through the procedure. Afterward, her smile left me with an unforgettable impression of the Philippines.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “Growing up, I had extremely bad experiences at the dental office. Ironically, I overcame that fear by becoming a dentist. Today, I try to be aware of whatever I can do so patients can have a wonderful experience and feel good at our office.”


AGE: 39

CITY: Wilmington, Delaware

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Kirkwood Dental Associates

EDUCATION: DMD, the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Christy has served as an independent contractor with the Army since 2002, providing necessary treatment to men and women who serve. He is also a teacher for the Christiana Care Health System. He previously participated in a network of private nonprofit hospitals on the East Coast. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, swimming, running and caring for his two dogs. He also enjoys treating patients in nursing homes. He finds fulfillment in dentistry, and loves to change lives, one smile at a time.

INSPIRATION: “My assistants told me to say it’s them.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “Unlike previous generations, Baby Boomers are retaining their teeth as they age, with many in nursing homes needing special attention due to inadequate oral hygiene, sugary diets and dry mouths. I wouldn’t say I’m excited; I’m very concerned about how we are going to maintain Boomers’ general oral health.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Communicating effectively will be your most important skill. Like every other aspect of dentistry, it will take practice.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I competed in an Ironman triathlon while in dental school.”


AGE: 37

CITY: Weirton, West Virginia

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Crow Dental Associates

EDUCATION: DDS, West Virginia University School of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Crow purchased an outmoded office in 2007 and was able to turn the facility all-digital in a short time. He has held many positions in the Wheeling District Dental Society, most recently serving as a delegate to the state’s executive council. In his free time, he coaches sports and spends time with his five children.

PHILOSOPHY: “Having lost both my parents before I was 30, I’ve learned to appreciate each day. Make the most of each day, never leave things unsettled and always let people know you care. Life can be short, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

INSPIRATION: “My family. Nothing is more inspiring than seeing your children look up to you. Several of my children have said they want to be dentists so they can work with me. My world revolves around them.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My dental team. Without my assistants it would be impossible to accomplish even a fraction of what we do. It’s impossible to do anything significant without great teamwork.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Working within patient budgets. It’s easy to decide what the best treatment plan would be, but many times you have to work within patients’ means and figure out a way to space out treatment or find more cost-effective options.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “When I hand a patient a mirror after giving them a new smile and see their joy. It’s life-changing for them.”


AGE: 39

CITY: Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Maple Glen Associates

EDUCATION: DMD, Temple University School of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: The motto of Dr. Eraydin’s practice is “we bring family back to family dentistry.” He walks the walk: During the week, his parents live with him and his wife (a high-school biology teacher) to help care for the pair’s 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. Dr. Eraydin, who moved to the U.S from Turkey when he was 12, is deeply involved with the Montgomery Bucks Dental Society and Valley Forge Dental Conference, two continuing-education organizations.

PHILOSOPHY: “In life and in dentistry, I always want to help. I also worry as little as possible. Life is full ups and downs, and I don’t get bothered by the little things. When you don’t worry about every little thing, you can enjoy life a whole lot more.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My loupes and headlight. If I forget to put them on and want to see something closer, I still tip my head up.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “Intraoral digital scanning, in addition to CBCT matching to digitally plan implants and place them using a surgical guide. Printing surgical guides in the office is so neat.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I play competitive soccer — indoor, outdoor, men’s over-30, coed: I spend a lot of time on the pitch.”


AGE: 39

CITY: Madison, Wisconsin

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Monroe Street Family Dental

EDUCATION: DDS, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: His tireless devotion to his community in Wisconsin’s capital, in which he, his wife and their three children live within walking distance of his office in a quaint part of town. His commitment extends to participating in community events such as Madison’s annual art show, Gallery Night, when his practice showcases locals’ artwork. He’s also a board member and volunteer dentist for the Madison Dental Initiative, a Salvation Army–affiliated clinic that serves homeless and low-income populations.

PHILOSOPHY: “ ‘Would I Do It on Myself,’ or WIDIOM, is a good one to live by. When we look for the best, most conservative options, we treat patients honestly and fairly.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “The digital-impressioning system 3Shape Trios has changed both what we see and how we document it. Diagnosis will never be the same.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “The digital revolution can be both exciting and stressful. Each new development offers new possibilities for how we provide care and how we communicate with patients.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Keep learning, and know your limits.”


AGE: 39

CITY: Jersey City, New Jersey

SPECIALTY: Endodontics NAME OF PRACTICE: Modern Micro Endodontics EDUCATION: DDS, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery; endodontics residency, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers Dental School)

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Graham owns four New Jersey offices and is a mother of three children under age 7. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Association of Endodontists, the Hudson County Dental Society and the New Jersey Association of Endodontists.

WHY SHE BECAME A DENTIST: “I was a bio major at the University of Maryland, and the idea of a career in dentistry was brought forth by a friend who was pursuing it. I started working at the dental clinic on campus, and that’s where my decision was solidified. Dentistry was hands-on and offered instant gratification. And as a female, it seemed more conducive to having a family life and being a business owner.”

PHILOSOPHY: “Live clean. By this, I mean that I try to keep things simple. I want to go to bed every night knowing I did the right thing. This applies not just to my professional life, but my personal life as well.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “A microscope. I was trained as an endodontist with a microscope, and I’ve become so reliant upon it that even ‘easy’ cases are always done under the microscope.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Be humble, honest and appreciative. Treat people well, and the rest will fall into place. There are a million dentists out there; patients go where they’re comfortable and treated well.”



AGE: 39

CITY: Plain City, Ohio

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Smile Works Family Dentistry

EDUCATION: DDS, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Gray is passionate about improving people’s dental and whole-body health. She is a member of the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health and was one of the first certified DNA/Vivos appliance providers in Ohio. She is also a member of the National Health Service Corps, participates in Give Kids a Smile Day and has been named one of the best dentists in the Columbus area for seven consecutive years.

WHY SHE BECAME A DENTIST: “I’ve wanted to become a dentist since second grade. I always looked forward to my appointment, and I want every child to love the dental office as much as I did. My team and I wear masks with silly faces on them, we have special kids’ days and we always have a wide variety of toothbrushes so we can give them one of their favorite cartoon characters. I provide complimentary nitrous to all children under age 18.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “That more patients and other doctors are finally realizing what dentists have always known: that oral health does affect systemic health. For this reason, my team and I typically examine patients more frequently than their primary-care physician, so we screen for high blood pressure and sleep apnea. My husband did not go to a primary-care physician for over 10 years, but he had dental exams at my office every six months. To help my patients achieve whole-body health, I’ve spent the last year becoming certified in the DNA/Vivos appliance system. The biomimetic oral appliances help grow and reshape the mid-face and airway.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “A man named Todd. We took his blood pressure, and it fell into the hypertensive-crisis range. He was rushed to the hospital. When he returned to my office in six months, he had lost 60 pounds and told me I saved his life.”

“Live clean. By this I mean that I try to keep things simple. I want to go to bed every night knowing I did the right thing. This applies not just to my professional life but to my personal life as well.” —Dr. Vivian Graham


AGE: 38

CITY: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

SPECIALTY: Oral and maxillofacial surgery

NAME OF PRACTICE: Chapel Hill Implant and Oral Surgery

EDUCATION: B.S. in biology, West Virginia University; DDS, West Virginia University School of Dentistry; general practice residency, University of North Carolina Hospitals Chapel Hill; oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Hill is making the most of his excellent education in the fields of oral and maxillofacial surgery and surgical implant reconstruction. Following completion of his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, he was mentored by Dr. Michael A. Pikos, who trained him in hard- and soft-tissue graft reconstruction, implant rehabilitation and therapy.

PHILOSOPHY: “In dentistry and at home: Stay busy but balanced.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “The big industry trend is digital, but more than that, it’s virtual. Things are happening in real time that allow us, with a high degree of accuracy, to treat patients proactively. We’re providing functional esthetic treatment with innovative approaches while increasing the probability of predictable results.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “My favorite thing to do on the weekend is go to our local performing-arts center. Whether it’s dance, comedy or theater, I absolutely love live-performance shows.”


AGE: 37

CITY: Liberty, Missouri

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Jackson Family Dental

EDUCATION: M.E. and DDS, the University of Missouri–Kansas City

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: When Dr. Jackson isn’t working a 12-hour shift at his practice, you can find him mentoring others, spending time with his family (he has four children under age 9) or doing outdoor activities such as wakeboarding or riding his dirt bike. He performs at least one large pro bono cosmetic case each year, volunteers for Missouri Mission of Mercy and regularly donates supplies to silent auctions and mission trips.

PHILOSOPHY: “Always try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. No one gets to decide the life they’re born into, but we do get to decide what to do with it. Take what skills you’ve been given and use them to help others.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Anesthetic. I would never want to work on patients while causing them extreme pain.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Evolve. Keep informed on the newest advances, technologies and materials, and integrate them into your practice for the betterment of your patients. Be willing to try new techniques, and never stop learning.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “A middle-aged man who had been missing three anterior teeth since he was a teenager. He learned to smile with only one side of his mouth to try to hide the space. I restored the missing teeth with implants and crowns. When we gave him a mirror, he started crying and realized he could barely move his lip on the newly restored side to see his new teeth. I told him to work on it, and in a few months he would be fully smiling for the first time in his adult life. He came back to see us and show us his bright, full smile. It was a great day for everyone.”


AGE: 27

CITY: North Chesterfield, Virginia

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Mosier Troop Dental Clinic

EDUCATION: B.S. in chemistry, Trinity College; DMD, the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; one-year AEGD program with the U.S. Army WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Janiga brings his impeccable chairside manner to bear for one of the country’s top Army clinics, which serves all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. He’s also an avid believer in continuing education, taking more than 100 hours of CE credits each year and implementing new treatments and technology into his practice.

WHY HE BECAME A DENTIST: “When I was a little kid, I thought it was so cool that teeth were like our bones but aren’t hidden under muscle and skin. Nobody in my family is involved with dentistry, so pursuing a career as a dentist was a bit of a leap. But after working for my local dentist, Dr. Neil Hoss [in Tolland, Connecticut], I knew it was the career for me. Also, my mentors from dental school — Drs. Jeffrey Ingber, Tara Sexton and David Swiecinski — inspired me to be the dentist I am today.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Loupes and a headlamp.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “Online continuingeducation courses.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I’m a huge baseball fan. I was fortunate enough to play at Trinity College and was a pitcher on our 2008 Division III national-championship team.”

“When I was a little kid, I thought it was so cool that teeth were like our bones but aren’t hidden under muscle and skin. Nobody in my family is involved with dentistry, so it was a bit of a leap. But I knew it was the career for me.” —Dr. Andy Janiga


AGE: 34

CITY: Powder Springs, Georgia

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Johnson Family Dentistry

EDUCATION: DDS, the University of Tennessee

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: In addition to running her practice, being a committed mother of two and mentoring young women in Powder Springs, Dr. Johnson is also in the midst of completing 500 hours of the Fellowship designation with the Academy of General Dentistry.

INSPIRATION: “Ursula M. Burns. I find it impressive that her career at Xerox started [with a position] as a summer intern and eventually led to her becoming CEO. Even though our industries are different, her story inspires me to continue to reach my professional goals.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My intraoral cameras. Taking pictures offers a tangible piece of evidence to share with patients. In my practice, it’s a key patient education tool, and I believe it helps patients better understand their oral condition.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “I love how dentists are using social media to increase their digital footprint. Social media is another vehicle for people to connect, and what better way to interact with your patients? It can help drive patients to your office, allow patients to ask questions or leave reviews.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Find a mentor. It’s imperative to have someone who will give you sound advice and inspire you to reach beyond your comfort zone.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I am a huge DIY-er and Pinterest fan. I enjoy finding and refurbishing old furniture pieces and turning them into my own masterpieces.


AGE: 36

CITY: Scranton, Pennsylvania

SPECIALTY: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics

NAME OF PRACTICE: Karam Orthodontics

EDUCATION: DMD, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Karam’s quickly growing cuttingedge practice serves patients from around northeastern Pennsylvania. He’s active in orthodontic-appliance design and has patented an orthodontic bracket system. He has also been inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon honor society and received awards from the International College of Dentists and Pierre Fauchard Academy.

PHILOSOPHY: “Live well and smile confidently. Orthodontics has both functional and psychological benefits. The treatment we provide is focused on more than just great teeth; it’s focused on each individual patient’s goals and aspirations.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “This profession puts me in a position to make positive changes in the lives of my patients and a positive change in my community.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Tools can be replaced, but I can’t live without my team. My wife started this practice with me from the ground up; her value as a partner is immeasurable. My staff is what makes the practice unique — I work with dedicated individuals who believe in the philosophy of caring for others.”

SAGE ADVICE: “I was fortunate to have dental and orthodontic classmates who understood the principles of honesty and integrity. In order to be a great dentist and a leader in your community, it’s important to embody those principles every day.”


AGE: 35

CITY: Seattle

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Seattle Sound Dental

EDUCATION: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Khan purchased two small, failing practices in downtown Seattle in 2014. They were located in a building with more than a hundred other dentists; several hundred more could be found within a five-mile radius. Distinguishing herself with all the latest top dental technology, though, she worked hard and more than doubled her patient numbers in the first year alone.

PHILOSOPHY: “I like to make sure I understand what the patient’s expectation is from the treatment, and give them a plan accordingly.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “In dental school, we were not prepared to be able to own a business. Opening my own office and making it successful was a challenge.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “The ability to develop longterm relationships with patients to a point that they trust you to make decisions about their oral health.”

TOOLS SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Isolite and intraoral cameras.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Be realistic in your expectations from the profession. Look thoroughly into the physical and financial commitments and make sure you’re prepared to handle them.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I went through some very difficult personal circumstances growing up and while trying to get into a professional school. I thank God for giving me perseverance and faith back then and for making things eventually work out.”


AGE: 37

CITY: Seville, Ohio

SPECIALTY: General family and cosmetic dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Landry Family Dentistry

EDUCATION: DDS, The Ohio State University

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Four years ago, Dr. Landry bought a dental practice in Seville, near Akron. It was in a three-room vintage home, with non-digital radiographs and paper charts. He updated the technology and was able to build a new state-of-the-art facility after two years, thanks to substantial growth. He serves as supervising clinical dentist and localanesthesia and nitrous-oxide instructor at Stark State College Dental Hygiene Clinic. Landry Family Dentistry has also been awarded Ohio’s highest environmental honor, the “Gold and Green Tier” award, through the Ohio Good DEED Program. Dr. Landry earned Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2014.

PHILOSOPHY: “Do what you love and share your passion for dentistry with others.”

TOOLS HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: The Planmeca Promax digitalradiograph machine “eliminates pinching and gagging, and reduces X-ray radiation for patients.” Also, Surgitel dental loupes and light.

EXCITING NEW TREND: Green dentistry. “Our commitment to the health of our patients and community through good environmental stewardship is one of our core values as a dental practice. Through advanced technology, we offer exceptional, modern dental care that is both beneficial for the well-being of our patients and protects our natural environment for future generations.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: An avid outdoorsman, flyfisherman and Eagle Scout, Dr. Landry hiked more than 2,400 miles to complete the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail in 2003.


AGE: 33

CITY: Wayland, Massachusetts

SPECIALTY: Cosmetic dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Courtney Lavigne Dentistry

EDUCATION: DMD, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: When Dr. Lavigne moved from Rhode Island to Massachusetts in 2014, she couldn’t find an associate position or an office for sale that fit her vision, so she created the practice she desired from the ground up. She’s currently a board member of the affiliate committee of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, as well as the secretary and treasurer of the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “Owning my own practice allows me to give patients the time, expertise and understanding they deserve. I get to know my patients on a very personal level, and I know I’m able to have a tangible impact on their lives.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “I wear a lot of hats: I’m a clinician, a CEO and business owner, a lecturer and author. It’s difficult to prioritize and fit it all in.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My camera. I use a DSLR to take intraoral and extraoral photographs on every patient. Photographs are invaluable as a means of self-improvement and communication with patients.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “Social media. Patients follow me on Facebook and Instagram. I love showing before-and-after photos on Instagram [@lavignedmd], and I love following other dentists and their work as well.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I’m an avid water- and snow skier, although growing up I was a competitive roller-figure skater.”


AGE: 38

CITY: Bayonne, New Jersey

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Little Family Dentistry

EDUCATION: DDS, University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: A top young dentist in the hypercompetitive New York–New Jersey metro area, Dr. Little was selected as chief resident of her GPR class and is now an attending dentist at Jersey City Medical Center. She has built her business using social media and digital marketing, and her entrepreneurial spirit makes her a leader in the vibrant Filipino business community in New Jersey’s Hudson County.

PHILOSOPHY: “We work hard to make our patients feel that we truly care for their well-being.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “Being able to change someone’s life by giving them a beautiful smile.”TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “Orascoptic EyeZoom loupes.”

SAGE ADVICE: “From my residency director: In dentistry, where we measure in tenths of a millimeter, aim for excellence, not perfection, or you’ll go crazy.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. Little is an avid karaoke singer. “It’s fun,” she says. “I’m terrible at it, though.” A personal favorite: The soundtrack from Les Misérables.


AGE: 38

CITY: Summit, New Jersey

SPECIALTY: Periodontics

NAME OF PRACTICE: Summit Periodontics and Dental Implants

EDUCATION: DDS, New York University College of Dentistry; M.S. and certificate in periodontics, Rutgers Dental (formerly known as UMDNJ)

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: The first thing Dr. Maloney did after taking over her former professor’s practice was purchase computers for every room in the nearly 40-year-old space. Having turned her office into a modern paperless facility, she now lectures on the latest periodontic and implant technologies. Innovative dentistry is a family affair: Her husband, oral surgeon Dr. Karl Maloney, was an Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree in 2016. He runs his own practice a few towns over.

PHILOSOPHY: “Treat patients how I want to be treated when I go to the doctor. Treat them with respect and compassion, and have patience.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The biggest so far is keeping up with technology. There are so many amazing advancements in periodontics and implant surgery that it’s hard to find room. So many toys, so little time.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “It’s not a tool, but I could not live without my team. Shay, Kristi, Christine, Tara, Lorraine and Elena are the hardest-working people.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Remember the oath you took to always do the best for patients.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “A lot of exciting new things to come: I’m getting a cone-beam scan, laser and intraoral scanner.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I can do some major damage. I have a black belt in tae kwon do.”


AGE: 34

CITIES: Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona


EDUCATION: DDS, Creighton University School of Dentistry

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. McKnight is a board-certified periodontist dividing her time between two practices. She’s also director of her local Seattle Study Club.

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “The most rewarding aspect is knowing that I change lives every day by helping people have lasting, healthy smiles on a strong periodontal foundation.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Balancing clinical excellence and professional growth with being a wife and mother of three beautiful children.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My Medtronic piezoelectric handpiece and Allen intrasulcular knife.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Find your niche or passion and pursue it to the greatest level — and keep your student-loan debt low.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: Minimally invasive techniques. “My Millennium Nd:YAG laser has helped revolutionize how I treat patients with periodontal disease.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I grew up a farm girl in Nebraska. That background has taught me numerous life lessons, but most of all to be grateful. I’m grateful for a happy family, wonderful referral relationships, trusting patients, talented staff and to be practicing dentistry today.”


AGE: 32

CITY: Grand Rapids, Michigan

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: McMahon Family Dental

EDUCATION: DDS, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. McMahon has a legacy to live up to: His great-grandfather opened a dental practice in 1928. Four generations of dentistry later, Dr. McMahon and his partner in practice — his father, John F. McMahon — use the latest in digital technology. That includes high-end digital-impression software and advanced 3D X-ray technology — a fully digital workflow that offers a higher level of detail and accuracy. Dr. McMahon’s commitment to this new wave of dentistry drives his passion to reshape his patients’ experience and to push the delivery of innovation in dentistry.

PHILOSOPHY: “We strive to surpass the basic perspective of dentistry and evolve it into a vision of comprehensive oral health.” SAGE ADVICE: “Never stop learning. There are so many new and exciting developments in dentistry that the limits to your niche and passion are infinite.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “I have my eye on anything digital dentistry has to offer. There’s potential not only to advance and streamline dentistry, but improve the way everyone perceives and experiences it.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. McMahon received a “socializes too much” remark on every report card from kindergarten through eighth grade.


AGE: 40

CITY: Edgewater, New Jersey

SPECIALTY: Pediatric dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Edgewater Pediatric Dentistry

EDUCATION: DMD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Known by her little patients as “Dr. Rose,” Dr. Nguyen recognized early the demand for a practice able to provide dental care for children and special-needs patients in Bergen County, New Jersey. In the six years since her practice opened, she has developed a reputation for her gentle chairside manner. She has been recognized several times as an “NJ’s top dentist” by New Jersey Monthly magazine, “favorite kids’ doc” by New Jersey Family magazine and “Bergen’s top dentist” by 201 Health magazine.

PHILOSOPHY: “I treat all children as if they were my own. Every child deserves a healthy smile, and it’s my job to ensure they have one.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “We have an X-ray machine that ensures that children with severe gag reflex do not have to bite on the film. This has helped us decrease anxiety yet still be able to diagnose caries in children who would probably have gone undiagnosed for a long time. We’ve also integrated silver diamine fluoride into our practice. SDF is a topical drug used to treat and prevent cavities instead of traditional drilling and filling. This way, we’re able to offer children a less invasive option for treating cavities.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. Nguyen’s goal has always been to work with children, but not necessarily with their teeth. Before opting for dental school, she considered becoming a teacher.


AGE: 38

CITY: Grandville, Michigan

SPECIALTY: General dentistry


EDUCATION: DDS, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Palmer is an unfailing professional who has surrounded herself with like-minded staff. In 2015 she started a “Veterans Dental Day” out of her office; at last year’s event she and her team provided $10,000 worth of free care to uninsured veterans.

PHILOSOPHY: “Treating my patients like family. Striving to give them an exceptional experience every time they come in.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Never stop learning. Things are constantly changing, and if you’re not always learning, you’ll quickly fall behind.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “In the past two years I’ve incorporated the CEREC in-office scanner and milling unit, and the Solea laser. Both have been incredible additions to my practice. In the future I’m looking at a CBCT and a 3D printer.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I worked as a registered dental assistant for my last two years of undergrad. I wanted to get into the field and make sure it was for me before I committed to dental school. I think it adds value to know what it’s like on both sides of the dental chair.”


AGE: 36

CITY: Chicago

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Chicagoland Smile Group

EDUCATION: DDS, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Known to his patients as “Dr. Ro,” Dr. Parikh bought his first practice in Chicago’s southern suburbs in 2008, with a staff of just three. He has since built Chicagoland Smile Group into a network of 12 multi-specialty practices with 47 dentists and dental specialists.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “At one point, I was practicing dentistry at three of our locations six days a week, as well as doing many of the administrative functions like payroll, hiring and marketing. I realized quickly that I was not scalable but the processes and protocols were, so I surrounded myself with a team I could trust to scale properly and sustainably.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Never stop learning. I’m in my tenth year of private practice and still feel like I’m just getting started. Our group has a few dentists who have been in private practice for over 50 years, and every time I speak with them I feel like I’m drinking from the proverbial fire hose. I love it.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “Before dentistry, I had aspirations to become the first Indian-American in the NBA. Then I stopped growing taller and had to become a ‘mathlete’ instead of an athlete.”


AGE: 37

CITY: Delray Beach, Florida

SPECIALTY: General and cosmetic dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Designer Family Dental

EDUCATION: DDS, University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: With an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Washington, Dr. Pennington adds keen business sensibilities to her practice. In 2015, she became involved with the local Feeding Delray Foundation after learning that shelters in the area would not be serving Thanksgiving meals. She’s an active member of Spear Education, an online CE program that helps her stay current on all the latest procedures.

PHILOSOPHY: She quotes Churchill: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My visual camera is ‘money.’ I’m really into patient education and putting myself in their shoes. I would want to know about the cracks, the damaged filling and why I need a certain treatment.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: “Facially generated treatment planning is an awesome way to treat a patient. You’re not just doing restorative work; you’re also studying the lips, the shape of the smile. The patient’s facial anatomy drives the aesthetics of the teeth so that there’s balance and harmony.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “In recent years our area has become known for drug recovery centers. Not long ago, a woman came in before an interview really nervous because her teeth were a mess from years of drug abuse. After she had some bridge work and extractions done, she went into that interview feeling confident — and got the job.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. Pennington is the first doctor to place as a professional International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness bikini-class bodybuilder. She has graced the cover of several fitness magazines.


AGES: 37 (Rashad), 33 (Leedia), 29 (Rawad)

CITY: Beverly Hills, California

SPECIALTY: Cosmetic dentistry, known for fixing bad implants (Rashad); orthodontics (Leedia); general dentistry (Rawad)


EDUCATION: DDS, University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (Rashad); DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry (Leedia); DMD, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine (Rawad)

WHY THEY WERE NOMINATED: Collectively, the three Riman siblings have worked in more than 50 dental practices. This experience, paired with their shared passion for patient well-being, has culminated in a growing practice that has defied the odds: They opened in the heart of Beverly Hills, that aesthetically minded place with more than 100 dental practices. Amid such competition, the Rimans have incorporated holistic procedures alongside advanced technology. “We don’t treat teeth,” Leedia says. “We treat humans.”

PHILOSOPHY: “Treat each patient as you would your own mother. Unless you don’t get along with your mother.”

ON WORKING WITH ONE’S SIBLINGS: RASHAD: “It’s good to be around family — if you get along. We’re lucky in that way; we all share a philosophy about how we want to treat others. It’s very synergistic.” LEEDIA: “It’s great to know that even when I can’t be there, one of my own brothers is taking care of my patients. My daughter is in the hospital right now, and knowing that Rawad is seeing my patients removes a whole layer of stress.” RAWAD: “It’s been really nice, especially after my sister got married and moved out. We can still stay close and see each other all the time. We look forward to coming to work.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: RASHAD: “Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. When you incorporate moneymaking into health care, you start to hear talk of ‘selling dentistry.’ When you have insurance companies controlling the market and dentists coming out of school with a lot of debt, you create an environment open to greed, malpractice and subpar treatment.” LEEDIA: “Hate is a strong word, but I hate insurance companies. They don’t care for the patients and they don’t care about the doctors.” RAWAD: “In dental school they don’t teach you much about being a dentist. They just teach you the bread and butter — how to fix teeth. We didn’t have any mentors; we had no guidance about the business side of it. We learn as we go, relying on our personal values.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: RASHAD is the co-creator of Surgical Master (, which aims to teach general dentists how to do advanced surgical procedures. LEEDIA has introduced essential oils as part of the practice’s holistic approach. “A lot of practices give their patients Listerine, but it has a lot of additives,” she says. “Instead, we give our patients a drop of peppermint oil for its cleansing properties.” RAWAD says the practice has benefited from computer-guided implants. “It’s nice: We can send it to the lab and they know exactly where that implant is going,” he says. “Typically a dentist will have only a flat image to base the operation off, but a CGI’s 3D imaging is bulletproof by comparison.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Leedia says that people tend to expect Rashad, the eldest, to be the most pragmatic, but that’s upside-down. “Rawad is the voice of reason,” she says. “Rashad is much more a dreamer. He likes filming and acting, whereas Rawad prefers to take on more administrative work. I’m in the middle, of course.”


AGE: 32

CITY: Jericho, New York

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Cloudlake Dentistry & Dermatology

EDUCATION: DDS, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: In 2015, Dr. Saggar and colleague Dr. Sarika Banker, a board-certified dermatologist, opened a unique private practice offering a broad range of dental and dermatological services. The meticulous Dr. Saggar focuses on implantology, periodontal maintenance and treatment of oral-health sleep disorders. The duo’s second facility opens in 2018.

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “It allows me to combine a passion for science and health with my proclivity for detail-oriented work.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “My calendar. Being scheduleoriented makes me a much more efficient person.”

SAGE ADVICE: “A hospital setting allows for collaboration between several different fields of health care. My exposure to a variety of specialists taught me that one need never lose sight of the big picture.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “My mother. It’s always fulfilling to give back to people using our clinical training, but there’s nothing like caring for someone who raised you.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. Saggar has practiced yoga since 2003. “When I started, I was just interested in doing things that looked cool, like headstands, but as I progressed, I gained a greater appreciation for the effect yoga has on the mind and body.”


AGE: 36

CITY: Glen Cove, New York

SPECIALTY: General dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Gold Coast Smiles

EDUCATION: Summa cum laude, St. John’s University; DDS, Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: At age 30, Dr. Sami bought a venerable, well-established practice on Long Island in which he worked as an associate fresh out of his dental residency. He has since expanded the scope and size of the practice and built a reputation as one of the area’s leading providers of comprehensive and cosmetic-based dentistry.

PHILOSOPHY: “Communication and open dialogue are the cornerstone to success. Educate and inform patients on their options while keeping them engaged in the process of their treatment.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “Getting to know and grow with the patients I’ve been treating for more than 10 years. In many instances, I know just as much about my patients’ lives and their families as I do about their dental health.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “I have intraoral cameras installed in every treatment room. I’m a proponent of patient education, and they allow me to show as well as explain to patients what I see.”

SAGE ADVICE: “Make sure to take the time and put together the right staff. A big part of my growth and success is that I have the right support team working with me. They’re the backbone of our practice.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I have an incredible sweet tooth. Whether it’s chocolate, candy or cookies, I indulge in everything a dentist shouldn’t.”


AGE: 36

CITY: Glenview, Illinois

SPECIALTY: General dentistry


EDUCATION: DDS, New York University College of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: Dr. Shin has applied nine years’ worth of professional knowledge into every aspect of his practice. “The logo, concept, design, layout, color scheme, wall décor and current dental technology: The idea behind DentiStar is love,” he says. Opened in March 2013, his 1,500-square-foot practice has grown “exponentially,” averaging more than 60 new patients monthly and grossing $1.3 million last year.

PHILOSOPHY: “Complete patient care incorporating seven elements: knowledge, experience, skill, patience, honesty, humility and love.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “We are quite blessed to practice compassion daily and be so well-rewarded for it.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Maintaining humility and perspective. With some minor clinical success thus far, I’ve found the fine line between ability and arrogance to be a tricky balance.”

EXCITING NEW TREND: Inviting practice design. “When creating my office, I wanted a friendly, inviting place more like a cafe than a hospital — calm, clean and sophisticated, yet warm. DentiStar represents spring — a time of recreation, hope and a beginning of warmth.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I’m afraid to go to the dentist.”


AGE: 33

CITY: San Antonio

SPECIALTY: General and geriatric dentistry

NAME OF PRACTICE: Texas Mobile Dentists

EDUCATION: DDS, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Having served as an Air Force dentist for five and a half years, Dr. Tsang has an unique global perspective from treating patients in Japan, South Korea and Germany. Whether serving the country or treating the underserved in local community clinics and on mission trips to Central America, Dr. Tsang always shows a strong commitment to care. She flies solo at Texas Mobile Dentists’ San Antonio branch, delivering quality on-site care to patients in nearly 50 nursing facilities and many homes.

PHILOSOPHY: “Mother Teresa’s words resonate most with me: ‘Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.’ ”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The transition from military to private practice. In private practice, there are limitations due to a patient’s insurance, available funds, health history, medications, mental incapacity and compliance. Although it’s the biggest challenge, it’s also one of my favorite parts of dentistry: being able to work together with patients to get to their ideal treatment.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “Despite having lived in different parts of the world and visited over 85 countries, my lust for travel and being immersed in different cultures is unending. When not away from home, I love building my real-estate business. It’s satisfying to help provide people with a place they love to call home.”


AGE: 39

CITY: San Francisco

SPECIALTY: General dentistry


EDUCATION: DDS, University of California, San Francisco

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: In addition to managing a private practice, Dr. Vo has provided patient care in a community-health setting at Oakland Asian Health Services since 2004. She’s also a clinical professor and mentor at UCSF, supervising students who provide care to the homeless. In 2013, she was named the San Francisco Dental Society Committee Person of the Year.

PHILOSOPHY: “My practice is centered on the individuals I interact with every day: patients and staff, colleagues and laboratory technicians, supply-company reps, delivery services, building engineers and maintenance — I genuinely like people.”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “DigiDoc intraoral camera — a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s no different in dentistry. These photos allow patients to see exactly what I see, helping in the codiagnostic process. They’re also excellent for record-keeping and insurance billing.”

SAGE ADVICE: “You can achieve all things if you continue to challenge yourself and stay disciplined.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: “I’m a total adrenaline junkie. I’ve done skydiving, bungee jumping, ice trekking, whitewater rafting, scuba diving and snowboarding. My husband and I recently reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, and I’m constantly seeking the next physical challenge.”


AGE: 34

CITY: Birmingham, Michigan

SPECIALTY: Periodontics and implants

NAME OF PRACTICE: Dr. Weiner is in the process of acquiring a specialty practice in the metro Detroit area.

EDUCATION: B.A., Colorado College, M.S. in oral biology/genetics and specialty certificate in periodontology, the University of Illinois at Chicago; DDS, University of Iowa College of Dentistry

WHY SHE WAS NOMINATED: Despite her youth, Dr. Weiner already has three continents’ worth of dental experience: Australia, Europe and North America.

PHILOSOPHY: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

TOOL SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “A #15C blade — with it the possibilities are endless.”

INSPIRATION: Dr. Weiner dreams of one day opening a free dental clinic in honor of her grandfather, Dr. Justin Dunn, who was a general dentist and philanthropist in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for over 40 years. In the meantime, she volunteers at the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic in Pontiac, Michigan. “Health care, including dental care, is a right, not a privilege,” she says.

EXCITING NEW TREND: “The digital revolution is transforming our profession.”

MOST MEMORABLE PATIENT: “Last year I had a woman in her eighties who presented with a fractured central incisor with hopeless prognosis. She was so upset about losing the tooth and terrified about the surgery that she cried throughout the consultation. That same day, using 3D CBCT technology, I was able to extract the tooth and place an immediate implant, avoiding a neurectomy. When she returned to my office for the post-operative appointment, she brought her ‘famous’ homemade cookies and gave me the biggest hug — this time with ‘happy tears’ streaming down her cheeks.”


AGE: 40

CITY: New York, New York

SPECIALTY: Prothodontics

NAME OF PRACTICE: Greene Street Dental

EDUCATION: DDS, New York University College of Dentistry

WHY HE WAS NOMINATED: After emigrating to the U.S. from Germany, Dr. Zhivago — who graced the cover of Incisal Edge’s Spring 2017 issue — studied dentistry at both NYU and Columbia. As a clinical assistant professor in the prosthodontics department at NYU Dental, he leads a course in digital dentistry and directs the curriculum for postgraduate prosthodontics.

PHILOSOPHY: “The person cannot be replaced. We live in an increasingly digitized world, but there is no program or software able to match the care that is provided by one person to another.”

TOOL HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: “I use this computer software called ZBrush. It’s used a lot for movies and animation, but when it’s combined with dental software, I can modify a scan of a patient’s tooth and create and sculpt the new crown on my own.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: As a kid in Germany, Dr. Zhivago was an avid skateboarder with his friends. “Then we grew up and had to put the sport aside,” he says. “But now that my 5-year-old daughter wants to go for bike rides, I have an excuse to get back on the board — and I can still do a pretty good heel flip.”

Photography by Matt Furman | Creative Style Director: Joseph DeAcetis Hair and Makeup: Yukie Nammori | Makeup Artists: Ayana Awata, Suzana Hallili Stylists: Deb Milstein, Vergil Ato, Ekaterina Klokovskaya, William Maximillian Parkinson, Ricardo Paris Shot on location at Zen House, 165 Allen Street, New York, New York