40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

Justin Messina

  • Englewood, New Jersey
  • Specialty

Age:

34

Name of Practice:

Riverside Oral Surgery

Specialty:

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

Education:

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; MD, Harvard Medical School


Why They Were Nominated

Dr. Messina has received extensive subspecialty training during clinical rotations in anesthesiology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and head-and-neck surgery. He regularly participates in trauma call and maintains staff privileges in local hospitals. At Hackensack University Medical Center, the largest provider of in- and outpatient services in New Jersey, he trains postgraduate general-practice dental residents.

Why They Became a Dentist

“When researching careers, I looked to my own health-care experiences, and I always enjoyed the patient- doctor relationship that I had with my own dentist.”

Inspiration

“My former chief of service at Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Leonard B. Kaban, a role model in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery.”

Tool They Can’t Live Without

Molt #9 Periosteal Elevator. “The workhorse of oral surgery.”

Most Memorable Patient

His first extraction in dental school. “The first of any procedure is always interesting, but this patient was the most pleasant and understanding person. It made the extremely stressful experience that much easier.”

Sage Advice

“Work hard, but don’t let academics hinder you from experience. In the end, the dental field is a business, and to succeed involves troubleshooting, creativity and the ability to keep up with the ever-evolving field.”

Something People Don’t Know

“I’m an extreme-sports enthusiast. Wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, whitewater rafting, you name it.”