Dr. Bela and Dr. Garry Levingart graduated from NYU College of Dentistry in 1989 and 1990, respectively. Since then and after opening on the Upper West Side nearly thirty years ago, they have kept abreast with the latest, evidence-based dental treatments to bring to their clients. This has led them to certification in Dental Implantology at NYUCD, Fellowships in Laser Dentistry; and sought-out expertise in Esthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry using CAD/CAM technology.
Two years ago, Dr. Bela and Dr. Garry proudly welcomed Dr. Diana Levingart, their daughter, and graduate of NYUCD Class of 2015, to their practice. Dr. Diana is currently pursuing a Fellowship with the AACD. Dr. Diana has a holistic health care and nutritional studies background and hopes to spread awareness of the effects of oral health and nutrition on body and cognitive functioning. She looks forward to incorporating her studies in the Psychology of dental fear and anxiety into her practice to provide BPA-free, Mercury-free, and esthetic restoration options in a calm and supportive environment.
We spoke to the Levingarts to dig a little deeper…
Does your practice specialize in certain treatments?
We mostly deal with tooth restoration via veneers; we replace missing teeth or repair missing parts of the tooth structure that have been compromised due to decay, a fracture or a previous restoration. After taking an intensive implantology course, implantology became another specialty of ours. We also have our own laboratory where we make crowns, veneers, and dentures on site.
Talk to us about dental implants?
Implants are dental prostheses such as crowns, bridges, and dentures that are attached to a small metal post or frame, basically, an artificial tooth root, that is surgically placed in the jawbone. Implants can be life-changing; not only do they correct facial deformities due to missing teeth, but they allow you to eat foods that were previously impossible to chew or speak without impediment.
What are veneers and how do they work?
A veneer is a thin layer of either composite material or porcelain/ceramic that is placed over a tooth to improve its appearance and/or to protect the surface of the tooth from dam- age. We’ve taken many courses with the first company to introduce veneers to the market. It was actually the first cosmetic dentistry procedure we offered.
How has innovation changed dental cosmetic surgery?
The biggest innovation in the industry is the advanced CAD-CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) technology. We have used CAD-CAM for the last decade and it has completely changed the way we restore patient’s smiles.
We can afford to be more conservative in terms of treatment. Previously, we might have resorted to invasive procedures, like root canal and tooth extraction, but CAD-CAM, 3D scanners and 3 types of laser can shorten procedure and recovery time considerably. With these new lasers, we are able to precisely target the periodontal tissue, this means minimal damage to the surrounding area and much less discomfort for the patient.
In terms of veneers, CAD-CAM allows us to restore between two and three teeth per hour, depending on the case.
Are temporary treatments for special occasions a possibility?
Composite veneers are a quick, cheap option and they are temporary in that, because they are porous, they will last for a couple of years before they need to be either re-polished or changed. They are placed, like ceramic veneers, on the tooth surface but are molded by the dentist—no lab is involved. In one appointment, veneers will change the shape and color of your teeth and can be removed at any time without causing damage. You might say veneers really bring out our creative side; we even enjoy it. Diana is very artistic and I’m not biased at all when I say, she does the best composite work!
What makes your practice different?
We are a small, family-run office catering mostly to young adults and the elderly. Because my partners are close family, there will be a lot of communication and consultation with zero competition or ego involved! We are based in central Manhattan; many people who might find it difficult to make it to appointments can use lunch breaks or our after-hours options.
We believe each patient deserves personal attention. I want to point out that in many cases where other dentists have suggested invasive procedures—such as removing teeth or performing a root canal—we managed to fix the problem without drastic measures.
What are the costs and longevity of the treatments?
We offer treatments at several different price points and try to accommodate all budgets. It’s not an easy conversation but it’s true that spending a little more on higher-quality materials for teeth restoration will save money in the long run.
In terms of longevity, it all depends on the quality of the materials, the wear and tear, and compliance to a dental hygiene protocol. Porcelain is strong, but the teeth must be looked after because decay can set in, even behind the veneers. Unfortunately, the patient might not detect anything before there is extensive damage. That’s why we recommend hygiene visits every three months; we want to maintain the work we have completed while monitoring for problems in the early, more treatable stages.
I put veneers on a patient in 1991; he has been so meticulous that they are both still going strong (the patient and the veneers!).
Finally, What do you love most about your job?
We put 100% into every procedure—no matter how small. When people leave our practice happy, smiling and satisfied, we are happy too.
Drs. Bela, Garry and Diana Levingart all work together at their family practice, their goal is to make your visit as pain and anxiety-free as possible. They love the art and technology that comes with rebuilding someone’s smile, and as a result, their confidence.
You can reach them at 212-581-0707, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org