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New York has many options when it comes to cosmetic and medical-based dentistry, but Lowenberg, Lituchy and Kantor, on Manhattan's Central Park South, is, by far, the best. Led by three innovative doctors with an eye for beauty and detail, and supported by a talented team of dental enthusiasts, the practice is truly a holistic operation where a patient can address tooth and mouth issues, disease, aging and, of course, cosmetic concerns. I visited the practice recently for a thorough cleaning and Zoom whitening session, and found not only their office to be incredibly chic, modern and beautiful - but the true heartbeat of dental medicine - incredibly reassuring.

These doctors are celebrity dentists, through and through. Not only do they count a gaggle of famous faces around the world as patients, but they are considered experts in their field and are called-on by the profession to weigh-in on everything from implants, veneers, smile restoration, mouth cancer and more. My visit was rather straight forward, but in my three hours in the office I realized that all the teeth cleanings I had for years prior paled in comparison - and that I needed to step back and take another look at the way my oral health was being managed.

From the moment I walked into the office I was welcomed and quickly led upstairs. I was shown into a beautiful treatment room with a large television equipped with Netflix and all the gadgets one could imagine to make your mouth sparkle. The hygienist soon entered and got to work on x-rays, cleaning, polishing and flossing. My teeth have never felt so clean and, soon after, the Zoom session was set up. Over an hour my teeth went from a decently white shade to a gleaming white masterpiece, ready to show itself off all over the city. I felt brand new and, after Zoom, was looked over by Dr. Brian Kantor to be sure I had no hidden cavities or other problems. I was even given a tour of the office's private veneer and crown lab in the lower level.

After my appointment, I spoke with Dr. Marc Lowenberg via email and asked him and few questions about the doctors and the practice.

IC: What sparked you to enter the field of dentistry?

ML: I grew up wanting to be in show business, either an actor or director, but I had an uncle who was a dentist and at the same time I was great with my hands - always building things. My dad kept telling me that I should be a dentist. I remember by the time I was 13, I was still debating which path to choose. When I began college at American University, my dad drove me down to Washington DC. Somewhere along the Jersey Turnpike he turned to me and said, "So what’s it going to be? Acting or Dentistry? You're going to have to pick a major when you register." I still remember waiting on a very long line to register for theater courses, but when my turn came and the registrar asked me to declare a major, without thinking I just said, "pre-med.” When I graduated college, I went to the New York University College of Dentistry. In my junior year of dental school, which was during the Vietnam War, I volunteered as a medic during the Moratoriums in Washington protesting the war. It was there where I met the personal physician for the Rolling Stones who promised that he would send me the Rolling Stones when I opened my practice. That moment changed my professional path, as he kept his word and the Stones became my first patients. Roberta Flack, Bryan Eno, Bryan Ferry and the Average White Band followed in the early years, and as the years went by, more and more entertainers and celebrities followed. As my mom would say, "I ended up with both my dreams, dentistry and show business."

IC: What is the LLK ethos when treating patients?

ML: We always strive to make the patient happy: to try and meet their esthetic expectations.

IC: What has been one of the most exciting cosmetic cases you’ve worked on?

ML: There have been many, but among the outstanding ones, I would say the most exciting case was one that I did for the Oprah show about 18 years ago. A young mother with a severe dental phobia, had neglected her teeth for years. She had put all her care into her children and husband, and let her teeth deteriorate. She was a beautiful young woman with a smile she was embarrassed of. Oprah flew her to New York, and within a week I transformed her smile into a glamorous show stopping one that she was so proud of. You can see the results on our website. What makes this case special is that this woman is filled with gratitude for what we did for her. Believe it or not, for the last 18 years she contacts me every few months to remind me of how grateful she is. She recently posted a memory on Facebook, that 18 years later she is still smiling from what we did for her.

IC: What is an easy and affordable way for patients to better their smile?

ML: Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips are a great option for at-home whitening on a budget. The bleach within the strips remains in contact with the tooth enamel long enough to deliver noticeable results. Whitening strips combined with daily use of a whitening toothpaste are an affordable alternative to maintaining a bright smile. The length of time your teeth will stay whiter varies and is influenced by how often you drink coffee, tea, dark colas, red wine or smoke. The results vary from person to person depending on how receptive one’s teeth are to the bleaching gel. White strips work to their maximum in 2 weeks – the whitest your teeth will ever be, is the day that you stop. It is not as effective as in-office bleaching because Whitestrips contain a weaker percentage of hydrogen peroxide and don't remain isolated on the teeth as well as in-office whitening but they are the best of the at-home options.

The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t floss and if they do, they don’t floss correctly. You should never skip flossing. You should ideally floss 1 time per day but the healthiest mouths are those who floss after every meal. There is no miracle product that will replace brushing and flossing. Flossing daily is necessary for healthy gums because it dislodges food that is stuck between the teeth where a brush cannot reach. Food debris caught between teeth can cause bad breath and other serious dental problems. Most of the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease lives in ‘hard to get to’ areas between the teeth. A brush simply will not reach it and rinsing is not powerful enough to dislodge it. The only way of physically removing this plaque from between the teeth is to floss. You should always run the floss along the tooth structure in the shape of a C rather than just snapping quickly between each tooth. If I were to give anyone 3 tips on oral hygiene, it would be, floss, floss and floss.

A healthy diet containing fruit and crunchy vegetables will help remove plaque from your teeth. Also a sugar free diet or a low sugar diet will reduce the amount of plaque that sticks to your teeth, which causes decay and gum disease. Nothing can replace flossing and brushing, but in general, a well-balanced diet will contribute to a healthier mouth and less inflammation overall.

IC: Are there any exciting new devices or procedures entering the field of dentistry?

ML: While not necessarily new, the use of Botox injections in the muscles of mastication has increased during the pandemic because it reduces the ability to grind your teeth, and therefore, reduces the exacerbation of TMJ.

IC: What is the LLK difference? What makes you one of the best in New York City?

ML: I would have to say that what makes us different is that the three of us truly care about making people happy. We go to great lengths to satisfy patients expectations. Artistic talent plays a great part in creating beautiful smiles and that is what makes us great at what we do. It is not just the technical aspect of dentistry, but also requires an artistic eye. And, it helps that we have our own dental lab in our office, captained by the world renowned ceramist Jason Kim, who actually creates the porcelain veneers. We change smiles, but more importantly we change lives.