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Meet the Best Dentists in Westchester in 2020

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The professional you choose to care for your smile may be one of the most important health decisions you make. That’s why we went to the experts at peer-review survey firm topDentists™ to provide a list of the county’s 305 most exceptional practitioners, arranged by their respective areas of specialization.

See the Top Dentists 2020 List

Below, eight of our top dentists discuss the ins and outs of their fields and share key dental advice.

Top row, left to right: Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, Dr. Kenneth Magid, Dr. Jessica M. Bonifate, Dr. Eric Echelman. Bottom row, left to right: Dr. Anthony Del Vecchio, Dr. Gina Delia, Dr. Robert Rioseco, Dr. Helen Chiao
Photos by KVON Photography (Magid-Katz); Mike Discuillo (Chiao); all other photos courtesy of the respective dentists
All other photos courtesy of AdobeStock

What are the key things to look for when choosing a general dentist or specialist?

Communication is key to developing a good doctor-patient relationship, so you should feel comfortable raising any questions or concerns you may have. You must also be comfortable in the office and with the staff. Is the office accommodating and respectful of your concerns and time? Is the office clean, and does it have modern technology? It’s also essential to be aware of the office’s financial policies and know how they would handle your dental insurance, so there are no surprises. Probably the best way to find a general dentist is to ask a friend, family member, or coworker who they would recommend and ask your general dentist for a specialist they trust and have a good working relationship with.
—Dr. Eric Echelman, White Plains

I would say that the most important thing to look for is credentialing. So, if you are looking for a surgeon, board certification is very important. If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist, accreditation by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the top credential a dentist can have in that field. Fellowships and master’s degrees from the academy of general dentistry should carry extra weight when considering a general dentist.
—Dr. Robert Rioseco, West Harrison

Finding someone who really listens. Does the dentist take time to answer your questions and get detailed information about your dental and overall health when consulting with you? Does the dentist get a sense of who you are and what your treatment expectations are?
It is important that your dentist is able to listen to what you say during your initial visit(s) to distinguish your independent needs and to customize your treatment recommendations and overall experience.
—Dr. Jessica M. Bonifate, Bronxville

What’s the hardest thing about being a dentist that the average patient doesn’t know about or appreciate?

There are many inaccuracies of online reviews about doctors, and online review companies reach out to healthcare providers and offices offering good reviews in exchange for payment, which perpetuates the misleading potential of online reviews. The best way to find a reputable dentist is from word-of-mouth referrals. Also, dental insurance companies tend to drive patients’ decisions for timely dental care; dental insurance is more of a hindrance than a help at times.
—Dr. Helen Chiao, Hartsdale

I really don’t think many people realize the hours needed to learn techniques and incorporate advanced technologies, like dental CT scans, digital workflow, and anesthesia safety. It is an ongoing process that I have enjoyed doing and now am fortunate enough to be involved lecturing nationally to other dentists and specialists on what I do here in Westchester.
—Dr. Anthony Del Vecchio, Yorktown Heights

Even though my specialty is the mouth, I had thorough and vigorous training in the overall medical health of human beings. You’d be amazed to know how many diseases may only manifest with an oral presentation, and early diagnosis can make a big difference in a treatment protocol.
—Dr. Gina Delia, Hastings-on-Hudson

Perhaps the hardest part of being a dentist is the amount of multitasking involved to provide excellent service. There’s a ton of work that goes on outside the treatment room. Being a good dentist means that you are constantly evolving. I think of myself as a lifelong student.
—Dr. Eric Echelman

Dentists have to be a whole mix of things, all rolled into one. We have to be artists, mechanics, psychologists, businesspeople, and a multitude of other disciplines in the normal course of our day.
—Dr. Robert Rioseco

Share with us one of your favorite patient stories.

A patient of mine used to come to see me for cleanings every three months. She complained of a dry mouth, which is not unusual in elderly patients. I was able to develop a differential diagnosis that included a rare autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome. When I called the patient’s internist and asked him to work the patient up, we discovered that she indeed has Sjogren’s. Once diagnosed, the patient was able to get treatment that included addressing other issues, which included joint pain previously thought to be “old age” arthritis. I felt like a dental Dr. House.
—Dr. Gina Delia

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has a program called Give Back A Smile, which helps women who were victims of domestic violence. Around 15 years ago, someone from the program contacted me and asked if I would treat one of their women. She came in scared, embarrassed, battered, and bruised, with several damaged and missing teeth from being attacked.

I assembled a team of dentists to extract and do root canal therapy on some damaged teeth that couldn’t be saved. I was then able to rebuild her teeth and give her a smile she could be proud of. When the treatment was complete, she was so thrilled to be able to smile again. She came back to the office for two follow-ups, but then she stopped coming in. 

It was not until 14 years later that I realized the impact her new smile had on her life. Last year, she came back to my office with a dental emergency and said that I was the only one she trusted to fix the dental issue. She then shared how her new smile gave her the confidence to rejoin the workforce, which finally gave her the ability to raise her child in a proper and nurturing way. She is currently a manager at a big corporation, and her child is at a private school, on scholarship. She was so appreciative of the help I gave that changed her life.

She has now returned as an active patient and regularly updates me with news of her family. This experience was so inspiring to me, both personally and professionally, to be able to restore her pride and dignity. To have such a positive impact on someone’s life reminded me of why I went into dentistry.
—Dr. Eric Echelman

Pleasures of life can be found daily, whether in the office or on vacation. Imagine a hot sunny day, enjoying an escape to a magnificent city, like Rome. As expected, a visit to the Vatican and its art museum is a must. Just when you think you have finally lost yourself from the daily challenges of life, imagine waiting on a line for your turn to enter the Vatican. Suddenly, through the sounds of the crowd, you hear: “Dr. D… Dr. D… is that you?” It reaches the point of comic relief when your family turn to you in frustration and comment, “Even at the Vatican they know you? Really?
—Dr. Anthony Del Vecchio

How has your practice been affected by COVID-19?

Unfortunately, dentists are one of the most vulnerable professions to catching COVID-19 because of the proximity to patients. It’s hard to practice social distancing while working in someone’s mouth. In addition, the aerosol created by the dental instruments makes it difficult to avoid the spread of viral elements. To deal with this problem, our practice is investing in sophisticated equipment that will reduce the aerosol created in dentistry by 99% and additional technology that will treat/disinfect the room air 100%.
—Drs. Kenneth Magid & Sabrina Magid-Katz, Harrison 

Just before the peak occurred in Westchester, I switched my endodontic root canal specialty office to teledentistry to minimize the risk. I had contacts in other parts of the world who were hit first and strongest, so I had fair warning before New York began to spike. Understanding the importance of proper infection control, education in public health, epidemiology, and infectious disease from my training at Harvard gave me foresight into what was to come. Currently, we’re waiting to reopen once Gov. Cuomo lifts the lockdown, and we’re implementing “State-of-the-Art” post-COVID-19 safety and prevention technologies and protocols to keep everyone safe long-term.
—Dr. Helen Chiao

I maintain close contact with community physicians regarding presentation of the virus. My sister, a dermatologist, shared a French medical study that observed three skin manifestations if a patient was COVID-19-positive, which included hives, asteatosis, and a frostbite-like skin problem. I also read all medical journals vigorously. COVID-19 has taken me away from what I love most — dentistry and my relationship with my patients.
—Dr. Gina Delia

Which mouthwash do you use?

We use Tooth and Gum Tonic, which is all-natural and very effective. Other mouthwashes can also help freshen the mouth, but avoid any mouthwash that contains alcohol, which dries the tissue resulting in even more of the sulfa-producing bacteria and has also been linked to oral cancer.
—Drs. Kenneth Magid & Sabrina Magid-Katz

ACT Fluoride anti-cavity mouth rinse. If not the ACT brand, any generic one is fine, so long as it has fluoride in it and does not have too much alcohol, which dries out the mucosal tissues [in the mouth].
—Dr. Helen Chiao

A mouthwash like CloSYS contains no alcohol and works very well to break down volatile sulfur compounds, which cause bad breath.
—Dr. Robert Rioseco

Do whitening toothpastes actually whiten?

They do and can, but it’s not as powerful as an in-office bleaching, which if pursued too many times can weaken your enamel. Save those for very special occasions, and don’t overdo it. I have seen patients who overbleach and end up needing root canals years later.
—Dr. Helen Chiao

Whitening toothpastes can whiten your teeth. But there are so many other variables, like diet, habits, and medication, that can make the results differ.
—Dr. Anthony Del Vecchio

Whitening toothpastes remove extrinsic stains from the teeth, which results in cleaner and brighter-looking teeth. This is not the same as bleaching the teeth, which removes intrinsic staining, which makes the teeth appear yellow or brown due to age. Dental bleaching removes yellow and the yellow component of brown-looking teeth but does not remove or significantly whiten gray teeth.
—Drs. Kenneth Magid & Sabrina Magid-Katz

Nothing whitens better than in-office whitening. We provide ZOOM! in-office whitening. (That doesn’t mean you call into a group on your computer to get it done, LOL.)  We consider it the best and most reliable whitening system available.
—Dr. Robert Rioseco 

Which prevailing myth about dentistry frustrates you the most?

The notion that dentistry hurts is pretty much gone, nowadays (but we still deal occasionally with phobic patients). The most common myth is that dentistry should last forever. Mechanically stressed systems, that are under acidic water all the time, will always eventually fail.
—Dr. Robert Rioseco

There is an Internet myth out there called the “focal infection theory,” which claims a dental infection can cause an infection in other bodily organs, such as the kidney, liver, etc. This is false information and very misleading for patients.
—Dr. Helen Chiao

That “oral health is not connected to the rest of the body” is so very false. A dental infection or poor hygiene places an enormous stress on the immune system. At a time like this, it’s critical to keep your mouth healthy.
—Dr. Gina Delia

The falsehood that after a certain age, you cannot have the right care tailored for your situation. Countless times during consultations, patients and family have talked themselves out of treatment. When I can debunk those lies
and offer hope and the ability to function again, it gives great joy to those willing to let go of falsehoods and trust again.
—Dr. Anthony Del Vecchio

 


This list is excerpted from the 2020 topDentists™ list, a database that includes listings of more than 300 dentists and specialists in the Westchester County area. The Westchester list is based on thousands of detailed evaluations of dental professionals by their peers. The complete database is available at www.usatopdentists.com. For more information, call 706.364.0853; write P.O. Box 970, Augusta, GA 30903; email info@usatopdentists.com; or visit www.usatopdentists.com. Statement From topDentists™

SELECTION PROCESS

“If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer them to?” This is the question we’ve asked thousands of dentists to help us determine who the topDentists should be. Dentists and specialists are asked to take into consideration years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies and, of course, physical results. The nomination pool of dentists consists of dentists listed online with the American Dental Association, as well as dentists listed online with their local dental societies, thus allowing virtually every dentist the opportunity to participate. Dentists are also given the opportunity to nominate other dentists whom they feel should be included in our list. Respondents are asked to put aside any personal bias or political motivations and to use only their knowledge of their peer’s work when evaluating the other nominees. Voters are asked to individually evaluate the practitioners on their ballot whose work they are familiar with. Once the balloting is completed, the scores are compiled and then averaged. The numerical average required for inclusion varies depending on the average for all the nominees within the specialty and the geographic area. Borderline cases are given careful consideration by the editors. Voting characteristics and comments are taken into consideration while making decisions. Past awards a dentist has received and status in various dental academies can play a factor in our decisions. Once the decisions have been finalized, the included dentists are checked against state dental boards for disciplinary actions and to make sure they have an active license and are in good standing with the board. Then, letters of congratulations are sent to all the listed dentists. Of course, there are many fine dentists who are not included in this representative list. It is intended as a sampling of the great body of talent in the field of dentistry in the United States. A dentist’s inclusion on our list is based on the subjective judgments of his or her fellow dentists. While it is true that the lists may, at times, disproportionately reward visibility or popularity, we remain confident that our polling methodology largely corrects for any biases and that these lists continue to represent the most reliable, accurate, and useful list of dentists available anywhere.

DISCLAIMER

This list is excerpted from the 2020 topDentists™ list, which includes listings for 305 dentists and specialists in Westchester County. For more information, call 706.364.0853; write P.O. Box 970, Augusta, GA 30903; email info@usatopdentists.com, or visit www.usatopdentists.com. topDentists has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list but does not warrant that the information contained herein is complete or accurate, and does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. Copyright 2009-2020 by topDentists, Augusta, GA. All rights reserved. This list, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without the permission of topDentists.

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