If there is one body part being ignored in spa treatments, it’s the teeth. That is, unless you are a patient of Dr. Gerald P. Curatola’s Rejuvenation Dentistry on New York’s Park Avenue. Here a routine checkup includes a relaxing and restorative "mouth facial," during which the teeth are polished to a bright shine then whitened with a peroxide-free gel. Unlike most dental-whitening sessions, there is no discomfort and it’s fast—less than 20 minutes.
The procedure involves eight two-minute intervals under a cooling blue light, after which a technician applies to the gums an antioxidant mask containing homeopathic compounds such as selenium, quillaja, cranberry extract, and vitamins E and C. This sweet-tasting balm helps prevent gum decay and disease while rebalancing the biofilm, or plaque, that lines the mouth. The detergents and alcohol in everyday toothpastes and mouthwash unnecessarily destroy the biofilm, says Curatola.
Many dentists have embraced the spa aesthetic—offering hand massages and reflexology to ease tension, dotting the office with orchids and scented candles—but Curatola’s philosophy goes beyond that. "’Spa’ is too trite a word," he says of the luxurious surroundings he has created to pamper his patients, with everything from heated massage chairs to chauffeur service to a concierge who greets you on arrival. Calling his clinic a spa also detracts from the fact that Curatola has 25 years of experience and is a clinical associate professor at New York University’s College of Dentistry.
Focused on combining a soothing atmosphere with a cutting-edge practice, he and his 15-person team take a holistic approach to dental care. With gum disease’s proven link to heart problems, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, a healthy mouth is crucial to maintaining one’s long-term well-being. Recently Curatola discovered early-stage oral cancer in a nine-year-old patient and diagnosed two others with diabetes.
When you make your first appointment, the concierge will send you a "comfort list." She’ll keep your favorite beverage and music on file. You can also request laughing gas, aromatherapy treatments, and rejuvenating face fresheners. You’ll find these comforts waiting chairside when you visit.
Besides specialists in periodontics (gums), orthodontics (braces), endodontics (root canals), and oral surgery (extractions and implants), on hand is a nutritionist to advise patients on a customized diet, a therapist for stress-management counseling, and a "ceramist" to offer suggestions on cosmetic procedures such as porcelain veneers.
Curatola’s reputation has spread around the globe. Patients fly in daily from the West Coast, the Middle East, Africa, and other far-flung spots. When we paid a visit, a Saudi Arabian client was getting veneers put in. To meet the demand, Curatola has opened offices in East Hampton, Paris, and London. Outposts in Rome and Dubai will debut this spring as will another in Beverly Hills next fall. Mouth facial, from $200; teeth whitening, from $675. At 521 Park Ave., Ste. 1C, New York; 212-355-4777. For other locations, visit rejuvenationdentistry.com.