LIVINGSTON, NJ - This week, TAPinto Livingston sat down with Jay Sher, DDS, FAGD, FACD, whose practice called Jay Sher D.D.S., Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is located at 154 S. Livingston Ave., Suite 104, (973) 992-4770, to learn more about him and his business as part of a new member benefit being provided by The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with TAPinto Livingston.

Where did you attend college and dental school?

I received my undergraduate degree Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut and earned my dental degree at Columbia University School of Dental Medicine where I was class president, editor of the school newspaper, co-editor of the yearbook and recipient of the alumni award.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

What makes your practice special?

What separates out our practice is that we roll out the red carpet for everybody. Patients often become our friends and part of our family here. Many of our patients have been with us since we started.

We try to extend ourselves for every patient and make it an easy, pleasant experience for everyone who comes. We provide a very friendly atmosphere. We have a wonderful staff and most members have been here for over 10 years.

We do very high-level dentistry here, and do all facets of general dentistry for adults and children.

What do you like about having your office located in Livingston?

I love Livingston and have been in the area for almost 35 years. I raised three daughters through the school system and the recreation department is fabulous too.

What services do you offer?

We offer general, cosmetic, laser, children’s and restorative dentistry, as well as dental emergency services, orthodontics (Invisalign®), TMJ treatment, root canal therapy and more.

General Dentistry--We offer every type of general dental care including regular cleanings, check-up exams, and preventive care.

Cosmetic Dentistry—We offer the most advanced whitening, veneers, dental bonding, porcelain fillings, and orthodontics. I am very artistic and I love doing the veneers, and using the lasers to get everything perfect. I also have dental microscopes and can see everything very close up. I like to be very precise with everything that I do.

Dental Emergencies We handle all kinds of dental emergencies. While there is never a good time for a dental emergency, we always have our patients covered. Simply put—if it hurts, it's an emergency! We encourage patients to make sure to call to let us know what is happening and allow us to assess the situation in order to schedule an emergency visit as necessary. If no one is in the office when a patient calls, they can reach me on my pager. I respond very quickly.

Restorative DentistryOver time, the mouth, gums, and teeth can experience heavy wear, tear, and even serious damage. These problems are not purely cosmetic—they can also cause severe functional difficulties as well as significant pain and emotional stress. We can restore patients’ teeth and mouths to full functionality and a healthy appearance whatever the level of existing damage. We use dental implants, dentures, crowns, inlays and onlays, and bridges to achieve total restoration.

Implants—I did an implant fellowship at Brookdale Hospital. I also did a lot of the basic research on implants when they were first coming out for a patent for an implant placing device. In addition, I have co-authored many articles and a chapter in a book on implants.

So, I have been involved with implants from their infancy in the mid 1970’s. They have gone through an amazing transformation. They are terrific. You have to be very careful to get the right person who can place them and restore them, not the cheapest.

I placed a lot of implants early on. However, I wasn’t doing it on such a regular basis that I felt comfortable handling every patient’s case. So, more recently, because there are some really terrific surgeons and periodontists in town who are replacing implants, I have been referring patients out for the placement and doing o the restorative part here.

Laser Dentistry—Once in while technological advances come along that are a giant leap in every possible way for both the doctor and patient. The introduction of lasers into the field of dentistry is one such improvement as we marvel every day at the enhanced improvement in efficacy and comfort afforded us using each of our four different lasers for the past five years. The lasers allow most procedures to be performed with no heat or vibration and can often replace traditional instruments like the drill and scalpel, while being less invasive, essentially painless, faster and bloodless in most cases.

We have four different lasers in the office. One is a hard tissue laser, which we use to do simple basic fillings without using anesthesia or a hand piece. We use one for biopsies and we can do it cleanly without anesthesia, a scalpel or stitches, and without spilling a drop of blood. And we have others for trimming tissue and one that we use for cavity detection.

Orthodontics—We use Invisalign® to adjust and maintain optimal tooth alignment in adults. Invisalign is based on wearing a series of custom-made clear "aligners" over the teeth that are almost invisible. It helps you get straighter teeth without having to wear a mouthful of wires and metal braces.

Children's Dentistry—We treat children as well as adults. We try to make the visit to the dentist a positive experience for every child. Using lasers helps us to make visits successful because we enjoy the capability of doing most fillings with the laser, comfortably, and with no anesthesia.

TMJ Treatment—Temporomandibular joint disorders, commonly known as TMJ, involve the jaw joint located just in front of the ear and can be the cause for significant pain for those who suffer from it. Common symptoms include pain in this area of the jaw or ear, discomfort when opening or closing the jaw, headaches, or even a jaw that locks open or closed. These problems should be addressed as soon as possible because they can lead to further and more significant problems involving the tissues that make up the jaw joint, muscles used in chewing, and worn or broken teeth. We have had extremely good results with helping patients with muscular problems with making an accurate diagnosis and implementing the proper treatment to rectify the situation.

Root Canal Therapy—There is probably no other dental procedure that can elicit a more feared response from a patient than "having to have a root canal." Root canal therapy is the procedure to treat the inner aspect of a tooth that houses the pulp tissue. The actual procedure can often be done in one visit and is usually not uncomfortable at all. What can be painful is the severe discomfort associated with an infected tooth left untreated and the association with the therapy has given this procedure a bad reputation which is not really deserved.

Do you remove wisdom teeth?

If they are straight forward, I can do them here. I used to do a lot of surgery when I first started out. But I know where the line has to be drawn. Oral surgeons are specialists. I work with some of the local surgeons in town. So, if a procedure is a little more complicated, like an impacted wisdom tooth, I will refer the patient out. My bottom line is “who is going to best treat this patient?” If it is something I feel very qualified to do, I am happy to do it or give the patient a choice. If it is more complicated, I will refer it out and let the patient see the specialist who does these kinds of things every day.

How do you keep up with all of the new advances and technology in your field?

I am always expanding my knowledge of dentistry by attending continuing education courses. I have also lectured on a variety of topics both nationally and internationally and authored/coauthored dozens of articles that have appeared in dental journals. In addition, I have contributed a chapter for a dental implant textbook.

I am also an attending at the Beth Israel Hospital in Newark where I often lecture for the 13 dental residents on a variety of topics.

What are some of your accomplishments in your field?

I have been recognized numerous times excellence in my field. I have been appointed as a consulting expert by the NJ State Board of Dentistry for my professional opinion to determine the validity of patient complaints brought before the board. I can also be called in as an expert witness. I have also been listed in “America’s Cosmetic Doctors and Dentists” and “America’s Top Doctors” and in the “Guide to America’s Top Dentists.”

I also hold a patent for an implant placement device. 

What professional associations are you a member of?

I am an active member of many professional dental associations including: the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the New Jersey Dental Association and the Essex County Dental Society (past president). I am also a past president of the Newark Dental Society and I am a fellow of the American College of Dentists, Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Certified by the Academy of Laser Dentistry and active with the New Jersey Sleep Society.

What would you tell someone who is looking for a new dentist to look for in a dentist?

I would tell them to look for someone with experience who is active in the local dental society.

At what age should a child have his/her first visit to the dentist?

A child should visit the dentist for the first time when they are approximately three years old, unless a parent sees a problem—a brown or black spot. We have them see our hygienist who is fabulous with the kids and we do “Tell, Show, Do” scenarios with the kids where we tell them what we are going to do, show them and then do it. We give them a toy after that. The kids are fun and the things they say and do are funny—I could write a book on it.

We also have every possible flavor fluoride treatment for kids and we teach them how to brush and floss.

What do you do for fearful adults?

We take a low key approach and try to make it a pleasant experience for them. We give them music to listen to, and do whatever we can to coax them through it. We start out slowly. Sometimes the fearful patients are interesting patients because they are a bit of a challenge. It is good to have a challenge once in a while.

What if someone breaks a tooth playing a sport, do they come directly to you or the ER?

We see these types of emergencies here all the time. I live in town, so it is always easy to get in touch with me. I will meet anyone here with an emergency—morning, day or night. I can also meet them at the hospital.

What hospital are you on staff at?

I am on the staff of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark and every other week I lecture the 13 residents there. I also often stay around for the three-and-a half hour clinic on Wednesday afternoons with other attendings. That has been a lot of fun and I really love to do it. They see a lot of patients there. I am just there as a go-to person for the residents in case they don’t know what to do and to help recent graduates of dental school.

What is your favorite TV show?

I like watching sports and the Nature Channel.

What is your favorite Movie?

Field of Dreams.

If you had an office theme song what would it be?

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams