Combine natural artistic abilities and a passion for creating beautiful smiles and you’ll get Dr. Sivan Finkel, DMD. While in college, Dr. Finkel majored in art alongside his pre-dental requirements, two passions that went hand-in-hand and now guide each of his smile transformations. Today, Dr. Finkel works with his father, Dr. Myron Finkel, who opened The Dental Parlour in New York City in 1971. Both share the same commitment to excellence, providing top dental care to generations of New York families.
Beauty in the Bag spoke with Dr. Finkel about his career as a dentist and what a productive day looks like behind the scenes.
Connect with him on Instagram @drsivanfinkel.
1. You’ve been a dentist for a few years now. Can you tell us a little bit about your passion for your career and when it all started?
It all started with art. I was always sure I had to do something creative and work with my hands, but also something impactful. I was majoring in art alongside pre-med at Tulane University, considering plastic surgery, but then I realized there was an incredible opportunity for me within my father’s profession of dentistry: the relatively young subfield of aesthetic dentistry. I decided I would join him in practice and specialize in only the aesthetic procedures, the artistic side of dentistry. So far the plan is working out nicely — cheesy as it sounds, I love going to work in the morning, and it really doesn’t ever feel like “work.”
The most exciting concept in dentistry right now, in my opinion, is Digital Smile Design. This is a brilliant system out of Brazil that allows me to design a smile perfectly customized to a patient’s overall face, test it out digitally, and then have those exact tooth shapes milled into extremely thin porcelain veneers. It’s an excellent communication tool, because we all know how subjective “beauty” is, so now my patients visualize how they’d look with two, three, or four different smiles before committing to having any work done. I’m proud to be one of the first to bring this exciting technology to New York.
2. As patients, we hardly see what goes on “behind the scenes.” What’s a typical/productive day in your eyes as a dentist?
Typically, I wake up at seven and swim laps at the gym, then I’m at the office by nine. I see about six patients per day, which is a comfortable number. After my last patient, I’m at my workbench for an hour or so, developing my smile designs and organizing/analyzing the photos I took that day. Photography plays a huge role in the dentistry I do. I take every Tuesday off to teach aesthetics at NYU dental school, which is a nice change of pace and very fulfilling. After work, I go on dates or out to dinner with friends, although as I get busier at work, I’m doing less on the weeknights. On the weekends my friends and I have been doing a lot of Brooklyn, as cliché as that sounds, because that’s where the best DJs are booked these days. Specifically, I’m into deep house — that’s the music we play at work, burning man DJ sets, and my patients tell me it goes really well with the nitrous!
3. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you – in your work life or personal life?
I forget who originally shared it with me, but the Picasso quote, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” I love that quote because to me, it says something about humility, not taking shortcuts, but also being bold and making your own mark.