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DREAM JOB: DR. MARC LOWENBERG
Placed by : Looking for Dental 21-08-2007
COSMETIC DENTIST TO THE STARS IS ALL SMILES
MOUTHING OFF: Lowenberg’s first clients were the Rolling Stones; today he tends to the teeth of everyone from Chris Rock to Iggy Pop.
August 20, 2007-- Dentist’s-office music takes on a whole new meaning at the Central Park South practice of Marc Lowenberg, where a built-in Sonos sound system offers a choice of more than 5 million songs.
On any given day the odds aren’t bad that the patient in the chair had a hand in recording one of them. The first patients at the cosmetic dentist’s 35-year-old practice were the Rolling Stones; over the years his client list has expanded to include Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry, Russell Simmons and Cyndi Lauper - not to mention a slew of others he’s vowed to keep secret. Nonmusical celebs who’ve found their way to the office of Lowenberg and his partner, Gregg Lituchy, include Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, Chris Rock and Julianna Margulies.
We caught up with the 61-year-old Long Island native to find out how he became the dentist to the stars, and why after 35 years he still wakes up with a smile.
What made you want to be a dentist?
I actually grew up wanting to be a dentist. My father’s friend, who I called my uncle, was a dentist, and I used to go into his office and watch him work on patients, and I was just fascinated. I was always great with my hands - I built model cars and planes growing up - and the idea of being able to work with my hands to change the way a person’s teeth looked fascinated me. In my high school yearbook, under each person’s name they used to print what you wanted to be, and mine said “dentist.”
How did you land the Rolling Stones as patients?
During my senior year in dental school, I went down to D.C. to volunteer for the moratorium against the war. I ended up meeting this young guy who later told me he was the personal physician for the Rolling Stones. He took my name, and then about a year later when I opened my practice, he called to ask if I wanted to be the dentist for the Rolling Stones. I remember their first visit; they literally all showed up together and sat in the waiting room. It was beyond anything I could imagine. In those first three years I had more musicians than I had everyday people.
What was that like?
I was just a middle-class kid from Long Island who dreamed of moving to New York City and becoming, of all things, a dentist. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be working with celebrities. Here I was getting to do what I loved, plus I was able to meet all of these amazing people. And it wasn’t just musicians. A celebrity would tell their makeup artist about me, and then the makeup artist would tell other clients, and before I knew it I was seeing artists, models, authors. Norman Mailer was one of my patients early on, artists like Peter Max, Jasper Johns. I’ve met so many incredible people.
What draws them to the practice?
I think it’s the fact that we’re really down-to-earth here. Nobody makes a big deal over them, and they appreciate it.
What made you get into cosmetic dentistry?
It started in 1973, when one of my patients, the producer of “The Merv Griffin Show,” came to me and said he’d heard about this new thing called bonding, that allowed you to change the shape of your teeth. He wanted me to do the procedure on him. There were no courses on it at the time, so I had to teach myself. The whole notion of cosmetic dentistry fell right into place with what I wanted to do. I’ve always been drawn to the artistic part of dentistry.
Does the job ever feel routine for you?
Never. I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and every day when I get out of bed I can’t wait to get here. I get to do exactly what I want to do, and the emotional reward of affecting people’s lives in such a dynamic way is incredible. I can honestly not think of anything I would rather have done.