By KAYLA J. MARSH
MIDDLETOWN — One local dental practitioner is smiling bright after being named a 2016 Top Dentist by his peers.
For the eighth year in a row, Mitchel Friedman, owner of Newman Springs Dental Care in the Lincroft section of Middletown Township, was selected to receive the award and honor.
“It is definitely something I don’t take lightly,” Friedman said in an interview July 6. “It is an award that’s chosen by my peers, which is very important because I think they’re the ones who are the best judges besides the patients who we serve.
“The patients we serve are always giving us great reviews, which allow us to grow year by year.”
For this year’s list of Top Dentists, New Jersey Monthly commissioned an independent survey of the state’s dentists by Ringwood-based Leflein Associates.
All state-licensed dentists were invited to provide recommendations for the 2016 list, which represents the 606 Top Dentists out of nearly 7,000 that were nominated by colleagues from around the state in nine dental specialties.
Friedman, who has practiced in Monmouth County since 1984 and teaches advanced dental techniques in the graduate dental department at Monmouth Medical Center, was chosen as one of the best New Jersey General Dentists.
Friedman graduated from Middletown High School North in 1976 and earned a bachelors degree from Rutgers College four years later. He also graduated in the top 15 percent of his class from the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry in 1984.
Newman Springs Dental Care, located at 539 Newman Springs Road, provides general, cosmetic and sedation dentistry to residents of Middletown and surrounding areas.
With several sedation options, patients can take care of multiple dental procedures in a few hours.
The state-of-the-art office, where Friedman practices with doctors Julia Cintron and Aparna Menon, is open six days a week, with early and late hours as well as same-day appointments.
“I believe in absolutely comfortable and convenient dental care,” Friedman said. “My patients trust me to take the utmost care of their dental health in a totally anxiety-free environment [and] we want them to enjoy healthy smiles without any worries.”
For the past several years the practice has also awarded scholarships to graduating seniors from local high schools planning to pursue careers in health care, including medicine, nursing, dentistry, chiropractic, physical therapy or other areas.
“I feel like I didn’t have a lot of guidance in high school and wanted to give people opportunities to shadow and observe and see if this is a career that they would like,” Friedman said.
“So many decide they want this career, but might not know all that’s involved, so it gives them an opportunity to see early on.”
In 2006, Friedman introduced “Dentistry from the Heart,” a day of free dental care for adults, and looks forward to it every year.
“It will be our 10th annual event this year, and we open our practice to people in the community to come and have free dental care, such as X-rays or other screenings, and give them the opportunity to receive either a cleaning, extraction or filling,” Friedman said.
“A lot of people come to us having been in pain for months and don’t have the financial resources or can’t get off work or whatever the situation and come here and get the help they need.
“Everyone really values and enjoys giving back to the community.
“When we started, we had 165 people and had no idea what to expect … so we have figured out how to be better to help more people and get more volunteers … and have really started a trend.”