When you have a real passion for what you do, you give it everything you’ve got. That goes double when your partner works alongside you and shares that intensity at the office and in a marriage that has flourished since 1995.
For Drs. Ramin Tabib and Elisa Mello, dentistry is more than medicine; it’s a passion. They founded NYC Smile Design after discovering their goals and attitudes were a good match for full-time togetherness.
As partners, they have created an exceptionally wide-ranging practice — from cosmetic reconstructive dentistry to invisible orthodontics; ingenious ways to relieve pain (including Botox); and to sculpt ideal, expressive and always individual natural smiles. Along the way they have mastered psychology and balance, how to remain sensitive to the emotional needs of their patients (and each other) while staying on top of the fast-moving technology in their profession. It’s complicated, and it can be demanding.
Both Drs. Tabib and Mello have learned that having downtime at home is essential to remaining at the top of their game at the office. Their serene Hamptons retreat and a New York apartment with views of trees, flowers, water, and sunsets allow them to recharge; their passion for travel has led them, as a family, to Macchu Picchu, Vietnam, and Kenya, absorbing the diversity that has extended to their roster of patients from around the world.
“We practice at a very high level, and bring a unique partnership to our office,” says Dr. Tabib. “Our ability to collaborate on cases reassures our patients; they can see we are authentic and easy to relate to, and we find that these qualities put them at ease.”
“Of course,” according to Dr, Mello, “we understand that people don’t always relish the thought of visiting the dentist, even when they have elected to be in the chair; and some patients assume that a new smile will emerge in just a few hours with the addition of several veneers and a bit of whitening.”
It’s at these moments that the importance of the couple’s perfectionism becomes clear. “When patients come to us because previous procedures elsewhere didn’t work out, or if they’ve come for their first or a new procedure, we take the time to carefully explain the necessary steps and a realistic timeline for a quality outcome,” adds Dr. Tabib. “We are honest about what the steps will be, how long they will take, and — the good news — how they will radically improve the patient’s comfort and confidence. That honesty builds trust, and a relationship for the long run.”
The doctors also believe that listening is the key to establishing these relationships, as it has nurtured their own. Perhaps this is never more critical than with patients who have given up any hope of ever having a normal appearance. “Everyone has a story, and it’s essential for us to recognize the unique wants, needs, fears, and hopes of each patient who comes to us,” says Dr. Mello.
One of the characteristics of NYC Smile Design’s practice is its foundational web site, which contains dozens of testimonials and a Before-and-After Gallery that illustrate the transformations that Tabib and Mello and their hand-picked team have created. More to the point, perhaps, is the dedication that compelled them to spend the better part of a year compiling the information it includes, allowing patients to learn about their options before they make their first appointments.
It’s a gift in the spirit of the practice. “When we take on a case, we’re not number crunchers. We don’t work to fill quotas to be profitable,” explains Dr. Tabib, a firm believer in the value of prevention. He delights in enticing his patients to learn the habit of oral health, and how it can keep future procedures to a minimum. “Being successful is important, but being successful at what we do and loving it is more important. Dr. Mello agrees: “For us, helping people transform their lives through dentistry remains our passion, and a privilege.”
8 East 84th Street