Dr. Edward Burg and the Art of Dentistry

Aug 21, 2018
Courtesy of: Dr. Edward Burg TEAM Family Dental

“Good dentistry,” noted a British Dental Journal article from April 2006, “involves a mix of … dental skills, knowledge, techniques and dental equipment and materials to achieve the best results in much the same way as an artist requires skill, technique and various tools and accessories to create a painting. The paint palette provides a striking and distinctive image, which highlights the important role played by the tools and materials in the end product.”

For Dr. Edward Burg, owner of TEAM Family Dental – formerly Kamy Dental – in Manahawkin, the crossover between art and dentistry is even more evident.

After college, where he majored in political science and minored in art, Burg, who turns 52 later this month, worked as a sketch artist at a Park Avenue advertising agency in New York City. At the time, he remarked, “I had no idea I would become a dentist. I’d always wanted to be an artist for Marvel Comics.”

The self-proclaimed “comic book nerd,” with a penchant for, particularly, Spiderman and the X-Men, pointed to a few of his drawings from the past, including Billy Joel and Ronald Reagan, the latter signed by the former president himself.

As a young man, said Burg, he tended towards pen and ink or charcoal, but now his drawings are more cartoon-y, more like comics. In one, a dentist’s legs only stick out from mouth of a patient in the chair, as the doctor says, from within the cavern of the wide-eyed man, “OK, Alex, I’m going to have to ask you to open up a little wider.”

Burg spoke of how many of the traits of an artist carry over to dentistry: the fine motor skills, the aesthetics, the use of color.

And despite his penchant for art, Burg eventually found himself following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Milton Burg, and uncle, Leonard Burg, both of whom were dentists in New Jersey. The younger Burg, who was born in Madison, Wis. and settled in New York by his high school years, was also the son of a physician for the U.S. Air Force; medicine was solidly in his lineage.

In 1995 he went to dental school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark and began work at Kamy Dental shortly after graduation in 1999. Earlier this month, Burg bought the practice, and renamed it TEAM Family Dental, in homage to the family atmosphere at the office and as per the initials of his immediate family: older daughter Teresa, himself, wife Annie, and younger daughter Marlaina.

“It’s a very friendly office, and very united. If you have any anxiety about seeing a dentist, this is the place to come,” said Burg, who is joined at the practice by by Dr. William Dennis, periodontist (gum specialist) Lance Adelson and a terrific staff, many of whom have been at the site for years.

“I like helping people,” added Burg, who resides in Toms River. “Our job is helping people get out of pain and help them smile again,” and hopes to convert any dentophobes to dento-fans.

TEAM Family Dental will see patients from around 3 years of age and older, which keeps work interesting. “It’s something different every day,” said Burg. “I see something new every day.”

Aside from dental work, Burg is a member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, and is certified and specializes in Botox and Restalin administration for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. “Who’s better giving injections in the face than dentists?” Burg quipped.

Now that the practice belongs to Burg, he plans to have local artists display their work, for sale, on the walls – fine art among the dentistry.

TEAM Family Dental is located at 853 Millcreek Rd. in Manahawkin. For more information, call 609-978-7440 or go to the website, teamfamilydentalnj.com.

— Juliet Kaszas-Hoch


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