Dr. Nick Mavrostomos, courtesy of IndustryWorks Studios.

More and more New Yorkers are becoming acquainted with the “Dr. Mavro smile,” whether they have one themselves or not. At only 29 years old, Dr. Nick Mavrostomos is not only the city’s youngest cosmetic dentist, he’s already established himself as a go-to resource for a clientele of actors, musicians, athletes, and other A-listers for his ability to leave you with show-stopping teeth that don’t leave people asking if you’ve had “work done.” Operating out of the world-famous Apa Aesthetic, Dr. Mavro equates dentistry to an artistic craft – every case is entirely unique, requiring an approach curated specifically to helping each of his clients “look, feel, and function better.” 

Dr. Mavro caught up with The Untitled Magazine to discuss how his early affinity for creation led him down his widely celebrated path to cosmetic dentistry, working with the renowned Dr. Michael Apa, and why the Dr. Mavro smile doesn’t simply mean “perfect teeth.” Read our interview with Dr. Nick Mavrostomos below.

Dr. Nick Mavrostomos, courtesy of IndustryWorks Studios.

You’re very open about your passion for what you do. What initially drew you to dentistry?

I was really drawn to the creative and artistic aspects of cosmetic dentistry. I grew up an athlete, but always had a knack for art and creation. I taught myself how to cut hair and started a small side business growing up, took AP art classes in high school, things like that. I always loved using my hands and creating. It all materialized over time into my profession now. 

Your father has a dental practice in Bedminster, New Jersey. How much of a role did he play in inspiring you to become one yourself?

My dad and I have always been very close, and being around him and his work from a very early age certainly influenced my path toward becoming a dentist. I’d say his influence was not how most would imagine it, though. He never pressured me or expected me to follow his footsteps — actually, quite the opposite. I myself saw aspects of his work that really appealed to my skill set and personality. The artistic aspects of dentistry and the interpersonal relationships with his patients were the two most prominent draws. Once he saw that my interest was peaked, he started to mentor me and really accelerated my growth curve more than I even knew at the time. 

Why did you choose to go into cosmetic dentistry, specifically?

I get asked that question a lot. The more I try and remember exactly how or when it was that I “chose” cosmetic dentistry, the more I realize that it was never really an active decision. I don’t remember ever considering anything else. From an early age, I knew I loved to work with my hands in a creative capacity, and that I loved to work with people. My first job was running my own barbershop out of my parents garage in middle school; I continued cutting hair in different locations throughout college. I loved the feeling of being trusted with someone’s look, getting referral business, growing a network of clients, and working with my eyes and hands to achieve an aesthetic result. I started to draw parallels between that side job and my dad’s work in dentistry. I had a good feeling early on that I was meant to do this, and that I would be good at it. 

How does the reality of being a dentist compare to what you thought it would be like?

Quite honestly, I think the reality has exceeded my expectations. I don’t remember what exactly I envisioned it would be, but I do know that I love this craft. I have a very distinct purpose, and that passion energizes my life, even outside of work.

What defines the Dr. Mavro smile?

Attention to detail. When I say detail, I don’t mean “perfect teeth.” What I mean is attention to my patients and their unique wants, whether they know how to articulate them or not, and then executing. I really obsess over my patients’ cases, to the point where I find myself saying that every new case is my favorite. It’s not a cheesy catchphrase to make my patients feel special; it’s how I genuinely feel. I go all in on every case.  When a person wants me to help them look, feel, and function better, it’s not something I take lightly. It’s a big deal, and I really pour my attention and energy into them. 

Can you tell us about Apa Aesthetic’s stunning NYC Upper East Side location? It has such a chic interior design!

The office is pretty special, definitely not your average dental clinic. Kenneth Park Architects – the masterminds behind Balenciaga, Bucherer, and Chanel, to name a few – did the buildout.  We occupy two floors in the building and both have a dedicated lab space, where our master ceramists can be seen working. Having an in-house lab is a game changer, and I love that it’s exposed so our patients can really appreciate the artistry here. Speaking of art, Dr. Apa is a big art collector and we definitely reap the benefits. He has Hirst, Condo, Herring, Salle, and more hanging on the walls.

You’ve been at Apa Aesthetic since you finished your residency. How were you first introduced to Dr. Apa, and what have you learned from working with him?

I met Dr. Apa as a 19-year-old freshman at Boston University. I was just a kid, but I knew at that time I wanted to be an excellent cosmetic dentist one day. My dad called me on a Friday night and told me that there was a world-renowned cosmetic dentist speaking at nearby Tufts University the following morning at 9 am. He said I should try to find a way to see him speak, even though the seminar was restricted to licensed dentists who had paid significant money and registered to attend.  I was very close to blowing it off to enjoy my weekend, but something about the opportunity made me feel like I should try. 

I snuck into the conference through a side door and pretended to belong, which shockingly worked. That decision to attend – no exaggeration – changed my life. I sat and listened to him speak for a few hours and was blown away by a world of cosmetic dentistry that I didn’t know existed. Hearing him speak made me imagine a future that he was creating. I dreamed of working beside him – a pioneer trying to create something in this field that had never been done before. I doubt he remembers, but I went up to him after his lecture to speak to him. I won’t share exactly what we spoke about, but that day was a turning point in my life. 

As far as what I’ve learned from him, there isn’t enough time for me to say it all. What I can say is that I learn from him every single day. We talk a lot, and I’m learning just as much about life from him as I am about dentistry. He’s a world-renowned talent in dentistry, but he’s also a very brilliant mind. He’s had two lifetimes worth of experiences I can relate to and learn from, as well. 

You had the opportunity to head to Apa Aesthetic’s Los Angeles office and chose to remain in New York. What was behind that decision?

At the end of the day, I’m a New Yorker. It’s more than just home for me; it’s where all aspects of my life are. My friends, family, networks, memories, and future are in New York. I do love Hollywood and feel confident I could have been very successful there, but there’s no bigger stage than New York City, both in aesthetics and in life. I feel like this is where I’m meant to be.

Dr. Nick Mavrostomos, courtesy of IndustryWorks Studios.

You have a lot of high-profile celebrity clients. What makes Apa Aesthetic a favorite amongst the elite clientele? 

That’s an easy one – our natural aesthetic. Dr. Apa always says restored teeth should look like teeth. He also says your teeth shouldn’t walk into a room before you do. When people want to look like the best version of themselves, they come to us. We love when our celebrity patients go public, but they don’t have to. Our work is relatively undetectable, so if they’d rather attribute their smile to a great vacation and some teeth whitening, they can. 

What’s the most fulfilling part of the job?

Living up to the faith people put in me is the most fulfilling. Of course, I love the craft – the design process and using my hands to create what my mind and eyes see. It’s my hobby more than it is a job, but when someone chooses me to enhance their facial aesthetics, they’re leaning on faith until the end. Generally, a smile makeover is a two-week process, so we’re on a journey together. Feeling a patient’s gratification and excitement over the end result, and then seeing how their new smile impacts other aspects of their life is a really cool feeling. 

Of all the career milestones you’ve already reached, is there one that you’re most proud of?

There are two. The first is the fact that I set a very specific goal for myself 10 years ago and actually saw it all the way through. The first time I met and heard Dr. Apa speak at 19 years old, I knew immediately that I needed to one day work alongside him. I knew my passion for aesthetic dentistry was far above the norm, and I knew I only wanted to work at the highest level. There wasn’t a day over the following 10 years that my sacrifices, hard work, and efforts weren’t directed at that one specific goal. 

Another source of pride – I in no way feel a sense of “making it” after joining Apa’s team. For some, I think it would be easy to feel accomplished and get into a coast mentality, but the hard work isn’t over.  My mindset since starting is on the next goal. Getting here has been an honor, but it’s just the beginning. I have a long-term vision for ways I can make myself an asset to Dr. Apa and what he is creating in dentistry. I’m all about what’s next, and I do feel proud of that.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have an amazing smile and teeth?

My advice would be to figure out what an amazing smile means to you. An amazing smile is a relative perception, similar to taste in art or fashion. It’s unique to everyone’s taste, style, and personality. Some people want undetectable and super natural teeth, some want vibrant, flashy smiles, and so on. Once you know what an amazing smile means to you, my advice is to come and see us for a consultation to sort out what specific treatment plan can get you there. Most people incorrectly assume their own limitations in what they can achieve. When you come and chat with us, you’ll be surprised to hear that your goals are very attainable.

For more from Dr. Mavro, follow him on Instagram.

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