Taking Care of Teeth (And More)

The Chivian Dental Center Continues a Century-Old Tradition of Caring for the Newark Community

Good oral health—the condition of the mouth, teeth, and gums—is essential to good overall health. In fact, there is a recognized association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular health, stroke, diabetes, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

For top dental care, Newark residents can turn to the Chivian Dental Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBI), located at 201 Lyons Avenue. It is one of the largest hospital-based dental programs in the state, providing 16,000 outpatient visits and 500 inpatient consultations each year.

“We do general dentistry, just as anyone would find at their dentist on Main Street,” says Russ S. Bergman, DMD, Vice-Chair and General Practice Residency Program Director, Department of Dentistry, at the Chivian Dental Center. “In addition, we can also provide every specialty in the dental field—bridgework, implants, dentures, endodontic services, and more.”

What makes the Chivian Dental Center special, however, goes beyond its breadth of expertise. The center has a long tradition of caring for the community and attracting top talent to the area.

A Healthy History

Formerly known as the Newark Beth Israel Dental Center, the center was renamed in 2018 in honor of Noah Chivian, DDS, Emeritus Chair, Department of Dentistry, at NBI and former Director of Endodontics, who first joined the staff in 1959 and continues to teach there. His father, Jacob Chivian, DDS, who passed away in 1971, was one of the first to join the center in 1928.

That kind of long-term connection is not unusual among the center’s staff. As a General Practice Residency program, the center has 13 residents, who apply for the highly competitive residency after finishing dental school. The residents treat patients under the supervision of the attending staff of more than 60 dentists, who volunteer their time.

“These dentists enjoy their interaction with residents and patients,” says Dr. Bergman. “It’s something they love to do. Most of them are previous graduates of the program. When you are part of the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center family as a resident, the connection lasts for your professional life.”

The Big Picture

As part of a major medical center, residents and staff at the Chivian Dental Center are an integral part of care for a range of conditions. “A patient may come to the Emergency Department with trauma or a life-threatening infection and need our expertise,” explains Dr. Bergman. “We also work closely with patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, because their ability to fight infection is diminished.”

Russ S. Bergman, DMD
Russ S. Bergman, DMD

Chivian dentists also consult on cases of cardiac or valvular surgery. “The surgeon wants to be sure there are no areas of current or potential infection in the oral cavity because those can potentially lead to complications post-surgery,” Dr. Bergman says.

“We are part of one of the largest postgraduate dental programs in the state, and the oldest by far—we go back almost 100 years,” says Dr. Bergman. “We treat all kinds of patients of all ages and every kind of dental procedure. That’s the special sauce that makes ours a great program.”

To learn more about dental services at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, call (973) 926-7642.