Tom Hanks, Ryan Seacrest, Jessica Biel, Cher, Kate Hudson… they all have incredible smiles, and they all have one person in common: Dr. Jon Marashi! The famed cosmetic dentist who is based in Hollywood, but studied his craft right here in New York, has been named (for good reason!) one of the most accomplished experts in his field, having innovated a highly personalized approach to crafting each and every smile.
From finding the love of his life in this city, to moving to Hollywood and becoming the go-to dentist for so many stars, to co-founding a new innovative teledentistry company called Byte (www.byteme.com), The Levity Ball sat down with Dr. Marashi to learn more…
1. Over the last decade you have become one of the top cosmetic dentists in the United States and have worked alongside the likes of high-profile celebrities… Tell us, what was the key “turning point” in your career that helped you become as successful as you are today and gain such recognizable clientele?
The key turning point was 20+ years of working hard, consistently. I don’t believe that success is an overnight happening. It’s built upon hard work, and strategic decision making day in and day out over a long period of time. After enough time has passed of doing the right things, that’s when the successes come. In cosmetic dentistry, there is no substitute for the quality and beauty of the results. Coupled with the needed quality and the needed high level of patient care, I believe that those two areas have definitely helped me attract an amazing clientele.
2. Looking back, you graduated from the Honors Aesthetic Dentistry program at the New York University College of Dentistry. What about your time here in New York really helped you grow both personally and professionally before you made the switch to Hollywood?
My biggest New York City mentor was professor Dr. John Calamia at New York University. He took me under his wing to teach me the fundamentals of cosmetic dentistry and I used that skill set combined with the passion that I have for cosmetic dentistry to land an associateship in a high end cosmetic dentistry office shortly after I finished my residency. Having good mentors is probably the single most important thing one can have to grow personally and professionally in life.
3. Do you ever miss New York? When you come back, where are some of your favorite spots to visit?
I do miss the energy and the excitement of the city. My favorite spots to visit, first is Central Park because that’s where I proposed to my wife. We love visiting Rockefeller center. The Highline on the westside is a new favorite spot. And of course the museums.
4. You are now also the Chief Cosmetic Officer of byte, an oral healthcare brand that is the only invisible aligner that analyzes facial symmetry to create a personalized smile at a fraction of the cost that most dentists charge. How did you get involved with byte and this new technology?
I have two partners and co-founders in Byte, they are friends and patients of mine. They asked me to go to lunch with them one day to talk about an idea that they have starting a business involved in the dental profession. Through this conversation, we talked about what the problems in dentistry are. Which we identified as cost and access to care. It spawned the idea of what dental product and service could be delivered to a larger audience while still being a premium and high quality product. Direct to consumer was in its infancy at this time and there was opportunity to enter this space and build a company around it.
5. Since 2015 in New York, bills have been passed and hundreds of thousands of dollars in budgets have been put aside to help with the ongoing shortage of dental care in rural areas to people who either cannot afford visiting a dentist or are just too far to travel to see one. It seems byte is the answer to fixing this need in today’s society, correct?
Yes. In today’s world, access to care is difficult, which can be because you live too far from a dentist or you’re working hours which prevent you from being at the dentist. Byte addresses this issue by being direct to consumer.. At the same time, as founders of the company it was very important to set up a philanthropic arm to help take care of people who could not afford any dentistry otherwise and that is our byteCares program.
6. As the teledentistry industry grows, of course there will be push backs (just look at when ride sharing first launched). Now, in your main location of work (California), new bills are being considered to put higher restrictions on what your company can do. What are your thoughts on this ongoing “battle” which may lead to other states changing their laws too?
Any time new technology and services enter a long established profession there is always push back to disruption. The best example would be Uber and the Taxi industry. Ultimately, disruption is what leads to better products, services, and lower costs for society. I believe that this push back from the establishment will be short lived as the benefits are far too great to be ignored.
7. What is your ultimate goal for the future?
My ultimate goal for the future is to directly and indirectly, treat as many patients as possible and thereby helping them improve their oral health and have beautiful smiles.
8. What is your advice to others wanted to pursue a career in dentistry?
Do it! I think any profession that one can be passionate about where the goal is to help others is a noble calling. Dentistry is something that affects everybody, young, old, rich, or poor. Therefore it will always have a need in our society.
9. And final question: If you could “byte” into one piece of New York food or drink right now, what would it be?
Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity!