Jersey Choice Top Dentists: Methodology, FAQ & Professional Advisory Board

Additional information about this year's list and how it was compiled.

Photo: Shutterstock/Billion Photos

If you’re in need of a great dentist, look no further. New Jersey Monthly’s annual Jersey Choice Top Dentists list is here. 

To compile this year’s rundown of excellent practitioners in the state, we polled dentists around New Jersey and asked them whom they would want to treat their own families. Their responses make up this list of 582 dentists in ten specialties. 

Below, we present additional information about this year’s list and how it was compiled.


July 2023 issue of New Jersey Monthly

Buy our July 2023 issue here. Cover photo by Scott Jones

For this year’s list of Jersey Choice Top Dentists, New Jersey Monthly commissioned an independent survey of the state’s dentists by Leflein Associates Inc., a Ringwood-based research firm.

Here’s how the survey was conducted: On October 14, 2022, one-page questionnaires were mailed to all 6,733 New Jersey-based dentists who have been licensed in the state for at least five years (but less than 50 years). The mailing list, which is used by the Board of Dentistry for licensing purposes, was obtained from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Respondents could either return the original paper questionnaire or complete the questionnaire online. Web survey participants were required to enter their dental license numbers to avoid duplication. Each printed ballot had a unique code number to further protect against duplication.

A total of 1,208 ballots were received by Leflein Associates (194 by mail and 1,014 online). After checking for duplication, a total of 1,052 ballots were accepted, for a response rate of 16 percent.

Once all the eligible ballots were tallied, dentists with sufficient votes were placed on a preliminary list. A handful of dentists were then excluded because of significant prior disciplinary actions. Only dentists treating patients at the time of this magazine issue’s publication were eligible for inclusion. Finally, the preliminary list was submitted to our advisory board of 24 dentists (see section below) for professional review. The dentists on the advisory board were chosen from among the top vote getters in last year’s survey.


How do dentists get on the Jersey Choice list?
There are two ways: They are either voted onto the list by their peers (as explained above), or they are nominated by our professional advisory board (see section below).

How many votes does a dentist need to appear on the list?
It depends. Most specialties have a standard threshold based on the number of dentists responding to the survey. We lower the threshold for certain specialties and for regions of the state with fewer practitioners.

Many dentists advertise in this issue. Does that help them get on the list?
Absolutely not. Only after the list has been finalized are dentists notified. At that point, they can choose to purchase advertising to promote the achievement. Many of these ads appear in the Special Advertising Section that begins on page 81 of the print issue. For clarity, all of the pages in that section are identified as Special Advertising Section.

I have a great dentist. How come my dentist is not on the list?
Unlike some online professional directories, we do not add dentists to the list based on reader suggestions. The Jersey Choice list is based purely on balloting by licensed New Jersey dentists and the professional advisory board. Our advice: If you are happy with your dental practitioners, stay with them.

Why do some areas of the state have so few dentists on the list?
Eight of the state’s 21 counties—including five thinly populated southern counties—have only 2 percent or less of the state’s licensed dentists. That makes it difficult for dentists in those counties to get a statistically significant number of votes. However, by lowering the number of votes needed in those areas, we’ve enabled the eight southern counties to place 105 dentists on the list, 18 percent of the total number.

I see some of the same names on this list every year. Does it change?
Yes! This year’s list has 108 names that were not on last year’s list. That’s 19 percent of the total 582 Top Dentists.


The following 24 dentists comprise the professional advisory board for this year’s Top Dentists survey. Members of the board reviewed the preliminary results of the survey and were asked to make suggestions for improving the final list.

John J. Archible III
Endodontist • Phillipsburg, Annandale

Philip S. Engel
O/M surgery • New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Middlesex

Joshua Z. Epstein
Orthodontist • Manalapan, Hightstown, Freehold

Mohammed S. Erakat
O/M surgery • Princeton

Marian Farag
General dentist • Hoboken

Robert Griggs
General dentist • Old Bridge

Purnima Rathi Hernandez
Pediatric dentist • Fair Lawn

Sebu Idiculla
Prosthodontist • North Haledon

Baqir Jaffrey
General dentist • Turnersville

Shahin Kazemi
Periodontist • Cherry Hill

Daniel Kubikian
Periodontist • Sewell

Michael Lateiner
Pediatric dentist • Newton, Cedar Knolls

Jonathan L. Nicozisis
Orthodontist • Princeton, West Windsor

John R. Nosti
General dentist • Mays Landing, Somers Point

Anna K. Park
Endodontist • Mullica Hill

Amy Planz
Pediatric dentist • Hillsborough

Naren Rajan
General dentist • Mendham

Russell M. Sandman
Orthodontist • Closter, Hoboken

Jay S. Schuster
General dentist • Morristown

Robert M. Stern
Orthodontist • Cherry Hill, Vineland, Bridgeton, Pennsville

Jason M. Suss
General dentist • Bergenfield

Richard P. Szumita
O/M surgery • Little Falls

Brian P. Trava
Endodontist • Hawthorne, Ho-Ho-Kus, Wayne

Elisa J. Velazquez
Pediatric dentist • Toms River, Cream Ridge, Manahawkin

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