Top Dentists 2024: Meet 4 Practitioners on This Year’s List

Learn about their practices, patients, and what makes them smile—both in and out of the office.

Dr. Jessica S. Lee, an oral surgeon who practices in Florham Park
Dr. Jessica S. Lee tagged along to her first oral surgery when she was just seven years old. Photo: Steve Hockstein

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

Dr. Jessica S. Lee


Office: Florham Park
In practice: 4 years

Dr. Jessica S. Lee was just seven years old when she tagged along to her first oral surgery. Her father, an oral surgeon in the South Korean army, was providing a free surgery to a child born with a cleft palate. “Just the experience with that imprinted on me, and I think being around the profession from such an early age opened my eyes to it,” Lee says.

After graduating from college at the University of Ann Arbor, Lee, who grew up in South Korea, set her sights on dentistry at Columbia University, earning a dental degree from the College of Dental Medicine and a master of arts in dental education from Teachers College. She then earned her medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine.

This amounted to 10 years of education, ending in 2020, when Lee started her practice in New Jersey.

An opportunity in school helped cement Lee’s passion for cleft lip and palate surgery, when she went on a mission trip to Bangladesh. There, she helped children and others in need of surgeries. The trip made a lasting impact, inspiring her to give back and provide for those without access to high-quality medical care. To this day, she returns regularly to Bangladesh to provide these surgeries. “Those trips just put everything into perspective…like, this is why I wanted to go into this.”

In addition to performing procedures such as wisdom-teeth surgery and dental implants, her practice also provides large-scale surgeries around the jaw and face, known as maxillofacial surgery.

This includes her specialty of cleft lip and palate surgeries, as well as procedures for TMJ disorder  and severe teeth misalignment. “We’re pretty proud of that, because a lot of patients have a hard time finding surgeons who treat those conditions,” Lee says.

For Lee, the most important part of her practice, both in other countries and here at home, is giving back. “We get just as much out of it as we give back, maybe more,” she says. —Connor Carlin

Dr. Eric C. Weiss


Offices: Livingston, Morristown, Montclair, Montville, Randolph
In practice: 32 years

Dr. Eric C. Weiss, a periodontist who practices in Livingston, Morristown, Montclair, Montville and Randolph

Dr. Eric C. Weiss is a third-generation dentist who prioritizes high-quality care, comfort and communication. Photo: Steve Hockstein

Born into a family of dentists, it’s not surprising that Dr. Eric C. Weiss’s early exposure to the field inspired him to become a dentist himself.

As a third-generation dentist with 32 years of experience, Weiss says his early knowledge came from his grandfather, a general dentist with a practice in his home, where Weiss recalls spending a lot of time growing up. Weiss’s father, too, entered the world of dentistry by becoming a periodontist, and Weiss followed in his footsteps.

“I found the surgical aspect of dentistry to be the most stimulating, interesting and exciting for me,” Weiss says.

Periodontists focus on the structure of the teeth and gums, and their work consists of preventing, diagnosing and treating gum-related conditions, such as periodontal disease. A large part of Weiss’s work also includes surgical procedures and highly cosmetic dental implants, like the immediate replacement of teeth.

Weiss says an important component of periodontics is “building longstanding relationships with patients” over multiple visits and years.

Weiss founded his primarily referral-based practice, Periodontal & Implant Associates, 20 years ago in his hometown of Livingston, where he still lives and primarily practices.

Since then, the practice has expanded throughout Essex and Morris counties, with additional offices in Morristown, Montclair, Montville and Randolph.

“It really allows us to provide uniform quality level of care throughout our multiple practices, to all the patients that we serve and to all the referring dental community that we serve,” Weiss says.

Weiss prioritizes high-quality care, comfort and communication. Whether it’s calling to check in with a patient the day after a procedure, collaborating with other dentists and specialists on a patient’s treatment plan, or completing a patient’s implant in one day so they can leave smiling and confident rather than temporarily toothless for days or even months, Weiss recognizes the importance of always putting the patient first.

“It sounds cliché, but to see them really smile and be happy after something we’ve done for them…is for sure one of the most rewarding parts of what I do,” he says. —Emily Melvin

Dr. Jason M. Suss


Office: Bergenfield
In practice: 21 years

Dr. Jason M. Suss, a dentist who practices in Bergenfield

Dr. Jason M. Suss was inspired to become a dentist as a kid, witnessing his grandmother’s frustrations with her dentures. Photo: Steve Hockstein

Dr. Jason Suss, a 13-time Top Dentist, was just seven years old when he decided he wanted to become a dentist. His inspiration was his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor who lived to the age of 103, but whose dentures were a “quality of life” issue.

“She was frustrated with the inability to eat and speak properly,” says Suss, who has been practicing for over 20 years. “It immediately sparked an interest in the field.”

His drive to help others through dentistry led him to volunteer as a high school student in the dental division of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. “The director took a special interest in the passion I showed, and I developed a great rapport with the nurses and assistants, which segued into my college years,” he says. “It became a dream to attend that residency program.”

Suss was so eager to pursue dentistry that he skipped his last semester or two of college at Yeshiva University. “I applied to dental schools as an early admissions applicant, which is not a common thing to do,” he says. The University of Pennsylvania invited him for an interview. “They said, ‘This is kind of strange. You didn’t graduate; you didn’t even take your dental entrance exam.’” Still, they offered him a spot, contingent on his taking and passing the exam, which was  “pretty unprecedented,” he says.

Fate had a different plan in store. Two weeks after putting down a deposit at Penn, Suss met his future wife, Pnina, in Manhattan. “I said, ‘Gosh, I’m going to marry this woman,’” he says. Realizing that commuting between Philly and New York would be a challenge to their new relationship, he asked the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark if the spot he’d been offered there was still open. It was. “So I went to UMDNJ. Crazy, right? But I ended up marrying her,” he says.

After a “phenomenal” experience at UMDNJ, Suss focused on building his practice in Bergen County. His focus is on general dentistry, as well as implants and prosthetics. (He completed NYU’s two-year dental implantology, surgical and prosthetic program soon after finishing dental school.)

Suss has been approached by private equity firms looking to buy and expand his practice. “It just doesn’t appeal to me. I want to have a connection to my patients; I want them and my staff to feel like they’re party of a family.” —Julia Martin

Dr. Robert James Bray


Offices: Brigantine, Marmora, Somers Point, Wildwood, Absecon, Egg Harbor Township
In practice: 49 years

Dr. Robert James Bray, an orthodontist who practices in Brigantine, Marmora, Somers Point, WIldwood, Absecon and Egg Harbor Township

Dr. Robert James Bray had such a positive experience getting braces as a kid that he became an orthodontist himself. Photo: Steve Hockstein

When Dr. Robert James Bray was in the sixth grade and living in a Philly suburb, he started seeing an orthodontist in Philadelphia for his braces. Every time he went to the doctor, he found that he had a really positive experience there—mainly because his orthodontist was so nice, and the people who worked in the office seemed to be having so much fun.

So, when his parents asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he immediately knew the answer: an orthodontist.

“And you know, I never changed my mind,” says Bray, who lives in Brigantine. “It’s unbelievable, really, how someone can have such an influence on you.”

Now, 49 years after he started practicing, Bray still loves his work. He and his partner, Dr. Robert J. Tarby, have six orthodontic offices in South Jersey. In a twist of fate, Tarby chose to become an orthodontist after having seen Bray to have his own braces fitted as an eighth-grader.

Bray continues to instill in his work and his offices the same positive energy that he experienced as a kid dealing with braces.

As well as working with children, Bray specializes in helping adults with their orthodontic needs. He says that Invisalign, clear aligners, and braces becoming more comfortable have brought more adults to his practice.

Another significant change Bray has witnessed over the years is that children are getting braces earlier. That’s due in part to recommendations from the American Association of Orthodontists, of which Bray is a past president. The association came up with the idea several years ago that children should be seen by an orthodontist by age seven.

“It really has made a difference, because everyone now knows that the earlier we see the problem and the earlier you correct it, the better you are,” he says. “I think that’s made things a lot better for all of us in the sense that we’re actually beginning to finish cases early so that people don’t have to be in braces for a long time.” —Jacqueline Mroz

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