Destination Smile

travel-gear2In a world that emphasizes multitasking and extra-value combinations, it’s no surprise that dental care facilities are becoming destinations for those seeking top-notch practitioners within the context of a travel adventure.
The professionals at Valley Dental Arts in historic Stillwater, Minn., not only provide cutting-edge expert laboratory work, they also serve as your comprehensive travel concierge of sorts. They tend to your itinerary, arrange accommodations, set up local attraction tours, make dining reservations, schedule transportation, arrange consultations with other dental professionals around the world and manage your day-to-day schedule during your visits.

Meet the restorative, cosmetic dentistry pioneers
Chuck Maragos – a leader in the field of restorative and cosmetic dentistry – is founder and CEO of the expansive dental laboratory and 65-seat auditorium that make up Valley Dental Arts.  In that high-tech venue works an exceptional staff that the CEO praises for finely honed skills and professional expertise.

Valley Dental Arts has adopted the procedures pioneered by Willi Geller, a globally renowned dental technician based in Switzerland.  Geller’s innovative work revolutionized the way dental technology is practiced and aesthetic restorations are created. He is considered one of the most influential modern dental ceramists, praised for his breakthrough process of layering ceramics. Valley Dental Arts is part of Geller’s Oral Design Club, limited to the 100 best technicians in the world.

When Chuck Maragos opened Valley Dental Arts in 1974, “Professionals didn’t get the chance to advance themselves educationally.” So he did it himself, traveling to Zurich to work with Geller. Valley Dental Arts also hosted Geller for tours and lectures.Like Geller, Chuck Maragos was propelled by the desire to make certain that restored teeth are both lifelike and natural. Geller developed “Creation,” a unique line of ceramic materials that became a trendsetter in dental technology.

Dean Maragos, Chuck’s son, travels the world educating dentists about dental ceramics and how they are custom-blended for each patient. “At our lab, we use ‘Creation,’ ‘Vita’ and a dozen other ceramic types.  Many are from a family-run operation in Austria. The choice of  ceramic hue depends on a variety of things such as roots and colorations. Robin Jay got Ivoclar Emax porcelain for her teeth, a material from a large manufacturer in Liechtenstein.”

Let the Journey Begin
Valley Dental Arts’ clinicians work with cosmetic dentist Dr. Ned Windmiller, whose office is just across the street in Stillwater, and periodontist Dr. Edward Gottesman in New York City. Together, they form the “Smile Dream Team.”
South Florida Opulence Editor-in-Chief Robin Jay discovered the “team” after meeting Dean Maragos in Bal Harbour, where his dad owns a home. “She had a nice glow, blonde hair and a regal attitude about life,” Dean says. “She was a real dynamo, but she wasn’t smiling.” Jay said her teeth had a gray shading, the result of an antibiotic that was administered at birth as a result of being several months premature.

The meeting led to Jay’s decision to have a dental makeover.  Valley Dental Arts not only arranged her expert dental team in Stillwater and New York City, they also prepared her  entire travel adventure. “I visited Minnesota five times and New York twice within a year,” she recalls. “I took different family members with me on each trip.” Dean arranged the interesting attractions – such as sketching at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and a tour of the historic Hill Mansion in St. Paul, a railroad baron’s 50,000- square-foot compound. He took us on fascinating driving tours of Stillwater, Minneapolis and St. Paul – it was like
having a personal tour guide.”  In New York, “My son and I ventured all over the sites after my procedure.”

Dr. Gottesman, a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and the proprietor of “DocReels,” arranged for his film crew to document Jay’s dental and travel experiences. Video case stories are used to educate dentists and patients globally.


Front row: Robin Jay, Dr. Edward Gottesman. Back row left to right: Chuck Maragos, Dean Maragos, Dr. Ned Windmiller

A New Custom Smile
Jay’s “Destination Smile” began with crown lengthening, a periodontal plastic surgery to lift and reshape the gumline, by Dr. Gottesman in Manhattan. “I really enjoy performing cosmetic periodontal procedures such as gumlifts because the results are immediate,” he said. “It’s so important to do this kind of gum work correctly because we are actually framing the smile. This can have a big impact on the final appearance of a smile just as the right picture frame can enhance an attractive piece of art, while the wrong one can distract you from it.” The dental professional resounds with pride about his association with Valley Dental Arts. “We work synergistically
to meet and exceed patient’s expectations.”

After her gum lift with Dr. Gottesman, Jay consulted with Dr. Ned Windmiller back in Stillwater. “I handled the prepartion, insertion and final inspection,” said Dr. Windmiller, an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. “We strive to make people as comfortable as possible.”

Jay seconded that idea. “The office was amazing; it was like a spa. They treated me like a movie star. Dr. Windmiller is an artistic perfectionist and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He would use special tools to perfect the shape of my teeth so they looked completely natural. My new smile is a dream-come-true – something I never thought possible. It has changed my life.”

For more information about planning a dental makeover and travel adventure, go to, or call 651-705-1075.
To arrange a consultation to find out what your new smile could look like, call Dr. Windmiller at 651-439-8840 or go to
And for details about a cosmetic periodontal gum lift, go to or call 212-756-8890.

Destination Smile