Global Health Nexus, Fall 2000

Inaugural Irwin Smigel Prize Presented Gala Raises $450,000

Dr. Irwin Smigel, the widely-recognized “father of aesthetic dentistry” honored

Dr. Irwin Smigel, the widely recognized “father of aesthetic dentistry,” was honored in October at a gala benefit-celebration sponsored by the NYU College of Dentistry to mark the inaugural presentation of the Dr. Irwin Smigel Prize in Aesthetic Dentistry. Nearly 400 guests turned out to pay tribute to Dr. Smigel and congratulate Dr. Ronald E. Goldstein, the first recipient of the Smigel Prize. The evening raised funds to provide aesthetic dental care for needy young adult patients at NYU Dentistry who suffer from damaged teeth and low self-esteem.

A highlight of the event, held at the glamorous Tavern on the Green in New York, was entertainment provided by Irwin and Lucia Smigel’s son Robert, an Emmy Award- winning writer for Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live. The hilarity continued with SNL star Jimmy Fallon and a specially produced video featuring Conan himself, Adam Sandler, and Dana Carvey.

In paying tribute to Dr. Smigel, Dean Alfano said, “Irwin Smigel is one of those rare individuals who has devoted his life to helping others. Whether redesigning smiles and improving the oral health and appearance of his patients, teaching students all over the world the techniques of aesthetic dentistry that he has pioneered, or sharing his vast knowledge in articles and interviews, he has, in all cases, earned the respect and admiration of his patients, colleagues, and the public at large. “In establishing the Irwin Smigel Prize in Aesthetic Dentistry, the NYU College of Dentistry is paying tribute to an individual who has brought great prestige to the field of aesthetic dentistry, great honor to his alma mater and the profession, and greatly improved appearance and well-being to his patients.”

The first recipient of the Smigel Prize, Dr. Ronald E. Goldstein, is a clinical professor of oral rehabilitation at the Medical College of Georgia, an adjunct clinical professor of prosthodontics at Boston University, a visiting professor of oral and maxillofacial imaging and continuing education at the University of Southern California, and an adjunct professor of restorative dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center. The presentation of the inaugural Smigel Prize, which was created by Calvin Klein, capped a major lecture by Dr. Goldstein earlier that day at NYU Dentistry.