Doctors' NotesLifestyle

Dr. Lee Gause Holds The Keys To A Perfect Smile

Welcome to Doctors’ Notes, our newest contribution from Urban Health correspondents and husband and wife physicians Dr. Rob and Dr. Karla Robinson.  The dynamic duo will be fielding questions about health, as it relates to African Americans.  Please feel free to send them questions via digitalpitches@ebony.comWe promise to keep it anonymous. 

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Dr. Lee Gause is a dentist on a mission. As the owner of Smile Design Manhattan, he’s operating a successful multidisciplinary dental practice and is sought after by celebrities and New Yorkers alike for his unique skill at creating a beautiful smile on anyone. A leader in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Gause has discovered the secret to creating the perfect smile for each of his patients.

Once thought of as a luxury that only the rich and famous could afford, cosmetic dentistry is now fairly commonplace. “Cosmetic dentistry is not out of reach anymore,” Dr. Gause states. Porcelain veneers, full mouth reconstruction and dental implants are now being rolled out to the masses and anyone can have the smile they desire. “In reality, celebrities make up 1% of a practice, the other 99% are people just wanting to have a great smile for their daughter’s wedding, or someone in their fifth decade of life that wants to do something nice for themselves.”

Although more African-Americans are now exploring cosmetic surgery, many of us are not receiving the best services. For too long, cosmetic dentistry has taken a “cookie cutter” approach, when in reality one size doesn’t truly fit all—especially in the case for African-Americans. This is where Dr. Gause has found his true passion. “Beauty is pattern recognition. My passion is finding what the most beautiful smile is for people of color.” According to Dr. Gause, a beautiful smile takes into account skin tone and eye color. Giving everyone a bright white smile and not adjusting for these features is what can lead to a smile looking unnatural. “Understanding these differences and giving people an amazing smile has been the differentiator for my practice,” he says.

Even though a large portion of his practice is dedicated to cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Gause offers a full scope of dental services, with a focus on overall oral health. The keys to maintaining a healthy smile are “Brushing, flossing, rinsing and seeing your general dentist twice a year,” he states. Recognizing that there are often barriers in our community to receiving dental care, Dr. Gause agrees that there are many contributing factors to this problem. “Bad experiences, cost and lack of insurance are all hurdles preventing our community from visiting the dentist regularly,” he says. However, he’s committed to continue to educate the community about the importance of dental health, in hopes that we would all be more proactive about preserving it.

Dr. Gause is also known for his outstanding philanthropic work in the form of free dental services to those in need. Through his nonprofit organization, the Smile Design Gallery, he’s been able to provide free dental care from the sale of artwork. Over the last three years he’s provided over $500,000 worth of dental care services. “Smile Design Gallery is the best idea I ever had,” Dr. Gause says. “We’ve used those resources to fund dental services for the Bowery Mission which is a homeless shelter rehabilitating homeless people for over 100 years in New York.” He’s also partnered with several other organizations to provide dental care to those who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources or the access to dental healthcare.

Dr. Lee Gause of Smile Design Manhattan is making an impact in this community and is looking forward to doing even more. To learn more about his practice or to contribute to his efforts to make dental care services available to those in need, visit Smile Design Manhattan.

It’s a health thing…we’ve got to understand!

About the Doctors:

Dr. Karla and Dr. Rob are the founders of Urban Housecall, a multimedia health and wellness resource, and also hosts of the Urban Housecall Radio Show.  For more from the doctors, visit their website at, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @urbanhousecall!