It used to be that young, bright-eyed hot people with big dreams stumbled onto the tarmac at LAX, got a cheap apartment in Studio City, spent whatever money they had on acting classes and hoped that, one day, they would make it on the big screen. Now, all you have to do is go viral on your iPhone, through your Instagram or TikTok or YouTube account, and you’re ready to come to LA, primed to live big. You still have to be young though, and hot.
That’s the case with the influencers, known here as “content creators”; video-gamers, models, singers, DJs, dancers, streamers and lifestyle-havers (think weed, or meditation, or working out) who come here from no-place—Ohio, Indiana, commuter towns in the Tri-State—with millions of fans already in their pockets.
These microstars know what they want. They want to order the $45 bluefin toro tartare with caviar from Nobu, tequila shots for the table, and in-house electrolyte IV drips for their hangovers the next day. They want to get in with the SoundCloud rapper scene and do ads for energy drinks that taste like battery acid. They want a Christian Dior Saddle bag, and Postmates, and they want it all right now.
But before all of that, they want to fix their dumb, regular-person teeth, and there’s only one guy they want to do it for them.
“I’m one of those stops on the way to the top,” Dr. Gabe Rosenthal, DDS tells me. Other stops on the way to the top include Dr. Simon Ourian for fillers and Botox, Dr. Stuart Linder for boobs, and Dr. Sheila Nazarian for the mommy makeover on the other side of settling down.
Dr. Rosenthal’s office can be found on the 10th floor of a black-tinted glass building on Ventura Boulevard in LA’s Encino neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, situated between a California Pizza Kitchen, a Benihana, and a bank. The cosmetic dentist is behind a desk in the extra office suite he rents out on the same floor of his practice. It’s partially staged with furniture for filming—projects he can’t tell me about since he signed NDAs—but mostly empty, waiting to be filled with a half-million dollars worth of equipment, like 3D printers for same-day crowns.
Dr. Gabe, as he’s known to his patients and 125,000 Instagram followers, does two to three Hollywood-grade smiles per day. Smiles is code for veneers (though he also does tooth contouring, gum reconstruction, cleanings, and whitening, of course), which is code for when a doctor drills down the enamel of your natural tooth to make room for a cap made of porcelain or a composite of resins, which is then fixed in place with a dental cement—a process invented by another Jewish dentist, Charles Pincus, in the 1920s for Shirley Temple. Pincus’ other clients included Joan Crawford and Walt Disney.
Dr. Gabe’s patients include the gamer collective Faze Clan, the child star turned lesbian phenom JoJo Siwa, the rapper French Montana, who is also Khloe Kardashian’s ex, and the girl who became famous for standing in the background of pictures on the red carpet at the 2019 Golden Globes with a tray of Fiji waters. Her name is Kelleth Cuthbert. Also: Charly Jordan, Tana Mongeau, James Charles, Logan Paul, Jake Paul, Madison Beer, whom he hand delivered a night guard to, Stassie Karanikolaou, and members of the TikTok-themed Hype House, both former and current; Tayler Holder, Bryce Hall, Kouvr Annon, Chase Hudson, Alex Warren, and Mia Hayward. If none of those names ring a bell, ask your doctor if Boniva is right for you.
The sometimes-yarmulke-wearing, mostly shomer-shabbos 37-year-old is an alum of Emek Hebrew Academy, Valley Torah High School, and Jewish summer camp. After dreams of being a sports agent, then a lawyer, he landed on dentistry, which coincidentally is what his dad does, too. Right after graduation, and low on cash, the Encino native would rent out exam chairs and put them in the storage rooms of other dentists’ offices, where he would see patients he recruited while still at the USC dental clinic, logging the required hours performing discounted fillings and crowns. Today, his practice has a three-month waiting list. He prides himself on his natural-looking results; not too white, or too big, too bulky, or too fakey.
“I do an amazing numbing,” he adds.
Dr. Gabe can deliver quickly; from consultation to wax-casting to plastic temps to porcelain permanents. Right before we met on Tuesday, he fit veneers on an actress who landed a show that starts filming this coming Monday, and needs new teeth before the weekend. He has a dental ceramicist on retainer who makes the veneers.
He will even do house calls, a tall order since dentistry is extremely equipment-heavy, with drills, X-ray machines, ultrasonic cleaners, water sprayers, sterilizers. Dr. Gabe’s fixed crowns on kitchen islands for OnlyFans stars and whitened in the foyers of rappers’ mansions; “Sometimes I’ll have them air out the room of weed smoke.” He can claim two mugs in the new Jackass movie and seven sets of pearly whites from the recent boxing match between TikTok stars and YouTube stars. Last week, a dude came in after a sex injury; his girlfriend’s iPhone chipped his front teeth. One Vine star used to have to sneak out the back entrance of the office because of all the fans who would pool out front to wait for him. Now, he’s a nobody.
Dr. Gabe is well aware that he lives in a time when a celebrity dentist can become a dentist celebrity, in his own right. His clients are rubbing off on him. He recently splashed out on a one-of-one autographed Josh Allen rookie card which set him back “mid-five figures.” He has Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James cards, too. He has some “ideas” for Tom Cruise’s smile. He’s planning on putting out a toothpaste and a mouthwash. “I have inventions, I have ideas,” he says, “that will revolutionize dentistry.”
But for now, it’s time to get back to the patients. We pop into his office—punctuated with mezuzahs hung by Rabbi Grama of Westside Shul—to take before and after photos of my own chompers. So … what would he do? “Invisalign for the lowers, for sure,” he recognizes a bit too quickly for my comfort. Then, “a bit of gum lifting and a whitening.” If I can’t commit to wearing the Invisalign retainer, there’s always the veneers, which run $1,600 to $2,200 per tooth.
Today he’s seeing Omar Bolden, who played on the Denver Broncos when they won the Super Bowl. He’s in today on short notice because his permanent retainer broke. He’ll also get some silver cavity fillings from back in the day replaced with less noticeable white ones. “I called him at 11 today and he got me in a few hours later,” says Bolden, who loves his dentist. “Smiles open doors.”
Dr. Gabe pops his head into his other client here for a slight revision; “No tweets while on laughing gas!” he tells her. Another younger girl in black sweats and a tank was pouting at the receptionist. “What do you mean insurance doesn’t cover whitening?”
On his wall hang awards from Invisalign and Yelp, alongside his diploma from USC. Mostly, though, there are signed pictures of the patients. The wall is filled; the frames are stacked up on the floor, too. The patients, the kids, some as young as 10, are on magazine covers, and in glamour shots, selfies with the doctor, smiling down—flawlessly, brightly, forever—on the newest batch of the next big things.
Suzy Weiss is a reporter for Common Sense.