NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Believe it or not you can get dental work done during a layover at JFK.
On Friday, CBS2’s Jessica Moore met the man behind the ‘Smile High Club.’
Glibert Brown knows the drill, but this is no ordinary dentist appointment. He’s sitting just a few hundred yards from the tarmac at JFK, where he met Dr. Bob Trager 34 years ago.
“We rebuilt his whole mouth and made him into a handsome young man,” Dr. Trager said.
Dr. Trager runs what he calls ‘The Smile High Club’ a dentist office just outside the terminal area in the Port Authority building. It’s where he cleans, fills, implants, and whitens the teeth of everyone from employees to airline passengers.
No filling? No problem, you’ll be in and out before your layover ends.
“Passengers are absolutely astonished, because they think this is the last place they’ll ever think there’s a dentist,” he said.
One of those passengers was the woman who would become Dr. Trager’s wife and office manager — Bonnye — a former flight attendant who chipped her tooth while on the job.
“I saw an ad for the Smile High Club and I went to him and he fixed me and the rest is history,” she said.
It’s not often you hear of a dentist chair romance.
Dr. Trager doesn’t just do fillings and crowns. He also works for INS verifying the ages of illegal immigrants by checking their molars and taking z-rays of their wrist bones.
“See how the bones are fused? And that’s how you can tell someone’s age,” he said.
For illegal immigrants age is paramount. Those under 18 are exempt from immediate deportation and Dr. Trager said his wrist x-ray technique has prevented many minors who are eligible to stay in the U.S. from being sent back.
“So if we would’ve used the earlier protocol they would’ve been deported, but the x-ray is more conclusive showing me they’re minors,” he said.
If it seems like Dr. Trager loves his job it’s because he does.
“What I love about it is you see people from all over the world. It’s not a typical neighborhood practice,” he said.
Dr. Trager’s office is open 6 days a week from 10 to 6 and he takes insurance.
Passengers who need a ride from the terminal just have to call his office and he or Bonnye will come pick them up.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]