In 1918, Harry Avis ( was one of twelve children in a very poor Bronx family. He sent a friend to Manhattan to sign them both up for medical school. In those days, it was not uncommon to walk such long distances, public transportation being relatively undeveloped. But the friend tired, walking mile after mile, and instead enrolled them in the much closer New York College of Dentistry.
So began the saga of three generations of dentistry in Staten Island.
When Harry first started, dentistry was a very different profession than what it has become. Most of Harry’s work was filling teeth, performing extractions and making dentures. The dentist's drill in those days was a pretty brutal implement, driven by a low RPM electric motor and requiring considerable arm and hand strength to operate -- in fact, Dr. Ronald Avis (pictures left) says, "it was so hard to drill teeth that sometimes a single filling could take three visits to complete." Anesthesia was fairly crude and unreliable, and antibiotics simply did not exist -- a patient coming in with an abscess was in a potentially life-threatening condition.
There were also many differences in the way a dental practice operated, some of which seem odd today. For example, Harry had only one appointment time: 9 AM -- first come, first served. Harry’s son Ronnie added a second arrival time, 1 PM, before establishing a newer system of appointments at 15-minute intervals. He also introduced new technology: high-speed drills, implants, and complex restoration procedures intended to save teeth rather than just fill them or pull them out.
When Ronald retired in 1999, Victor chose to restructure the practice,while continuing his family’s commitment to creating and maintaining lifelong relationships with their patients. Expressing his own personality and sense of mission, Dr. Victor and a core group of staff set out to create a practice unequaled in its commitment to excellence.
Embracing a people-centered, wholistic approach to dental care, Dr. Victor looks to help his patients by providing a vision and strategy for long term health rather than only "fixing" what is urgent and pressing. This means taking the time to learn about his patient's concerns and related circumstances while performing a comprehensive evaluation of the patient's overall oral health. On the cutting edge of emerging technologies and concepts, and committed to fabulous, kind, on-time service, Dr. Victor and staff treat each patient with the highest level of integrity, care and respect.
Going "above and beyond," for Victor and his staff is a daily goal. It has meant helping patients find a physician, find a job, sort out affairs and even move into a new home -- whatever can be done to improve their patients' quality of life.