Our Team


Neal Fujishige, DDS

Dr. Fujishige is one of the founders of New York Dental Group. He was born and raised on Maui and fled Hawaii to the scenic flat plains of Illinois, where he received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana, and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1985. He returned to Hawaii and practiced general dentistry until 2004. He headed east a second time to New York City, where he has practiced general and cosmetic dentistry since.

His main emphasis for the practice is to provide a thorough comprehensive diagnosis and to deliver the most therapeutic comfortable treatment. Since the practice welcomes a diverse patient pool, our treatment modalities are tailored accordingly.

He enjoys ultra distance sports and has completed Ironman Triathlons in New Zealand, Austria, and Lake Placid, and ran marathons in Chicago, Honolulu, and New York City. He plans on running the 2013 New York City Marathon despite recovering from a strained soleus: "My current exercise is walking/hobbling the dogs in Central Park and Cross-Fit."


Julie Pastagia, D.M.D., M.S.D

Born and raised in Queens, NY, Dr. Julie Pastagia is delighted to provide periodontal care in Manhattan.  Following her undergraduate education at New York University, Dr. Pastagia earned her D.M.D. at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston, graduating magna cum laude.   She then completed a residency program in Periodontics and Dental Implant Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle.  She received a certificate in periodontics/implantology as well as a Masters in the Science of Dentistry.

Dr. Pastagia is a Board Certified Periodontist, which is the highest level of professional achievement in periodontics.  Her expertise lies in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease in order to save teeth as well as her proficiency in replacing missing or hopeless teeth with dental implants. She takes great pleasure in treatment planning and collaborating with the restorative dentist to achieve the best results.

Dr. Pastagia believes that skill and compassion go hand in hand when providing exceptional patient care.  She recognizes that her patients are unique individuals who have placed a great deal of trust in her.  She is dedicated to her patients’ utmost comfort and optimal oral health.  She and her team provide a relaxed environment, take time to listen to their patients’ concerns and communicate clearly with them.

Dr. Pastagia’s greatest joy is her family.  Her husband Daniel, and their son Max enjoy spending time on the mountains and lakes of upstate New York as well as enjoying the cultural activities of New York City.



Estrella Nova Martinez, RDH

Estrella was born in the open plains and boisterous mountains of the state of Wyoming. Her formative years were split between Wyoming and New Mexico--two wondrous and majestic states. She has since managed to reside in and travel to almost every corner of these United States.

She received her Bachelors of Science in Dental Hygiene at the University of New Mexico in 2002. Estrella also worked as a dental assistant while working her way through college—a total of 20 years of dental experience since 1997. She has worked in private practice general dentistry for the majority of those years, but has also specialized in operating room dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and patients with developmental disabilities.

When not at work Estrella pursues her passion of craft, dance, and extensive research of the arts.

Martinez Estrella pic

She finds that the tactile skills she developed in her hands through the practice of dental hygiene carries into her craft of sculpture, and vice versa. She works in many materials such as clay, wood, metal and fibers. She also pursues an endless quest of a healthy mind and body through practice and exploration of meditation, yoga, dance, fitness, and nutritional and environmentally sound eating habits such as vegetarianism and veganism. We all hope this rubs off on Dr. Fujishige.

Dorota Sidyk, RDH

Dorota, AKA “Dori”, was born in Warsaw, Poland and now resides in the awesome borough of Queens.
Dori began her dental career as an assistant nearly 8 years ago where she gained experience and knowledge in all the major areas of dentistry. She graduated from the New York College of Technology in 2013 and received the coveted Dental Hygiene Department Award for Overall Academic Excellence.

In her free time, Dori enjoys travelling across South America, jogging, and cheering for the New York City Football Club.

"I consider dentistry a passion, a mixture of science and art. I care about people’s well being and strongly believe in the power of “hauora” or inner happiness. I want to share that positive energy with my patients. I strive for my work to amount to something, something that is strong and powerful--a healthy smile!"

-Dorota Sidyk


Pei Li Low, RDH

Our friendly, outgoing, and comforting dental hygienist Pei Li Low was born and raised in Malaysia. She moved to New York City in 2007 and started her first job as a dental receptionist soon after. The experience gained working in the dental field helped Pei understand the importance of proper dental care and prevention in maintaining one’s overall health. Pei made the logical choice and entered the dental hygiene program at The New York City College of Technology. She became a licensed hygienist in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration.

Pei is certified in CPR, OSHA, New York State nitrous oxide and local infiltration anesthesia, Diode Laser usage, and New York State identifying and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. She has been an active member of the American Dental Hygienist’s Association since 2012.

Pei is multilingual—fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa (Malay) and of course, English. In her spare time she enjoys the company of her friends, loves to cook, and treasures gossiping with her twin sister.


Dental Assistants

Vlad Shpigel

Vlad is an experienced dental assistant with over 10 years under his belt. A Brooklyn native, he recently moved to New Jersey. He is trained in various dental specialties such as pediatrics, oral surgery, periodontics, orthodontics, and implant dentistry. His experience proves valuable as an educational tool for the various procedures that we perform in the office.

Patients are put at ease from the moment Vlad cheerfully greets them with his friendly charming smile and chill personality.

In his spare time Vlad enjoys fixing cars, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Gulshan Ziauddin, Dental Assistant

Gulshan received her Dental Assisting Certificate from the New York School of Medical and Dental Assisting in 2016. Her program required an internship which she completed with us. We all loved her warm personality and strong work ethic and could not part with her. She relates well to the patients and strives to keep them comfortable. We are fortunate to have her as part of our team.

Gulshan resides in Queens with her two sons and loving husband. She enjoys cooking (awesome person to invite to a pot luck), travelling, and gardening. She comments that a wish is that winter was eliminated so her garden could flourish and bloom all year long!


Melanie Rodriguez, Dental Assistant

Melanie "Mel" is one of our latest additions to our office.  She was born in Brooklyn and spent her early childhood years in Carolina, Puerto Rico.  She currently resides in Coney Island.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking for her family--Mel claims she is an excellent baker and one of her specialties is spinach and ricotta stuffed shells.

She has a strong passion for the dental field and aspires to become a dental hygienist.  She has two special needs sisters, Marilyn and Jacqueline, who play important roles in her life.  She devotes much time with them as she immensely enjoys their company.  She is very outgoing and considers herself the clown among her friends.

We welcome Mel to our office and you will immediately notice her friendly and sunny disposition.



Front Office Staff

Matthew Murray, Office Manager

Matthew joined New York Dental Group's Team in 2007 as a dental assistant. As time progressed we realized he was a strong people person and needed to be freed from mask and gloves. He was introduced to the billing aspect of dentistry which he quickly excelled in.  As if that were not enough his knowledge grew to manage staff, patients, operations, doctors, New York and some outer borroughs.

With a bright smile and cheerful attitude Matthew is the type of person that puts patients at ease when they enter our office. His calm demeanor, patience, and great work ethic make Matt a great addition to our New York Dental Group Team. Matthew is studying to become a mechanical engineer at New York City College of Technology. Matthew has run the Brooklyn Half Marathon and recently completed the Five Borough Bike Tour. He also enjoys traveling. He has been to Hawaii 3 times, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, New Jersey, Amsterdam and is no longer allowed in Las Vegas.