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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.



Daniel Cornejo RDH

Dan, a Registered Dental Hygienist, has over ten years of experience in the dental field. He takes pride in providing a comprehensive dental visit that is detailed, thoughtful, and completed with passion.  His many dental certificates are accolades of his ambition to further his education in his chosen career.  Dan’s attention to detail, and excellent clinical and communication skills have gained his respect from not only the patients he treats, but from also his fellow staff members.  Dan believes proper patient education is key to patients’ understanding of their periodontal conditions—this comprehensive approach greatly benefits his patients’ overall health and ‘smile ability.’

Prior to attaining his degree in Dental Hygiene, Dan worked as a chairside dental assistant in a multi-specialty dental practice.  This valuable experience broadened his knowledge of the many facets of modern dentistry.  Dan received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hofstra University and his Dental Hygiene degree from Farmingdale State College.  Dan aspires to further his dental education with a Masters’ degree in Dental Therapy.

Dan is certified in the American Red Cross Basic Life Support, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), New York State dental local anesthesia, and advanced laser diode periodontal treatment.

Dan enjoys spending time with friends, family, and his newborn daughter.  He is an avid biker, hiker, guitarist, gym afficionado and world traveler.  The latest countries he visited include Spain and Costa Rica.  He loved the latter—yes, you can visit again Dan, but please don’t move there.  Say hello to Dan on your next visit.

Gabriela Rodriguez RDH

Gaby, one of our Registered Dental Hygienists, attended Farmingdale State College where she earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene in 2018. She was awarded the "Outstanding Dedication and Concern for the Public in Dental Hygiene” from Suffolk County, and was also bestowed with an “Outstanding Participation” as the historian for the SADHA (Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association) honors society.

Gaby is certified in administering local anesthesia in the state of New York.  She also furthered her hygiene education by participating in an extensive diode laser course.  She is certified by the prestigious Academy of Laser Dentistry to perform periodontal laser procedures, which are a conservative, effective, and nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease.  Ask her if you are a candidate for this comfortable adjunct to the treatment of gum disease.

Gaby, in her quest of higher education, is currently attending Farmingdale State College in pursuit of her Bachelors’ Degree in Dental Hygiene.

She loves spending time with her family, working out, and traveling.  She recently traveled to Samana, Dominican Republic, where she cavorted in the surf with her friends.  If you have travel plans to the Caribbean, Gaby is the one to hit up for information!


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 Burroughs.

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 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, Paris, Mexico and is no longer allowed in Las Vegas.

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