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Jan 17, 2017 1:12 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk's Only Dentist, Dan Vasti, Is Retiring After 41 Years

Daniel Vasti, 69, outside of his Montauk Dental practice on South Embassy Street in Montauk. JON WINKLER
Jan 17, 2017 3:40 PM

If Montauk locals have ever been told to floss just a little bit more, chances are the advice came from Dr. Daniel Vasti, who is officially retiring from his practice this week after 41 years.

“It’s going to be different for me,” Dr. Vasti said, sitting in the waiting room of his small dental practice tucked away on South Embassy Street. “I went from school to work, so it’s going to be different not having to go to work every morning, but everyone goes through that I guess—it’s what you work toward.”

As Montauk’s only dentist, Dr. Vasti, who’s 69, had been searching for a replacement for some time, he said, but hadn’t found anyone suitable until a year ago. That find was Dr. Michael Edwards and Dr. Kathryn Mirras of Wainscott Dental Care, whose practice will merge with Dr. Vasti’s practice, Montauk Dental Care. Dr. Vasti said that Dr. Mirras, 31, and Dr. Edwards, 45, had the bonus qualifications of being East End locals, with Dr. Mirras being a former student of the Montauk School and of East Hampton High School and Dr. Edwards practicing in East Hampton and Wainscott for many years and currently living in Springs.

Acknowledging this in his official retirement letter, Dr. Vasti said that he felt he was “passing the torch to the next generation.”

“I knew about him ever since I can remember. He’s a very nice guy, very involved in the community,” Dr. Mirras said of Dr. Vasti, who was named person of the year by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce in 2010. “Dr. Edwards and I knew that Dr. Vasti was maybe retiring and so we reached out to him. We hit it off, we had a good lunch, good talk, and his values lined up with our values.”

“I wanted somebody who wanted to have a real attachment to Montauk,” Dr. Vasti said. “It’s a good fit. Dentistry, like medicine, is almost going corporate. There’s these more impersonal type of corporations buying up dental practices and I certainly didn’t want that. Montauk and the whole town doesn’t really fit with that.”

After graduating from Creighton University School of Dentistry, Dr. Vasti started his practice in December 1975. Dr. Vasti said that the population wasn’t as large then as it is today, especially in the summertime, and that Montauk life was more simple then.

“We never were as cool as everyone seems to think we are,” he said. “People wanted to fish, and they wanted to take their kids to the beach. That’s how it was, and I’ve been coming here since I was born.”

Dr. Vasti and his wife, Barbara, raised two sons, Dan III and Michael, in Montauk, and Dr. Vasti said he is grateful to the community for its role in their upbringing.

“There’s a sense of ‘we’re all in this together,’” he said. “As parents, because of where we live, all of us had to make more of an effort to do things with our kids to expose them to other things. Sometimes, you kind of get complacent that you don’t do that, then the kids get more narrow about everything. You learn that sometimes you have to see how the people in Montauk care about each other. We may have differences in how we look at certain things, but we all come together when we have to.”

The dentist said he will continue to spend his time in Montauk and, to ease the transition, occasionally serve as a consultant.

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Enjoy retirement Dr. Vasti, you deserved it! Thankyou for being a Big part of Montauk for so many years.
By mtkfishman (76), montauk on Jan 20, 17 8:35 AM
Congratulations Dr. Vasti

I am so proud and happy for you. What a wonderful journey you had. And so much more to come.

Love

Karen Green
By Karen D. Green (1), Tyngsboro on Feb 2, 17 3:09 AM