The Disneyland of Dentistry
Cavity Busters makes going to the dentist fun for kids of all ages
by Phil Gianficaro

Imagine sitting home alone on a stormy night with the lights out while watching a horror movie, yet not being scared. Imagine strolling through a cemetery at the edge of town at midnight, yet finding enough bravery to lean against a tombstone and contemplate the future. Imagine expecting to be afraid of something, yet someone or something prevents the fear from ever showing up.

When it comes to pediatric dentistry, that someone is Dr. David A. Bresler, D.D.S.

Dr. Bresler, founder of Cavity Busters, a pediatric dentistry practice with six locations throughout the greater Philadelphia area, has made eliminating children’s fear of going to the dentist Job No. 1.

“The greatest challenge for kids visiting the dentist is fear of the unknown,” says Dr. Bresler. “The beauty of what we do at Cavity Busters is we make sure kids aren’t afraid from the time they walk in the front door. We connect with them.

“When they come into our offices and see the surroundings,” he adds, “they’re happy they came. When kids aren’t afraid of coming to the dentist, they’ll want to come back. And the more they come back, the healthier they are.”

Children who visit Cavity Busters encounter a scene straight out of their happiest dreams: neon lights; brightly colored examining rooms with multicolored floors, and walls decorated with painted-on houses and street lights; rooms with large colorful pictures of Superman, Spider-Man and other kid favorites; a video game room; and large-screen plasma televisions showing their favorite movies or programs.

What parents will find there is an attentive dental staff that addresses children’s needs from teething to orthodontia.

But that’s just the beginning.

At Cavity Busters’ Northeast Philadelphia location, a 16,200-square-foot facility that Dr. Bresler purchased in 1997 and calls the “Disneyland of Dentistry,” kids being examined can look through a glass wall into the Motor Mouth Museum, which features interesting vehicles that Dr. Bresler has refurbished over the years.

Among the vehicles are an authentic Good Humor truck; a bright yellow Corvette; a red and yellow tricked-out ambulance; and a pink-and-teal striped stretch limousine. Along the walls of the museum are product logos and signs reminiscent of an old-time garage.

Even the practice’s website,, helps put his young patients at ease, with a “Kids’ Stuff” link loaded with games, puzzles and activities.

But it’s when kids walk through the front door of Cavity Busters and drink in the kid-friendly atmosphere that they probably expect to see Walt Disney handing out lollipops with Mickey and Minnie at his side.

“When I was little, you’d go to the dentist and they’d let you pick out a toy or prize as you were leaving,” says Dr. Bresler. “At Cavity Busters, we do it differently. Kids have fun the moment they come through the door. That’s what makes them less afraid. We’ll do whatever helps make the children more at ease.”

‘The Best Feeling’
In addition to his work in children’s dentistry, Dr. Bresler is owner and founder of the 5,000-square-foot Red Lion Surgicenter, the nation’s first freestanding ambulatory surgicenter entirely devoted to dental treatment. He also is the owner and founder of Special Touch Dentistry, a multi-location practice that provides dental care for special-needs adults in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg areas.

When Dr. Bresler emphasizes that Cavity Busters is a family-friendly practice, he means it. Both of his sons, Dr. Joshua Bresler, D.M.D., and Dr. Jason Bresler, D.M.D., graduated as he did from Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry and belong to the practice, and his daughter, Rachel, 27, will come aboard when she finishes dental school and specializes in a few years.

“It’s a family business in the truest sense of the word,” Dr. Bresler says. “I always hoped one of my kids would decide to follow in my footsteps. When they all did, I was overwhelmed and thrilled.

“People ask if I forced them into dentistry. I didn’t. They worked in my office from the time they were 10 years old, sweeping up, developing X-rays and cleaning chairs. They grew up in the business. … Working with children is a calling. I think they saw how much fun I was having and decided to join me.”

And when Dr. Bresler hears his sons using the same words and approach to reassure their young patients that he himself used at their ages?

“That,” he says, “is the best feeling in the world.”

Dr. Bresler, 57, has been in dentistry for 32 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts and Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from its Kornberg School of Dentistry. He has held positions at the Kornberg School, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and he is the dentist for the Cheltenham School District.

Dr. Bresler currently serves the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as a national spokesperson. He also is a member in professional societies such as the American Dental Association, and he currently serves the Temple University School of Dentistry Alumni Association as its president.

Parents of children who break into Cheshire cat smiles when they walk into a Cavity Busters office probably want to thank Dr. Bresler. Instead, they should thank his father.

The late Dr. Ralph Bresler was a physician. In 1969, 16-year-old David Bresler told his father he wanted to follow in his footsteps. His father, no doubt touched to the heart that his son would also consider a career in medicine, offered him sage advice.

“My father was wise beyond his years,” Dr. Bresler says. “He told me something was coming called a Health Maintenance Organization that would take control away from doctors.

“He suggested I go into dentistry because I was good with my hands and with people. Then he let me shadow some of his friends who were dentists. It didn’t take long before I knew dentistry was for me. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Dr. Bresler’s young patients are saying the same thing. 

Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.

Alison Dunlap is a freelance photographer based in Palmyra, N.J.

Cavity Busters
Six Area Locations:
Dreshertown Plaza, 1650 Limekiln Pike
One Abington Plaza, 101 Old York Road
Bresler-Richmond Dental Center
6801 Ridge Ave.
Newtown Square
4659 West Chester Pike
Northeast Philadelphia
240 Geiger Road
South Philadelphia
1430 Snyder Ave.