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Monarchs' dentist hangs up his skates

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 27. 2018 12:32AM
Dr. Mark Hochberg is retiring from his dental practice, Manchester Oral Sugery. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Dr. Mark Hochberg stitched up the faces of bloodied Monarchs players at home games and administered IVs between periods during their Calder Cup-clinching game three years ago.

The oral surgeon, who received referral work from dozens of area dentists, planned to work well into the next decade pulling wisdom teeth and performing bone grafts.

But an unexpected problem took root.

“I became allergic to gloves,” Hochberg, 55, said recently.

His hands would turn red and swell up, developing blisters and sores. Despite consulting various medical experts, he received the bad news April 30: He would need to give up his duties as an oral surgeon.

The glove problem, he said, had been manageable for several years but grew worse last summer. His last day at Manchester Oral Surgery on Sagamore Street was May 16.

“It wasn’t what I was planning on,” Hochberg said on a recent afternoon in his waiting room. “I’m not dying. I just have a problem with my hands.”

Hochberg came to New Hampshire in 1995 and has worked at two different offices, both on the same block of Sagamore Street. Mark Abel joined as a partner in 2009 and will purchase Hochberg’s half of the practice.

Hochberg said between 60 and 80 dentists referred patients to him for extractions, dental implants and trauma.

“Fists, pucks and sticks to the face,” he said.

Hochberg started working with the Monarchs during their inaugural season in 2001. He said he volunteered his time at the arena and got paid if players need to be seen outside the building.

“He is at the games to stabilize broken teeth and he also sees the players at his office,” said Matt Hunter, the team’s head athletic trainer.

“He does travel with the team as well.”

Four dentists take turns covering all home games.

“Dr. Hochberg does go out of his way to travel to away playoff games where he not only covers any injuries that might arise, but will also begin IVs for guys during back-to-back games,” Hunter said.

“He was an integral part of our organization,” he said. “From the help he provides during games, which also includes performing sutures, he also provides emergency coverage when injuries occur during practice and sees athletes almost immediately.”

Hochberg now hopes to use his mind and decades of experience to continue pursuing dentistry. He wants to teach and get involved with radiology.

Abel said Hochberg proved a mentor during their nine-year partnership.

“He really likes to teach,” Abel said.

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