Exciting New Focal Point in Periodontics

I just returned to New York City from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) in Boston and would like to comment on an exciting new focal point in periodontics. In years past, most of the lectures were implant related.  However, this year there were numerous lectures on “Guided Tissue Regeneration,” (GTR) or saving teeth with bone grafting.

The most interesting lecture on GTR was given by Italian practitioner Dr. Pierpaolo Cortellini. Dr. Cortellini and his partner, Dr. Maurizio Tonetti, have published extensively on GTR over the past 25 years. Cortellini’s AAP lecture focused on how surgical philosophy and designs have evolved over the years, and how these designs impact post-surgical recession and bone regeneration.

With traditional periodontics care, flap surgery with bone graft often results in pronounced recession, especially in the papillary area. Dr. Cortellini claims that microsurgical care (utilizing a surgical microscope) results in an average post-surgical recession of only .7mm, a significant decrease, and an increase in bone fill of the defect. Dr. Cortellini’s results were recently confirmed by a German group, Drs. Thalmair Fickl and Tobias Thalmair, in a study published in the September 2009 Journal of Clinical Periodontology.   Both groups state that when a microsurgical approach is used, primary wound closure (when tissues are precisely positioned back to their original location) can be reached in greater than 90% of all cases. Primary closure results in greater wound stability, faster healing, no patient discomfort, and better regenerative results than traditional periodontal techniques. Dr. Cortellini stated that his results could only be achieved by using a microscope concurrent with advanced microsurgical skills. He has also shown that teeth with regenerated bone can have the same long-term prognosis as teeth with a normal periodontium, even when used as abutments.

I look around New York City and find that there is a need for this kind of care. When you consider referring a patient to my New York office, you can be assured that I am at the forefront of microsurgical periodontics care. In 2005, I was one of eight periodontics professionals worldwide invited to participate in an ongoing microsurgical study club led by the two founders of microsurgical periodontics and dental implants, Drs. Dennis Shanelec and Leonard Tibbetts. This past month, I proudly accepted the request to be a reviewer for MICRO: The International Journal of Micro-Dentistry.  MICRO is a new journal on microscope enhanced care.  This journal will present peer-reviewed articles covering scientific findings, clinical techniques, imaging technologies, and case studies.  Topics include wound healing, examination, diagnostic, restorative, endodontic and periodontal surgical procedures. Microsurgical periodontics care is a new way to revolutionize dental care. I can bring these new techniques to New York City patients with a high quality of care and skill.

This new technology could not only further the advancement of the periodontics field, but it could also allow patients to acquire a higher quality of care. Microscope enhanced dental care is now being practiced throughout the world, and I expect many interesting articles to be submitted to the journal.  Periodontics as an advancing field is going to undergo a new wave of innovation with the adoption of this technology.

I look forward to bringing this care to New York City, and I look forward to sharing information about this emerging innovation in the field. Stop by for a consultation, and we can have a conversation.