How Does the Microscope Provide a Level of Care Unattainable than with Traditional Periodontics Techniques?

The dental profession and study of periodontics have been evolving at a very rapid rate in the areas of esthetics and implant dentistry.  Our Manhattan patient’s expectations and the complexity of treatment require that our treatment planning and final results be consistently predictable. Periodontal plastic procedures have continually developed.  These procedures, which address esthetic and reconstructive aspects of periodontal and implant treatment, have become more technically demanding.  They often involve multiple procedures which address both hard and soft tissue deficiencies.

In order to provide high-quality care, over the past several years I have increased my eyeglass mounted telescopic magnification and have incorporated a fiber optic light source to increase my visibility.  I have also been suturing with smaller needles and suture material.  Even with all these advances, I felt that many periodontal and implant procedures could be performed at a higher level of care creating in a more esthetic and predicable result. If I could only utilize smaller tools, tighter lines of work, and more precise motions I could make every operation that much more precise. To do that, however, I needed greater magnification and better lighting, and I was limited by traditional tools. I needed to make a more fundamental change to the technology I was using.

This thought progression lead me to the field of dental microsurgery. I needed to learn about microsurgery and to do so I took a course by the leader in periodontal microsurgery, Dr. Dennis Shanelec, who practices in Santa Barbara. I left California feeling my expectations were surpassed and a new door was being opened for our patients. What Dr. Shanelec has been able to accomplish utilizing the philosophy and instrumentation of microsurgical periodontics leaves me very excited about the new possibilities of periodontics, perio-plastic surgery, and implant dentistry.

Dental microsurgery is a demanding but powerful technique that utilizes a microscope and a fiber-optic light source. It allows a dentist to see every part of the mouth, and with a steady hand, can provide the dentist with the ability to be more exact in every procedure. Traditional dental loupes can magnify an area from 3-6 times in general. Dental microscopes, however, can achieve magnification of 20 times or higher! They are also often able to adjust magnification in the middle of a procedure, allowing for repositioning where a dental loupe would be limited in its range of motion.

I have been using a surgical microscope for 1.5 years at my Manhattan practice.  Since then I have been able to provide a level of care unattainable with traditional periodontics techniques. So you’ve seen the benefits that dental micro-surgery provides for the dentist, but what does it provide for the patient?

  • Less trauma through microsurgical techniques and instruments resulting in smaller surgical sites with less injury and bleeding. I have been advised that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as Advil or Aleve, will be sufficient as a post-op analgesic.
  • Passive wound closure with exact positioning of the wound edges. This eliminates gaps and circumvents the need for new tissue formation to fill the voids at the surgical site. This avoids the often painful inflammatory phase of wound healing.
  • More technical precision allows for surgical potentials that are not possible with traditional surgical instruments and sutures.

Since beginning to use the microscope, feedback from our patients has been very positive.  All patients have experienced little to no discomfort or swelling. If you are in the Manhattan area, call (212) 702-9088 for a consultation and see what professional care and micro-surgical techniques can do for you and your smile.