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Periodontics/Laser vs. flap surgery


The Guardian, DDS wrote at 2013-09-21 04:40:22
The Academy of Periodontology published a review of the literature suggesting laser treatment is no better than scaling and root planing or any other conventional periodontal treatment, despite the fact that it is so much more costly.  I will post an excerpt from the summary with a link to the periodontal specialist's web site where it now appears.


"Simply put, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that any specific wavelength of laser is superior to the traditional modalities of therapy. Current evidence does suggest that use of the Nd:YAG or Er:YAG wavelengths for treatment of chronic periodontitis may be equivalent to scaling and root planing (SRP) with respect to reduction in probing depth and subgingival bacterial populations. However, if gain in clinical attachment level is considered the gold standard for non-surgical periodontal therapy, then the evidence supporting laser-mediated periodontal treatment over traditional ther- apy is minimal at best. Lastly, there is limited evidence suggesting that lasers used in an adjunctive capacity to SRP may provide some addi- tional benefit. J Periodontol 2006;77:545-564.

So my advice since you are wisely frightened by gum surgery, would be to find a dental hygienist who is interested in treating periodontal diseases non-surgically.  That's the way to save your teeth AND your money


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David Scharf


I am a board Certified periodontist which means that I am an expert in treating gum disease (periodontal disease) and placing dental implants. I can answer questions related to treating gum disease, bleeding gums, maintaining healthy gums, and structural issues with the gums such as recession, to gummy a smile, crown lengthening etc. I am also certified in Laser Periodontal therapy which allows me to treat gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel. I can address those questions as well.


I have been practicing periodontics and placing dental implants since 1990. I have treated thousands of patients for both gum disease and dental implants. I currently an a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at the nations largest dental school.

Journal of the American Dental Association, Journal of Periodontology, International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, International Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Implants

BA/DMD Boston University Cum Laud. Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Periodontics fro New York University. Board Certification in Periodontics 1995

Awards and Honors
e was elected to Omicron Kappa Upsilon (the "Phi Beta Kappa" for dentists), and received the Boston University award for Excellence in Periodontology, the Boston University Predoctoral Prosthetic Award for Excellence in Prosthetics, and the Academy of General Dentistry Outstanding Senior Student Award, the Boston University Operative Dentistry Special Achievement Award, and the Quintessence Publishing Company Outstanding Senior Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice. Following dental school, Dr. Scharf completed a year long General Practice Residency at The Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. As a resident at this top New York program, he gained extensive clinical experience in such fields as prothodontics, periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, management of the medically compromised patient, and general dentistry. This experience was completed by clinical rotations in the departments of general medicine, anesthesia, and emergency medicine.

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