How did you come to choose a career as a Periodontist as opposed to General Dentistry?
As part of General Dentistry training, you get to love all fields of the profession, but sometimes there is something that captivates you more. With my microbiology background and my interest in surgical procedures, it was apparent to me that the specialty field of periodontology and dental implantology was the perfect fit for me during my second year in dental school.
How and when did you decide to launch your practice, and what did you want your practice to really become to make it unique?
After I graduated from the periodontology post-doctoral program at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 2008, I was offered a faculty position as Clinical Assistant Professor. It was during this time that I met Dr. Rabinovitz as a fellow faculty member and friend. Our paths crossed again in 2013 when he invited me to join the Cushing and Rabinovitz LTC practice, focusing on periodontology and dental implants. I was able to bring a new set of skills and techniques to the practice. We both envision an approach where quality patient care is the main objective. Implementing the latest technology, best quality material on the market, and compassionate care for our patients will help to become a dental setting of excellence. Because of my background as a professor and Dr. Rabinovitz, education is a big part of growing the practice not just for our patients but for our referrals.
What was your "A-ha moment" when you realized your practices had truly become a success?
Success can be measured in different ways, and it is something that, as a professional, you aim to achieve every day. It could be in treating a single tooth or doing a comprehensive restorative case. When you feel part of a community of professionals who work as a team, leveraging each other's skills towards the common goal of providing excellent treatment with quality materials and advanced technology, I would consider that success.
In your opinion, which two public figures do you think currently have the best smile?
Hands down, Jessica Biel and Mila Kunis.
What's the #1 requested celebrity smile that people come to you asking for?
Most patients request to have a healthy, natural-looking smile.
What's one mistake people make most when it comes to their teeth?
I feel that one of the most common mistakes people make in regards to their teeth is over-whitening treatments. This will give an unnatural look to the patient. Then again, esthetics are a very personal decision even when dentistry defines esthetic parameters.
As a periodontist, I have to add that oral hygiene neglect and smoking are two issues that could become expensive and could extend treatment time for the patient.
What's the latest trend/treatment people are getting to create the perfect smile?
People's latest trends to create the perfect smile are clear aligners to provide orthodontic therapy, whitening treatments, and dental implants ideally immediately placed and temporized or restore to replace missing teeth.
There may be a stigma that Periodontists are specialists that the elderly go to see as opposed to a younger generation, likely due to a lack of education in your field. What are the top 3 "myths" about your profession that you can share with us that our readers may not know?
Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition that is characterized by the presence of harmful bacteria.
First Myth: periodontitis is not common. The American Academy of Periodontology has reported that about half of adults age 30 and older have or have had some form of periodontal disease in their lifetime. The risk increases with age but is not limited only to adults. Periodontitis could present with different degrees of severity, and it can destroy the supporting structures of the teeth, including connective tissue and bone.
Second Myth: if there is no pain or symptoms, there is no need for professional care. Most patients with periodontal disease will not report significant symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the condition. Periodic dental visits are critical to diagnose and treat in time to avoid potential advanced disease.
Third Myth: periodontal disease only affects your mouth. It has been widely documented that having gingival disease could increase the risk for systemic inflammatory conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, heart diseases like atherosclerosis, and others.
What do you have in store for your practice in the next year, especially now as the U.S. is starting to "re-open" in the coming weeks after the Covid-19 pandemic? Do you anticipate that patients (new and repeat) will be more attentive to their oral health and smiles now after this global emergency we have been experiencing?
I believe that adopting new technology like video conferences will be critical to continue our education efforts through our study clubs and telehealth or tele-consults for our patients and our colleagues. We are constantly evolving with new techniques and instrumentation to provide quality care. Digital dentistry is already part of our practice, but it needs to be updated regularly to stay current like any technology. As dental professionals, it is our responsibility to advise our patients on the importance of their oral health and its influence on overall health.
Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your expertise with us!