If I ignore it, it might go away, right? Periodontist in NYC required (or maybe not???)
January 12, 2012 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a good periodontist in NYC? Do I even need a periodontist?

Need implant or partial bridge apparently after non-awesome news that root canal tooth is now loose and needs to be extracted. I am scared and unhappy...terrified of both the procedure and the cost. (Have insurance but still quoted approx $1500 out of pocket). Also, I'm terrified of going to an unqualified/non-expert doctor and making this problem even worse. Please help me with your recommendations and uplifting tales of tooth extractions that magically were reversed....ok, no, be honest, let me know if you can recommend someone reliable to do the procedure and maybe...tell me it's not going to be that bad??!

Also, I saw this but can't read surgical details yet...can't handle it. And I'm really more looking for personal recommendations for dentists/oral surgeons. I have the name Dr.Kessler in Williamsburg, is anyone familiar with him?
Dentist mentioned might have to get tooth extracted and walk around with gap for up to 6 months while it heals before implant tooth is put in- can this be true? Will I really be toothless AND minus 2k??? Ok, read details on this, looks like time varies.
posted by bquarters to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
My periodontist is in Mid-town Manhattan. Nicholas Toscano.


Used to provide periodontal care at the White House. Very competent, great guy, etc.
posted by dfriedman at 10:34 AM on January 12, 2012

I have had a tooth that had previous had a root canal extracted. This particular tooth had also broken almost in half so it had to come out ASAP. They gave me a shot of novocaine and it took the dentist perhaps three minutes to yank the remaining tooth bits + roots. It was so fast that I was amazed. I kept asking, "Was that it?" (muffled through the wad of gauze they immediately stuck in my mouth) and the dentist was like "Yep, you're done!" I took the prescribed painkillers religiously, did the rinses recommended, and it was fine.

I cannot speak for the implant/bridge after extraction because there was no way I could afford either, so there is just a hole where the tooth was in my mouth. They tell you not to do that because your teeth will shift and the bottom one will lengthen and all sorts of bad things will occur so if you can afford to do the implant I would probably say go with that. The socket area did take a while to heal, so you will have to have the open space for a while during the healing process.
posted by crankylex at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2012

(just to clarify - periodontists don't do implants or partial bridges, their specialty is the health of your gums. You need an oral surgeon for the extraction and implant, plus a dentist that does reconstruction if you decide to go for a bridge.)

Once the tooth is noticeably loose, it's pretty hard to save, tbh. I ended up wasting money on a root canal and the tooth had to come out a year later anyway as the bone erosion started affecting nearby teeth.

Dr. John Kosinski up on East 67th street is an awesome periodontist and will do his best to save the tooth. Dr. Fred Lifshey on E60th did a great job on a terrible extraction for me about 6 years ago. However, they're both expensive, even with health insurance.

When you have the extraction, if you need bone replacement through bone grafting (autologous or otherwise), then yes, you could have a gap for up to a year. A regular dentist can make you a flipper tooth, which looks like an orthodontic retainer with a tooth attached. If it's not in the front of your mouth, you can go without a flipper with no problems.

Dr. Michael Chang downtown on 2nd avenue & 12th street is a great cosmetic and general dentist who can do both a partial bridge or the crown tooth for an implant.

No matter what you do, this is going to cost you unpleasant amounts of money. Sorry. You might be able to save a little if you can work out a deal with the surgeon to do both the extraction and the later implant together for a smaller fee?
posted by elizardbits at 11:30 AM on January 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you so much! I know about periodontists being gum-focused so I was a bit 'huh?' at the dentist recommending their in-house periodontist to do procedure. Also when I had previous crown problem she didn't even notice it was loose and it fell off a week later....

So oral surgeon it is. Dr.Chang lives close to me, maybe I should check him out.

And the money- total huge financial insult to already dental injury!!! I knew living over a dentist, never visiting him and eating candy daily for a year and a half in the UK would come back to haunt me in the end.

So again thanks, it's loose and it's definitely going to come out. I don't want to pay huge amounts of money but it looks like I will have to and I definitely want someone good so I don't have to go back and do it again. Thanks again for the recommendations!!!

Just in case: Has anyone been to this Dr.Kessler in Williamsburg? I know it's a small world out there!
posted by bquarters at 12:21 PM on January 12, 2012

Response by poster: Oh it looks like Dr.Chang may or may not be an oral surgeon. Stress makes me unable to comprehend things! Also, New Yorkers, after the procedure(s) did you have to have someone escort you home? Could you take the subway? I know the linked question I put up earlier discussed driving but am I going to be too messed up to take the subway? Alone?
posted by bquarters at 12:28 PM on January 12, 2012

Dentist mentioned might have to get tooth extracted and walk around with gap for up to 6 months while it heals before implant tooth is put in- can this be true? Will I really be toothless AND minus 2k???

Yes. My understanding of implants is that they set a post into your jaw which the implant will attach to. Then they wait for the bone to heal around it so it's firmly set. Your gums need to settle down and heal as well, though that happens a lot faster.

You can get a bridge more quickly but for one or two teeth the implants are supposedly more cost effective AND much more natural looking.

And since my wife works for a trade group that represents confections I am obligated to say: any fermentable carbohydrate consumption, combined with inadequate oral hygiene, will contribute to tooth decay. So don't blame it on the candy and let the bread and potato off the hook. So sayeth my retirement contributions.
posted by phearlez at 1:34 PM on January 12, 2012

Are you sure they didn't say prosthodontist? They do implants.
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:06 PM on January 12, 2012

With just the extraction + novocaine, I was fine to drive. My husband ended up driving, but I was certainly capable of driving. You will have a big roll of gauze sticking out of your mouth for some time.
posted by crankylex at 6:19 PM on January 12, 2012

I needed implants and searched AskMe and found the multiply recommended Dr. Sachar and am happy with the results.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:47 PM on January 12, 2012

Response by poster: Awesome news, turned out I was initially 'mis-(overly cautiously, which is fine)-diagnosed' by original dentist. Crown was just loose. Saw Dr.Kessler, he is an incredibly nice person, and a calm, patient, and obviously competent surgeon. BUT thank god I didn't require his surgical services after all. Nor did I wind up with a huge bill! THanks for your support!
posted by bquarters at 3:29 PM on January 21, 2012

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