Chair: Peter Loomer, DDS, PhD
Clinical Professor, Periodontology and Implant Dentistry
The mission of the Department of Periodontics at NYU Dentistry is to:
In fulfilling this mission, the long-term goal of the Department is recognition as one of the leading programs in periodontics through outstanding educational programs, excellence in patient care, research, and scholarship.
Created from the Departments of Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, it represented a natural fusion of two highly acclaimed departments. The Department of Periodontology was created in 1924, and was the first undergraduate department devoted exclusively to periodontics to be established in a dental college in this country. In 1927, postgraduate instruction was introduced, and years later the department pioneered in giving postgraduate courses in the Spanish language. From 1928, the department continued to progress to a point where it represented one of the leading departments of its kind in the country, exemplified during this period by one of its most illustrious chairmen, Dr. Samuel Charles Miller (1934), author of the classic Textbook of Periodontia, which had three editions (1938, 1945, and 1950). In 1950, the department’s name was changed to the Department of Periodontia and Oral Medicine, presaging current efforts to integrate medicine and dentistry. Currently, the department includes approximately 40 full- and part-time faculty members equally divided between the D.D.S. and postgraduate programs.
The Arthur Ashman Department of Implant Dentistry was founded in 1991 with three Fellows. In 1993 the International Program was established and has grown rapidly. At present the department has trained 122 international trained dentists from 26 countries along with 54 Fellows. In fact, the department has the largest implant-training program worldwide.
Today, the International Program’s average combined class size (first- and second-year residents) is approximately 37 per year along with approximately six Fellows. Each year the program attracts residents from around the world who realize that with the advancements in technology that have occurred, implants are clearly the wave of the future.
The first-year experience in periodontics is directed primarily toward providing an introduction to preventive care, risk assessment, and epidemiological considerations of periodontal diseases.
The second-year experience in periodontics is directed toward providing students with fundamental skills, both intellectual and mechanical, to begin clinical treatment of patients. A series of lectures addressing etiology, histopathology, initial therapy, and preventive strategies in the treatment of inflammatory periodontal diseases are taught in depth, with emphasis on the clinical management of gingivitis and early-to-moderate stages of periodontitis. During sophomore year, a brief introduction to surgical procedures is provided, with emphasis on indications, contraindications, and postoperative treatment.
In a simulation exercise that is both laboratory- and clinic-based, students are introduced to instrumentation for managing moderate inflammatory periodontal disease and are provided with a clinical experience to apply this knowledge.
The third-year course provides foundation knowledge in the more advanced therapeutic modalities of periodontics, integrating principles of basic biomedical sciences, including histology, immunology, and pathophysiology. The course of study consists of both didactic instruction and clinical practice. Principles of managing the more advanced periodontal patient are presented in a series of lectures covering diagnosis, prognosis, histopathology, surgical and nonsurgical intervention, and pharmacotherapeutics. Clinical practice is devoted to the treatment of patients with uncomplicated inflammatory periodontal diseases under close supervision in a comprehensive care clinic. Small diagnosis and treatment planning seminars are held for informal discussion of periodontics, and individual student initiative is encouraged. Students chart, diagnose, prepare case analyses, and present cases to patients and faculty. This course serves as a basis for the student to be able to diagnose and treat more advanced cases in their fourth year.
In the fourth year, instruction in periodontics continues with the student acting more independently within the framework of the comprehensive care program. With the exception of only the most advanced cases, students perform initial therapy on all periodontal patients. For those patients requiring surgical therapy, students assist postgraduate residents in the postgraduate clinic in all surgical procedures indicated for their patients, and depending on the clinical skills of the student, may also perform part of the surgical procedure itself. Students are evaluated on a regular basis during periodic competency exercises that are administered by the faculty. An honors course devoted entirely to clinical periodontics, including periodontal surgery, is available to a select group of highly motivated students with a particular interest and aptitude in this discipline of dentistry.
Implant curriculum. Undergraduate education of implants is a major focus of our newly restructured department. In collaboration with the department of Prosthodontics, the chief architects of this curriculum, and the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, NYU College of Dentistry presents an integrated implant curriculum that emphasizes implants as a routine restoration in clinical dentistry. NYU is in the forefront in defining the standard of care for implant overdentures. Implants are taught in D2, D3 and D4 as part of the didactic, preclinical and clinical curricula. It has been defined as one of the competencies for our graduates.
Representative research interests in the department include risk assessment for destructive periodontal diseases and systemic complications, periodontal regeneration, and cementogenesis on artificial substrates. Most recently, the department was awarded approximately $100,000 to study the relationship between destructive periodontitis and glycemic control in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Furthermore, the department is active in research in the clinical and basic science studies of implants that require sinus grafts, immediate loading, new innovative implant designs, etc. Select students are involved in and assist faculty on research projects within the department.