Fifth Ave Perio

Improving Smiles

Laser Gum Contouring Procedure

Even those with perfect oral health and ideally aligned, exquisitely white teeth can have smiles that are affected by excessive or uneven gum tissue. People with “gummy” smiles are often self-conscious as their teeth appear shorter than they actually are. Sometimes, uneven gum tissue can make teeth look misshapen or misaligned when, in actuality, they are in excellent condition. For such patients, thankfully, there is a highly effective solution.

Manhattan cosmetic dentist Clifford S. Melnick is pleased to offer laser gum contouring to patients of his New York periodontal practice. Laser gum contouring is the most precise, pain-free method of reshaping the gums. The result of laser gum contouring is a proportional, balanced smile that you will be proud to flash at every opportunity.

Why Laser Treatment?

In the past, the only way to reshape the gums was through surgical removal of periodontal tissue using traditional scalpels and other instruments. While the results could be quite good, the healing process took several weeks, during which patients were at heightened risk of pain and infection. Modern dental lasers, however, are able to ablate the soft periodontal tissues while causing only minimal bleeding and swelling. The laser allows for far greater precision than traditional surgical instruments, giving Dr. Melnick full control over the reshaping process. With complete accuracy, Dr. Melnick can craft a gum line that beautifully frames the teeth, with the shape and size of each individual tooth – in relation with the other teeth and the entire mouth – taken into careful account. The result is a stunning smile, not to mention a very short recovery period and little to no discomfort. Indeed, some patients require no pain relief whatsoever.

The results of laser gum contouring are permanent. You do not have to worry about the gum tissue regenerating. As long as you take proper measures to keep your newly contoured gums healthy – including regular periodontal exams and dental appointments – your beautifully reshaped smile will last a lifetime.

Candidacy for Laser Gum Contouring

Because dental lasers are so safe and precise, most patients with excess gum tissue are good candidates for laser gum treatment at our New York periodontal practice. Lasers can be used on nearly anyone, with the exception of patients who are on oxygen. Otherwise, even those who are pregnant or who have pacemakers may undergo laser gum contouring.

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your smile because you have “overhanging” gum tissue, gum tissue that obscures the front surfaces of your teeth, or an irregular, jagged gum line, chances are that you are an excellent candidate for laser gum contouring. As a patient of Dr. Clifford S. Melnick’s, you can expect superb results that are attractive and completely natural looking.

Contact Dr. Clifford S. Melnick Today

Are you ready to say goodbye to your gummy smile and hello to a beautifully contoured gum line? If so, we want to hear from you. Please contact Dr. Clifford S. Melnick today to learn more about laser gum contouring and to schedule a consultation at our New York practice.

Scaling and Planing Treatment Process

Our patients in Manhattan rely on Dr. Clifford Melnick’s expertise in the fields of periodontics and laser dentistry to ensure the health and aesthetics of their smiles.

Scaling and Root Planing Candidates

Scaling and root planing are used in the treatment of periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Gum disease is the infection of the bones and tissues supporting the teeth. Gum disease attacks the sulcus (the v-shaped shallow crevice between the teeth and the gums), just below the gumline, resulting in the breakdown of the tissues supporting the teeth. As these tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket. These pockets become deeper as the disease progresses.

The build-up of plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, but hormonal changes, certain illnesses, certain medications, smoking, and genetics may also contribute to your risk of developing gum disease. In its earliest stage, gum disease is often painless. To ensure the health of your teeth and gums, it is important to know the symptoms of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums: with gingivitis gums may bleed when touched or when brushing your teeth; with periodontitis gums may bleed without any stimulation whatsoever
  • Gums that are bright red or purple in color
  • Inflamed or swollen gums
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Teeth may become loose or start to shift
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when biting down
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and affects only the gums. Gingivitis can be treated before causing irreversible damage to the gums and teeth. By following proper oral hygiene recommendations, it is entirely possible to eradicate gum disease in its earliest stage. The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis and it is quite dangerous. During this stage of gum disease, the damage to the bones and tissues supporting the teeth is irreversible. If left untreated, periodontitis may lead to the loss of one or more teeth. Our Manhattan cosmetic dentistry patients with periodontitis are generally good candidates for the scaling and root planing treatment.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning treatment. It is one of the most effective treatments of gum disease. Because scaling and root planing may cause discomfort in some patients, a local anesthetic is administered to numb the treatment areas. During the scaling process, plaque and tartar are removed from the root surfaces below the gumline. Root planing is used to smooth the rough spots left on the roots of the teeth. Removing these rough spots allows the gums a smooth and clean place free of bacteria to reattach to. Antibiotics may be prescribed, and in some cases antibiotic fibers may be placed during the scaling and root planing treatment.

Scaling and Root Planing: Lasers

Lasers used in scaling and planing may improve the effectiveness of the procedure. Patients who undergo laser treatment experience less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort during the scaling and root planing surgery. Our New York laser dentistry practice is dedicated to providing patients with the very best in dental technology and techniques.

Contact Dr. Clifford Melnick Today

To learn more about scaling and root planing, please contact Dr. Clifford Melnick today.

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

A smile is one of the first physical attributes that we notice when meeting someone. It can affect relationships with coworkers, managers, friends, and significant others. Here at Fifth Avenue Periodontics, our Manhattan cosmetic dentists and staff share a common goal: helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. Our team of dentists offers our patients the most advanced dentistry treatments that are available today.

While tooth loss isn’t the most widespread dental issue in the United States, it is definitely more common than most people think. Knowing the causes of tooth loss could help prevent the dental problems that lead to tooth loss. In this blog post, we discuss the most common causes of tooth loss.

Poor Oral Hygiene

A person’s overall oral hygiene plays an important role in tooth loss prevention. Good oral hygiene practices at home, paired with routine visits to the dentist for professional examinations and cleanings, reduces the risk of developing the serious dental problems that result in tooth loss, including gum disease and cavities.

Gum Disease

When not treated in its early stages, gum disease can severely damage the gums and teeth; eventually it can lead to tooth loss. The most common cause of gum disease is insufficient dental care, but the condition can also be caused by the use of tobacco products, genetics, hormonal changes (such as those that result from puberty and pregnancy), stress, bruxism, and certain medical problems. In the early stage of gingivitis, patients experience symptoms such as red, swollen gums that bleed easily and bad breath. These symptoms get worse as gum disease progresses to its advanced stages, and additional symptoms present themselves, such as the gums detaching from the teeth and the teeth becoming loose.


When a cavity starts to forms, decay eats away at the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. As the cavity gets worse, it reaches the dentin layer of the tooth. At this point, a cavity can be treated with a filling or a dental crown. If the cavity is not treated, the infection will reach the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. At this point, the tooth requires root canal therapy to be saved. If the infection continues to spread in the pulp of the tooth, the tooth will fall out or need to be extracted.


Smoking has a detrimental affect on a person’s overall health, including their oral health. Not only do cigarettes discolor teeth, cause bad breath, and esophageal diseases, but smoking has been linked to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. We recommend that our patients discontinue the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products to improve their health.


Some patients lose one or more of their teeth as a result of trauma or injury. This can be the result of a fall, car accident, or assault. If the impact is strong enough, the tooth can become dislodged at the root. Athletes that participate in contact sports are often advised to wear mouth guards to prevent dental trauma.

No matter the cause, tooth loss can be a very sensitive issue for patients. At Fifth Avenue Periodontics, our Manhattan dental implant experts offer several tooth replacement options. If you or someone you know has lost one or more of their teeth, please contact our office as soon as possible; we will be happy to set you up with a consultation.

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease can range from a minor problem to a severe problem. It’s important that you brush your teeth regularly, floss every night, and meet with your dentist twice a year. Doing so will prevent major dental health issues from occurring. There are different stages of gum disease, and the earlier it can be caught and treated, the better. The team here at our Manhattan cosmetic dentistry practice would like to take a moment to look at these different stages of gum disease and what they entail. We’ll briefly go over some treatment options as well.

About Gum Disease and its Causes

Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gums. Bacteria is normally found in the mouth and can cause bad breath and tooth decay. Should your gums be affected by the bacteria, major problems can ensue. Smoking, diabetes, poor nutrition, and other factors can contribute to gum disease as well. We’ll use the latest diagnostic techniques and equipment at our dental practice serving Midtown and the Upper East Side to identify gum disease during your visit.

Gingivitis and its Symptoms

The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Some of the common symptoms of gingivitis are as follows:

  • Swelling of the gums
  • Discoloration of the gums
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)

Periodontitis and its Symptoms

A more severe stage of gum disease is periodontitis. This stage usually involves the following symptoms:

  • More severe swelling of the gums
  • Purple or red gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Major bleeding of the gums
  • Strange taste in the mouth
  • Wiggling or loose teeth

Advanced Periodontitis and its Symptoms

If left untreated, periodontitis can progress to advanced periodontitis. This is the most severe form of gum disease and will require laser dentistry treatment options as well as many other soft tissue therapies. The symptoms of advanced periodontitis include all of the above symptoms as well as:

  • Tooth misalignment
  • Increased space between teeth
  • Exposure of tooth roots
  • Tooth loss

Treatment of Gum Disease

There are numerous treatments available for gum disease based on your needs. For gingivitis, usually root planning/root scaling is performed to remove bacteria from the gumline around the tooth root. Special medicated rinses are often provided as well to help manage the bacterial infection. For more advance treatment needs, laser therapies, surgeries, and grafting treatments may be used.

If you have lost a tooth or need a tooth extracted due to advanced periodontitis, then you may be eligible to get Manhattan dental implants. These artificial tooth roots can anchor a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a denture in place. This will be part of a full smile makeover and restorative dental care treatment.

Assessing Your Needs and Restoring Your Dental Health

As you can see, there are many options available to address your problems, whether you’re dealing with gingivitis or advanced periodontitis. Rest assured that we have comprehensive gum disease treatment and periodontal care services that will help restore the health and appearance of your smile.

Learn More Gum Disease Treatments and Dental Health

If you would like more information about gum disease and how it can be treated, be sure to contact our Midtown Manhattan cosmetic dentistry practice today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and addressing all of your unique needs for enhanced dental health and dental care.

The Mouth – A Window into the Health of the Body

The mouth is a window into the health of the body

Many nutritional deficiencies or general infections can be seen by observing changes in the oral cavity.  Systemic diseases which affect the entire body such as diabetes, AIDS, pemphigus, and Sjogren’s syndrome may first become apparent due to lesions in the mouth.

Periodontitis and Systemic Disease Link

Researchers have found that periodontitis is linked with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia.   In addition, pregnant women with periodontitis may be at increased risk for delivering pre-term and/or low-birthweight babies.

What you can do

Due to the potential link between periodontitis and systemic health problems, prevention may be an important step in staying healthy.

– Brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily and clean interproximally (between the teeth) with floss or other interdental cleaners such as proxabrushes.

– Choose products with the ADA seal of Acceptance.  The ADA Seal assures the the product you are using has undergone extensive testing and is not only safe, but it does what it claims to do.

– Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks.  This may lower your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning.  The only way to remove calculus (tartar) below the gumline is through professional cleaning.

Inform your dentist about any changes in your overall health.  In particular, any recent illness or chronic conditions.  Update your medical history and inform your dentist of any new medications you may be taking.  If you use tobacco products, talk to your doctor about options for quitting.

– If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, pay particular attention to your teeth and gums.  The change in hormone levels during pregancy can cause an increase in gingival (gum) inflammation and irritation.  An increase in frequency of professional cleanings may be indicated during this time.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melnick, please call us at 212 355-1266

Dental Implants Timeline

If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, it’s important that you meet with a Manhattan cosmetic dentist as soon as possible. Doing so can help you avoid major dental problems down the road. You see, when you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, there are a number of aesthetic problems and dental health problems to deal with. Clearly a missing tooth diminishes the appearance of a smile, but it can also lead to gum recession, loss of bone density in the jaw, and gradual misalignment of your remaining teeth. To address both the cosmetic concerns and health concerns, one of the best options is implant dentistry.

About Dental Implants

Manhattan dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into your jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, these artificial tooth roots will be able to support dentures, dental bridges, or an individual dental crown. The hold that dental implants provide is much stronger than denture creams and other dental adhesives. In addition, the dental implant will prevent erosion of the gums and jawbone.

The Initial Consultation for Dental Implants

The first step of the dental implants process is the initial consultation at our periodontics and implant dentistry practice in Manhattan. During this visit, your dental health and eligibility for dental implants will be fully assessed. Not all people are good candidates for dental implants. It’s important for you to have sufficient bone density and gum tissue to support the artificial tooth root. Medical conditions may make certain people with missing teeth unable to undergo this treatment.

The Oral Surgery to Place the Dental Implants

If you are considered an ideal candidate for dental implants, the next step will be the oral surgery. This will involve the dental implants being screwed into your jawbone and gum tissue in the tooth gap. We will make sure the implant is properly situated in the existing structures of your mouth. During the oral surgery, you will likely be under general anesthesia, though sometimes only local anesthetic and mild sedation are required.

The Recovery and Healing Period After Oral Surgery

This is easily the longest phase of the dental implants process. After your oral surgery, you will need to undergo a process known as osseointegration. This essentially means that the dental implant will fuse with the actual structures of your mouth. This can take a few months, usually three to six. In some patients, this may take up to a year.

You will visit our Manhattan implant dentist and periodontist regularly during your healing process to ensure that everything is going fine. After your oral surgery, we’ll be sure to let you know how to promote healing and prevent problems with your dental implant.

Placing the Final Dental Restoration

Once osseointegration has been achieved, the final step of the process is the placement of the dental restoration. This dental restoration will be customized so that it blends in seamlessly with your existing teeth in terms of color and contour.

Overall, the dental implants process can take anywhere between six months to a year, sometimes more. We can give you a better estimate on your individual treatment timeframe once we have met with you for a consultation.

Learn More About Dental Implants

Even though the process for placing dental implants will require a few months, the results that can be achieved are quite phenomenal. To learn more about dental implants and your many options for replacing missing teeth, we encourage you to contact our Midtown Manhattan periodontics and implant dentistry practice today. We look forward to your visit and the conversation we’ll have about dental and advanced dental care.

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