The Right Place
At the Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, patients benefit from Dr. Barry P. Levin’s skill and training in placing dental implants
by Leigh Stuart

According to statistics gathered by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nearly 70 percent of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth and by age 74, more than 25 percent of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.

Such statistics may help explain why so many Americans are choosing to pursue smile renovation with permanent replacement teeth that are surgically anchored via screws in the jaw, better known as dental implants.

Yet, as many who have had such implants placed can attest, not all dental professionals are equally qualified to perform such complex procedures. Some dentists train for years, studying aspects of implantology such as bone structure and jaw function, while others train for just a few weeks. The difference in care—and the results—become clear to many only after the surgery.

For these reasons, it is of paramount importance to have implants placed by a specially trained professional with an extensive background in surgical procedures, such as board-certified periodontist Barry P. Levin, D.M.D.

“I’ve seen a lot of mishaps that have happened with a lot of these patients,” Dr. Levin says. “I’ve had to take out some implants that were not placed properly, causing bone loss, infections … and patients really have no idea.”

Dr. Levin explains that some within the field will attend what is known as a mini-residency, wherein they will train for only a week. “Nothing can replace three years, five years, six years of training at a formal institution,” states Dr. Levin, who has placed more than 10,000 implants in the course of his career.

Dr. Levin, who is celebrating 20 years in practice this year, earned his D.M.D. from Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry, but his training did not stop there. He went on to become certified in periodontics and implant surgery from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, a course of study that took three additional years after the four he spent in dental school.

During his time at the University of Maryland, Dr. Levin learned vital skills in arenas including anatomy, physiology, wound healing and surgical principles—things, Dr. Levin emphasizes, that cannot be adequately addressed in a so-called “weekend course.”

In addition to his time as a student, Dr. Levin spent considerable time in front of the class as a teacher. He has been teaching periodontal residents at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 20 years as a clinical associate professor in the graduate periodontics department. He lectures often at national and international meetings, having delivered lectures in locales across the globe, including Stockholm, Sweden; Geneva, Switzerland; and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

As a teacher, Dr. Levin focuses on teaching real-world skills to his students, so that they may take as much as possible from the classroom into practice. Dr. Levin says he particularly enjoys working with periodontal students, as they have already chosen to devote time to his specialty, thus bonding teacher and student through a strong common interest. “It’s really satisfying to see them come along in three years, to see how they develop,” Dr. Levin says. His peers also recognize his contributions to the teaching field, as he has earned awards including the J. George Coslet Memorial Teaching Award and the Directors Teaching Award for his time in front of the classroom.

Additionally, Dr. Levin says, he enjoys imparting the idea that standards of science-based methodology can remain very high in private practices, such as his own, and that patients needn’t necessarily go into a hospital setting to enjoy the best care.

Dr. Levin even uses photographs from his own patient cases to help exemplify topics in his teaching. “I think that is a real plus for patients because they’re having a procedure done that will be held to very high standards,” he notes.

Dr. Levin has become known to be an expert in dental implant surgery, among other areas. In fact, a technique trademarked by the doctor was recently featured in an article in the prestigious Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry. Through this procedure, the doctor has devised a way to place a tooth the same day it is extracted.

The procedure, known as the “Dermal Apron Technique,” utilizes a freeze-dried skin graft harvested from a tissue bank instead of utilizing a patient’s own gum tissue. This method saves the patient the pain of having two wounds in the mouth to heal—the palate area, from which tissue would ordinarily be extracted, and the site of the newly placed tissue—from two procedures. The grafted tissue adapts around a temporary tooth that is made the same day a tooth is extracted and an implant is put in place.

Benefits to the patient include fewer injections, shorter procedure time and greater comfort. “The post-operative healing phase is much easier because you only have one site to heal versus two,” he explains.

Dr. Levin utilizes such advanced techniques in his brand-new office, which is just one year old. The practice itself, which is 50 years old, was started by Emanuel Tress, D.D.S. Drs. Tress and Levin worked together for 10 years before his retirement in 2006.

Dr. Levin has completed clinical research as well within his own private practice. He notes, “I’ve served as a beta site for new implant designs for several implant systems, done retrospective bone grafting studies, and currently I have a new study pertaining to two distinctly separate means of measuring implant stability in immediate extraction sockets.”

To note, patients do not necessarily need a referral from their primary dentist to see Dr. Levin. Though he says he does have a good referral base, patients are welcome to come directly to him at the first sign of periodontal issues or disease.

“It’s a wide reach, for who comes to see us, but it’s a neighborhood practice,” he says, noting patients come to the practice from across the region, meaning from Bucks County to Center City, and from all over the world, meaning from as far away as Europe and even Jordan.

“We have a lot of patients who have been coming to this office longer than I have,” he says. “There is a lot of comfort and tradition here.”

Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry | Barry P. Levin, D.M.D.
509 York Road
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Photograph by Allure West Studios