Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Hello,

      Thank you to all of those who responded to my earlier question about gum graft surgery. It seems like I need to get a second opinion so I can feel confident about moving forward. Can you please recommend your periodontist if you loved them when you had gum graft surgery? And what did you love about them? Oakland or Berkeley only, please. 

    Thank you!

    I recommend Ryan Horn.

    I don't know if you've received this recommendation yet or not, but I can't recommend Dr. Ryan Horn (Berkeley) highly enough.  I had to have a series of gum grafts, and Dr. Horn made an unpleasant surgery as bearable as possible.  I had gone to a couple of other periodontists before, but none were as good as Dr. Horn, both in terms of bedside manner and in the results.  (If not done properly, gum grafts can have to be re-done, which really sucks!)  

    Dr. Glenn Fujinaka in Oakland was excellent! I had 2 gum graft surgeries in the last few years from him and his team. They are very professional, precise, communicative, nice, friendly and did a great job with every possible part of the process, including the most important part, the surgeries themselves. 

    Good luck!

    Dr. Keith Chertok in Berkeley has been my periodontist for many years now. He's done a few gum grafts on me during that time. I appreciate his calm manner. He seems knowledgeable and thoughtful. I have not felt like he's pushed me to do the gum grafts. He recommended grafts in several areas and I've spread them out over time as I have the money to do them. His office staff is great too. My gum graft surgeries all went well.

    Well, I don't love anything that expensive, time-consuming, and (sometimes) uncomfortable, but I was very pleased by Anand Maharathi's competence and good humor; he clearly loves his work and is good at it. His group, Berkeley Periodontics, near Alta Bates, was efficient about explaining the procedure, billing, etc. (although I wish they had prepped me more carefully, as in sending an e-mail about not taking blood-thinning analgesics for several days before the procedure, etc.).

  • Gum graft surgery thoughts?

    (19 replies)

      I had a consultation with a periodontist and he recommended gum grafts on a bunch of teeth throughout my mouth. I was wondering if anyone has experiences with gum grafts. I'm interested in any thoughts you have about the procedure, but also I have a few specific questions:

    1) I'm considering getting them all done at once so I don't have to go through the trouble of having surgery multiple times. Has anyone had experience doing that? Do you have thoughts about that idea?

    2) My husband heard from someone he trusts that "gum grafts are a scam". Have you heard that before? Is there scientific evidence in favor of having the procedure done?

    3) Are there new technologies that I should request or research? 

    Thank you!

    I've had gum grafts, and have done them twice where they took skin from the roof of my mouth. I'm not sure that doing multiple teeth at once would be any worse - it might be better. At the time it didn't make sense for me since I didn't think I'd need it again. 

    I haven't heard the scam part but I have no idea! It's definitely pricey and wasn't covered by my insurance. 

    Hey, I had some gum grafts! I did not do it all at once, I did it in 2 parts - and insurance covered 90% of it each time. My periodontist, knowing the ways of insurance, suggested doing it that way - it was in 2 separate calendar years so my insurance "reset." 

    I did initially go to a "top" periodontist in SF, who basically suggested I get grafts all over my mouth and then quoted something like $18k. I was all, hard pass, gotta send my kid to college. But I got a second opinion, told him what the first guy said, and he told me, look, you really only need it near 6 teeth and also acknowledged the first guy I went to tends to "up sell."

    If your gums recede too much, your teeth can suffer, the roots of your teeth are not protected by the same enamel as the parts of your teeth that are normally outside your gums.

    The whole procedure is a little barbaric, but didn't hurt much during or after... just having stitches in my mouth drives me nuts. I highly recommend my doctor: Ryan Horn, 

    I can only speak from experience. I had just one graft done above a bridge where my gum was shrinking. I went to a reputable periodontist. A couple of years later, it is pretty unsightly. It doesn't look anything like natural gum. It's puffy and odd-looking (and visible). A good friend and her husband each had several gum grafts, also by a reputable periodontist, and they have the same puffy lumps all over their gums. Also, my mouth was sore for quite awhile after just one graft. I can't imagine doing several at once. Whether it's a scam or not, I can't address.

    My dentist, whom our family saw for 30 years and trusted, had been nagging me about gum grafts for a long time, and I finally got them several years ago, in my early 60s. There were four spots, and it took four separate procedures, spaced out over about 18 months, because 1) recovery from several gum grafts at a time would be quite painful, and perhaps impossible, given that the grafts are taken from various spots in your mouth and then stuck onto new spots (you need a non-tender area in order to eat!), and 2) my insurance would pay for more of it when the procedures were spread over two years. I've no idea how you would research gum graft's validity, and the latest procedures, but presumably you trust your dentist and s/he would tell you where to go.

    I've had two gum grafts done (I had a lot of orthodontia which contributed to this). I had one done in the front and one done on the side. I HIGHLY recommend that you do not do them all at once. You will be so uncomfortable and in pain, you will not be able to eat at all. They take skin from the roof of your mouth and then graft it on the gums that need it. You need to have at least one side of the mouth not sore/swollen so you can chew.

    I don't personally believe they are a scam. My gums were visibly receding, and in one case, was actually bothering me (hot and cold food was an issue). Since having them done, My gums look and feel healthy and fine. I should note that one I had ~15 years ago, one last year. There are new technologies, including being put in a twilight sleep for it. I had my first w/o and saw (reflection of the dr's glasses) and heard everything...! This last one I did not which, aside from the IV, was preferable. 

    Make sure you opt for the retainer for the roof of your mouth. Yes, it costs more but your comfort while eating will greatly improve. 

    I'm no expert, so take this with a grain of salt, but having had gum grafts myself I do kind of think they're a scam. I had a dentist who scared me into them about 16 years ago - basically told me my teeth were going to fall out any day if I didn't have them done. I had them all done at once, and it wasn't too bad - not fun, but not as painful as I was led to believe, and it was definitely better to get it all over with at once than have multiple recovery periods. However, within a year or two my gums were back to exactly how they had been, and honestly haven't changed much in the time since then. I have some recession, fairly serious in a couple spots, but no pain or problems. I have accepted that this is just how my gums are and have focused on maintenance and keeping everything clean and healthy, and I don't think I would consider grafts again.

    I had gum graft surgery several years ago and now need again for the other half of my mouth. I would say getting it done all at once might be good? Though it's VERY hard to chew for quite some time so the recovery might be challenging. The surgery itself is painless, especially if you opt for the twilight sleep anasthesia option. 

    In general, I found the recovery to be harder than advertised. It was nothing but soft foods for about a week? Which honestly is kind of crazy making (basically just smoothies, broths or things totally blended). I was black and blue with bruising for awhile so returning to work was tough because I looked terrible (maybe a good one to get done if you're still able to work remote?). But! It was successful and my teeth are much less sensitive and seem to be more firmly in place. After a few weeks I could eat normally again but it was a slow process on that side. 

    That's interesting that your husband heard they were a scam? I'd never heard that. I'm loathe to get it done again so I'll do some more research -- would love to never have to go through it again honestly. My periodontist in NYC was pretty well respected though so I kind of doubt that it's a scam?  

    I had two gum grafts maybe 20 years ago. My dentist more-or-less ordered me to get them because of bone recession stemming from earlier poor care and bruxism. They can't replace lost bone, but the extra gum tissue protects the remaining bone.

    I liked the surgeon (who has since retired). The surgery involved moving some connective tissue from the top of my mouth to the gum. Post-surgery, I had a waxy material applied over the surgery sites for a few days, and I was limited to soupy foods. There was residual numbness in the top of my mouth that has never completely disappeared, but doesn't bother me. One of the places where there were sutures in the top of my mouth sometimes gets slightly irritated.  My gums where the grafts were done look fine.  There is an area in my mouth where there hasn't been a gum graft and the roots of those teeth are quite exposed (hence the term "long in the tooth").  If my dentist says to get a graft done in that area, I would have no hesitation.

    I have a bunch of teeth that need / needed gum grafting. I did one side of my mouth (half) all at once. I intended to do the other side the following year, but then life happened and then COVID, so I still haven’t done it. I couldn’t do it all at once because they use the skin from the roof of your mouth for the graft and there is only so much. 

    Was it worth it? I don’t know. My dentist seems to think it made a big difference. I guess my teeth are a little less sensitive too. It wasn’t a terrible procedure or anything - and there was only a week or two of recovery. It definitely wasn’t life changing enough for me to be motivated to prioritize getting the other side done, but I’ll probably eventually do it.

    I didn’t really research the scientific evidence at the time. It wasn’t cheap, so maybe I should do that before round two of gum grafting.

    I have had gum grafts. I chose to split them up due to cost. I didn’t end up getting the second one because the new dentist I switched to said it wasn’t necessary. So I would recommend getting a second opinion from a dentist since they are not incentivized in the matter. Rincon Dental is great and he’ll give you his honest opinion. Highly recommend. 

    FYI I had gum grafts done approximately 20 years ago in a single procedure, multiple teeth, upper and lower.   Procedure and recovery not as difficult or unpleasant as I had feared, and my gums have been fine since.   I really trust my dentist, and she had referred me to a periodontist with a lot of experience with the procedure.  The periodontist used my own tissue for the grafts, not cadaver tissue.  No regrets!

    My husband had gum surgery for periodontal disease after seeing a "brilliant" highly lauded UCSF periodontist. Fast forward 3 years, and he still had "diseased" gums. This periodontist, who has published many articles in scholarly journals, wanted my husband to do the surgery all over again, and pull some teeth as well. That is when my husband decided to abandon the whole regime. Periodontics seem mired in the Dark Ages. Cutting away gums smacks of barbarism; if you have an infection in your finger, do you cut it off? Furthermore, they don't actually know for certain what causes one person to have gum disease and another not to: bacteria may not be the root cause. (so to speak). I urge you to do research, as it seems you are, and consider carefully.

    i have done this on both sides, don't do together since you will be drinking out of a straw for weeks. it hurts a lot.  the price is very high and i would say about 50% of them failed and i still have very poor gums. i am not sure i would do again, but the surgeons and dentists still seem to think these are necessary treatments

    I have had gum grafts multiple times. I was under the impression that they only last 5 years or so (hence the redo) but I don’t know, maybe that makes it a scam. In any case, it is unpleasant, but not horrible. As far as your questions:

    1. I usually get 2 done on one side and then do the other two a separate time. This helps with chewing, cleaning, etc. Your mouth will be out of commission for longer than you think, and you can’t brush near the surgery for something like a week or two. Also, I prefer to do one at the end of a calendar year and the other at the beginning of the next year so the insurance covers more. 

    3. you can have them take the graft from the roof of your mouth or you can use cadaver tissue. If you go full zombie (cadaver) it is a little less painful, but not a deal breaker IMO. Either way, expect more pain and longer duration of pain than what they tell you. Definitely take the anti-inflammatories or you will be miserable. 

    good luck and feel free to reach out to me off line if you want. 

    My father had pretty serious gum recession and underwent two gum graft surgeries. My father is a physician and pretty suspicious of unnecessary medical procedures (for example, he advised me against wisdom teeth removal since I never had and still haven't had active pathology or pain). His oral surgeon used the technique where tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth, so it was done in steps in order to allow the tissue to grow back enough to be harvested again. Before getting the surgery he considered other alternatives, but the recession was enough that he was already experiencing a lot of sensitivity and at risk for damage to the underlying bone. He wasn't keen to have a mouth of fake teeth so he did the surgeries. Years later, he no longer has sensitive teeth and his teeth are all still there.

     I would highly recommend talking to your personal dentist about whether the surgery is appropriate given your particular condition. If you don't trust the periodontist you consulted with, maybe you should seek out someone who you feel more confident in to make recommendations.

    As to whether gum grafts surgery is a "scam" I would definitely ask that trusted person for details on their stance. Some people get gum grafts for cosmetic purposes, which seems odd to me given the invasiveness of the procedure, but to each their own and that is very different than medically indicated surgery to protect the health of your teeth. I'm always skeptical of any wholesale statements that something is always good or always bad, especially when it comes to medical procedures. The answer is almost always "it depends," which again points to making sure you have a health professional that you trust to make treatment recommendations and support you in decision-making.

    Get a second and even third opinion. I have had a dentist tell me that he recommended unnecessary procedures so he could make more money. Unbelievable!

    My periodontist recommended gum grafts in several different areas. I have been spreading them out over several years for financial reasons. It's been a few years since my last one, but as far as I recall, it wasn't that bad. The area from my palate where the graft came from was more painful than the site where they grafted it to, but I don't think it was terrible. I'm not sure how it would be to do multiple areas at once. I've never heard they are a scam. I do really trust my periodontist and I have a lot of fear of losing teeth so I have just gone with it. Good luck!  

    I am 47 years old. About 25 years ago, my dentist told me I urgently needed gum grafts on a lower front tooth that was protruding due to crowding (and therefore "pushing" the gum down on that one tooth). I was in grad school and couldn't afford it, so put it off. About 10 years ago, my current dentist made the same recommendation. Again, I can't really afford it, so after seeing a periodontist for a consult, I put it off. Absolutely NOTHING has changed in my mouth! The warnings about tooth sensitivity, my tooth falling out, etc. have not come to pass. It's been decades! It makes me think you should definitely get a second or third opinion before going through an expensive, painful procedure that sounds like it also has downsides.

    When I was around 30 years old I was advised by my ostentatiously wealthy dentist that my gums had developed pockets/recession as a result of aggressive brushing, and that the only solution was a gum graft which should be performed as soon as possible to prevent imminent tooth loss. This was a procedure which my dentist was not qualified to perform, so he referred me to his associate, a dental surgeon. I was examined by his friend who concurred with the need. They told me the source of the replacement gums (some dead person), that the replacements would be a different color, and they told me the cost. Being young, concerned about my appearance, and unwealthy, I deferred the surgery, switched from a medium brush to a soft brush, and became more careful of my gums when brushing.

    In the past 30 years I've been a patient of 3 or 4 competent dentists. ALL have examined my (very healthy, no cavities, no losses) teeth carefully, including measuring pocket depth. I've never mentioned my gum recession diagnosis to any of them, and none of them have ever suggested that I need to do anything differently (well, I should floss) or a need for any surgery. I'm obviously not familiar with your situation, but it seems obvious now that this former dentist and his friend were advising me to do unnecessary surgery. I'd suggest you bite the bullet and get another opinion.

  • Seeking awesome periodontist

    (3 replies)

    I'd like a second opinion on my periodontal issues and I'd like some recommendations. (I'd love to see someone in the East Bay, north of Berkeley if possible!)

    My main concerns are that this person be very skilled and knowledgeable and also client-centered. I want someone who will be honest with me about what's needed and use a conservative approach if that might work.

    I've been treated by highly recommended people in San Francisco but I'm hesitant to go back there now because I get the sense that profit is their main priority. I'm all for profit, but I need the vendor to balance profit with keeping the client's costs down if that would work too! Thanks, BPN...

    I've seen Ryan Horn twice over the last 15 years, and I've always been comfortable with what he recommended.  The second time, he didn't charge for part of the procedure because he felt it related to the first work and should not have recurred.  I.e., maybe he should have done more the first time, but I was happy both times.  Not north of Berkeley, unfortunately.  2999 Regent Street on the back side of Alta Bates.  984-6991.

    Dr. Horn on Regent Street in Berkeley did a great job for me and he was a very good communicator too.

    I just had two implants with abutments and crowns placed with Dr. Saied Malboubi, who is located in Oakland at 3300 Webster (sorry not north of Berkeley).   I was very happy with the level of care and expertise he and his staff provided.  His rates were very fair compared to my former periodontist in SF and I was happy to find someone in the East Bay to work with.  Call Veronica at 516-0027.

  • Laser treatment for periodontal disease

    (1 reply)

    I recently switched dentists, and my new dentist strongly recommended that I see a periodontist. I went to two different periodontists and got different opinions about my teeth. I don't know who to listen to or who to believe; I do know that my gums are receding even though my teeth are in great shape. The last periodontist strongly recommended LANAP laser treatment. This treatment will cost 5k-6k out of pocket after insurance. Given the different opinions that I've gotten, I honestly don't know what to do or who to believe. I wish I fully trusted one of these professionals, but at this point, I don't really (including my new dentist). I have an appointment with one more periodontist in two months, and hope to get a good opinion. I feel like they are self-motivated. Yes, I'm sure the treatment would help me, but I'm not convinced that it is the only option there is for me. I am hoping to hear from folks out there who also had LANAP recommended to them and their experiences. Did you do it? Or not? Was it worth it? Did you find an alternative? How do I get an objective opinion and know whether this surgery and expense is necessary?

    It's a personal decision, but I declined LANAP after reading the following info from the American Dental Association:

    "Although the Council is optimistic regarding the potential for lasers to enhance effectiveness in treating periodontitis, dentists should note that this study provides no more than pilot validation for this treatment concept. The study was not blinded, and the sample size was small thereby limiting extrapolation of the results to the general population."

    For $6K and undergoing anesthesia, I would personally expect there to be stronger evidence in support of the procedure. Otherwise it seems like I'm paying for an experimental procedure.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


August 2011

Re: Dentist/periodontist for dental-phobe teen
Try Carole Grimme for the gum surgery. My son who is 18 had this done and it went actually very well. She is calm and very supportive.

Carol Grimm is an excellent periodontist. My husband went to her after a horrible gum surgery experience with a dentist. He's been seeing Carol Grimm for many years and is very happy with her. I don't know what insurance she accepts. anon
I finally found Dr. Engert ( I made an appointment to meet him and was blown away. I told him about the failed experience, and he seemed surprised that this apparently common procedure could be botched so badly at the start that I had left. He told me abt his experience, answered all of my questions, took the time to ask about my specific worries, and all in all made me feel comfortable. I ended up getting the graft done a few months ago. There were some side effects, and as I was overly anxious, I called his office to check in more than once in the days following the procedure. Each time, his office staff were friendly, he called me back quickly with instructions, and now things have healed well and it's just a blip in the past. I'm going to keep going to Dr Santos for cleanings, and while I hope I don't need additional gum procedures, if I do I'm only going to Dr. Engert. Can't recommend him highly enough. happier teeth now

Periodontist - Gum Graft?

Feb 2011

Last year, my dentist referred me to a periodontist in Marin who recommended that I get a gum graft to help resolve the gum recession I have on my lower teeth. I've since moved to Alameda and would like to get another opinion locally. Can anyone recommend a periodontist in the East Bay? If you've had a gum graft with someone and had a good experience, please let me know! I'm petrified of possible complications and/or the possibility that it won't take and the pain and money will be for naught. recession? indeed...

I've had two separate gum grafts by Dr. Carol Grimm on Regent Street in Berkeley. Despite how painful the procedure sounds, neither was a big deal at all. I didn't have much pain with either, and both were entirely successful. I highly recommend Dr. Grimm. She's gentle and highly skilled. L
Hi - I have had several gum grafts over the years due to severe, ongoing issues with receding gums. My treatments started back in my hometown NYC and I never thought I'd be able to find a periodontist out here who could equal my perio back east. After several fits and starts, I was referred to Dr. Keith Chertok on Ashby Avenue, one block west of College Avenue and I can't speak highly enough about him. I've had two gum grafts in the past 10 years and 2 implants and I've had little or no pain after each procedure (with bottles of leftover Tylenol 3 with codeine gathering dust in the medicine cabinet). And the grafts have held firm over the years. Dr. Chertok is extremely caring, knowledgeable and skilled and his staff is tops (Sharon is amazing). I cannot recommend him highly enough. Good luck to you! Signed: Carole Carole
My periodonist is in Alameda. He is very nice and gentle and skilled. His name is Donald Brown DDS 522-3545 and his office is at 2238 Santa Clara Ave. Candy
Dr. Grimm is in Berkeley and she is a fabulous dentist. She's done grafting on me twice. She is very gentle. She's off Ashby on Regent Street. Anonymous
Please contact Dr. Keith Chertok in Berkeley. You will be in excellent hands. I've had both dental implant surgery and gum graft surgery with Dr. Chertok and he is amazing. He explains everything as he goes along and he informs you of what you can expect. He even called my home in the evening after each of the procedures to find out how I was recovering. Dr. Chertok personally placed the call, not one of his staff members or some canned/recorded message. Clearly he cares about his patients. You can't wrong with this Doctor. julie
Dec 2010

We are recently moved to Berkeley and looking for a good dentist and periodontist. We are located in South Central Berkeley and hoping to have office close to our home; however the quality of care is more important.Many thanks. Natalie

For a periodontist, I had a great experience with Lodberg, Grimm, and Horn in Berkeley. They are on Regent St next to Alta Bates. Office has been there for 30+ years and they are honest and meticulous. A friendly staff to boot. Michelle

Periodontist for gum grafts

August 2010

I was told recently by periodontist Dr. Lowell Davis that I need gum grafts requiring four surgeries. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with Dr. Davis and can offer a positive or negative recommendation, and I would also like to get a second opinion. Anyone had gum grafts/surgery from someone they'd recommend? (Some docs in my health insurance network are Angela Lin, Farrokh Bashiri, Anand Maharathi, Jeremy Factor, Dorel Onea, and David Rustamzadeh, Yuri Veber, Eric Engert, and James Raust BUT I'm willing to pay more for someone good). Thanks. anon

hi, I had a gum graft done by Dr. Lieberman in Fremont in 2001. He did a great job. The tissue blended very well, you can't even tell I had one. And no more gum recession. Other dentists have commented on how well done it was. Dr. Allan Lieberman Ste C, 3805 Beacon Avenue Fremont, CA 94538-1464 - (510) 796-8333 Sylvie

Please get in touch with John Kwan D.D.S. and make a consultation appointment. He is the best periodontist around the Bay area and he will direct you as to your needs and may be able to refer you if you must stay within the list of theose dentists. If it were my mouth, I would choose him, at any cost. I am in the profession and think there is no one else like him! His office is in N.Oakland and the number there is 510-547- 1300 anon

Dr. Bashiri is great. His front office can be a bit confusing but I highly recommend him. He has done a lot of work in my mouth and has always been very receptive to all of my concerns. teal

I've seen Carol Grimm for 2 gum grafts and have one more to go. She's EXCELLENT, the grafts have been successful and relatively pain free. I felt ready to go to back to work the same day,but she recommends waiting until the next day. Pain Free! She's very nice, too. Her office is right next to Alta Bates, I think it's on Regent. Tell her I recommended her if you go. Stephani Lesh stefle [at]

I have had two gum grafts with Dr. Carol Grimm DDS. Phone: 510-843-6341. I will go back for a third late this year. I highly recommend her. anon

We would like to heartily recommend Dr. Bishiri for any periodontal issues. Our daughter recently had a sort of gum-emergency, when she had an allergic reaction to the nickel in her braces. She was sent to Dr. Bashiri's office by her orthodontist, who called for us that morning. Dr. Bashiri immediately fit her in to his schedule, stayed to work with her during the lunch hour that day, and then actually called me himself that evening - himself mind you - to make sure she was feeling well after the procedure. I was just floored at that. My daughter had no residual problems and his work was terrific. Very professional, very expert. Just great all around. I would definitely trust him with other periodontal issues. Best of luck

I highly recommend Dr. Kirk L Pasquinelli. His is top notch. You will pay more but he is one of the best. His phone number is 415-781-7147. The website is anon

My husband and I both had gum grafts done several years ago by Dr. Yuri Veber. He did an excellent job and we couldn't have been happier with his work. He'd be a good person to go to for a second opinion.

Donald Brown, periodontist in Alameda?

May 2010

Has anyone had experience, positive or negative with Dr. Donald Brown, DDS, in Alameda? I'm in need of some gum grafting, and he is one of the few periodontists in my network. JB

I highly recommend Donald Brown. I have been going to him since the late 1980s. I had a surgery when I first began treatment and then about five years ago needed a second procedure. Mainly, I go to his office for my dental hygiene and his check ups just to be sure everything is OK because I have several issues. After his training, I'm very thorough with my hygiene now and as a result my gums have stabilized. He is very, very gentle and respectful. I always feel comfortable with him and his staff. Candice

Nov 2009

Re: Dentist good with gum and tmj issues
If you have gum issues, I recommend periodontist Dr. Donald Brown DDS. He is very gentle and respectful, however,he has assistants who do the cleaning. He does exams and surgery. 522-3545/2238 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda

Periodontist for treatment of gum disease

Oct 2009

I have deep pockets in my mouth and gum disease and have been told there's not all that much that can be done. I just had a surgical treatment called oseous that I'm not sure was that successful since I'm experiencing pain two weeks later that I never had. I've read through a lot of periodontist reviews on YELP and am overwhelmed by the number of thoughts. I want to get a second opinion about my case. Can anyone recommend someone for my condition who has helped them or someone they know? Thank you. anonymous

I highly recommend Glenn Fujinaka. His office is right off 580 in Oakland, behind Ladyfingers bakery. His staff is terrific, the office has a very nice atmosphere, and his equipment is very up-to-date. And Dr. Fujinaka seems to truly enjoy what he does. He likes to spend a lot of time explaining what he's doing and really encourages you to ask questions. Stephanie

I have had a good experience with Dr. Pia Lodberg in Berkeley. She did a deep cleaning and extracted 2 teeth and it was really not painful. Her phone # is 848-5618. anon

Need periodontist for reluctant husband

Sept 2008

My husband needs major perio work, it's not good news, and we're looking for a compassionate periodontist in the area. Thanks. michelle

I highly recommend Dr. Pia Lodberg near Alta Bates: 510-843-6341 2999 Regent St Berkeley, CA 94705-2146 She has lots of experience working with nervous patients and is an excellent and effective periodontist. asymetry

My dentist referred me to Dr. Weber for possible graft for gum recession. His is at the perfect recent education/ample experience place in his career. I too am reluctant, but am confident of Dr. Weber's competence. I plan to have the procedure done. I would like to hear about other people's gum graft experiences. Dr. Weber recently changed offices to: Yuri Weber 5277 College Ave., Ste 105 Oakland, CA (510) 923-0699

And, as in all healthcare, check your insurance coverage, and ask for pre-authorization to make sure you are billed correctly and all parties are paying their share. Chris

Sympathetic Periodontist?

Jan 2008

I'm looking for a periodontist/surgeon who does gum grafts and has a realistic and sympathetic view of how REALLY painful the procedure and recovery are. My first experience with gum grafts was horrible. I had put off doing this for years because I heard how bad the pain of it was. My periodontist, Dr. Bashiri, told me that those reports were not true of his more modern procedure. WELL! The pain during the procedure was traumatizing. The doctor said it was standard practice to only use novacaine and no other pain medication. The pain of multiple shots and the pressure involved in stitching was intense. Because I am allergic to vicodin and codeine, the doctor prescribed ibuprofen. 800 mg. of ibuprofen didn't touch the pain. The pain afterward was worse than the major abdominal surgery I had. My pleas for better pain medication went unheeeded. Oh yes, said the doctor on the phone, sometimes the pain is worse on the FOURTH AND FIFTH day! The ibuprofen, he said, should ease the pain. Ha! I was in very bad pain for 8 days. So, has anyone had gum grafts that went well from a results and pain management standpoint? If so, please send me a referral.

I hear you on the pain front with gum grafts! You should talk to the dentist ahead of the surgery to really discuss your fears, experiences, pain levels, etc. I saw Dr. Carol Grimm for a gum graft about a year ago and was very pleased with the whole procedure. And I should say that I was so scared about it that I put it off for 2 years! I can't say that Dr. Grimm coddled me about the fears, but she was completely professional, understanding, and realistic. I don't remember what pain medication I had for the procedure, but I can say I did not feel pain during the graft. She did prescribe valium to help with my anxiety, and that helped. I am also allergic to codine, etc, and had ibuprofin, but I found that to be sufficient, and only needed it for 2-3 days. By the 5th day, I felt no pain at all. By the 7th, the plaster came off and I was fine. Dr. Grimm was also good with the follow up. Don't let her name fool you--she's an excellent periodontist. Her number in Berk! eley is 510-843-6341 --cw

I've had 4 bone grafts and gum surgery due to periodontal disease, plus 4 teeth pulled and now have a front lower bridge. My periodontist is FABULOUS, Dr. Harandi, in Pinole, off of Appian Way on Terra Hills Drive. His office number is 724-3666. The staff is really nice, they'll work out a reasonable payment plan they make you as comfortable as possible. Dr. Harandi is gentle, sweet, explains everything, asks if you have questions or concerns.

For all my treatments I brought my ipod and headphones, my neck pillow. The only thing that hurt was getting the injections for numbing. I felt pressure during the procedures but NO PAIN. He was fast too. My only complaint was how outrageously expensive it it adn how little of it my dental insurance covers. Good luck. It's no fun, but it is possible to have less discomfort. By the way, each time I healed quickly with little discomfort. anon

I would highly recommend Dr. Keith Chertok on Ashby in Berkeley. I recently had my third gum graft and was prepared for severe, long-lasting pain. Much to my surprise, I barely needed more than a few ibuprofren tablets over the course of a few days. Your perio was correct, though - the pain does get worse 4 or 5 days into it, since there's still a lot of anesthetic in your system. But what a difference from my first two grafts! They were done within the previous 15-20 years in Manhattan and the pain lasted for weeks. Techniques do improve over the years but, still, what a surpise for me. I was prepared to stay out of work for a while and was able to go back within a day or two. I did bruise quite a bit (I looked like Mike Tyson had lit into me) but the pain issue was a non-issue. Good luck! Carole

For gum grafts, I highly recommend periodontist Paul Sebastiani in San Rafael (415-482-9901). She is worth the drive to Marin, for her professionalism, her amazing skill. and gentle manner. More about her later. I first went to Carol Grimm in Berkeley, who refused to do more than two teeth/spaces at a time, which would cost me MUCH more money and also time and suffering. Dr. Grimm misled a friend of mine, not mentioning that she would need another graft after the first single-space she grafted, so now my friend has to go through it all over again, and pay double. (The cost to do more grafts at once is much less than doing them in separate procedures.) Dr. Grimm was business-like, negative and cold. Her office is also very unpleasant, as patients are separated only by a curtain, and you can hear every breath and sound from the other patients. And I had to wait for 40 minutes! Dr. Sebastiani's office is well-run, with no waiting, separate rooms, and a much more pleasant atmosphere. She agreed to do all 4 of my gum spaces in one procedure, and actually ended up doing 6 when she finally got into it, so save me the trouble of having to go through the procedure again. The recovery is very painful, no doubt about it. Not something I would want to do repeatedly. Dr. Grimm told me she would not be able to build up the gum, just arrest further recession. Dr. Sebastiani actually built up my gums so I have a little more height against the teeth, and a good solid pad against further recession. I was so grateful that I drove the extra 20 minutes to go to Paula Sebastiani. Her staff is also incredible, calling me after the procedure to see if I was alright, and answering all my many questions with courtesy and caring. Grafted

Periodontist for soft tissue grafting?

Nov 2006

Has anyone seen Dr. Chertok for soft tissue grafting? I hear it is a simple, but albeit painful procedure and was hoping for some input. Did you like Dr. Chertok and the office? I also would love to get an idea of what something like this might cost me, (the total amount before submitted to insurance, as insurance plans vary...) I have two teeth that are needing grafts. I haven't yet had my consult appt. (at which point the Dentist office will submit a pre-auth to my insurance), but the problem is that I am about to submit my Flexible Spending Acct. allotment amount to work and the forms are due before I will even have the consult appointment. Anyone out there that can enlighten me on the surgery/recovery and additionally the cost I might expect to incur? Thanks so much julie

I just had gum graft surgery a couple of weeks ago thru Dr Marks in Walnut Creek (primarily because I live along the 680 corridor). About a week before the actual procedure, I had to go in to get an impression for a plastic piece that fits on the roof of your mouth to allow it to heal (that's where they harvest the tissue from). The procedure itself went more quickly than I thought it would (about 75 minutes)--I think I spent more time at the Kaiser WC pharmacy to get my post-op meds. After the surgery, my gum was really sore for about the next 18 hours. I didn't really encounter soreness or pain in the roof of my mouth (I was told it if I did, it would feel like I burned my mouth from eating hot pizza, but I didn't). I also made the mistake of not eating enough food with the prescribed pain reliever, so I had a nasty spell of nausea the following day. As far as eating, you'll probably want to stick to soft, bland foods (e.g. soup, applesauce) for the first few days. But about 24 hours after the surgery, I started to feel normal again. I had the surgery on a Thursday afternoon, took Friday off to recover, took it easy for the rest of the weekend, and was back to work on Monday. The plastic piece wasn't covered by my insurance and required a $100 payment. Procedure itself was about $2000 and luckily insurance is covering most of that; in your case, it will depend on your insurance carrier. A recent gum surgery patient

January 2003

Looking for a current recommendation for a periodontist. Would love someone that works with my schedule instead of just their own. Prefer near Rockridge or SF Embarcadero area. Nicole

I recently had my gums grafted by Keith Chertok. I found him to be very friendly, knowldegeable and sensitive. He is located on College Ave. near Alta Bates. Phone is 510.548.0150 Amy K

My wonderful dentist, Dr. Nathan Kaufman, referred me to Dr. Kwan, a periodontist, for a dental implant. My initial consultation was great, no need to look further. He explained everything quite well and was also very nice. I had the implant two days ago and it was great. I had heard horror stories about the dental implant process but it was no worse than a filling or root canal (and I am the biggest chicken when it comes to dental work). Suddenly, it was over and time to go home! I highly recommend Dr. Kwan. Here is his website: Lisa

October 2002

Can anyone recommend a skilled (and gentle) periodontist in the eastbay? It's for my parents who live in Alameda. Thanks! Adrienne

My periodontist, Dr Gilbert Oliver in Pinole is wonderful and so are the hygienists and office staff. I've had deep cleaning done by him initially and I now go in for regular cleanings done by Debbie who is also really good. I've opted to not go to a regular dentist for cleanings even though it's a little more expensive. His number is (510)724-3666. (1500 Tara Hills Drive Suite 202, Pinole). priscilla

I would recommend Dr. Keith Chertok. Just last week, I had my gums grafted and he did a great job. Very gentle, explains things as he goes along and is sensitive to the pain and anxiety that such a surgery causes. He is located at Ashby and College in Berkeley and can be reached at 510.548.0150. Amy

I would recommend Dr. Glenn M. Fujinaka. He's very gentle and experienced. His office is in Oakland, CA. His phone number is 465-9911. Good Luck! Nancy

I have had two gum grafts (sounds WAY worse than it is) by Carol Grimm, in the Huntmont Building behind Alta Bates (on Regent, I believe). She's incredible.

It wasn't pleasant during the procedure (not sure how it could be), but it wasn't painful and was over fast. She's also VERY good about explaining what is going to happen, etc.

And my recovery time was incredibly fast. I went to work the next day in each case and felt completely healed in just over a week. If you need a periodontist, she's your gal. Jennie

February 1999

From: L

I had a very positive experience with a periodonticist in Hayward. His name is Ivan D. Ancell at 886-7910. He made sure I did not have any discomfort when he performed surgery on my gums. He is also an extremely funny and personable guy. I highly recommend him.

From: Rochelle

Chertoff--(I'm probably spelling it wrong...) was a referral from our dentist Howard Pollick and orthodontist Bob Iezman.--- Very personable and smart...good people and communication skills.

From: Karen

Before you pay your periodontist for the cancelled appointment, consider this: Is there anywhere in her office or in any literature that they give you...including when you make the appointment...that they need a week's cancellation? I believe they have to have something that lets you know that this is their office policy. I would definitely challenge this. I know when I took my son to a periodontist in San Diego for a tooth extraction, they wanted 48-hour notice, but they told me this over the phone when I made the appointment. You might want to check and see if there are any guidelines with the American Dental Association as to business practice, etc.

From: Nina

I highly recommend Dr. Carol Grimm in the Huntmont Building, 843-6341. I find this practice extremely well managed and Dr. Grimm highly competent as well as remarkably gentle and reassuring. For long appointments, they do charge for missed appointments if you cancel later than 48 hrs. in advance, but explained this policy to me very carefully in advance and called me to remind me in time for the cancellation to be made with no charge.