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Powering personalized care through research

Learn how Dr. Goldberg at the Faculty of Dentistry Clinic at U of T in Toronto, helped Robert keep his teeth that were in danger due to a bacterial infection.

Due to a bacterial infection, Robert Warren was referred to periodontist Dr. Michael Goldberg at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry Clinic. Not only is he a dentist at the clinic, Dr. Goldberg is also currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Periodontics at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry. He specializes in Periodontology as well as Pain Management at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Robert had three bone grafts on his jaw, one 15 years ago and two in the last three years. Although his teeth were perfectly healthy, because of a previous infection he was in danger of losing them.

There was a notable difference in the treatment he was receiving at his local dentist than that of the clinic. Robert found his previous dentist would go with the “shotgun approach,” trying one new medication after the other. At the clinic, as part of a case study, they would instead take a sample of oral inflammatory cells (using a rinse) as well as samples of oral bacteria. This allowed Dr. Goldberg to determine the best approach for creating a rational treatment plan for Robert. No blind testing. No wasted time. “The entire experience was unique to me. Everything was so professional. The staff was approachable as well as informative and helpful,” said Robert. His first time seeing a periodontist, Robert described the treatment at the clinic as “seamless.” After an initial cleaning, pocket depth of gums was checked and samples were taken, and then followed by blood work – all within an hour. Robert currently visits the clinic for annual follow-ups. Robert appreciated the diagnostics process which helped to personalize his treatment, helping him to keep his teeth and spared him from paying for costly and ineffective prescriptions.

Robert is a great example of individualized treatment for people who need quick results. By taking a biological sample and connecting the research lab to the patient, doctors can execute a fine-tuned treatment plan. This type of innovative treatment will be unique to the Centre for the Advanced Dental Research & Care and will help more patients like Robert. Indeed, as Dr. Tenenbaum likes to say, “The Faculty of Dentistry and Mount Sinai Hospital like to think of this novel approach to dental treatment as a road towards the inevitable ‘medicalization’ of dentistry”.