Dr. Steve L. Wolf
Esthetic Periodontist & Implant Surgeon
If you've ever met our periodontist, Dr. Steve Wolf, you'll be in good spirits right away because of his infectious laugh and warm personality. But beyond his kind demeanor and good sense of humor, Dr. Wolf's decades of experience practicing in Michigan and California equip him with an expansive knowledge of the periodontal specialty as well as overall dental health and well-being.
Continue reading to learn everything from the basics of periodontics, the latest in periodontal treatment and the one thing he can't perform a surgery without.
What separates periodontics from other fields of dentistry?
Periodontists are the foundational experts and plastic surgeons of the mouth. We make sure that the gum and bones that support your teeth and provide a barrier for infections entering your body are strong and healthy. Ideally, we want to make sure that you don’t develop problems, and if you do, our specialized training allows us to provide you with the most current techniques and treatment options for dealing with damages caused by gum diseases. We deal with infections caused by bacteria, deficiencies in your immune system and individual abnormalities. Treatment can consist of a simple periodontal cleaning, targeted laser therapy, regeneration therapy and in cases where teeth are lost, replacing them with dental implants. The most important thing is that we are here to make sure that whatever treatment you have is long-lasting.
What part of your job do you love the most?
That’s easy. My favorite part is that people come to me when they are ready to make a change. Usually they have been taking care of everyone else except themselves and now it’s their turn. I love seeing the transformation that occurs when their oral health, physical health and mental health are in alignment. I love being a part of it. It gives me a lot of gratitude.
I also love how procedures like tissue grafting and periodontal plastic surgery allows me to express the artistic side of my personality. I love being part of a team that helps people smile again with confidence and beauty.
One of your specialties is laser periodontics – how would you describe that in a nutshell?
Lasers use light to disinfect, prepare and repair the tissues around your teeth, often times without stitches. Traditionally, this could only be done by cutting the gums, creating large flaps and mechanically removing the calcified bacteria on the roots of the teeth. Laser-assisted periodontal surgery is far less invasive and my patients experience reduced sensitivity, less post operative discomfort, and the results are as good or better. I’m thankful for the experience that I gained as a classically trained periodontist because I have an imprinted image of dental anatomy through my years of experience.
How can one's lifestyle and overall health affect their dental health?
Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to the development and progression of chronic disease. Today we know that reducing chronic inflammation can in many cases prevent the development and arrest the progression of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and autoimmune diseases. My job is to make sure that we diagnose and treat chronic inflammatory disease in your mouth so that it doesn’t affect your teeth or your body.
If someone were to walk by a room where you were performing surgery, they would definitely hear you singing. How does music impact your practice?
The music is as important as the instruments I am using to provide treatment. It reminds me to be in the moment, happy and focused. I can’t do a surgery without Pandora playing.