Dr. Michael Schacter, D.M.D., P.C. patient's FAQs.

Dr. Michael Schacter, Yonkers, Westchester dental patients most frequently asked questions.


Periodontal Care


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Periodontal Disease Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

While current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases, scientists have identified biologic factors, such as chronic inflammation, that independently link periodontal disease to the development or progression of cardiovascular disease in some patients. - PRNews wire.


Dr. Michael Schacter, DMD


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Michael A. Schacter, D.M.D., P.C. of Yonkers, NY specializes in the care and treatment of the supporting structures of the teeth and implant dentistry.

Our doctors and staff are committed to providing you with the highest quality of care by making your experience as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Call today to schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Schacter maintains an active membership in many professional associations. He was recognized as a “Top Dentist” in Westchester County Magazine in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Top 10 dentistry clinics in Yonkers, NY 2016
Michael Schacter's Practice has been recognized as one of the top Yonkers Dentistry practices.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is Periodontics... ?
  2. Who is  a Periodontist... ?
  3. Why should I see a Periodontist ... ?
  4. How can I see a Periodontist... ?
  5. What should I expect on my first visit .. ?
  6. How do I know if I have gum or Periodontal desease ... ?
  7. Do you accept Insurance benefits?
  8. Is Gum Disease Inherited?
  9. What is Periostat?
  10. What is the best toothpaste to use?
  11. What is Emdogain?


What is Periodontics ... ?

  • Periodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of your gums and supporting bones of your teeth. A periodontist is a dentist that has completed 3 years of postgraduate training beyond dental school in order to specialize in periodontics.
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Who is a periodontist ... ?

  • A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

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Why should I see a Periodontist ... ?

  • Periodontists diagnose and treat gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease. In some cases when disease has progressed too far and the tooth cannot be saved through thorough cleanings or improved oral hygiene, a periodontist puts in dental implants.

    • If you notice any symptoms of periodontal disease, including:
      • gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing or flossing
      • red, swollen or tender gums
      • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
      • persistent bad breath
      • pus between the teeth and gums
      • loose or separating teeth
      • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
      • a sore or irritation in your mouth that does not get better within two weeks
    • If you are thinking of becoming pregnant. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby born too early and too small. In addition, about half of women experience "pregnancy gingivitis." However, women who have good oral hygiene and have no gingivitis before pregnancy are very unlikely to experience this condition.
    • If you have a family member with periodontal disease. Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member.
    • If you have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis. Ongoing research is showing that periodontal disease may be linked to these conditions. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body. Healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.
    • If you feel that your teeth are too short or that your smile is too "gummy." Or, if you are missing one or more of your teeth and are interested in a long-lasting replacement option.
    If you are not satisfied with your current tooth replacement option, such as a bridge or dentures, and may be interested in dental implants.
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How can I see a Periodontist ... ?

  • Most dentists refer patients to a periodontist, but no referral is needed to get an appointment. You can call Dr. Schacter's office directly to schedule an appointment for an examination and consultation.

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What should I expect  during my first visit to the Periodontist... ?

  • On your first visit, Dr. Schacter  will review your complete medical and dental history with you. It's extremely important for your periodontist to know if you are taking any medications or being treated for any condition that can affect your periodontal care. You will be given a complete oral and periodontal exam. Dr. Schacter will examine your gums, check to see if there is any gum line recession, assess how your teeth fit together when you bite and check your teeth to see if any are loose. Dr. Schacter will also take a small measuring instrument and place it between your teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets. This helps him to assess the health of your gums. Digital x-rays may be used to show the bone levels between your teeth to check for possible bone loss.
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How do I know if I have gum or Periodontal desease ... ?

  • Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.  Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms.  Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

    Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone.  Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

    Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

    • Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
    • Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
    • Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives.  Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
    • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
    • Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
    • Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis.  Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.

    Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

    • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
    • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
    • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
    • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
    • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
    • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
    • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
    • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
    Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
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Do you accept Insurance benefits... ?

  • Yes. We are happy to allow you to let the insurance company pay their portion directly to us, releasing you of the responsibility of paying the entire bill yourself.  Please bring your  dental insurance card. 


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Is Gum Disease Inherited... ?

  • Recent studies have demonstrated the fact that we've knows for a long time; gum disease is genetic. These studies have identified a gene present in about 30% of the population that is significantly correlated to the presence of periodontal disease. That doesn't mean that just because your parents or grandparents lost their teeth to periodontal disease that you will too, but it does mean you need to be increasing vigilant to make sure you take extra special care of your teeth and gums and have them checked and cleaned frequently to stay ahead of any potential problems.


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What is Periostat... ?

  • Periostat is an altered form of the antibiotic doxycycline that is used to help control the breakdown of the gum and bone tissue by capitalizing on the anti-collagenase activity of the antibiotic. Collagenase is an enzyme produced in the presence of inflammation that breaks down connective tissue. Connective tissue is what hold your teeth in your jaw, so if we can interfere with that breakdown event, we can slow up the progress of periodontal disease. The material is a prescription drug that is taken every day. A generic is also now available.


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What is the best toothpaste to use... ?

  • There is no magic bullet out there that's going to cure gum infections by just brushing your teeth with toothpaste or rinsing with mouthwash. Probably, the most important thing to remember is to make sure that the toothpaste has fluoride in it. Beyond that, it is a matter of personal choice. I do like Colgate's Total, as it has an antiseptic Triclosan in it, as well as anticalculus agents. For those who have sensitive teeth, Crest Sensitive Teeth formula or Sensodyne will help.


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What is Emdogain... ?

  • Emdogain represents a new biological approach to the regeneration of all the periodontal supporting structures including cemetum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Emdogain is a protein matrix made by recombinant DNA technology that is the same protein (enamel protein matrix) that forms the teeth and supporting structures in infants. After a periodontal defect has been cleaned out, the material is injected into the defect and the area is closed with sutures. Over time this material has been shown to promote regeneration of the entire periodontal attachment apparatus.

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Latest News

  • We offer surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy.
  • Contact Michael A. Schacter, D.M.D., P.C. today at 914-963-7700
  • "Top Dentist” in Westchester County Magazine in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • "Top Dentist” in Westchester County Magazine in 2018
  • We care about you as well as your Periodontal Health
  • Dr. Schacter specializes in placing dental implants
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