World-renowned oral plastic surgeon creates beautiful smiles one patient at a time.

By Barbara Van Driel

Victoria felt she always had “baby teeth.” After a sculpting procedure, Victoria happily displays her new smile.


Sam presented with a “gummy smile.”After a sculpting procedure, along with dental implants, Sam now smiles with confidence.

So, again, one asks: “What’s in a smile?”

For Dr. Nordland’s two patients featured here … Joy!

For Dr. Peter Nordland, current President of The International Society of Periodontal Plastic Surgeons, there is a lifetime of dedication to helping people restore their lost or disfigured smiles to ones that are healthy, esthetically pleasing and functionally sound.

This author recently caught up with the busy doctor in order to find out what exactly is behind the art and science of oral plastic surgery. “Over the past 20 years, we have developed procedures to assist general dentists, allowing their patients to realize outcomes that were previously thought impossible,” he began.

In order to demystify a rather complex set of procedures, Dr. Nordland summed it up as follows: “Oral plastic surgery refers to procedures that are designed to add or subtract bone or soft tissue, that is, gum tissue, in order to enhance a patient’s smile and function.”

Dr. Nordland has taught more than 500 dental programs where he has educated dentists from around the world about the benefits of oral plastic surgery. The evolution of this education is both exciting and rewarding. He has been at the forefront of advances in surgical procedures, as well as in the designs of microsurgical instruments.

“It makes sense to the individual patient that a micro-surgical procedure is less traumatic and less painful, resulting in a better outcome,” noted Dr. Nordland.
“This also means a much speedier recovery time.”

Dr. Nordland’s commitment to educating dental professionals has taken him to many exotic locations around the globe. This has allowed him to learn about people and cultures, to see and experience places that were beyond his expectations when he set out on his professional career. As an example, in March of this year, he visited Santiago, Chile, in order to give an in-depth talk on oral plastic surgery. As keynote speaker for the International Dental Federation, he was privileged to share his expertise in the area of cosmetic surgical reconstruction.

“It is an honor and a blessing to represent organized dentistry internationally,” Dr. Nordland humbly observed. “Yet I feel that the United States is still the leader in dental education, and this makes me proud.”