Dr Peter Kerrisk – My Story – Periodontics & Dental Implants Perth, WA

Dr Peter Kerrisk – My Story – Periodontics & Dental Implants Perth, WA


Right from the beginning when I was a child,
my father being a medical doctor had journals, medical journals around the house and I really
enjoyed reading those. So that captured my interest in healthcare. From a hands-on perspective,
I actually enjoy doing that and my father suggested get into dentistry, we’ll have the
mix of medical knowledge and translating that into hands-on application, so hence I’ve started
studying in dentistry in the Queensland University in 1992.
Following graduating in 1997, I worked for a while with the Air Force and during that
time, unfortunately, had a DVT in my left leg and really became interested in studying
more, learning more about my condition which, once I had my head around, I was really hooked
on the addiction of academia again. This led to me studying the primaries with the Royal
Australian College of Dental Surgeons in 1998 and that thirst for knowledge and translating
that into clinical skills led me into being an oral and maxillofacial surgery registrar
at the Royal Hobart Hospital in the year 2001. It’s a particularly interesting area, we were
dealing with a lot of trauma and infections, and a lot of advanced surgical procedures
required to manage those in an in-patient setting.
I was the only dentist on call for all of Tasmania for the whole year 24 hours a day,
seven days straight, so quite an interesting job exposed to quite a lot of events. That
led me into an accredited training program at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and also rotations
through the Royal Darwin Hospital. It was there that I met my wife and had time at that
stage to have experienced what is it like to be an oral and maxillofacial surgeon? The
specialty itself is really evolving as far as taking on medicine and surgical training
and a lot of large surgical procedures. So it really, I felt, was moving too far away
from the oral cavity, from dentistry. So I resigned from oral and maxillofacial surgery
in 2002/3 and worked as a general practitioner again for a couple of years. It was during
that stage when I was doing some continuing education at different conferences where I
became exposed to dental implants. Now, the evolution of dental implants, since
I went through university, it’s been amazing to see the technology evolve, and particularly
the predictability of these being successful. So I really became interested in that facet.
I went along and assisted a periodontist and worked with him part-time on the Sunshine
Coast and I became exposed to all facets of periodontics, and that includes not just placing
implants but also treating periodontitis. And that was really an eye-opener as well
to see how over time whereby previously people would have had all of their teeth removed,
and even I was exposed to that as an undergraduate dental student, nowadays I was finding that
you can save a lot of those teeth. So that was a real eye-opener and particularly exciting.
And then still from there, in addition to saving those teeth you can actually grow the
gum and the bone back, and I was completely blown away.
So I started really becoming interested in periodontics which captured the ability to
save teeth, which I previously had been taught were hopeless, and also, should you have lost
those teeth, some great techniques and technology to place new implants in those sites. I was
successful in becoming a Registrar in the Masters of Dental Science at the Oral Health
Centre at Western Australia in 2005/6 whereby I did a three year Masters training full-time
in periodontics. Following completion of the Masters of Dental
Science in 2008, my wife and my two kids, Ali and Lauren, decided we should do some
exploring of Australia. We travelled around Australia quite a bit and we settled in Perth
again in 2009 whereby I’ve been working at a number of premises north and south of the
river, but most recently have gone into my own practice in South Lake. I’m delighted
at the position we’re in and accessibility for patients. I was really listening to people
when they’d see us in West Perth for their accessibility being poor, the car parking
being poor, the Kwinana Freeway really getting to a gridlock, and have found the accessibility
here fantastic for patients’ access. Our team here enjoy immensely working together
and we’re committed to continued education, for myself but also for the team. One of our
nurses particularly loves infection control, which is essential for your sterility of your
instruments which are coming through the autoclave and being used each day, and we go on courses
together on infection control, theatre techniques, and a number of other courses which are clinically
relevant for us to continue practising as a very successful team.

Author: Kevin Mason

1 thought on “Dr Peter Kerrisk – My Story – Periodontics & Dental Implants Perth, WA

  1. I definitely need but can't afford them. I have medicare and HMO. The dentist says I have very bony gums so I have to forego a lot of foods like apples, corn on the cob. I can't use the bottom dentures simply put I can't eat without it making a very bad sore. My dream but SSDisability doesn't afford me such luxuries

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