Dr. Mark Knakal

Dr. Knakal was raised in Holbrook, Long Island. After attending Villanova University, he received his DDS degree from the Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine in 2002. During his training at the University he was honored for excellence in periodontics by the Northeastern Society of Periodontics. He was also the recipient of the prestigious American Dental Society of Anesthesiology Horace Wells Senior Student Award. Dr. Knakal continued his education at Stony Brook where he pursued specialty training in Periodontics and Implantology. He is currently appointed as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontics at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Knakal specializes in non-surgical and surgical treatment of periodontal disease. He also specializes in implant dentistry and has placed hundreds of dental implants to enhance patients both cosmetically and functionally. Dr. Knakal currently holds active memberships in the American Academy of Periodontology and the Academy of Osseointegration.

Why did you become a dentist?

My father was in the medical profession, so I grew up knowing about medicine. I liked using my hands and taking care of people. I liked medicine, but I wanted a life where I was not always on call and could have scheduled office hours. After doing dental rotations in dental school, I realized that I really enjoyed surgery and decided to specialize in periodontal treatment.

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist looks at the supporting structure of your teeth, which are both bones and ligaments. Periodontal disease means that you are losing these supporting structures, which can cause tooth loss. My job is to help create a healthier environment under the root, so that the root will reattach and reestablish the support structure for each tooth.

What is your favorite part of being a dentist?

I get to talk to a number of people throughout the day. Although I don’t like to see patients being nervous, it is gratifying to be able to calm them and prepare them for a procedure. Most patients come through treatment and say that it was a lot better than they thought!

How do you spend your free time?

I’m basically a kid at heart, so I like spending time with my wife and three young sons. We’re a very active family. Together we enjoy sports such as boating, swimming, skiing and cycling. I also volunteer at a clinic that provides free dental care.