Sep 4, 2021

Oral surgeons receive extensive training in treating facial trauma by working in hospital emergency rooms as part of their residency programs.

I was very fortunate in my residency program to have extensive trauma experience. In the hospital where I trained, the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., we were the only specialty at that hospital which had a major trauma facility, and we were the only specialists who treated facial trauma. For this reason, I have had extensive training in the treatment of facial injuries.

Because of this training, I am recognized as an expert in treating and repairing facial injury and trauma, including fractures of the upper and lower jaws and the orbits surrounding the eyes, and facial lacerations.

Many of the patients we see today with trauma are referred from the area emergency rooms, or they are patients who are seen at the general dentist’s office and are referred to our office for treatment of traumatic injuries.

One of the most common traumatic injuries we will typically see will be teeth that have either avulsed, which means knocked out, or subluxated, which means that teeth have been traumatically moved within the mouth. We are asked in those cases to save these teeth by re-implanting them or repositioning them.

We also treat many jaw fractures, both the upper and lower jaw, and many of these procedures can either be performed in our office or as an outpatient procedure in the hospital. With my extensive trauma experience, I can treat these patients many times without the need to wire jaws together, which makes the entire experience much more tolerable for the patient.

Anyone who has a fractured jaw—or anyone who thinks that they may have a fractured jaw—should go to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a consultation and necessary treatment.

It is always a good idea to keep our contact information handy, just in case you have a facial injury that requires our expertise.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Aug 21, 2021

When it is time to remove your wisdom teeth, choose an oral surgeon who has the background and experience to give you a good experience and minimize swelling.

With wisdom teeth removal, many times we are asked afterward what can the patient can expect with regard to swelling, discomfort, and limited jaw opening. I am very fortunate with my training and my abilities to be able to remove even the most involved impacted teeth with minimal incision surgery.

The procedure is done inside the mouth. With two small incisions and with a minimum amount of gum reflection, I can remove the lower and upper wisdom teeth. The advantage is that with small incisions the patients have less swelling. They also have a greater ability to open their jaws after surgery, and they tend to have less discomfort and indeed a faster recovery. So, whereas it might have taken a week or greater for some patients in the past to recover from their wisdom tooth surgery, many of our patients after three or four days are back to their normal activities. During your recovery, try using ice packs and enjoy softer food choices.

I think much of this success has to do with the background and experience of the dentist who is doing the procedure. After viewing an x-ray and examining the patient, I can develop a plan to remove those teeth, and plan my surgery incision in such a way that there is minimal guesswork regarding how the teeth will be removed.

Not only do I have the training, but I have the proper instrumentation in the office and a properly trained team to allow us to do these procedures with tiny incisions and with minimal trauma to the patient during surgery.

There is no question that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who is specially trained to remove wisdom teeth in a residency program, and then takes out hundreds of teeth every year, develops a tremendous amount of experience and expertise.

Dr. Leonard Spector


Aug 7, 2021

Lutherville oral surgeon explains that caring for dental implants is essential. Brushing, flossing, and dental visits are necessary to maintain dental implants.

Concerning dental implants and taking care of them, I tell my patients that one has to take care of dental implants as if they were taking care of their natural teeth. In our office, we spend time talking to patients about proper home care after an implant is placed.

Patients make an investment in their health when they select implant dentistry as a treatment option. With proper care, dental implants can last for decades—sometimes for a lifetime. However, just as one has to be consistent about maintaining natural teeth, dental implants require proper home care, which is very similar to caring for natural teeth, as well as regular visits to a dental office for professional cleanings.

My surgical team spends time reviewing with the patient how to maintain their implants and how to keep them clean. We give patients an instruction sheet on home care, and we make sure that they follow up with their general dentist and in our office.

After the restoration is replaced, I like to follow-up with the patient to be sure they are maintaining the cleanliness of their implant. I have my team well trained to discuss with the patients, once the implants have successfully integrated into the jaw and are about to restored, how the patient will need to maintain their dental implants.

Brushing, flossing and other cleaning aids like little proxy brushes and if needed using different mouth rinses that help preserve the cleanliness of the teeth are all part of the protocol. I will usually see the patient after the first year, and if they are maintaining their implants well, then we just have them follow up with the general dentist after that time.

If you would like to learn more about our dental implant process, please schedule an initial consultation by phone or email.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Jul 24, 2021

Dr. Leonard Spector uses nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, extensively in his office. Nitrous oxide reduces anxiety and makes injections easier for patients.

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is used extensively in our office. We offer it to our patients who are having a procedure while they are completely awake, and the laughing gas will decrease the amount of anxiety that the patient feels during the procedure.

Laughing gas is administered through a nose piece that is placed over one’s nose and the laughing gas is adjusted until the patient is feeling comfortable and less anxious. Then I can inject my local anesthesia with the patient who is much less aware of having the injection. We leave the laughing gas on during the procedure, and then after the procedure is completed the patient breathes oxygen for another three to four minutes. The effects of the nitrous oxide dissipate quickly, and the patient has an extremely fast recovery.

Although laughing gas is a very safe modality, we closely monitor all patients no matter what type of anesthesia they have in our office. We are fully equipped to handle emergencies, but patients and doctors typically like laughing gas because the patient remains awake though relaxed through the procedure and the effects of the gas are not at all long lasting.

Patients can drive themselves home afterward, which is a significant advantage. Patients who opt for intravenous sedation must arrive at the office with a driver, because intravenous sedation takes longer to wear off, and we do not want anyone who has had intravenous sedation to drive themselves home.

We find that nitrous oxide to be an extremely acceptable way for most patients who want something a little more than local anesthesia but who may not want to have intravenous sedation.

If you would like to learn more about our procedures and how we keep patients comfortable, please contact us by phone or email and schedule an initial consultation.

Dr. Leonard Spector

May 15, 2021

Dental patients get the best of both worlds: treatment from both their dentist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Your and your family’s oral health is our top priority. We completely understand many of our new patients have fear about dental visits, so our staff is here to provide you and your family with the gentle and caring dental care that you deserve in a comfortable environment.

Treatment in my office often involves a team approach between my office and the referring office. The key is good communication to ensure that the patient gets excellent overall care. I think a lot of patients would be surprised at the level of communication between myself and the referring dentist.

Routinely a general dentist, a prosthodontist, or another dental specialist will refer a case to my office. I will initially talk to that referring dentist before the patient coming to the office, and then when I meet with the patient, we do a detailed workup and either take x-rays, or models, or whatever is required. We regard our practice as an extension of the referring dentist’s practice, so when a patient is referred by another office, we try to keep the same level of care and quality attention with that patient as they have experienced in their dentist’s office.

I send a letter to my referring doctor via e-mail. It is not unusual for me to have multiple rounds of communication with a referring dentist, which may include not only e-mails but also phone calls. In some cases, we will even meet at a second appointment together for a group consult to discuss treatment options with the patient.

We feel that in this way the patient views treatment as not just a single practitioner’s type of procedure, but the patient is getting the benefit of having both the referring doctor and my office team working on treatment together.

If you or anyone in your family is interested in learning more about our oral and maxillofacial surgery practice, please feel free to contact us.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Apr 17, 2021

Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is often used when orthodontics alone cannot correct a significant bite problem.

Corrective jaw surgery is a more commonplace name for orthognathic surgery or reconstructive jaw surgery. In these cases, the orthodontist moves teeth into the best position possible, but when the underlining problem is not the teeth but the position of the bones, then surgery may be indicated.

In these cases, there is an underlying skeletal problem. For example, I had a patient who was 19-years-old when he was referred to me by his orthodontist for reconstructive jaw surgery. There was a discrepancy in the growth of the upper and lower jaws so that his teeth did not come together in a functional bite. Due to this problem, orthodontics alone could not correct his bite.

In this case, the patient’s upper and lower teeth did not come together properly, and he was unable to chew or eat his food. He also had difficulty swallowing his food. After the orthodontist had done preliminary orthodontic treatment with braces, the patient was taken to the operating room, and during multiple procedures, the upper and lower jaws were aligned into their proper position.

He did not have his jaws wired together after surgery, he was able to open and close immediately after surgery, and he spent only one night in the hospital and was discharged the next day. All these procedures are completed through minimal incision surgery. After the surgery, he required approximately six additional months of finishing orthodontics, and now he has a functional bite along with a proportional facial profile.

Some common conditions that indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery include:

  • Facial injury
  • Birth defects
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Protruding jaw
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
  • Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
  • Excessive wear of the teeth

If you have been suffering from an underlying skeletal issue and are not considered a good candidate for traditional orthodontics alone, please feel free to call us to set up an initial consultation.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Apr 3, 2021

Dental implants are becoming the treatment of choice for patients with missing teeth. They are now placed with minimal time and discomfort.

Many patients delay needed dental implant treatment because they have the mistaken belief that the procedure is going to be a very painful and prolonged. In fact, most implants are placed with very minimal discomfort, swelling or bleeding afterward. Most patients can carry on their daily activities a few days after the implants are placed.

Also, the expense of implants used to be a reason not to have implants, but we have made it more available to our patients by offering different types of financing and also being able to work with any applicable insurance coverage to keep the cost down.

As technology has developed over the past 10 to 15 years, dental implants have become much more mainstream, and much more acceptable to patients and also to referring dentists. The technological breakthroughs help many patients who have been wearing either complete dentures, or partial dentures or nothing at all to replace their missing teeth. In these cases, the dental implants allow them to have permanent teeth again.

The impact on the patient is very positive. When they smile, they feel much more confident, and they tend to smile more. They are happier and much more secure in everything that they do in their daily lives. From a functional standpoint, dental implant treatment also allows them to eat certain foods that they were unable to eat before. After implant dentistry, they have substantially increased chewing capacity and efficiency.

Overall there is a tremendous degree of satisfaction in these patients. We have been able to take many of these patients from having significant dental problems and given them a new life with a new set of teeth.

Patients who delay dental implant treatment and then finally move forward often comment that they wish that they had done it years earlier.

If you think dental implants may be a good fit for your smile, please do not hesitate to give us a call and make an appointment.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Mar 6, 2021

Dental implants are used to replace congenitally missing teeth. Left untreated, patients may also have periodontal issues, malocclusion and reduced chewing ability.

I once had a patient who was a 25-year-old female. Although the patient was very attractive, it turns out that she had not formed her upper lateral incisor teeth at birth. We call these congenitally missing teeth or hypodontia because she did not lose them. They just never formed.

This condition, which often results in an unfavorable appearance, is common and required, in the past, very costly treatment. Left untreated, patients may also suffer from periodontal damage, malocclusion, reduced chewing ability, insufficient alveolar bone growth, and other conditions.

When my patient smiled, she showed lots of her teeth, and we wanted to give her a very natural looking result with dental implants, something that cannot always be attained using conventional fixed bridgework.

After she had orthodontic treatment to straighten and align her teeth, two dental implants were placed. Three months later the implants were restored by her general dentist as single crowns. The result looked so natural that it will be difficult to tell which teeth are implants and which are her natural teeth. So, what we were able to give her were permanent tooth replacements, something that could not be achieved without dental implants.

The simplest way to think of dental implants is replacement tooth roots. Implants provide the foundation for both permanent and removable replacement teeth that are fashioned to match your natural smile.

That is a very crucial point in dental implant treatment. It is not just the matter of replacing a tooth with an implant but also being able to mimic nature and having a result that is esthetically natural-looking.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Feb 20, 2021

Dental implants benefit older patients, Dr. Leonard Spector explains. He talks about an 83-year-old lady who is now able to eat all the foods she loves.

I am going to tell you a story, a very typical story, about how dental implants can have very predictable outcomes and benefits in older patients. This story begins with an 83-year-old female who was referred to me by her general dentist. This lovely lady had an inability to wear her dentures. She had had all her teeth removed approximately 20 years before visiting my office. Due to long-term denture wear, she had lost a lot of the bone in her lower jaw. So, she was unable to wear her denture due to the severe bone loss, and that limited the amount of food and types of food she could eat.

After meeting with her and discussing treatment with her dentist, I recommended that two dental implants be placed in the lower jaw to help retain a clip-on lower denture. This procedure was successfully performed in my oral and maxillofacial surgery office under local anesthesia. Three months later, after the implants were placed, her dentist made her a new lower denture that clipped onto the implants and allowed her to eventually eat the foods that she wanted to eat, which included biting into an apple that she was unable to do before. This little thing, of course, made her euphoric and allowed her to have as close to having permanent lower teeth again.

You can imagine after 20 years of not being able to eat the foods she wanted how gleefully happy she was after successful dental implant treatment.

This story just goes to show that with implants over the past ten years or so that the procedure has become more mainstream. People are seeking dental implant treatment because they hear from their friends, from colleagues, from other professionals how predictable implants are and how they can benefit them in many cases.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Feb 6, 2021

Lutherville oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector explains how his professional team puts patients at ease and treats them with respect.

We get so many compliments from patients after procedures about how comfortable they were during procedures, but I realize that many patients are anxious when they first enter an oral and maxillofacial surgery office.

I have a very compassionate team who always keep the patients’ best interest in mind. All of my team members give patients individual attention. They are well-qualified and they always treat patients with the utmost dignity and respect.

There is mutual respect among all my employees. I find my staff to be highly professional and they have a clear focus on patient care that can be seen by the patients, who notice and comment on how well all the team members support each other and work together.

I have also tried to foster a sense of belonging in the office, as I regard myself as a great motivator of people. I have allowed my staff to have a very enjoyable place to work. In fact, they love to come to work because they have a very strong commitment to excellence and they show great passion for their profession.

Above all, I find that when patients are at first concerned about the thought of oral surgery when they arrive, my team puts people at ease and encourages these patients to smile and relax.

One of the hallmarks of my practice is that we spend time with our patients. We do not rush the patients through the process. We try to educate our patients about what they can expect before, during, and after the surgery. Even in post-op appointments, we try to spend time with our patients to listen to their needs, and we are open to talking about anything they would like to discuss with us. We are happy to be there for them.

I have been in practice for over 32 years. Recently, when I opened my own practice again as the only oral surgeon, I was fortunate to attract people who are just fantastic in how they relate to our patients.