Nov 14, 2020

Lutherville oral surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector receives many referrals from dentists, and he also welcomes new patients from other patients and his website.

Our office is accepting new patients. We receive referrals to our oral and maxillofacial surgery practice from many excellent dentists in various communities in and around Baltimore, including Havre de Grace and Lutherville, where our offices are located, as well as many other communities.

Patients will often call the office and say, “Can I be seen by you even though I do not have a dentist or have not been referred to your office by a dentist?” Although the majority of the patients are referred directly to our office by other referring dentists, there are many also patients who are referred to us by our loyal patients of record who have benefitted under our care. I think the highest compliment that can be afforded to me is that a patient whom I have already treated refers a friend or family member to my office. I always tell patients that their referrals are welcome and encouraged. A referral from a dentist or physician is not required for someone to call the office and make an appointment.

There are other patients who have visited our website who have sought us out for their oral surgery care. When patients are referred to us and they do not have a general dentist, we are able to refer them to a dentist for their general dental care, including exams and cleanings, thanks to our large referral base and professional relationships with excellent dentists in the area.

I have a great office team that will discuss a new patient’s needs with them over the phone before they are scheduled and take the appropriate information. Some patients only require a consultation to discuss their specific dental needs. If they need our services and we are able to provide care, we discuss treatment options with them in detail before any treatment is provided and we refer them as needed to a restorative dentist or another specialist such as an orthodontist if necessary for their overall care and well being.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Oct 31, 2020

Dental implants are successfully used in patients who do not have sufficient bone due to new technology that enhances bone growth and healing.

It was not that many years ago that some patients were told that they were not good candidates for dental implants because they did not have sufficient bone. During my 32 years in practice, the technology has advanced so that I am now able to treat patients with dental implants that I was not able to treat 10 to 15 years ago. There are a number of growth factors that we routinely use in our practice today to enhance bone growth. One is platelet-rich plasma or PRP, which is prepared from blood drawn from the patients prior to surgery.

We use the patient’s own blood and we have the technology in the office to separate the platelets that are in that blood sample from the rest of the blood and to prepare a solution called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. These platelets have growth factors that enhance the healing of bone. The platelet-rich plasma is added to freeze-dried bone that is from a bone bank to reconstitute this bone.

This bone is then grafted into the bone defect in the jaw. In my experience the bone/platelet-rich plasma mix tends to dramatically increase bone volume and the healing of the bone. I routinely use platelet-rich plasma in cases with large defects in the bone, to wrap around the dental implants, and in sinus grafting procedures in which we can add bone to the flora of the sinus to gain height in the back part of the upper jaw to prepare the sites of dental implants.

Another way to build bone is to use the synthetic bone protein called bone morphogenetic protein. This protein is also mixed with bone. I use the bone morphogenetic protein in cases where we may need larger areas of bone growth in a more predictable way.

These growth factors are very beneficial to patients, and today many patients can benefit from dental implants who could not have taken advantage of implants in the past due to our ability to enhance bone.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Oct 24, 2020

Orthognathic or corrective jaw surgery performed by Dr. Leonard Spector is used to correct skeletal problems that cannot be addressed by orthodontic treatment alone.

Orthognathic surgery is also called corrective jaw surgery and it is performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. There are jaw deformities or discrepancies that are not amenable to orthodontic treatment alone and require corrective jaw surgery as part of their final and definitive treatment.

Corrective jaw surgery is used to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental problems, including misalignment of the jaws and the teeth. The surgery can improve chewing, speaking, and breathing. Jaw surgery can be used to correct gross jaw deformities in all dimensions of the jaws, both front to back, side to side, or vertical jaw problems. These procedures are also used to address facial discrepancies associated with people who have documented sleep apnea and airway problems.

In addition, certain facial discrepancies associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems can be corrected with orthognathic surgery. This treatment is a coordinated effort between the orthodontist and the oral surgeon.

The great benefit for the patient is that not only can we restore the function of their teeth but we also restore proper facial balance and proportions to the face.

Many times, these procedures are performed in an outpatient hospital setting, under general anesthesia. Orthognathic surgery procedures are performed through incisions inside the mouth so there is no visible scarring. The patient is able to open and close their mouth right after surgery has been completed and today the recovery time is very fast compared to the way these procedures were performed in the past. Patients do not have to have their jaws wired together for five to six weeks, as was the case in conventional orthognathic post-op procedures.

There is much higher patient acceptance when patients do not need to have to have their jaws wired together after the surgery, and the results can be dramatic from both an esthetic and functional perspective.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Oct 3, 2020

Replacing missing teeth promptly – even those in the back of the mouth—has many benefits, because one missing tooth can affect many teeth and cause numerous problems.

When I tell patients that they need to have a back tooth replaced, they will often say, “Well, it’s a back tooth. You can’t see it. So why do I really need to have it replaced?” The answer is that each tooth in your mouth has a specific function.

The back broad molar teeth are used to grind your food. The molar teeth are designed to work with an opposing molar—the tooth in the other arch that makes contact with that tooth when you bite. So if you’re missing either an upper or a lower molar, there is no corresponding opposing tooth in the other arch. The result is that you cannot, therefore, grind your food.

Another problem is that when you are missing a tooth, the opposing tooth in the other dental arch, over time, will super-erupt into that space which may prevent you from having a dental implant because there may not be enough space to place the restoration on the implant. This problem can be corrected, but the point is that replacing a missing tooth promptly is the best course of action.

Also, if you lose a molar tooth, bone loss will tend to occur in that area, with the potential of the adjacent teeth shifting into that space where the molar used to be. This situation can lead to additional tooth and bone loss over time. Also, as you lose your back teeth, there is more pressure applied to the front teeth. Your front teeth are not designed to take these forces and the result could be tooth fracture or loss of bone around the front teeth. When teeth are subjected to too much force they also tend to shift, which alters the bite and makes it more difficult to clean around these teeth. As a result, the patient could experience problems with tooth decay and gum disease.

The bottom line is that it is not just a simple matter of losing one tooth, because when you lose one tooth, there is a cascading effect on the other teeth.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Sep 19, 2020

Lutherville oral surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector explains that many replacement teeth can often be supported by relatively few dental implants.

Many times several implants can be used to replace many teeth. It really depends on the quality and the quantity of the available bone and the design of the final restoration. For instance, if we are only replacing one tooth, of course, one tooth is replaced with one dental implant. A single-tooth implant is a single tooth replacement for a single missing tooth. There are also cases where two or three teeth will require individual implants to replace each tooth. However, if there is good quality and quantity of bone, we can often use two implants to support a three-unit bridge or four implants to help anchor a five-unit bridge.

In cases where the patient is missing all their teeth, we may use four or five implants to support a full-arch restoration.

With the three-dimensional technology we have in our office and our ability to evaluate the quality and quantity of bone in three dimensions, we plan the case with the referring dentist. We can decide in advance for instance, if two or three implants can be used to support a multiple unit bridge. This decision would depend not only on the quality of the bone and how much bone there is, but also on the size of the dental implants we would be using.

These decisions really depend a lot on my own experience based on what I have seen over the years and of course close collaboration with the restorative dentist. The final result is that we want to provide the most predictable long-term solution to that patient’s dental needs with the use of the dental implants. We always try to use the fewest number of implants and be as conservative as possible, but at the same time our goal is to create a result that is very stable and long-lasting for the patient.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Sep 12, 2020

Dental implants are used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or an entire arch of teeth, according to Maryland oral surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector.

The great advantage of using dental implant – as opposed to conventional crown and bridgework over natural teeth—is the number of ways that dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth. They can be used to replace missing front teeth with very predictable cosmetic results, to replace a number of teeth with single crowns and bridges, or replace both the upper and lower teeth.

Many times the patients can receive their teeth the same day as the implants are placed. In regards to single teeth in the esthetic zone – the front teeth, I will frequently remove the non-restorable tooth, place the dental implant immediately, and have the patient seen by the dentist that day. The dentist will place a very natural-looking temporary crown on the implant so the patient has a new tooth the same day. At the appropriate time, the patient returns to the dentist’s office and the final restoration is placed.

In other cases where we are replacing all of the upper or lower teeth, we can place four to six implants in the jaw and have what we can an “immediate fixed hybrid restoration” placed immediately after the implants are placed. An immediate fixed hybrid restoration is a temporary restoration that is secured to the implants. It is actually screwed into the implant and supported by the implant at the time of surgery.

The advantage to the patient is that they may come to the office with conventional dentures and few if any natural teeth remaining in an arch. They leave the office with four to six permanent dental implants and an immediate restoration, which is a securely affixed denture.

We like to evaluate the patient’s smile, bite and speech so we can make any minor changes to the temporary restoration. Typically the patient will wear the temporary fixed hybrid restoration for approximately six months to a year before they receive their final restoration.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Aug 5, 2020

Dental implants have many benefits, including looking and functioning like natural teeth, according to Chesapeake oral surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector.

Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements. They are artificial teeth that look and function just like your natural teeth. One of the many other benefits of dental implants is that implants prevent bone loss over time, thereby preserving the integrity of the jawbone and enhancing one’s appearance.

Dental implants treatment is a conservative procedure. The adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace the missing teeth. If you have a single missing tooth, it is not necessary to cut down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth in order to place a bridge.

Implants can also anchor dentures and provide a very secure fit. They are also much easier to clean than a bridge.

Patients are so pleased with dental implants that are placed in the front of the mouth, the area that we call the esthetic zone. After they are placed and restored, dental implants can look just like one’s natural teeth. The long-term esthetics are usually so much better with an implant-supported tooth than with the traditional tooth-supported bridge. This is very important because particularly in the front of the mouth you do not want any visible bone defect, which could be critical in how the teeth will appear.

Paying close attention to esthetic issues is always a part of dental implant treatment. In addition to minimizing or preventing bone loss with a dental implant, we are also able to maintain the gingival contours, which essentially means how the gums are shaped around the implant tooth.

For example, the size, shape, and color of an implant tooth can closely mimic a natural tooth, but with a bridge, the contours of the gums around the false teeth often make the teeth look false. With a well-placed implant, however, the gingival or gum contours can be maintained and the implant-supported tooth looks very natural.

It is difficult for anyone to tell that one or more teeth are dental implants because they look so natural.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Sep 5, 2020

Dental implant treatment in Dr. Spector’s office requires close collaboration between the oral and maxillofacial surgeon and the patient’s dentist.

Dental implant treatment is a true collaborative effort between the restorative dentist and me, the oral surgeon. My philosophy on placing dental implants is to use a prosthetically-based approach. The prosthesis is the artificial tooth or crown that is securely affixed to the implant, which is an artificial tooth root. We like to know before we place the dental implant what the final result will be, because the patient is ultimately interested in the new tooth, not the artificial tooth root that supports the tooth.

For any implant case, whether it a single tooth or multiple teeth or full mouth reconstruction, I will discuss the case and meet with the referring dentist prior to the surgery. At that time, we review x-rays and a dental model of the patient’s mouth. We decide ahead of time exactly where the dental implants will be placed to get to that final result. The referring dentist and I determine the type and position of the final replacement of the teeth.

In many occasions, after I place the implants, the restorative dentist is able to place an immediate temporary restoration on the implant, and then the final restoration a few months later. This treatment is all planned prior to the actual surgery.

In cases where we are doing procedures in which the implants are placed and we are replacing a full arch of teeth – upper or lower – many times the final restoration can be placed in the office the same day of the surgery.

Patients may be surprised to learn that in these situations the restorative dentist will be working with me in my office as the implants are being placed. In coordination with the dental laboratory, we will place the final restorations immediately after the implants are placed.

In this way, the patient leaves the office with teeth due to the close collaboration between the oral surgeon and the patient’s dentist.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist