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 17, 2020

Dental implants are a conservative, cost-effective option for replacing missing teeth according to Havre de Grace oral surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector.

There are a number of disadvantages to having a single missing tooth replaced with an old-fashioned three-unit bridge:

  1. The dentist must cut down natural teeth to support a bridge.
  2. These natural teeth, once they are prepared and cut down, may require root canal therapy.
  3. The patient may have to wear a removable appliance that most people find unacceptable.
  4. It is extremely difficult for the patient to clean under a bridge. As a result, the patient is more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  5. Bridges need to be replaced every seven to ten years.
  6. Bridges often look like false teeth.
  7. Patients tend to get bone loss in the area around bridges.

The advantages of replacing a single missing tooth with a one dental implant are many:

  1. I regard an implant-supported tooth as a permanent tooth replacement With proper home care and regular dental visits, a dental implant can last for decades or even a lifetime.
  2. They are easy for the patient to maintain with good daily dental hygiene habits.
  3. Dental implants stimulate bone and prevent bone loss.
  4. Dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
  5. There is a great benefit of improved appearance. A conventional bridge often looks artificial but dental implants look very natural.
  6. A person’s quality of life is enhanced because implant supported teeth are like new, natural teeth. People can eat, smile, laugh—basically go about their daily lives with complete confidence.
  7. Dental implants are a great investment in one’s health. Because they are natural looking, long-lasting, and can be easily maintained with daily hygiene and regular visits to the dentists, dental implants are much more cost-effective in the long run than bridges that cause problems and need to be replaced when they wear out.

For all these reasons, I tell my patients that dental implants are now the modern standard of care for replacing missing teeth.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Oct 10, 2020

Dental implant treatment has progressed to the point that patients often have functional and esthetic temporary restorations placed on the day of surgery.

When dental implants were first made available to the public, the entire process was very time consuming. Patients would leave the office and have to wear an unsatisfactory temporary restoration such as a flipper or temporary bonded bridge.

The great benefit for many patients today is that we are able to have them leave the office with a very good temporary restoration or go to their dentist’s office immediately after the dental implant is placed to have the implant restored with a natural looking tooth.

Specifically, in regard to single teeth, we are able to place an implant and also place a temporary post in that implant. Then your general dentist – your referring dentist – will see you that day and place a temporary crown on that implant.

The benefit here is that you basically have a restoration – a tooth in your mouth the day of the surgery. Most patients find this protocol to be very acceptable. This new protocol also significantly reduces treatment time because it allows you to have the final restoration in half the amount of time. In was not that many years ago, with what was then the conventional method of implant treatment, that the patient had to wait an additional three months before the implant was restored.

With regard to teeth in a day procedures, these are procedures where we use dental implants to replace all the teeth in one dental arch. The implants are placed and a restoration is securely placed on the implants that day.

These time savings are very important for the patient. They always ask about the cost of dental implants, but they also want to know how many appointments will be required to finish the entire course of treatment. I am now able to tell patients, very predictably, that there are minimal appointments—and that means there is greater value to the patient for these implant dentistry procedures.

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

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