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 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

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

Jul 30, 2020

Dr. Leonard Spector, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, explains his extensive training and experience and offers advice to those who need oral surgery procedures.

I have been in private practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for 32 years. My training involved four years of college followed by four years of dental school. I graduated second in my class from the University of Maryland Dental School in 1981.

After dental school, I completed a three-year accredited advanced dental education program in oral and maxillofacial surgery in a residency program at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

My training involved a very strong background in general anesthesia, placement of dental implants, orthognathic surgery, and dentoalveolar surgery. I think many patients would be surprised to know that as a dentist training to become an oral surgeon my hospital-based program included rotations in cardiology, internal medicine, as well as rotations to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and advanced trauma training.

This great breadth of training gave me the skills necessary not only to perform procedures in my specialty but also to treat many patients who are medically compromised and referred to my office.

I started my private practice 32 years ago in the Baltimore area, specifically in the Towson, Maryland area in 1984.

One of my specific areas of interest in the practice is dental implants. My team and I do very advanced cases of dental implant surgery in our office for the convenience of the patient. This includes everything from replacing a single missing tooth with a dental implant to replacing an entire arch of teeth or even both arches with dental implants.

Another professional interest is day-to-day dentoalveolar surgery, which involves procedures such as extracting teeth when necessary, including the extraction of third molars–sometimes called “wisdom teeth”–when this procedure is indicated.

My advice to all patients who need oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures is to seek out a specialist in this highly complex field, ask about training and qualifications, and do not hesitate to ask the doctor questions before treatment begins. We are very open with our patients and we find that this approach creates trust and sets the stage for a very good experience.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Jul 25, 2020

Chesapeake Oral Surgeon Explains How 3D X-Rays Benefit Patients

Chesapeake oral and maxillofacial surgeon explains how 3D x-rays provide surgeons with a roadmap for surgery that leads to advanced patient care.

In my practice, we use state of the art three-dimensional cone beam technology that allows us to provide very accurate three-dimensional images of the facial bones and the facial structures. This technology allows us to use these images for diagnosis and planning and treatment of dental implants, temporomandibular joint analysis, orthognathic surgery and many other dental procedures. These three-dimensional images provide us with extremely accurate images of the anatomy and facilitate advanced patient care that is not possible just with conventional x-rays.

With the advanced cone beam technology we have in our office, we are able to look closely at the facial structures and the facial bones in three dimensions. With the old-fashioned two-dimensional technologies, you cannot really see or evaluate the true anatomy of the bone.

For example, with regard to dental implants, the 3D x-ray technology allows us to locate certain anatomic structures such as the mandibular canal and the maxillary sinuses. It shows us the shape and size of the dental ridges, including the quality and quantity of bone. It helps us decide if we need bone grafting or a sinus lift procedure. It also allows us to use certain dental implants planning software in conjunction with these 3D x-ray images to help plan complex cases.

When I am extracting impacted third molars, these digital images show the relationship of the mandibular canal to the root to the third molars,  and therefore I can avoid any nerve damage.

We are able to also localize any types of impacted teeth, including impacted canine teeth, and we also use the technology with our corrective jaw surgery planning.

With regards to pathology, it allows us to locate lesions in the jaws and review findings in three dimensions and see the relationship of these lesions to teeth and other structures in the jaw.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist