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
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

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
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

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
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Jul 10, 2021

Dr. Leonard Spector explains why dental implants offer a more comfortable experience over removable appliances and fixed bridges to replace missing teeth.

Before dental implants, patients had to tolerate removable appliances or fixed bridges, both of which were hard to clean. With regard to removable appliances, patients used to have to tolerate a loose-fitting denture. It was common for food to get trapped under their dentures during meals and the aesthetics did not look natural. However, dental implants have offered options that were not available to patients previously regarding permanent tooth replacements.

We use implants now in many different ways to help retain dentures or to give patients their fixed teeth without having to use a removable appliance.

Dental implants have allowed us to make this change, because before dental implants we were very limited in our choices. You either had to get by with a removable denture or a fixed bridge, and a fixed bridge involved many times having to cut down natural teeth to use those teeth to help bridge the fake teeth between the natural teeth. Many of these teeth then required root canals or would get decayed over time with their bridge work in place, and with bridges, there were always challenges keeping them clean. Also, the implants have allowed us a much more natural look regarding using bridgework.

As time has passed, dental implants have become more mainstream. Implant dentistry is what patients are seeking out now. Many patients will come to our office with that specific request. They want something that not only looks natural but will replace a removable appliance, or will replace a bridge that they have had for many. The dental implants have allowed us to replace these missing teeth with essentially permanent teeth replacements.

If you are interested in exploring your options with dental implants, please contact us at your earliest convenience by phone or e-mail. We will be happy to schedule an informational consultation and answer all of your questions.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Jun 26, 2021

Doctors now do computer guided virtual surgery while the patient is not in the office to prepare for actual surgery. Computer guided surgery is also more precise.

One of the advantages I see from being in this practice since 1984 is how the whole dental implant field has developed over time. Initially, when we started doing implants, it was just most important to place the implant wherever there was available bone. It was never recognized at that time that the implants, to function as natural permanent teeth, required that the implants be placed where the final restoration was going to be. Now we are so much more aware of what we describe as prosthetically or restoratively based treatment planning.

One of the greatest advances in the implant field has been the use of computer guided surgery. In our office, we have a Cone Beam CT scanner that allows us to take three-dimensional digital images of the patient’s jaw. And from these pictures we can have computerized guides made that allow us to place the implants in the exact position where the final restoration needs to be located.

This technology helps in planning because it is simply more precise. In the old days when we used to eyeball it and try to place the implants in what we thought was the best position. We are now able to know where the final restoration is going to be and with computer guided templates and better placement during surgery, we can place the implants exactly where the restorative dentist needs it be to complete the process with precision.

Using our sophisticated software, we can virtually place implants within a patient’s bone before the actual surgery. This use of technology allows us to know exactly what to expect when we do the actual procedure. So, by the time we go to surgery, we have already not only pre-planned but also pre-placed the implants in the patient’s virtual bone before placing it in their bone.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

Jun 12, 2021

Removing teeth is an important part of oral and maxillofacial surgery. When done properly, removing teeth can be done in a minimally invasive manner.

Besides wisdom teeth and more advanced types of oral surgery, one of the most common things we do in our practice is to remove decayed teeth. We also do many simple extractions. Many of these patients are referred to us by their general dentist. The dentists realize that, with our advanced level of training, we can remove these teeth with minimally invasive techniques.

I explain to the patients that local anesthesia works well in many cases, that once the local anesthesia has taken effect, removing a tooth is no different than having a dental filling placed. We also can offer the patient nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”) to help decrease the anxiety level before performing the extractions, and we even offer patients IV sedation or general anesthesia if they prefer, to remove these teeth.

Today, Lidocaine is likely the most commonly used anesthetic in dentistry, but there are many others. They all have names ending in “-caine.”

Even simple extractions many times can turn into a more advanced procedure, and with our advanced training, we are able in all cases to keep a simple extraction a simple extraction.

One example is that teeth that have undergone root canal treatment tend to be extremely brittle. Even though on an x-ray clinically it looks as if it could be a simple extraction, once a tooth has undergone a root canal it attaches to the surrounding bone much more tightly. These teeth usually require additional techniques to remove the tooth and do it in such a way so that the result is a simple extraction, which an easy procedure for the patient.

If you have been referred to us by your dentist, please contact us by phone or email anytime and we will be happy to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

May 29, 2021

Dr. Leonard Spector explains that oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive training that includes a focus on using anesthesia in an office setting.

In an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program, there are many skills we need to acquire to complete our rigorous program of study. After four years of dental school, a dentist who aspires to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon must complete either a four- or six -year an accredited oral and maxillofacial surgery program. A significant portion of that training is in anesthesia and internal medicine. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we have to be very confident in anesthesia as this is a large part of our practice. We are trained to use anesthesia safely in an office setting.

The oral and maxillofacial surgery curriculum is designed to develop both the clinical and communicative skills that will result in better-diversified career options.

Principal subjects of study include, but are not limited to:

  • Dental implants
  • Management of facial pain
  • Facial aesthetic surgery
  • Cleft lip and palate repair
  • Dentoalveolar surgery
  • Maxillofacial Trauma
  • Maxillofacial Reconstruction
  • Correction of Dentofacial Deformities
  • Ambulatory general anesthesia and deep sedation

As part of this training, we usually have a six-month rotation in anesthesiology in our residency. Also, we not only rotate through internal medicine, but we have rotations through cardiology, general surgery, surgical and medical intensive care. During these rotations, we work as any other medical resident, treating the same patients and placing orders.

This training takes place in the hospital setting where we also learn, of course, oral surgery techniques and how to handle facial trauma cases that come into the emergency room.

These training programs are very complete. They prepare the surgeon seamlessly to go into an oral surgery practice with a very high degree of competency.

If you are interested in learning more about our training and certifications, or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

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
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

May 1, 2021

Dental implants allow patients to eat the foods they choose to eat, not the foods that had been limited to eating. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth.

Dental implants allow patients tremendous benefits in the types of foods they can eat. One of the primary reasons people seek us out is because they are unable to eat certain foods that they had been unable to eat prior to treatment due to tooth loss. What we find is that after the implants are placed, patients can go back on eating foods such as apples, or chewing into different vegetables and foods that they were unable to eat before.

Think of dental implants as replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are designed to mimic your natural teeth in terms of appearance and chewing forces.

Some patients just did not have any teeth or too few teeth to chew certain foods properly. With dental implants, patients have very stable prosthetic teeth that function much like natural teeth. They sometimes have replacement front teeth that they can use to bite and replacement teeth in the back of their mouth that they use to grind food.

With dental implants, patients can, for instance, bite into an apple whereas before they would have to cut it into small pieces to eat it.

One of the great benefits of dental implants is that implants are permanent teeth that replace one’s teeth, and they function in the same way. Once someone has dental implants, there are no restrictions on what they can eat. This benefit is particularly noticeable when patients go out to eat in a restaurant. Instead of being restricted to only those foods that they can manage with few teeth, missing teeth, or an old-fashioned denture, they can now—thanks to dental implants—choose the foods they want to eat, not just soft foods they were limited to eating prior to treatment.

The oral health of your entire family is our top priority. We understand many of our patients have fear about visiting a dentist so our staff is here to provide you and your family with the caring, gentle care that you deserve in a comfortable environment.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, or would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call or email us today.

Dr. Leonard Spector
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist

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
www.chesapeakeimplants.dentist