Dec 18, 2021

Dr. Leonard Spector, oral surgeon, explains that sinus life procedures and bone grafting are sometimes required before receiving a dental implant.

These types of procedures have become very familiar during the past 15 years as more people get implants to replace their missing teeth. We can use growth factors to help grow bone in the sinuses. In our practice, most of the bone that we use for sinus lift bone grafts comes from a cadaver. We mix this bone either with platelet-rich plasma or with bone morphogenetic protein. Sometimes we can also use your bone to be used for the sinus lift procedures, but this is now done very infrequently and I usually just use the cadaver bone mixed with the growth factors to get predictable results for sinus lift procedures.

Before a sinus lift is discussed, in our office we will get a cone beam CT scan of your sinuses so we can study the anatomy of the bone between the sinus and your mouth where the implants will be placed. The scan also allows us to measure the height and width of the existing bone accurately and evaluate the health of your sinuses before we do a procedure. The procedure itself is performed through a small incision in the mouth. The gum tissue is raised, and a small window is made into the sinus. We observe the membrane that lines the sinus and lift the sinus membrane.

The bone graft is packed into the space where the sinus membrane used to be before it was pushed up. The amount of bone is usually a couple of millimeters up to about a centimeter. Once the bone has been placed, the tissue is closed with stitches.

We want to be sure that the bone graft material heals to the surrounding bone. Dental implants can usually be placed about four to eight months later, but the amount of time varies and depends on how much bone is needed and how fast the bone becomes calcified and integrates to the surrounding bone.

There tends to be minimal swelling after a sinus lift procedure. We ask the patient not to blow their nose for approximately one week after surgery because this could cause the bone graft material to move. We also usually have the patients usually use a nasal decongestant or a sinus decongestant to decrease inflammation. All patients are given antibiotics and then antimicrobial mouthwash after surgery.

Usually, there is minimal discomfort involved with these procedures. I often see these patients back in the office seven to ten days after the surgery. The stitches do not need to be removed because they dissolve on their own.

There are relatively few complications. Infection is very rare in these procedures. As long as the bone integrates properly with the graft material, we can move forward with dental implant placement.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Dec 11, 2021

Havre de Grace oral surgeon Dr. Leonard Spector explains why his patients get the best of both worlds in his practice—high tech office and personal care.

As a solo care provider I can give personal, directed care that I am convinced you cannot provide in a group or corporate setting. In a group or corporate environment, you might have to compromise on the different options you are giving to the patient or even the types of materials types available in the office depending on the philosophy of that practice

Even when it comes down to the staffing, in a group practice or corporate setting you may not have direct input into who is going to be working with you on a daily basis. Because I believe strongly in the team approach, I have been able to hire very competent, seasoned, compassionate team members to work with me daily in my solo oral surgery practice.

Because I am the only doctor, I can set my amount of time that I will spend with a patient. It is important to me that I get to know the patient and the patient gets to know me. So, at an initial consultation, I do not feel rushed or pressured to allow only a certain amount of time with a patient. I can take my time and provide personalized care.

Another advantage of practicing by myself is that I can apply my philosophy regarding patient care. For example, I can choose which specialists I want to work with, and I believe this results in a high degree of patient satisfaction. I have also opted to develop a state of the art facility, so the patients get the best of both worlds—a modern, high-tech facility and one doctor who is willing to spend time with patients.

If you have any questions about my practice, or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs, please feel free to contact us.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Nov 27, 2021

Digital photography has revolutionized dentistry. Dr. Leonard Spector uses digital photography extensively in his office for a wide variety of applications.

Most of my dental implant cases are documented with digital photography along with orthognathic (corrective jaw surgery) procedures. I find that it is important to use clinical photography not only to help document the case but also to be critical about your results after the procedures. It also helps in treatment planning and being able to communicate with the referring doctors.

In fact, in my 32 years of practice, I have always used photography as part of the patient treatment planning. Having high-quality photograph also allows us, with the patient’s consent, to use these pictures later for teaching purposes to help train other doctors.

My entire staff is trained and regularly utilize digital photography in our practice. We have found these skills useful in communicating our findings, diagnosis and treatment status with our patients. These images have revolutionized dentistry and enable us to view and discuss many dental concerns. In the end, having these images leads to a clearer understanding of the patient’s treatment options for your dental care.

Effective communication is the key to dental perfection. Our high-resolution digital photos are essential for patient education, treatment planning, and successful case completion. These pictures are also considered mandatory for laboratory communications and are the key to consistent esthetic results. We firmly believe we cannot practice today’s aesthetic dentistry without mastering our visual communication skills.

Most patients do not know what is in their mouth, and what the degree of need is, and what care is required. Photographs help show patients what is going on, and I can then better explain treatment options. Having photos is better than trying to use a mirror because the image is not reversed in a photo and I can show close-ups and highlight certain areas.

If you have any questions about the services we offer in our oral and maxillofacial surgery practice methods or would like schedule an initial consultation, please call or email us.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Nov 13, 2021

Dr. Leonard Spector believes in open communication in his oral surgery office. He also trains his staff to answer a variety of patient questions.

In our office, we believe in excellent communication, so we make it a policy that patients have no trouble at all reaching us on the phone. My team is highly qualified, and they can answer many questions very thoroughly; however, I have instructed my team that I enjoy speaking with patients, and I am happy to get on the phone with a patient before or after a procedure to answer questions. I think patients appreciate the fact that the doctor is there for them, and they should not hesitate to call me to discuss any issues that arise.

I will routinely call the patient in the evening on the day of the surgery, and I will have the team call a few days later to follow up again.

Any patient who comes to see me in my office has 24/7 access to me. In addition to personally calling my patients after the surgery, I am also available to speak to any patients prior to surgery if they have questions regarding upcoming procedures. My team also knows that anybody who calls with questions regarding their treatment can talk to a very knowledgeable surgical assistant that day or they can have direct access to me at any time.

My team also knows that the patients come first, that their needs come first, and no question they ask is unimportant. I will routinely return any calls within a quick timeframe, and patients are also commonly given a number where they can reach me after surgery or anytime if they need to speak to me.

Being available is just another way that we help to put patients at ease and provide personalized service.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment in one of our two offices, please feel free to contact us by phone or email.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Oct 30, 2021

Continual education is essential in today’s rapidly changing dental world. Dr. Spector takes over 100 hours of continuing education courses annually.

I have always been very involved with continuing dental education. I am currently the president of the Harford-Cecil Dental Society, and I have been involved over the past four years in developing continuing education curricula for members of the society.

I routinely take over 100 hours of continuing education annually. This continuing education features topics on topics such as dental implants, anesthesia, and orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery. I have also lectured extensively and continue I have published articles on dental implants and facial cosmetic surgery in scientific journals for my peers.

I am committed to professional growth and lifelong learning in my practice. I am always looking for courses that offer timely information with immediate practical application to clinical practice.

There are a minimum number of continuing dental education hours that dentists are required to take each year. I exceed that minimum number by a factor of five because of my strong commitment to continuing dental education. The technology is changing so fast that to be able to provide the most updated and state-of-the-art procedures, one has to take courses in to become proficient and stay current in these areas.

One of my greatest interests is in dental implants, and that field is changing quickly – especially with the use of computer guided surgery techniques – that it is important to for me not only to advance my skills but to have the information about related procedures.

Another thing we do routinely in our office is that we have advanced cardiac life support certification. I have this course done in my office annually. All of my staff members are certified in advanced cardiac life support, something that is not required but I feel it allows us to better very prepared in case of emergency.

If you would like to learn more about our education and experience, please contact us by phone or email to schedule an initial consultation.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Oct 16, 2021

Teeth-in-a-day is done routinely in our oral surgery office thanks to our fully functional in-house dental lab and great support from restorative dentists.

We believe in the team approach to make teeth in a day a reality for so many patients. In fact, there are specific cases in which the general dentist and laboratory technician are in our office when we are doing a teeth-in-a-day procedure. This process involves some pre-surgical planning with the general dentist and the laboratory. We have set up in our office a dental lab to facilitate the laboratory technician’s work in our office on the day of surgery.

I will place the dental implants in the patient’s upper lower jaws—sometimes in both jaws, and at that same appointment, the general dentist will then take the impressions for the provisional appliance that the laboratory technician will prepare in the office for placement immediately after the surgery. This process has revolutionized the way dental implants are provided, because patients leave the office with teeth that are fully functional and aesthetically pleasing.

The dental laboratory technician takes a denture that the patient has been wearing, and converts that to a fixed restoration that the general dentist will place in the patient’s mouth immediately after the implants are placed. In other words, the laboratory technician has to convert a prior removable denture into the restoration that can be fixed to the implants at the time of surgery.

The result is that patient will leave here with a provisional appliance in place on dental implants that were placed that same day. This protocol in my office allows the best team approach possible in that you have the surgeon, general dentist and laboratory technician working as a team to provide an immediate restoration to the patient that otherwise would not be possible. This immediate or temporary restoration looks great and functions very well, and patients are happy to leave with teeth. This provisional remains in place until the final restoration is fabricated and placed.

If you would like to know more about teeth-in-day procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email.

Dr. Leonard Spector

Oct 2, 2021

Sterilization procedures, when followed strictly, prevent the spread of disease in the dental office and put patients at ease.

Patients are very informed these days, and they often notice the details in an office and ask excellent questions. One important area is cleanliness and sterilization. People hear stories in the media about people who become infected during a hospital visit, so they want to be sure that when they come to our oral and maxillofacial surgery office, we are following very precise and strict standards.

It is hard to imagine that at the beginning of the twentieth century, surgeons were operating on patients in street clothes and wearing butchers aprons to keep the blood from spattering on them. There was only a dim understand of sterilization at that time. In addition, it was just a generation or two ago that dentists did not wear gloves when they treated patients.

For many years now dentists have been using gloves, and standards have evolved over the years to prevent cross contamination. For all of our procedures, we maintain the proper barrier techniques, which means not only gloves, but also proper masks, eye protection, and gowning.

We have very strict sterilization protocols that we use in the office. First, we have a clean office. When patients first come to our office, they notice the cleanliness. Our autoclaves (sterilization machines) are tested weekly to be sure that they are sterilizing the instruments thoroughly. Also, we check the sterilizers daily, and annually there is a mechanical test on each of the autoclaves. All of our instruments are sterilized and packaged, so the patient can see that we open a sterile instrument package for each procedure. All of our irrigation equipment also utilizes sterile solutions.

We exceed the standards that are required of us regarding cleanliness and sterilization. We keep the same sterilization protocols as if we were an outpatient surgical center or if we were working in a hospital setting. In fact, I am confident that we exceed those standards.

In the end, keeping our patients happy and healthy is a team effort. We view office cleanliness and sterilization as an important group endeavor.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us during our regular office hours by phone or email, or after hours if there is an emergency.

Dr. Leonard Spector


Sep 18, 2021

Oral surgery, to be truly successful, involves more than just efficient procedures. Putting patients at ease and establishing rapport are also important.

Putting patients at ease and establishing rapport will all start with the initial contact with our office. My office team is well trained and knowledgeable in first discussing why the patient has called the office, what will happen at their initial appointment, and in general what the patient can expect. Not only does the patient, before they come to the office, know what to expect, but we also have on our website online registration and information so that the patient understands our protocols.

I have also developed a very compassionate, very caring staff, and we try to make our office an extension of the general dentist’s office. When a patient is referred to our office, they can feel extremely comfortable knowing that they are going to get as appropriate care in our office as they would be getting in their dentist’s office.

I pride my specialty practice as a practice that not only is the patient coming just for the procedure but we also like to have the patient know that we are caring for them as a person. By having my practice set up as a solo practitioner rather than a large group practice, I have also been able to develop a certain personalized quality of care that follows my philosophy in practice.

During the initial contact with the patient, many times the first five to ten minutes is just spent talking to the patient, not only asking why they are here but also a little bit personally about them. I like them to get to know me, and then after that I want them to be sure that they know they are in the right place, and they are going to get appropriate care.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation or have any questions about our procedures, please feel free to call us or just send an email.

Dr. Leonard Spector

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