All in a Day’s Work

Full mouth reconstruction completed in a single visit.

A weekend trip to New England is just about all that Phoebe Dometrius needs to complete her goal of visiting all 50 states, and thanks to a newfound passion, she will likely take that trip before the new year runs out.

Photos courtesy of Bayway Dental.

Phoebe Dometrius & Dr. Sherberg

“My husband and I have done quite a bit of cruising the past couple years, not to Europe or anything like that, but to places here in North America,” says Phoebe, a 71-year-old retired nursing instructor. “That’s kind of our newfound thing.

“We really enjoy it, and one of our favorite places to visit is Canada and New England. It’s really beautiful, and I’ve got just three more states – Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut – to cross off my list, and I will have seen all fifty states.”

Residents of Texas previously, Phoebe and her husband moved to Florida in part to be closer to the cruise ports. Their move came five years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that Phoebe began trusting her teeth to a dentist here in the Sunshine State.

“I had a crown on my upper left front tooth that for years kept falling out,” Phoebe says. “My old dentist back in Texas tried to repair it, but it eventually got to a point where there was nothing left for the crown to hold on to.

“I was concerned that thing might fall out again, so I started looking for a dentist here. But I’d also lost some upper teeth over the years and had some others that were broken and aging, and it was very hard to eat with them.

“Mostly because of that front tooth, I was afraid to really bite into anything, so I was always breaking off pieces of my food and eating it that way. I knew all that needed to be fixed, and that’s why I eventually went to Bayway Dental in St. Petersburg.”

Bayway Dental is the practice of David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD. Dr. Sherberg is experienced in sedation dentistry and can perform most any dental procedure a patient requires. Upon first seeing Phoebe, he discovered she had even more trouble than she thought.

“She had the problem with the crown, and most of her upper back teeth were either missing, decayed or broken,” Dr. Sherberg reports. “But she also had a bite issue – a deep overbite – that was contributing to her teeth breaking.

“The good news was that she wasn’t in any pain at the time, but she knew she had to do something about her upper arch. She really wanted to improve her smile overall, so, from my perspective, the treatment option was obvious.

“If she wanted to be able to chew normally again, the way she did before she lost all of those teeth, the only option would be to do what we call an All-on-Four Protocol, where we give her a full, new upper arch secured by dental implants.”

Dental implants are root-shaped, screw-like bodies that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Once the implant is in the jawbone, new bone naturally grows around it to form the foundation for replacement teeth.

Replacement teeth can be a single crown that is either cemented to or screwed onto an abutment, a partial bridge that can be affixed to one or more implants, or a fixed upper or lower denture that can be fastened to a series of implants.

At Bayway Dental, the latter option calls for the removal of all remaining teeth and the placement of between four and six implants that are used to secure a temporary fixed denture that is later replaced by a permanent fixed denture.

“We call that the All-on-Four, All-on-Five or All-on-Six Protocol, and what’s great about it is that someone can literally have all their teeth taken out and then have their implants and temporary teeth placed that very same day,” Dr. Sherberg affirms.

“It has literally been fifty years since I bit into an apple, but now, I can do that again!” – Phoebe

“This is a far more convenient approach to replacement than what we had fifteen or twenty years ago, when we had to put eight to ten implants in each arch and then give the patient a regular bridge to go across it.

“That system worked well, but it took over a year to accomplish because you had to have multiple surgeries, including bone grafting, where you use patient bone or an artificial bone material to add volume to the jawbone so that it could properly support the implants.”

Depending on the amount of bone loss, which occurs naturally when teeth have been missing for a long period of time, patients needing bone grafting often had to wait up to four months for the graft to take to a point where the new bone could support an implant.

“But the All-on protocols usually do not require bone grafting, and that saves the patient time and money,” Dr. Sherberg adds. “And with this procedure, we do prosthetic planning where we analyze the patient’s jaw in 3-D and map the case out digitally.

“From the digital plan, we then make guides that we use during the surgery to make sure we’re placing the implants precisely where they need to be. Less than five percent of all dental implants are placed this way, but it’s an important step, so we do it at no additional cost.”

A Perfect Fit

Dr. Sherberg made use of all those tools in treating Phoebe, who was fit with implants and a temporary upper arch late last summer. She has since received her permanent prosthetic arch and says she couldn’t be happier with it.

“The upper arch I received is made of zirconia, and it’s really great,” Phoebe exudes. “For the first time in years – and I do mean years – I have really strong teeth. And I can bite into anything and eat anything. That is so nice.

“It has literally been fifty years since I bit into an apple but now, I can do that again. It’s so nice to have that confidence and not be afraid your tooth is going to break. And the fit is amazing.

Dr. Sherberg was so exact in fitting my arch that it fits perfectly.

“It’s stunning to me how great the fit is. It’s so much better than I ever assumed was even possible. But that’s because he uses the 3-D x-ray in the placement and because he really takes his time to make sure he does the best job he can for you.

“The other thing that’s great about this permanent arch is that the teeth are very smooth, like real teeth. Even the hygiene care is easier than I thought it would be. I use a water flosser, and because the teeth don’t come out, they’re very easy to clean.

“I’m so happy with the work Dr. Sherberg did with my upper teeth that I’m going to have the bottom teeth done, too. That’s how happy I am, and I couldn’t be happier with Dr. Sherberg’s staff. They’re all just wonderful.

“I was visiting family in Texas a while back and got an abscess on the bottom arch. When I called about it, the staff at Dr. Sherberg’s office made sure I got the antibiotics I needed right there in Texas, so I didn’t have to wait until I got home to take care of it.

“Honestly, his staff is as much a reason for going to Bayway Dental as Dr. Sherberg is. I’m impressed with every single one of them. They’re all so pleasant and professional, but they treat you like family. You can’t say that about too many places.”

Print This Article
    • Bayway Dental

      Dr. David Sherberg and his team are committed to providing exceptional dentistry in a relaxing environment in southern St. Petersburg. In addition to providing exceptional dental work, all patients are given plenty of time with Dr. Sherberg to ... Read More

    • David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD

      David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD, is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine who furthered his education through the postdoctoral Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program at Virginia Commonwealt... Read More