Conquering Challenges

Whatever the issue, father-son dentists restore smiles.

Richard “R.C.” Besteder received good dental care while he served as a chaplain in the Air Force. When he retired from the service in 1995, his access to those high-quality dentists was cut off. Unfortunately, his need for their care only increased.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Richard and Elaine Besteder are all smiles after visiting Deland Implant Dentistry

Over the years, R.C. lost so many teeth on the bottom right that he couldn’t bite or chew on that side of his mouth. In addition, a partial denture or bridge, installed years before to fill a gap left by the loss of his bottom middle tooth in a childhood wrestling match, had become obsolete and needed to be replaced.
“I had a lot of cavities and fillings all over the place,” R.C. recalls. “I ate a lot of sweets, drank soda pop and stuff, which I shouldn’t have.”
R.C.’s wife, Elaine, had a similar dental history. She lost at least eight teeth over the years and in some of the teeth that remained, she had cavities that needed filling. Her situation was such that steak, apples and other foods became difficult to eat, and she became self-conscious of her smile, which she described as “unattractive.”
One day, as R.C. drove one of the couple’s dogs to and from their veterinarian, he saw the sign outside DeLand Implant Dentistry and decided to make an appointment for a cleaning. During his initial visit, he was examined by Darshan Patel, DMD.
“Mr. Besteder came in for routine dental care and to make sure he didn’t have any infections or cavities,” Dr. Patel recalls. “That led to a discussion of his missing teeth and how it affected his bite and chewing abilities.”
Chewing on one side of the mouth can put too much stress on the teeth and the temporomandibular joint, potentially causing fractures and compromising movement of the joint and surrounding muscles, Dr. Patel cautions.
“It’s like putting on just one shoe and walking around with the other foot bare,” he compares.
Fortunately, R.C. didn’t experience any symptoms or more complicated issues.
“Next, we decided to look into how we could fill in some of those spaces with implants and implant crowns,” Dr. Patel continues. “It was something he was open to, so we did the diagnostic workup, which includes a CT scan and computerized planning of where the implants would be placed with his existing bone and how the teeth would look afterward in various implant positions.
“We do all of that digitally, on the computer, so the patient can see what their teeth and their bite will look like before the procedure is actually performed,” Dr. Patel explains. “Based off that planning, we ordered surgical guides that allowed us to place the implants exactly how we had planned them.”

Long-Term Solution

The actual implant process involves surgical placement of the titanium implant, which serves as an artificial tooth root anchored in the jawbone; attachment of a post, or abutment, once the implant is sufficiently healed, which usually takes from three to six months; and restoration of the tooth with a crown that’s attached to the abutment.
R.C.’s CT scan indicated he had enough natural bone to properly anchor the implant, “so everything went smoothly,” Dr. Patel reports. “I placed three implants for him and made him a three-unit bridge to give him teeth on his lower right side.”
The entire process took four to six months. Meanwhile, Elaine decided to have her teeth fixed, too, so she could eat properly. R.C. recommended DeLand Implant Dentistry. She scheduled a consultation with Dr. Patel’s father, Rajiv, a board-certified implantologist who founded the practice 30 years ago.
“She came to us with a lot of issues with her teeth,” he recounts. “She lost back teeth on the lower arch and some upper teeth on the back side. She also had cavities in her remaining teeth and was looking for a long-term solution.”
Over the next two years, Dr. Rajiv Patel placed crowns on about a dozen of Elaine’s teeth to preserve them and replaced her missing teeth with implant-supported restorations.
“Implants are best to replace missing teeth,” he stresses, “but there is no comparison with natural teeth, which are the best.”
Because the alveolar ridge – the bone beneath Elaine’s missing teeth – had
atrophied, Dr. Patel needed to shore it up to support the implants. Rather than do a graft with cadaver bone, he performed a ridge-split procedure to increase the width of her jawbone. This minimally invasive method involves cutting narrow horizontal and vertical slits into the bone and carefully spreading it.

No Pain, Much Gain

Placing the implant is painless, assures Dr. Patel, who notes that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) technology led to improved healing for both Elaine and R.C. It also aided the process by reducing discomfort and swelling, which helps to avoid post-operative complications.
A PRP gel is created by placing a sample of the patient’s blood into a centrifuge to separate plasma from red blood cells. The dentists use a second centrifuge to concentrate platelets that contain growth factors. The growth factors stimulate stem cells to quickly produce new tissue. The dentists then apply the gel to the implant site.
“My dad always jokes with his patients that once we place these implants, we’re going to be married,” Dr. Darshan Patel says. “We keep following up to make sure nothing’s changing with their bite, they feel comfortable and they’re still able to chew.”
The Patels’ goal is to deliver advanced, personalized, comprehensive care – from routine fillings to root canals, dentures, crowns, braces, implants, denture repairs and reconstructive surgery – in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.
The Besteders, who sing the praises of the practice’s state-of-the-art equipment, affable staff and skilled, knowledgeable practitioners, say DeLand Implant Dentistry succeeded on all counts.
“I’m very satisfied; the work they did was superb,” says Elaine, who is back to eating the foods she was avoiding prior to receiving her care. “It takes you a while to get used to having something you didn’t have for so long, but it’s so pleasant.”
R.C. concurs. His smile has been restored, and he can now chew on the right side of his mouth again.
“My teeth look very nice now and so do my wife’s,” he enthuses. “Just like Elaine, I’m very satisfied with the results. I can’t see where you could find a better dentist in this area than Dr. Patel. I’ve known a lot of dentists, including some in the military who were really good, but he’s the best, absolutely.”

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    • Deland Implant Dentistry

      Rajiv Patel BDS, MDS, has practiced general dentistry in Deland, Florida for more than 26 years. He strives to deliver the most advanced, personalized, comprehensive and professional dental care to his patients while building relationships b... Read More

    • Rajiv Patel, BDS, MDS

      Rajiv Patel, BDS, MDS, has practiced general dentistry in DeLand for more than 25 years. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, and Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. With hundreds of h... Read More

    • Darshan Patel, DMD

      Darshan Patel, DMD, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He is currently pursuing a fellowship with the American Academy of Impla... Read More