Cross Out That Bridge

Dental implants provide better stability, function than ill-fitting partials.

When Fran Malinowski was 2 years old, her mother plopped her down on the back of a pony for a short ride around a stable. Fran still has a picture of herself from that moment, which sparked a unique bond between Fran and horses that remains strong.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Thanks to IV sedation, Fran “didn’t feel a thing” during her dental implant procedure.

“My mother once asked me, What is it with you and horses? because she and my dad were city people and I grew up in a subdivision,” Fran remembers, “I told her, I think it goes back to that day you put me on a horse for the first time.

“Something must have clicked there because, as my mother used to say, It’s horses, horses, horses with you all the time. And it really has been that way all my life. I bought my first horse when I was 20, and they have been a big part of my life ever since.”

Fran, 63, currently owns two horses, a pinto named Apache and a miniature named Biscuit. She says she’ll never give them up because they’re great companions and constantly bring her pleasure and joy.

“Even as an adult, when things aren’t going your way, that four-legged creature with the kind eyes has a way of looking at you that just melts your heart and makes all your problems go away,” Fran says. “That’s how it is with me anyway.”

One such problem materialized a couple of years ago when Fran developed a bad toothache. What made the problem worse was that the dentist who cared for Fran for years had recently retired.

“I was searching for a dentist, and I found one who was going to give me an exam and an estimate,” Fran says. “While I was waiting to see him, though, I saw a copy of Volusia Health Care News in the waiting room and started looking through it.

“It was in there that I read about another dentist in the area. I wasn’t all that comfortable with the dentist I had seen, so after my appointment I took a copy of the paper home and later called to make an appointment with the other dentist. I’m glad I did.”

A Bone To Pick

The dentist Fran read about is Rajiv Patel, BDS, MDS, founder of DeLand Implant Dentistry. During her initial visit, in 2018, Dr. Patel discovered the cause of Fran’s problem was advanced decay in two teeth beneath an existing bridge.

“Fran mentioned the bridge was not working very well for her,” Dr. Patel reports. “One of the reasons is because she has what is known as bony exostosis, which is extra bone growth or bone spurs all around her mouth. When someone has this extra bone growth, the fabrication of any removable prosthesis is tricky and usually not successful. That is, unless you go through major surgery to remove that extra growth, which she had not.

“My suggestion was to extract the two decaying teeth, get rid of the partial and replace her missing teeth with dental implants. She was very much open to the idea because she had received some implants before and was very happy with the result.”

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 an abutment and replacement teeth.

“I could not be more pleased that I found DeLand Implant Dentistry.”

The replacement teeth can be a single crown that is cemented or screwed onto the abutment, a partial bridge that can be affixed to one or more implants, or a full denture that can be fastened to a series of implants.

Prior to placing an implant, some patients require a bone grafting procedure that is designed to enhance the volume of the jawbone so that it can properly support the implant. The amount of time needed for the bone development is about three months.

Bone grafts are not always necessary, but with patients who have been missing teeth for many years, a graft is sometimes required because bone mass deteriorates when there is no pressure from chewing to stimulate natural bone regeneration.

Bone grafts are typically done at the time the implants are seated. The implants then need three to six months to heal before they can support a prosthetic. During the healing period, patients are usually fit with temporary replacement teeth.

Fran did not require bone grafts.

A Great Tool

Fran gets quite anxious when visiting a dentist, so she required another treatment that Dr. Rajiv Patel and his partner at the practice, Jayraj J. Patel, DMD, are certified to offer: intravenous sedation.

This is a monitored form of anesthesia delivered intravenously that allows the patient to remain in a state of twilight sleep during intense procedures. Dr. Rajiv Patel says it is a great tool that benefits the patient and the dentist.

“With intravenous sedation, we can control the depth of conscious sedation that is desired, and that allows us to get a lot of work accomplished in a short period of time,” the doctor educates. “That results in fewer appointments for the patient.”

Fran calls IV sedation a “wonderful” tool. She says it allowed her to remain calm and relaxed throughout her procedure, in which three implants were placed in the back of her lower left arch. Fran was later fit with a couple of new crowns and two other implants. Dr. Jayraj Patel performed the latter work, which Fran says was absolutely pain-free.

“Because of the IV sedation, I didn’t feel a thing,” she raves. “And I have to tell you that I could not be more pleased that I found DeLand Implant Dentistry, because they got me out of my old partial that always hurt.

“I really appreciate the work they do and how caring they are. They even call to check up on you the night after a procedure. They’re just great, and that’s why I’ve already recommended them to several of my friends and even my lawyer.”

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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

    • Jayraj J. Patel, DMD

      Jayraj J. Patel, DMD, has been practicing general dentistry in the Central Florida region since graduating from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. His goal is to deliver comprehensive, compassionate care to his patients in a c... Read More