Family Matters

Advanced treatment, personalized care win over husband, wife.

Jane Dacri was celebrating the arrival of 2014 with her husband, Joe, and a few close friends at a New Year’s Eve party when a bite into a celery stick guaranteed that her first resolution of the new year would be repairing a damaged tooth.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Joe and Jane Dacri

“I took a bite of that celery stick, and a piece of my tooth just broke right off,” remembers Jane, 67. “It wasn’t a front tooth, thankfully. It was one of the upper teeth off to the side, but it was still in my smile line.”
Fearful of dentists since she was a little girl, Jane had nevertheless been visiting a dentist for routine maintenance and checkups for years, but her emergency trip to that dentist a few days later didn’t go the way she hoped it would.
“That dentist told me he couldn’t do all the work that needed to be done to fix my tooth,” Jane says. “He told me I was going to have to go to one dentist for this and then to another dentist for something else. I didn’t like the sound of that.
“He told me I was going to need an implant done, so I started looking for someone who did that kind of work. A few days later, I drove by a dentist’s office that had implant in its name and decided to go in and see if they could do the work.”
The practice Jane found is DeLand Implant Dentistry, which was founded 30 years ago by Rajiv Patel, BDS, a board-certified implantologist who vows to deliver advanced, personalized and comprehensive care in a comfortable, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

One-Stop Dentistry

During her first visit with Dr. Patel, Jane learned that unlike her regular dentist, he could indeed do all the work necessary to correct her problem. That was all she and her husband needed to make a permanent switch in dentists.
“I had been seeing the same dentist Jane was, but I remember sitting there with Jane and hearing Dr. Patel explain all that he could do for her and thinking, I need some work done on a few crowns myself,” Joe explains.
“That’s how Jane and I made the switch to DeLand Implant Dentistry. I eventually had two or three crowns done, and I was really impressed and pleased with the work.
“One of the things I was most impressed by was the way the crowns were made right there in Dr. Patel’s office. I didn’t have to wait until some lab made them and tested them. Everything was done right there, and they even let me watch while they made them.
“They have this machine with a laser that cuts the crown out of a piece of porcelain. It only takes a few minutes and then they try it on you and make little adjustments until it fits and feels just right. The whole process only took a couple of hours.”
The machine used to make Joe’s crowns is called a CEREC. Dr. Patel eventually used that machine to fashion a new crown for Jane as well, but not before he had to remove the broken tooth and replace it with a dental implant.
Implants are screw-like posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as the foundation for replacement teeth, such as crowns or dentures. The implant supports an abutment. The crown is placed on top of the abutment, creating a new tooth.
Learning that she needed to have her broken tooth pulled and replaced with an implant caused Jane a bit of anxiety because of her longstanding fear of dentists.
“Going to the dentist was always a big trauma to me, and the idea of getting an implant done was really scary,” she says. “But Dr. Patel did a great job of explaining everything he was going to do and why, and that really allayed my fears. In the end, the whole thing was pain free, and it turned out to be a great experience.”
Jane wound up going through a similar experience just last year. After years of ignoring a problem that had been present since she was a young adult, she finally decided to have a missing molar replaced and turned to Dr. Patel to do the work.

A Unique Challenge

“I was in my twenties when I had to have this tooth pulled, and at the time, I couldn’t afford to have it replaced,” Jane informs. “Now that I’m older, I want to make sure I have a good bite and can chew my food properly, so I decided to get it fixed.”
Jane’s decision presented Dr. Patel with a unique challenge. The missing tooth was a lower right molar. It had been missing for so long, though, that its absence had caused significant deterioration of the jaw bone in the area that once surrounded it.
“There is nothing in the back behind that tooth to support a bridge, so an implant was our only option,” explains Dr. Patel. “But in her case, she was missing so much bone that we had to do a procedure called a vascularized ridge split.
A three-phase vascularized ridge split procedure saves the patient time and money because it eliminates the bone grafting procedure that is usually done when a patient lacks the amount of bone required to secure an implant.
During the first step in that process, the soft tissue is enhanced through a grafting procedure. Then, the area where the split will eventually be made is designated. Finally, the split itself is made, in which the bone is widened to allow for placement of the implants.
The healing phase for this pain-free procedure is about six weeks, according to Dr. Patel. During those six weeks, the vascularity of the bone is reestablished, which allows for greater security of the implant and the crown it supports.
“I went back to Dr. Patel a few times after the implant was placed, just to make sure everything was looking good, and then he made the crown, and it was the same color as all my other teeth,” Jane says. “The whole thing was very impressive.
“I especially liked that he was able to do everything in his office and that I didn’t have to go anywhere else for different appointments. Now, I just go back for cleanings and checkups because he does regular dentistry, too.
“That’s the great thing about Dr. Patel: He does everything, and that’s why I’ve recommended him to so many people. If I’m talking to someone and they say they’re having a problem with a tooth or anything, I tell them to go to Dr. Patel.
“I always speak very highly of him and send as many people his way as I can because I really appreciate all that he’s done for Joe and me.”

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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