No More Movement

Rocking dentures resolved with dental implants.

For more than a year, Kevin Kovitz battled a chronic sinus infection that left him feeling miserable. His doctor prescribed a series of antibiotics, but none were totally effective at eliminating his discomfort. Finally, his doctor said, Kevin, I think you need to see a dentist.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Even the temporary dentures make Kevin and his wife, Laurie, smile.

Kevin, a native of South Georgia, had delayed regular dental visits when he moved to Florida to care for his elderly mother. He put on hold this one as well. However, the infection in Kevin’s head deepened, and the pain became excruciating.
“I had a couple of bad teeth on the top and a couple on the bottom. I was getting ready to do some dental work in Georgia when my father passed and I relocated to Sarasota to take care of my mother,” shares Kevin. “I put off my teeth for two years.
“Then, one Saturday in March, I was in so much pain I thought I was going to die. The pain was mostly in my gums and jaw. I said to my wife, I’m feeling really bad. I think I need to go to the hospital or an emergency dentist. I had a magnet on the refrigerator for an emergency dental practice; it was Siesta Dental.”
Siesta Dental is the practice of an experienced and accomplished dentist, Alexander Gaukhman, DMD. In addition to emergency services, Dr. Gaukhman provides quality general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry to patients at his offices in Sarasota, Venice and Osprey.
Kevin immediately called and made an appointment with Dr. Gaukhman. By the time he arrived at Siesta Dental, however, the pain had literally immobilized him.
“I felt so bad I actually laid down on the sidewalk in front of Dr. Gaukhman’s office,” he remembers. “Two women who work there came to check on me. They probably thought I was homeless or dead because I was just lying on the concrete. Dr. Gaukhman came out and asked me if I needed help, so he helped me get up and into the dental chair.
“Dr. Gaukhman told me what I thought were sinus infections were actually abscessed teeth, and I had a lot of infection in my mouth. He said it had been kind of a domino effect over time; my bad teeth infected the teeth that were okay. That day I had the first oral surgery. Dr. Gaukhman removed eighteen abscessed teeth.”
The dentist, with Kevin’s input, developed an extensive treatment plan. Dr. Gaukhman recommended full upper and lower dentures, with the lower denture securely anchored by dental implants.
“When I first met Kevin, he had significant infection in his gums and bone due to periodontal disease. This condition is still incurable, so the only way to eliminate the infection is to extract the infected teeth, which I did,” describes
Dr. Gaukhman. “I suggested he replace them with dentures.”
Kevin agreed with the recommendation and had a second oral surgery to remove his remaining teeth. Dr. Gaukhman took impressions of his mouth, and by the time Kevin was sedated and his teeth were removed, the denture was fabricated. Dr. Gaukhman installed it immediately.
When it was time to approve Dr. Gaukhman’s recommended treatment plan, Kevin considered all of his options. He’s glad he opted for an implant-retained lower denture.
“My wife and I decided if I was going to do dentures, why not do it right,” he notes. “When I’m done, I’ll have a traditional denture on the top, which
Dr. Gaukhman recommended because people don’t have problems with upper dentures. The bottoms are the issue,” relates Kevin. “He told me when you eat, lower dentures can start rocking and moving. I’ve got friends with dentures, and they agree the bottoms are a problem.
“We decided to put two implants in my bottom eyeteeth. Eventually,
Dr. Gaukhman will put magnets on the tops of those implants. The denture will click into place over the implants, and I won’t have to use adhesive at all.”

Natural Replacement

Dentures are often used to replace natural teeth that have been lost due to tooth decay, gum disease or injury. In most cases, upper dentures fit securely because the palate enables the creation of sufficient suction to hold the appliance in place.
“Lower dentures are often more difficult to keep stable. This is because there is no palate in the bottom jaw, due to the location of the tongue, and less suction is produced,” explains Dr. Gaukhman. “Securing a lower denture with dental implants is the most effective way to stabilize it. I recommended two implants to secure Kevin’s lower denture.”
Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone and serve as the foundation for replacement teeth, a denture in Kevin’s case. Implants are made of a titanium alloy that fuses with the patient’s bone to become a solid unit. When they’re secured by implants, the dentures don’t rock or move; they stay in place when wearers speak and eat.
At Siesta Dental, implants are often placed on the day of tooth extraction. The dentures are also created at that time.
“Once the patient’s problem is diagnosed and the treatment is determined, I take the impressions,” states Dr. Gaukhman. “When the dentures are ready, which is usually on the same day or the next day, I extract the teeth and put the dentures in right away. The dentures act like a bandage. They stop bleeding and limit swelling.
“For the next three to six months, I keep the patients in temporary dentures until the implants fuse and the gums heal. Then, I replace the temporary dentures with the permanent appliances.”
“Right now, I have temporary dentures with soft liners, which are great. I can’t even tell I’ve got them in my mouth,” reports Kevin. “The dental implant posts are in my jaw and they’re healing. Once they’re totally healed, Dr. Gaukhman will finish the implants and make the permanent dentures.”

Healthy Process

“I’m definitely pleased with Dr. Gaukhman’s process thus far. I highly recommend implant-retained dentures to anyone who has issues with their teeth.”
The treatment provided by the staff at Siesta Dental impressed Kevin. In addition to their regular dental care, the team also explained to him that his extensive infection could affect him elsewhere in his body. They suggested testing for a potentially deadly cardiac condition.
“Dr. Gaukhman also told me I should get my heart checked because all the infection in my mouth could have caused permanent damage to it,” comments Kevin. “I had my heart checked and I have no damage. Dr. Gaukhman and his staff at Siesta Dental saved my life that Saturday morning.”
Kevin’s care is ongoing, and he’s looking forward to the next few months. Then, his implants will be healed and he’ll get his permanent dentures. Still, he’s pleased with the work Dr. Gaukhman and his staff have already completed.
“I’m totally happy with my treatment,” he says. “Everyone at Siesta Dental is great. The staff is great. Dr. Gaukhman is amazing and a super dentist. He’s very gifted with his hands. I would recommend them to anybody!”

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      Venetian Dental is devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile. Their state-of-the art dental offices offer the latest in dental technology and patient amenities. They provide comprehensive treatment planning, and use r... Read More

    • Alexander Gaukhman, DMD

      Alexander Gaukhman, DMD, earned his dental degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Dentistry, Ft. Lauderdale. He completed his undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Dr. Gaukhman is a diplomate of the Inter... Read More