One for All

Revered practice is one-stop shop for all dental needs.

Stock photo from iStockPhoto.Like the tail on a kite, a team of black Labrador Retriever puppies follows Karen* out the back door of her DeLand-area home and into the backyard, where half a dozen older Labs are now excitedly awaiting Karen’s arrival.

“It’s dinner time; that’s why they’re so excited,” explains Karen, a 58-year-old dog breeder who has been breeding and showing Labradors since her family moved to Florida from South Dakota 34 years ago.

“My father bred Labs as just sort of a side job back when I was a kid,” Karen continues. “He was planning to give it up after we moved to Florida, but shortly after we got here, one of the two dogs we brought with us had a litter.

“I was just out of college and looking for work at the time, so I took care of the puppies until we sold them and decided after that to keep on breeding them. I started showing them a few years later, and it was at a show that I met my husband.”

One of Karen’s prize dogs, a yellow Labrador named Cleo, served as the ring bearer at her wedding, carrying the rings in a small basket dangling from her collar. The beaming smile that Karen wore that day has since faded a bit.

“I’ve had a lot of trouble with my teeth over the years, the back ones especially,” Karen reveals. “I lost a lower left molar when I was in my teens and had to have another one right next to it pulled when I was in my thirties.

“I was fit with a bridge, and for years, the bridge was fine, but then one of the teeth that supported the bridge got infected. I wasn’t very happy with the dentist I’d been seeing, so I decided instead to go see this dentist I read about in Volusia Health Care News.”

The Implant Option

The dentist Karen read about is Rajiv Patel, BDS, MDS, the founder of DeLand Implant Dentistry. Upon first seeing her in March 2017, Dr. Patel performed a thorough examination of Karen and presented her with two options as solutions for her problem.

The first was to fashion a new bridge. The second, which Dr. Patel recommended because the supporting teeth were no longer strong enough to properly support a bridge, was to replace the missing teeth with dental implants.

Dental implants are screw-like posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone. After an implant is seated in the jaw, bone naturally grows around it to create a solid foundation for replacement teeth.

A single implant supports an abutment and a crown for a single tooth, while two or more implants can support a fixed bridge or a full denture. Karen accepted Dr. Patel’s recommendation and was eventually fit with two implants and a fixed bridge.

Prior to doing that work, however, Dr. Patel had to perform a bone graft because Karen’s jaw bone had deteriorated in the area where she had long been missing the two lower molars. That type of deterioration, Dr. Patel informs, is natural.

“Bone mass diminishes with tooth loss because there is no longer anything there to stimulate bone regeneration in the jaw,” Dr. Patel educates. “That’s why we often need to perform bone grafts for patients who have been missing teeth for a long time.”

Bone grafts can be performed using residual bone collected from the patient while preparing the jaw for implant placement, a bone substitute material or a combination of the two. No matter the choice, it takes between three and six months for new bone to grow.

In some cases, however, the bone graft can be performed at the same time the implant is seated. That is what Dr. Patel did with Karen, who was immediately fit with a temporary bridge that she wore for about four months. She then received her permanent bridge.

In the meantime, Dr. Patel found another problem that needed his attention. This one revolved around Karen’s upper right bicuspid, which had once received a failed root canal and was now the site of an area of abscess.

The poor condition of that tooth required that it be removed, but when Dr. Patel removed it, he found that the deterioration of supporting bone extended all the way into the sinus cavity. Once again, he recommended a bone graft and a dental implant.

“In this case, we needed to perform a lot of bone grafting to close the sinus,” Dr. Patel informs. “We also used platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin, which are blood products derived from the patient’s own blood, during the bone grafting procedure.”

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) are regenerative blood products that are produced by first drawing blood from the patient. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge, where the growth factors are separated. Growth factors are specialized proteins that control essential activities in many types of cells.

In the final stage of the process, the growth factors are reintroduced into the patient’s body, where they accelerate healing of both soft and hard tissue. Dr. Patel can produce PRP and PRF right in his own office, which is certainly a major advantage for his patients.

Worth the Wait

“We’re like a one-stop shop for all your dental needs,” Dr. Patel says, “and Karen is a good example of what that means for patients. She needed a lot of advanced dental work done, and we were able to accommodate her without sending her somewhere else.

“She came in here with a complaint about an old, failing bridge and had an abscessed tooth. We were able to correct those issues by performing the bone-grafting procedures with the PRP and fitting her with dental implants.”

Karen received her permanent fixed bridge and the permanent crown for her failed upper bicuspid in the summer of 2017. She was so thrilled with the outcome that she has since made Dr. Patel her permanent dentist.

“I’m so glad I chose to get the implants instead of a new bridge for my bottom teeth because having implants is just like having real teeth,” Karen exudes. “They don’t move at all, and you don’t have to take them out to clean them.

“The implant process is a long one, but it’s worth it in the end, and I love it. I can’t tell you how happy I am with what Dr. Patel did for me. I’m so thrilled with him that I even recommended him to a cousin of mine.

“She just came down here from Minnesota for college and needed a dentist. I told her to go to Dr. Patel, which she did, and she’s as happy with him as I am. He’s very good and very friendly, and his whole staff is the same way.

“This may sound kind of funny, but I’ve always hated getting my teeth cleaned. There’s just something about it that bothers me, but now that I’m going to DeLand Implant Dentistry for cleanings, I don’t mind them at all.”

*Patient’s name withheld at her request.
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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