Rapid Restoration

Time-saving techniques speed up process for healthy, new smile.

Retired New York City school teacher Frank Plastini is not opposed to going the extra mile for good dental care. Not as long as he’s got someone to go the extra mile with him and can save a few bucks in the process.

Frank Plastini turned to Dr. Patel when he needed to find a new dentist, and the result was a rapid restoration.

Frank Plastini

“My wife and I were both school teachers, but the only dentist we could find that would accept our United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund insurance was way down in West Palm Beach,” the Palm Coast resident relates. “So for years, that’s where we went.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal as long as my wife was alive because we would make the trip together. But after my wife died last year, I really didn’t want to make that drive all by myself. So, I started looking for a new dentist closer to home.”

Acting on a recommendation from his daughter, Frank chose Jayraj J. Patel, DMD, of Palm Coast Family Dentistry. Dr. Patel’s practice doesn’t take Frank’s insurance, but Dr. Patel said he would help Frank file claims for any services he received and get reimbursement from his insurance, which was good enough for Frank.

“When I first went to see Dr. Patel, it was for an ordinary checkup, but I had been having some trouble with a bridge that I have in the back on the upper right side. It was giving me some discomfort, so I mentioned that to him as well,” Frank says.

In examining the bridge, Dr. Patel discovered that the cause of Frank’s discomfort was a pair of its anchor teeth – a molar and a bicuspid – that had decayed and fractured and were no longer strong enough to support the bridge.

Deemed non-restorable, the failed teeth needed to be removed. That would leave Frank with no original teeth behind his eye tooth on the upper right side, and because Frank had expressed to Dr. Patel that he did not want anything removable in his mouth such as a partial denture, he was left with virtually no other option but to get an implant-supported bridge.

An implant supported bridge works like any other bridge, but it is permanently anchored to dental implants, which are screw-like bodies that are surgically placed into the jawbone. In Frank’s case, two implants were needed to secure what would be a new bridge.

“I kind of knew what was coming because I had already done some research on dental implants,” Frank says. “It was the price of implants that kind of shocked me, but when Dr. Patel agreed to work with me on them, I decided to go with that.”

Three in One

Dr. Patel’s restoration of Frank’s teeth went quickly once Frank agreed to have the implants placed, in part because Dr. Patel has the skills and training to remove existing teeth and place multiple implants during the same appointment.

“During Frank’s first appointment, I also placed an implant on the upper left side where Frank had been missing a molar,” Dr. Patel informs. “I then finished up by doing some grafting using platelet-rich fibrin to help Frank heal faster.

Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) contains natural growth factors. To obtain it, blood is drawn from the patient and spun down in a centrifuge. The result is a clot-like substance that, when mixed with bone-grafting material, helps to heal faster.

The time it typically takes for the healing of implants to support either a fixed bridge or a single abutment upon which a crown is placed and to fabricate a bridge or crowns is four to six months. Thanks to Dr. Patel’s time-saving techniques, Frank’s jaw healed in about half that time.

“We started working with Frank in mid January,” Dr. Patel confirms. “By the end of March, he had the new fixed bridge on the upper right side and a new tooth in that space on the upper left side.

“That’s about two-and-a-half months for a procedure that could take four to six months, but the reason we were able to do that is because we pre-planned everything and we were able to combine his surgeries.

“By removing non-restorable teeth and placing the implants using platelet-rich fibrin all in one visit, we can save patients a lot of time. Another thing that helps to save us all a lot of time is our CAD/CAM machine, which we also used with Frank.”

More to Come

CAD/CAM stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. It is a machine that allows dentists to produce porcelain restorations such as fillings, abutments or crowns in a matter of minutes right in their office.

“That process used to take days or sometimes weeks, but we can now do it in-house on the spot,” Dr. Patel educates. “So that’s another timesaver that we have, and we used it for Frank to fabricate the crown on the upper left implant, the tooth in front of the implant and again when another problem developed in April.”

This latest issue occurred on the lower left side, where new decay developed under an existing crown. When Dr. Patel removed the crown, he found the decay was down into the root at the furcation area, which made that tooth non-restorable as well.

“It really is amazing what Dr. Patel has done for me.”-Frank

To correct the problem, Dr. Patel performed immediate implant placement therapy. He extracted the tooth and placed the implant in the extraction area along with grafting material and PRF in the same setting. He then used the CAD/CAM machine to produce the abutment and crown that fit on top of the implant.

“The extraction was done on the 26th of April and we got him the crown on July 12, so again, it was about a two-and-a-half-month process,” Dr. Patel notes. “And it was all possible because of our pre-planning and the technology we have at our disposal.”

Frank says the speed of the process was just one of many benefits he realized by choosing Dr. Patel and Palm Coast Family Dentistry as his new dentist.

“The best thing is that my new teeth feel just like my original teeth,” he raves. “They feel wonderful. There’s no discomfort, no nothing, and this is after having four implants put in. It really is amazing what Dr. Patel has done for me.

“But I’m not surprised because Dr. Patel really is a wonderful man. He’s kind, considerate and caring. He’s a very nice, gentle dentist. And I really want to emphasize that his whole staff is just like him.

“When you go into that office, there’s a real family atmosphere there. From the receptionist out front to the hygienist to the assistant that helps him while he’s doing his work on you, it’s a wonderful group of people.

“The best way for me to put it is, they got the name of the place right. It really is a family dentistry.”

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    • Palm Coast Family Dentistry

      At Palm Coast Family Dentistry, their goal is to provide best possible care to patients in a stress free environment in which patients have the opportunity to communicate with the entire dental team regarding their concerns about oral heal... 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