Synchronized Strategy

Dental implants, bone grafts placed on day of tooth extraction.

In her free time, Carolyn enjoys traveling and outdoor activities such as boating and kayaking. A couple years ago, a dental problem suddenly developed that took a lot of the joy out of all those activities.

Dr. Michael Hashemian of The Dentofacial & Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Lecanto, Spring Hill and Land O’ Lakes treated Carolyn Murphy’s failing teeth with dental implants.

Carolyn smiles proudly while showing off
her new puppy Whiskey.

“A few of my back teeth started breaking,” the Long Island, New York native recalls. “They got soft from medication I took for some time, and they just fell apart. Sometimes when I chewed, a piece of a molar would break off.

“The pain was excruciating because the teeth were broken below the gumline. It was a pulsing, throbbing pain that I couldn’t get rid of. Having no back teeth to bite down on really limited what I could eat. I watched what I chewed, so I didn’t break anything else or cause more damage than I already had.

“I was single when this occurred, and with my teeth the way they were, I shied away from smiling because I didn’t want to be embarrassed. I didn’t want people to see me like that. It made me look older than I was.

“My bad teeth were causing infections as well and were deemed unrepairable. They had to be pulled. My dentist referred me to Dr. Hashemian, and he took care of me from there.”

Michael Hashemian, MD, DMD, is a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon at The Dentofacial & Cosmetic Surgery Institute, which has offices in Lecanto, Land O’ Lakes and Spring Hill. After evaluating Carolyn’s situation, Dr. Hashemian made a treatment recommendation that addressed both her dental and personal concerns.

“Carolyn was referred to me for extraction and replacement of two decayed molars,” Dr. Hashemian remembers. “This was significant for her because she is very young and was losing two permanent teeth. She wanted to replace them with a more permanent solution, so we chose dental implants rather than bridges.”

Dental implants are screw-like titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone, where they fuse with the bone and become a solid unit. They serve as stable, secure and enduring foundations for replacement teeth, crowns in Carolyn’s case.

Since Carolyn was single and had no family in the area, she didn’t have anyone to drive her home after her implant procedure. Therefore, she couldn’t be completely sedated. While that was disappointing to her, she says Dr. Hashemian went out of his way to make her as
comfortable as possible throughout the process.

“Most people get knocked out, then have a ride home afterward,” Carolyn states. “I didn’t have a ride, so I just got a local while the work was being done. But Dr. Hashemian was very kind. He made sure I was numb before he started his work and asked me while he was doing it if I felt any pain. He has a great chairside manner.”

Simultaneous Surgery

Formerly, the implant process called for oral surgeons such as Dr. Hashemian to extract the patient’s failing teeth during one dental appointment, then wait three to six months before placing the dental implants during a second appointment. It’s no longer done that way at The Dentofacial & Cosmetic Surgery Institute.

“Today, the process is simultaneous,” Dr. Hashemian informs. “We can remove the teeth, add bone grafts and place the implants on the same day. This is good for patients because they undergo one surgical procedure instead of two. It also saves them time and money, and it is a very good treatment.”

In Carolyn’s case, a bone graft was necessary at the time of her implant placement. Dr. Hashemian explains that this is common due mostly to the shape of the socket that is left after a tooth is pulled.

“Most of the time, the socket is oval-shaped,” Dr. Hashemian describes. “But the dental implants are round, so there are some gaps. We add the bone graft around the implant so that after approximately four months, when the implant is healed, it is well encased into the jawbone.

“Sometimes, we discover when we remove the teeth that the width of the jawbone is too small to adequately hold the implants. In these cases, we perform ridge augmentation. We split the bony ridge to widen it, then we place the implants. Again, this is a one-day process that saves patients time and money.”

Once Carolyn’s implants fused with her jawbone, which took about four months, she returned to Dr. Hashemian. At that time, the oral surgeon added abutments, which are silver-colored attachment pieces that sit atop the implants. The abutments connect the implants to the replacement teeth. Carolyn then went to her dentist to have the crowns applied.

“After a while, I went back to Dr. Hashemian for the second step of the procedure,” Carolyn confirms. “The entire process took a little time, but I wasn’t in pain in the middle of it all, so it wasn’t really bothersome.

Dr. Michael Hashemian of The Dentofacial & Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Lecanto, Spring Hill and Land O’ Lakes treated Carolyn Murphy’s failing teeth with dental implants.

Carolyn Murphy

“Dr. Hashemian and my dentist worked as a team. They did a great job of making sure the crowns were the right color and fit. My dentist put on the crowns, and that was great. There were no issues with that part of the process.” 

“Life Is Better”

The simultaneous implant process worked out well for Carolyn, and her treatment was delivered without complications. She’s excited that Dr. Hashemian’s implant procedures are completed and she’s received the crowns from her dentist. And she’s thrilled with the results of their work. 

“My teeth are perfect. I’m very pleased,” she raves. “They don’t hurt. I eat everything I want. I don’t have any problems anymore.

“I’m very happy with the final product. I’m happy that I can chew. I’m happy that I have my teeth at forty and I didn’t have to go to a denture or a bridge. Instead, I have something permanent that hopefully will last me the rest of my life.”

Before receiving her new teeth, Carolyn was embarrassed of her smile, and that negatively impacted her self-image. All that changed after her treatment from Dr. Hashemian.

“My new teeth gave me back my self-confidence,” Carolyn enthuses. “Having nice teeth definitely makes me smile more, so life is better.

“I had a great experience at The Dentofacial and Cosmetic Surgery Institute. I most definitely recommend the practice, Dr. Hashemian and dental implants.
They’re great!”

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