Animal Magnetism

From four teeth to beautiful smile through Dentures in a Day.

Lela Seiders has a way with animals. Even as a child, she found it easier to communicate with horses and dogs than with humans. Lela cultivated her affinity for animals into a career as a racehorse trainer and animal behaviorist that spanned nearly 50 years.

“I was born in the Chinese Year of the Horse, and I started training horses when I was 9 years old,” Lela details. “I specialized in horses that were abused by other trainers. I rehabbed them into productive racehorses. There are no classes you can take to learn to train horses. Either you can do it or you can’t.

“My other specialty was dogs with behavioral problems. I received great satisfaction in letting them be their authentic selves instead of the negative animals somebody else turned them into. But I didn’t actually train the dogs. I trained people to train their dogs.”

Before Lela retired, she spent 10 years in corporate America as a sales and marketing consultant to large pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Abbott. Her work with animals gave her a leg up in that role.

“It was an easy transition for me into the pharmaceutical industry because new drugs are used in the animal industry first,” Lela expounds. “I actually knew more than the pharmaceutical companies about how the drugs worked.”

Lela took many nasty spills during her time as a horse trainer. She suffered multiple concussions and 20 broken bones. Those injuries eventually healed, but one mishap resulted in a dental issue that plagued her for most of her adult life.

“A horse accidentally went over the top of me and crushed me against the asphalt,” Lela remembers. “My jaw was broken in half and had to be wired shut. The pressure crushed my teeth, and they just crumbled and fell out over the years.

“I couldn’t eat apples or anything else that required a lot of chewing due to constant infections in my teeth and exposed nerves. And I always covered my mouth when I smiled because my teeth looked so bad.”

When Lela’s dental situation deteriorated to a point where she had to take action, she turned to Alexander Gaukhman, DMD, a skilled general, cosmetic and emergency dentist at Siesta Dental, which operates offices in Sarasota, Venice and Osprey.“When Lela came to us in 2017, she had only four teeth remaining, which were supporting partial dentures,”

Dr. Gaukhman reports. “But those four teeth were failing, so I recommended extracting the teeth and fitting her with a traditional full upper denture and a lower denture secured by dental implants.”

Snap-On Teeth

Lela's Headshot

Lela is thrilled with the results of her Dentures in a Day procedure.

Generally, upper dentures fit securely in the mouth without dental implants because the palate creates sufficient suction to hold the appliances in place. Lower dentures are a different story.

“Lower dentures are often difficult to stabilize because the lower jaw is not designed for dentures,” Dr. Gaukhman maintains. “There’s no palate in the lower jaw due to the location of the tongue, and because of that less suction is produced. As a result, lower dentures tend to slip and slide.

“It’s rare when people can wear lower dentures that don’t bother them or stay tight without help. Securing a lower denture with dental implants is the most effective way to stabilize it. That’s the reason I recommended placing two implants to secure Lela’s lower denture.”

Dental implants are screw-like posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as the foundation for replacement teeth, such as crowns and dentures. When dentures are secured by implants, they don’t slip or move; they stay in place when patients speak and eat.

“Implant dentures provide added strength for biting and chewing,” Dr. Gaukhman confirms. “And because the dentures are stable, the patient experiences better speech, better aesthetics and greater self-confidence. They don’t have to worry about the denture coming out during dinner, conversation or activity. And while teeth decay, dental implants never decay.”

In treating Lela, Dr. Gaukhman used Dentures in a Day, a single-visit smile restoration technique, to give her a new smile. As part of the process, Dr. Gaukhman places the implants on the same day he extracts the teeth. In most cases, temporary dentures are also created that day in Siesta Dental’s on-site laboratory.

“We begin Dentures in a Day by taking impressions of the patient’s teeth,” Dr. Gaukhman explains. “It takes a few hours for the lab to fabricate the dentures, but once they’re ready, we extract the teeth, put in the implants and place the dentures right away. This way, patients do not have to walk around without teeth. And by placing the dentures immediately after tooth extraction, they act as a bandage
to minimize swelling and bleeding.

“The patient wears the temporary denture for three to six months following the implant procedure. The time allows for the implants to integrate with the jawbone and for the tissues to heal. At that point, the temporary denture is replaced with a permanent appliance that attaches to the implants. Once the permanent dentures are placed, we make any necessary adjustments to ensure a perfect fit.”

“Huge Confidence Booster”

Lela, whose lower denture is secured by two dental implants, says she’s absolutely thrilled with the results of her Dentures in a Day procedure.

“My denture snaps onto the two implants, and it stays put,” Lela confirms. “It doesn’t move at all when I talk or eat. Now I can eat foods that I couldn’t before, and there’s no speech impediment from it either. “It looks great, too. Very natural. I used to put my hand in front of my mouth when I smiled, but now I just smile. That’s a huge confidence-booster.”

I used to put my hand in front of my mouth when I smiled, but now I just smile. That’s a huge confidence-booster.”  – Lela

She lauds Dr. Gaukhman for his compassion, skill, professionalism and perfectionism.

“There’ve been times that I’ve called Siesta Dental and Dr. Gaukhman answers the phone himself. How many doctors’ offices do you call and the doctor answers the phone?”

Lela says. “That really impressed me about Dr. Gaukhman.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Patient photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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    • Alexander Gaukhman, DMD

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