Membership Has Its Privileges

Family benefits from comprehensive dental care program

What is it with college students and ceiling tiles? Across the 21 years that he worked in the maintenance department and as the warehouse supervisor at Stetson University, that’s a question David Lowery often asked himself.

David Lowery

David Lowery


“Ceiling tiles were a big issue in the dormitories,” David says with a chuckle. “Right along with screws, nuts, paint and caulking, we always had to make sure we had plenty of ceiling tiles on hand because we had to change them out a lot.”

David spent seven years in maintenance before transferring to the warehouse. He enjoyed the work, but not as much as he enjoyed the benefits, which included a break on tuition for his daughter.

“That was the best benefit,” David notes. “But we also got major holidays off, so we had a lot of nice, long weekends. And we got that 10- to 12-day break at Christmas every year, so it was a good job. I was proud to work for Stetson University.”

With his daughter graduating from Stetson, David feels like he’ll always be a part of the university’s extended family. He feels the same way about the dental practice that serves him, DeLand Implant Dentistry.

David discovered the practice nearly 20 years ago while searching for a replacement for a dentist who had retired. When three potential replacements proved inadequate, David’s son suggested DeLand Implant Dentistry.

At the time, the practice was “a small operation,” according to David. 

The founder, Rajiv Patel, BDS, MDS, was the only dentist. Now, Dr. Patel has his nephew, Jayraj J. Patel, DMD, working with him, but one thing remains the same about the practice.

“The care and service you get there is as good as it gets,” David enthuses. “I have complete confidence in what they tell me and how they describe what needs to be done. That’s why my whole family has been going there for close to 20 years.”

On the Move 

David and his family participate in the DeLand Implant Dentistry membership program, which allows for free cleanings and discounts on major dental work. Being a member proved especially beneficial last year when a long-standing issue needed to be addressed.

The concern stemmed from a situation that developed long before David became a patient of DeLand Implant Dentistry when he opted to have a cracked lower-right molar pulled instead of receiving a crown and being fit with a bridge.

“I didn’t want a bridge because I’d heard so many people say that they’re just a pain in the neck,” David confesses. “But come last year, Dr. Jayraj Patel pointed out that an issue they’d been monitoring for a few years finally needed to be taken care of.”

As a result of the open space left by the missing molar, one of the teeth next to it was shifting forward into the space. Meanwhile, the tooth above the missing molar was moving down and into that space as well.

“We call this super eruption,” Dr. Patel educates. “What that means is if the teeth don’t have a place to stop, they’ll keep moving until they do. And if you don’t treat this problem, the teeth will eventually lose their connection to the bone.

“When that happens, the amount of root covered by bone decreases. That can lead to several other issues, including root sensitivity and periodontal issues, and then you’re requiring even more work down the road. That’s where David was heading.”

To halt the progression of teeth moving into the molar space, Dr. Patel recommended that David be fit there with a dental implant.

Dental implants are screw-like posts made of a titanium alloy placed in the jaw, where they fuse with the jawbone. Once the implant is in the jaw, bone naturally grows around it to form the foundation for an abutment and replacement teeth.

The replacement teeth can be a crown that is cemented or screwed onto the abutment, a partial bridge that can be affixed to one or more implants, or a full denture that can be fastened to a series of implants.

Prior to placing an implant, some patients require a bone grafting procedure designed to enhance the volume of the jawbone, so it can properly support the implant. The amount of time needed for the bone development is about three months.

Bone grafts are not always necessary, but with patients who have been missing teeth for many years a graft is sometimes required because bone mass deteriorates when there is no pressure from chewing to stimulate natural bone regeneration.

Because David’s molar had been gone for so long, Dr. Patel thought David would require a graft, but a 3D scan showed that David had enough bone to seat the implant.

Courteous and Comfortable 

That implant was placed in June 2020. Four months later, after enough bone had grown around the implant to secure it in the jaw, Dr. Patel completed the project by placing the abutment and finished off the new tooth with a crown.

The implant was just the latest and most advanced treatment David has received at DeLand Implant Dentistry. He’s also had cleanings, fillings replaced and crowns fitted, and he says he’s fortunate to have found such an accomplished team to perform that work.

“I’m delighted with my results all the way around,” David enthuses. “I’ve had an excellent experience with the Patels. As I said before, I have confidence in going to see them. I can’t say that about every doctor I visit.

“The Patels have always been very careful and courteous, and they go out of the way to make sure you feel comfortable. My family appreciates that. We have very good dentists, and we recommend them to anyone.”

© FHCN article Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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      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

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      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

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