Quality Assurance

Retiree’s smile, chewing function restored.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Daniel Innes

When Daniel Innes, 68, was attending Eastern Michigan University, he thought it was a good idea to work for a while at Ford Motor Company to earn extra cash while going to school. His temporary job turned into a career that spanned 30 years.

“It was one of those things where I was going to school and thought I could make a good income in the meantime and then move on afterward,” Daniel elaborates. “But it just continued. Ford kept offering me more positions and putting me through more college, so I stayed.

“I started out in the Ypsilanti, Michigan plant working on the assembly line and eventually got promoted to supervisor. In 1976, I helped build the Milan, Michigan plastics plant, which is one of the most automated plants in the world. While there, I got a job in management overseeing quality. I retired from the Milan plant.”

Retirement doesn’t include sitting still for Daniel. He spends most of his time now helping out an old friend who is a licensed contractor and has his own construction business.

“I love building things,” states Daniel, who hails from a suburb a few miles outside of Detroit. “Even while I worked at Ford, I built my own homes and friends’ homes, as well as decks and anything else outside that needed to be built.”

As a person who appreciates building, Daniel isn’t very tolerant of things that fall apart. So when he began having trouble with his teeth and existing dental work, he was both frustrated and discouraged.

“I always took care of my teeth, but they just began to get bad,” he recalls. “At first, I thought it was something I had done wrong, but my doctor said he thought it was a hereditary problem. My father had bad teeth, and so did my brother.

“Some of my teeth were quite sensitive, so I was unable to eat or drink certain foods. Anything cold would set them off. And I was embarrassed of my smile. I hadn’t smiled in public for quite a while. Then, all of a sudden, a lot of my old dental work started collapsing, and I needed new dental work as well.”

What forced Daniel into action was a serious tooth infection he developed while on vacation in Maine. He was staying in a very rural area with little access to medical care. He was able to locate a dentist, but the dentist was unable to pull the tooth. The dentist gave Daniel medication for the infection, which took care of the problem for the time being.

“When I returned to Florida, I reached out to Dr. Gaukhman,” Daniel says. “I went to him a couple of years ago for a previous dental issue, and he was great. When this occurred, I decided it made sense to go back to him. He recommended removing my bad teeth and replacing them with complete upper and lower dentures.”

Daniel’s choice for dental care was Alexander Gaukhman, DMD, at Venetian Dental in Venice. Dr. Gaukhman, who offers exceptional general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry as well as emergency dentistry, also has offices in Sarasota and Osprey.

“When Daniel came to see me, his remaining upper and lower teeth were seriously failing, and he had significant periodontal disease,” Dr. Gaukhman reports. “His teeth and dental work were not salvageable, so I extracted his teeth and created new upper and lower dentures for him.”

Never Toothless

Dentures are often used to replace natural teeth that are lost due to tooth decay, gum disease, infection or injury.

“In most cases, upper dentures fit securely in the mouth because the palate enables the creation of sufficient suction to hold the appliance in place,” Dr. Gaukhman observes. “That was the case with Daniel. His upper denture fits just fine and does not wobble or move.

“However, many people with lower dentures have difficulties keeping them secure. This is because there is no palate in the bottom jaw due to the location of the tongue; therefore, less suction is produced. As a result, lower dentures tend to slip and slide. In these cases, I often recommend placing dental implants to secure lower dentures. That is what I did for Daniel.”

“My dentures are great. I can finally smile again.” – Daniel

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

Implants are made of a titanium alloy that fuses with the patient’s bone to become a solid unit. For most patients at Venetian Dental, implants are placed on the day of tooth extraction. Temporary dentures are also created at that time.

“In general, once the patient’s problem is diagnosed and the treatment is determined, I take impressions of their teeth,” Dr. Gaukhman describes. “When the temporary dentures are ready, which is usually on the same day or the next day, I extract the teeth and put the dentures in right away.

“The dentures act as a bandage to stop bleeding and limit swelling, and for the next three to six months, I keep the patients in temporary dentures until the implants fuse and the gums heal. Then, I replace the temporary dentures with the permanent appliances. Using temporary dentures means patients are never toothless while waiting for their finished dentures. All in all, it is a relatively easy, painless process.”

Daniel agrees.

“As anyone could imagine, I was nervous going into the procedure,” he relates. “But I was shocked to find out that I had virtually no pain from the time Dr. Gaukhman removed my teeth to when he put in the posts for the implants. I never had any pain and never took any medication. It couldn’t have gone any smoother.”

To use dental implants, patients must have enough bone mass in their jaw to hold the implants securely. But bone mass can become depleted when teeth are missing because there is no longer pressure on the jaw from chewing to keep it actively building new bone. For some patients with depleted bone, Dr. Gaukhman can use bone grafts to supplement the remaining bone.

In some cases, Dr. Gaukhman recommends mini implants, rather than standard implants, to secure his patients’ lower dentures when there’s not enough bone available.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Daniel Innes

“Mini implants are like standard implants in almost all ways,” he explains. “They differ from standard implants, however, in that they are smaller in diameter. This offers a number of advantages.

“With mini implants, patients heal faster, so treatment can be finished quicker. We can also use mini implants in medically compromised patients and in patients who don’t have sufficient bone to secure standard implants.”

Adding dental implants, standard or mini, stabilizes lower dentures, so they do not move around in the mouth. In addition, dentures secured by implants have stronger chewing capability than traditional dentures. Patients can eat foods they could not eat previously, improving their quality of life.

“Implant-retained lower dentures are generally secured with two implants,” Dr. Gaukhman adds. “When we secure upper dentures with implants, which we recommend in certain cases, we typically use four implants because they have to work against gravity.

“We may recommend securing upper dentures with implants in cases where the plastic covering the roof of the mouth interferes with the denture’s fit or the patient’s ability to taste food, or if it causes a gag reflex. This was not necessary in Daniel’s case.”

“Extremely Successful”

After waiting for his dental implants to fuse and his gums to heal, Daniel finally got his permanent dentures, and he’s very happy with the finished products.

“My dentures are great,” he raves. “I can finally smile again. And they must look natural. A lot of people have never seen my natural teeth, but no one’s come up to me and asked whether my teeth are real or not, so they must come across pretty good.

“I’m chewing fine now,” he adds. “I went through a process of learning to chew with dentures, but everything’s just fine now. Getting dentures was the way to go for me. I’m very pleased with my treatment from Dr. Gaukhman and his staff at Venetian Dental.”

Daniel makes a point to credit Dr. Gaukhman for his skill and expertise, as well as his kind and compassionate patient care. Daniel commends the dentist for the quality of his work through Daniel’s willingness to share his experience with others.

“Dr. Gaukhman is fantastic,” Daniel enthuses. “He’s nice and polite. He’s very knowledgeable and answered all my questions. He explained the entire procedure to me, what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. And everything turned out exactly like he said. His whole staff is very nice and polite. I have no complaints.

“I recommend the denture procedure Dr. Gaukhman performed for me. I haven’t run across anybody yet who needs it, but I would recommend it, without a doubt. And I absolutely recommend Dr. Gaukhman and Venetian Dental. My procedure was extremely successful. I wish I had done it sooner.”

Print This Article
    • Venetian Dental

      Venetian Dental is devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile. Their state-of-the art dental offices offer the latest in dental technology and patient amenities. They provide comprehensive treatment planning, and use r... Read More

    • Alexander Gaukhman, DMD

      Alexander Gaukhman, DMD, earned his dental degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Dentistry, Ft. Lauderdale. He completed his undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Dr. Gaukhman is a diplomate of the Inter... Read More