Daughter So Happy, SHE BRINGS HER DAD, TOO!
When another dentist told Dawn, a retired nurse, that her teeth were ‘beyond saving,’ she was sent to an Oral Surgeon to have them pulled. Between several back-&-forth visits between the two offices, she became frustrated. “I was never given a treatment plan and they could never really tell me what this would cost,” she says.
When Dawn learned that Dr. Ban Barbat offered dental implants, she arranged a consultation. “Everyone there is so nice. I was given a plan and also introduced to Dr. Shakfa, who would do the implant placement. I was also impressed with all the technology and liked that everything could be done in one office,” she states.
Dawn, whose most pressing need was replacing top teeth, adds, “I’d had soft teeth all my life and have had dental fear since I was a child.” However, her interactions with the Doctors and staff at Dr. Barbat’s office made her feel good about where she’d ended up. “I wish I’d gone to them in the first place!” she adds. Originally, Dawn opted to do an implant-supported denture, but found she didn’t like having to take it in and out. She discussed this and decided to add several implants that would hold a fixed denture to secure non-removable teeth.
Dr. Barbat explains, “Although fewer implants can support a full arch of teeth, these typically support a removable denture that can be taken out of the mouth to clean. Because implant treatment is largely based on the number of implants used, this option is fine for some. However, for those who prefer a fixed (non-removable) denture, more implants are needed. For many people, it’s worth the added expense.” In the meantime, Dr. Barbat placed crowns on several lower teeth to protect them from further breakdown. Dawn was excited that all nine crowns were prepared in just one appointment as she relaxed and watched a movie. Before she left, temporaries were custom-created and attached. These would be worn while the lab created the final porcelain teeth according to Dr. Barbat’s specifications for shade and shape.
Sometimes, things don’t always go perfectly in dental procedures, as Dawn found. As a smoker, she knew the chemicals in cigarettes are drying to oral tissues. This complicates the healing process for implants and, unfortunately,an infection set in. Dawn’s implants were removed and the infection treated. The implants were then replaced. “Through all this, they were great. They took such good care of me. I even had Dr. Shakfa’s cell phone number in case I needed him,” explains Dawn.
Now, with her upper fixed implants and porcelain crowns on the bottom, Dawn’s new smile is “beautiful!” With two implants on her lower that replace single teeth, Dawn is having one more to replace a tooth that recently crumbled and couldn’t be saved.
Dawn has also noticed that, when she smiles now, it’s a full smile. “Before, I was embarrassed about my teeth so I managed to learn to smile without showing them,” she adds.
As Dawn was regaining a healthy smile, she found that her 89-year-old father was making monthly dental visits that were 60-miles roundtrip. She learned he had an abscess that didn’t seem to be getting better and urged him to see Dr. Barbat. “They got him right in.”
Dr. Barbat found that her father’s mouth actually had several abscessesand multiple problems. She discussed options to restore his oral health and provide a new, comfortable denture. “Even though he said he didn’t feel this investment should be made at his age, I feel he deserves to be able to enjoy smiling and eating no matter what his age.”
When the Doctors asked Dawn which Hygienist she’d like for her father, she quickly answered, “Dawn!” Since Dawn (the patient) goes for quarterly cleanings to keep her implants healthy, she expressed a particular appreciation of Dawn’s (the Hygienist) knowledge and professionalism. “I’ve been impressed with all the Doctors and staff there,” she adds.
Retirement certainly hasn’t slowed Dawn. She stays busy now selling on eBay and also coordinates the process for others, which she truly enjoys. Yet, when it comes to feeling healthy, confident and ready to share a smile, she’s now at her very best!
“The level of care we provide does make a difference,” Dr. Barbat adds. “That may be why we have patients who may leave due to insurance constraints, yet see a large percentage return, preferring to pay the difference rather than settle for care that can result in costly complications in the future.”
If you have dental problems or know someone who could benefit by learning the options to achieve their smile goals, call (586) 739-2155 to arrange a free consultation with Dr. Barbat.
Stick To Your RESOLUTION For Healthier SMILES
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to quit smoking, here are added reasons to stick to your commitment.
The American population is generally aware of the deadly and debilitating effects of smoking. While lung cancer is widely associated with smoking, oral cancer is just as deadly. Oral cancer takes the life of one person every hour and has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers.
Smoking doesn’t just cause bad breath and stained teeth. Smokers have a higher risk for gum disease, tooth loss, cavities, breakdown in dental work, and slower healing after dental procedures.
Many people know that plaque leads to dental decay. However, smoking boosts plaque buildup on teeth, leading to more decay.
The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stick to gums, teeth and elsewhere in the mouth. This is one reason that smokers often have bad breath.
Smoking has a drying effect to the mouth, decreasing the flow of saliva. This creates an environment where bacteria breed and thrive.
Smoking causes other challenges to the gums. Tobacco use causes a decrease in blood flow, throughout the body as well as to oral tissues. This can trigger inflammation from gum disease. Once this inflammation penetrates areas below the gum line, the process to treat and eliminate it becomes more complex. Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss.
Every dentist wants their patients to enjoy successful outcomes for treatment. For smokers, we discourage smoking during healing times since they risk a lower rate of success and higher likelihood for complications than non-smokers.
The good news is, once you quit smoking, the health of the gums will increase tremendously. Remember, your gums and teeth are vital parts of your body. They deserve just as much care as other parts of your body. Stick to your resolution by knowing your smile will improve greatly along with the rest of you!
QUESTION: “I’m missing a back tooth and have a hard time justifying the cost to replace it since it can’t be seen. Can I let this go since I’ve gotten use to the gap?”
ANSWERED BY DR. M. RAZZAK
(Dr. Barbat’s newest addition to the practice!):
When you lose a tooth, studies show the next tooth you’ll lose will be an adjacent tooth. This creates a domino effect, since each tooth
in your mouth is designed to keep neighboring teeth in its proper functioning position. As more teeth are lost, full or partial dentures are an eventual fate if you allow cost to dictate your decision-making process.
Although dentures seem an easy way to deal with tooth loss, few truly understand the repercussions to come. Denture wearers typically experience loss of jaw bone from the pressure they apply. Denture wearers can end up struggling to chew comfortably and efficiently. Research has also shown that they take more medications and die ten years younger than those who kept their natural teeth.
Without knowing how you lost the tooth, however, my first reaction is “Could this tooth have been saved?” While crown-&-bridge and even dental implants provide exceptional replacement options, essentially, you’ll never have as good a value in dentistry as protecting and keeping your natural teeth.
Certainly, there are times when a tooth cannot be saved. For example, when a tooth with a fracture breaks below the gum line, it can no longer support a crown. Had the crown been placed on the tooth prior to the break, it could have saved the tooth. We believe our patients deserve to know both the advantages and challenges of all options. This can help you avoid years of frustration, discomfort, health decline and ongoing expenses to come instead of basing treatment decisions on costs alone.
We gladly discuss patient concerns and provide dependable information so each patient’s final decision is based on their long-term desires.
Please remember to have our Financial Coordinator discuss your insurance coverage combined with easy payment plans. Call us at (586) 739-2155 or ask at your next visit!