DOVER — By Design Dental Implant Center, a dental reconstruction practice based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is offering for the first time “Share A Smile,” a program which will award one lucky applicant a complimentary full-arch dental restoration.
“We wanted to create awareness about our practice and the services we provide while giving back to the community and offering our services to someone who may not be able to afford the service otherwise,” said By Design office manager Christina Lawler.
Dental implants are a long-term solution and, unlike dentures, are permanent and can be treated like natural teeth.
“There are mainly two kind of folks we see,” Dr. John Thaler, By Design’s prosthodontist, said. “First are people who have had dentures for a long time that are causing problems. They’re either painful or making it difficult to eat, and the other are those who have lost lots of teeth or whose teeth have worn down.”
Many of the patients By Design sees are ashamed or embarrassed by their smiles, sometimes crippling their social lives. Dental implants offer a permanent solution to their problems, but the cost of a full-arch dental restoration can cost upward of $60,000.
“Some patients we see have been denied or discouraged from getting dental implants by an oral surgeon due to bone loss or other problems, but since our practice offers such a specialized service, we are typically available to offer more options than a typical oral surgeon,” Ms. Lawler said.
Giving patients the beautiful smile they’ve always dreamed of all happens under a single roof at By Design.
“We have our doctors, our prosthesis lab, everything right here in the office and all the staff work closely together which allows our patients to have the best possible results,” Ms. Lawler said.
The coordinated effort of the dental implants works primarily between Dr. Robert Mogyoros, the practice’s oral and maxillofacial and implant specialist, Dr. Thaler and Rand Jaslow, By Design’s dental laboratory technician.
Each patient’s experience with By Design begins with a consultation where the patient’s needs are assessed with the help of panoramic and 3D imaging, an oral examination, impressions and a discussion of the patient’s expectations.
“The hardest part for a lot of people is getting through the door,” Dr. Thaler said. “When they come in, I always ask two questions: what brings them here and how we can help.”
Many patients are candidates for full-arch dental restoration while others may only need a partial restoration. Dr. Thaler said the practice occasionally will work with orthodontists to realign existing teeth to reduce the amount of surgery needed.
Once the needs are determined, Mr. Jaslow creates the custom implants in the on-site dental lab using American Dental Association approved, high quality materials including titanium, dental acrylics, composites and ceramics.
“Usually the shape, size, and color are selected to closely resemble the patient’s natural teeth. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case,” Mr. Jaslow said. “Using intra-oral landmarks and the patient’s facial characteristics, shape and size can be determined. Shade is always at the discretion of the patient. Some people want their new smile to be great looking but more natural, while other people want perfect, white teeth. A few want the whitest, brightest Hollywood smile. We can do it all.”
Once the day for surgery comes around, the patient can be sedated if they choose and Dr. Mogyoros is the first to get to work, focusing on extractions and adding the implants created by Mr. Jaslow and lastly Dr. Thaler comes in to connect and align the prosthesis.
“I guess you could say Dr. Mogyoros lays the foundation and I’m the guy who builds the house,” Dr. Thaler said.
Mr. Jaslow said it’s best to think of the dental implant as a root replacement.
“The dental implant is like a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone. An abutment is placed on top of the implant that is designed to receive the teeth. The teeth are then placed on the abutment and held in place by a screw. Usually, no more than four dental implants are needed to support a full arch of teeth,” he said.
The whole process is done in a single day and recovery time varies between patients but most people are back to normal within a few days.
“It’s a life-changing experience for many people and gives them new hope,” Dr. Thaler said. “We see a lot of happy tears here and it’s moving for the staff too to see the difference we get to make in people’s lives.”
Although many people dread going to the dentist, especially for surgery, Dr. Thaler said the results outweigh the dread.
“The major benefit to what we do is that the patient doesn’t need to return a lot of times because the procedure is done in one day and after they can be treated like natural teeth, so we recommend continuing to see a dentist every six months,” he said.
The care of the implants is the same as that of natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is encouraged as is the use of a water pick.
To apply for Share A Smile, visit bydesigndental.com/shareasmile. The application requires applicants to answer a brief questionnaire and to write a short essay.
The entry forms will be reviewed by By Design staff to narrow the entrants to a final 10 applicants. These final 10 will be invited to By Design for an interview, consultation and a 3D scan. The recipient of the service will be chosen from the final 10 based on clinical needs.
The deadline to apply for Share a Smile is Aug. 15.