Dental patients have begun to enjoy the recently completed $1.3 million renovation and expansion in Eastman Dental’s Prosthodontic clinic. Additional treatment rooms, the latest technology and new equipment have improved patient privacy and comfort, and enhanced care provision.
“This is another example at Eastman and the Medical Center of our commitment to patient care excellence,” said UR Medicine CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Similar to the new children’s hospital and the new cancer center, Eastman Institute is undergoing a transformation to meet the same state-of-the-art standard we expect in all of our clinical spaces.”
University of Rochester employee Mary Hines, 55, decided to give Eastman Dental a try when her teeth and gums became very sensitive to cold air, along with discomfort when chewing hot or cold foods.
After she was examined by Eastman Dental’s periodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease and placing dental implants), Hines learned that she had severe gum disease, which was not only causing her sensitivity, but also causing her teeth to become loose (view her story on video).
"Gum disease becomes severe when the plaque on the teeth isn’t treated properly,” explained Tal Rapoport, D.M.D., the periodontist who treated Hines. “The bacteria basically take over and travel down to where the teeth are attached and eat away at what’s holding the tooth in place. Bone loss, inflammation, gum bleeding, sensitivity and pain are definitely present at this point.”
Dr. Rapoport provided Hines with extensive periodontal treatment, including a thorough and deep cleaning.
“Severe periodontal disease almost always requires some surgery, as well,” Dr. Rapoport explained. “When everything is clean, the gums will attach back to the tooth and bone. In some cases, bone loss can be reversed with adding new bone to the area.”
“After the inflammation has been taken care of, it’s important to know that it’s critical to keep the gums healthy or the disease will recur,” she added. “In addition, placing dental implants while there is active periodontal disease will likely contribute to the failure of the implant.”
Now, with her periodontal disease treated and regularly monitored, Hines was ready to move forward with getting the dental implants she’s always wanted. A childhood injury caused her front tooth to die, and her gum disease created tooth movement, resulting in a large, undesirable space.
Between Eastman Dental’s reputation for excellent work, affordable rates, a discount as a UR employee, and some insurance coverage, Hines said the choice was easy.
To accomplish her esthetic goals with the limitations of her bone loss, Rapoport and Chief Prosthodontist Resident Elyce Link-Bindo, D.M.D., worked together using the latest technology in 3D surgical planning before removing Hines’ top teeth and placing six implants.
Over the next several months, Drs. Link-Bindo and Rapoport made sure Hines was comfortable with her ability to chew, speak and smile during the transition.
“Throughout the year-long treatment time, I had to make removable dentures to allow for healing after the implants were placed,” explained Dr. Link-Bindo. “When the implants were healed, I made her two different sets of temporary teeth to assess her esthetics and speech throughout the process.”
These temporary teeth attached to the implants and molded her gum tissue to make the teeth look as they were coming out of the gums. Dr. Link-Bindo and Hines had met several times to ensure all of the Hines’ esthetic desires were addressed. Once everything had healed and she was satisfied with her new look, Dr. Link-Bindo made her final teeth prosthesis.
“If I knew then, what I know now,” Hines reflected. “But I’ve become really passionate about my cleanings; they taught me how to brush my teeth right, and the importance of flossing. Overall, it’s been a wonderful experience.
“The care I received at Eastman Dental has been awesome, and felt like they cared about what I was going through,” Hines said. “They made my life different. Before, I wouldn’t even talk or smile. I would mumble because I didn’t want anyone to notice my teeth. Now I smile a lot more!”
For more information or to schedule a free screening, call 585-275-1147 or visit Eastman Dental.