According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70 percent of U.S. adults experience some form of tooth loss. Thanks to technological advancements, various dental therapies can improve smiles in as little as 24 hours. Everyone should have a smile they are proud to show off, so we talked with Atlanta, GA cosmetic dentist Maurice Salama, DMD about his approach to helping you get your most beautiful smile.
What is the top trend in dentistry right now?
Full mouth implant dentistry is the hottest trend in our profession, and it’s for a good reason. Historically, people have gone through dental procedures throughout their lives in segments, meaning their mouths have been treated one tooth at a time, which amounts to both a tremendous amount of cost and time in the chair. This type of dentistry also limited the overall aesthetic work we can do since we have to balance what the previous doctors have done. Often what happens is that we have patients who have been frustrated with what dentistry had to offer them in the past. Now we can do everything on-site and often in just one day. Because our team can complete the procedure in one location and one visit, you typically heal and recover faster than patients who go through several appointments.
Why is there a rise in demand for dental implant therapy?
Dental implants are widely considered the most efficient permanent option for restoring the natural appearance and function of missing teeth. Starting around 20 years ago, we improved the way we utilize implants. We offer immediate one-day dental therapy (ODI) in our One Day Implants office in Atlanta. With this type of treatment, we can replace all of their failing teeth due to gum disease, decay and old dentistry. We do this all in a protected environment with a patient sedated or asleep. We can replace their teeth, place implants and a prosthesis all in one day.
What sets your practice apart from others?
My staff and I feel like we work in a Dental Disneyland. It’s like the “Fantasia” of a modern dental facility, equipped with top technology and matched with remarkably motivated and talented specialists who have decided to work together. We use innovation to streamline the process using 3D technology for imaging, milling and printing. At our practice, we have an in-house laboratory and outpatient centers. We can treat patients much more effectively and efficiently this way because everything we need to treat the patient is onsite.
What is the process for dental implant therapy?
It starts with a consultation where we create a treatment plan customized to the patient’s needs. After the consultation and decision to move forward with dental implants, the treatment plan will be finalized and scheduled. During the procedure, the implants will be surgically placed while the patient rests comfortably. Once the implants are set, the patient will be given a temporary set of teeth while healing. These temporaries look, feel and function just like natural teeth. In most cases, implant procedures can be performed with local anesthesia. However, if the patient suffers from dental anxiety, we have sedation dentistry options to help them relax, including nitrous oxide and IV sedation.
What are some success stories you can share?
We have many people that come from all over to see us, and as a result, we get some unique cases. One of my favorite cases was a lovely couple who were both in their mid-fifties and very attractive but just had bad teeth. The husband had the one-day full mouth implant therapy done, and he was transformed with a perfect smile. As soon as his work was completed, his wife came in as a patient and had the same work done on her. Both of them had total smile makeovers with dental implants and now have perfect smiles—talk about marital bliss.
Another case was featured on the T.V. show “Chasing the Cure.” We were tasked with assisting a woman who needed dental work and typically would have been treated via full mouth implant therapy. However, she was a cancer survivor, and those life-saving treatments had severely damaged her teeth. Her teeth had rotted away, likely due to changes in saliva flow post chemotherapy and radiation. In this case, we could not use implants because her jaw bones were too fragile to do any type of surgery. We were forced to try to save her teeth and fabricate a full mouth prosthesis for her.
What advice do you have for patients that are interested in smile makeovers?
This is something that you want to do with the right team of professionals who have the right experience. Ask about the specialists that will be involved in treatment and about their experience. Usually, you are seeking treatment for something that is not routine. It comes down to doing the research.