Posts Tagged ‘dental implants’

Dental Implant Surgeries in Puerto Rico

This last month, I took yet another trip out to Puerto Rico for a couple weeks. My family and several other patients needing surgery all packed their suitcases and headed out with me, enduring the unbearable spring weather and mediocre tropical scenery. (I hope you caught the sarcasm.)

I have already booked my next trip to Puerto Rico and will continue teaching other dentists and implant surgeons how to perform dental implants using innovative techniques. At least eight other patients have committed to have surgeries performed on them this next time around, and we are looking forward to going back.

Need some kind of implant surgery done? Call us and see if you can make a vacation out of it!

Dr. Glenn Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


More Implant Dentistry in Puerto Rico

Last year I studied advanced implant dentistry in a nearly year-long course in Puerto Rico. I went back once for further education over Thanksgiving, and I am back again this week for some hands-on practice on my own patients (you may recall the notice I sent out). These patients are with me now, getting some work done while we dental implant surgeons hone our skills, and we are all enjoying a little time on the beaches.

If you are curious about dental implants, holistic or otherwise, I should direct you to my new website. You can read some information here that might answer a few basic questions. Take a look around.

Dr. Glenn Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

ATTN: Patients Needing Dental Implants

As you may know, I have been on a 33-year love affair with dentistry and learning. I have been taking a comprehensive surgical implant course in Puerto Rico under the guidance of Drs. Hilt Tatum and Jose Pedroza. I have been able to participate in very complex cases, some of which were for my own patients.

I would like to continue my education in this part of dentistry. I plan to incorporate dental implants into my practice from a holistic standpoint. I am searching for patients in need of dental implants who would be willing to travel to Puerto Rico to have them done. This is a wonderful opportunity not only for the installation of implants overseen by some of the most skilled implant surgeons in the world, but also for a tropical getaway conveniently scheduled during 2014’s cold season.

If you or anyone you know is interested, I will perform all the necessary exams, x-rays, photos, and models at no charge. This is approximately a $700 value.

What are the benefits of getting your implants in Puerto Rico?

  1. Dr. Hilt Tatum is world-famous and has invented many of today’s common surgeries. His expertise allows my patients to have a superior level of treatment planning and care. My patients who have already gone have had wonderful results.
  2. Dr. Jose Pedroza is an accomplished surgeon in his own right. His added experience rounds the program out.
  3. Your implant cost savings will typically cover the extra costs associated with travel.
  4. You will have a chance to visit Puerto Rico. Experience beautiful beaches, warm people, and great food.
  5. The surgical center personnel have a way that will make you feel welcomed and comfortable.

I am excited about this opportunity because I get to learn from the best, and you will receive the best.

Please contact me or my staff if you are interested.

My next trip is March 2-9, 2014.

Dr. Glenn Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Metal versus Ceramic Dental Implants

Over the relatively short history of dental implants, titanium was determined the choice material for implant designs. Titanium, when installed correctly, could withstand the workload of the human jaw most similarly to natural teeth. This metal had a lower risk of complications compared to other metals, and it boasted the best bone integration success rate. Titanium is the “default” material that you will find in practices that perform implant surgeries. It is less expensive, and for the majority of the population, it adequately meets patients’ needs.

There are some downsides, naturally. “Low-risk” does not mean “no-risk.”  Implant complications usually involve infection at the site or weakness due to failed osseointegration (merging with bone like a tooth’s root). Implants are a little higher-maintenance at the crown; careful cleaning must become a habit so bacteria do not grow in the microscopic crevices between implant segments. Also, a small percentage of the population is severely allergic to titanium. The allergy can be tested for ahead of time. Holistic-minded patients and those seeking to detox and heal their physical health should be aware that titanium, like any metal, will find its way into the bloodstream. As long as titanium implants are installed in a patient’s jaw, presence of metal in the blood and underlying health disruptions will be permanent.

Metal-free zirconium ceramic implants are new to the U.S. market, but have been the choice implants of Europe and Canada for a while. American biological dentists have long been awaiting an alternative to titanium. Patients also seeking this alternative are heaving sighs of relief, particularly those few who are physiologically sensitive to metal.

Zirconium is more expensive than titanium, but the cost covers tangible benefits that titanium cannot promise. Zirconium is just as strong as — if not stronger than — titanium or titanium alloy. It is similar to human bone in structure, thus providing the strength needed to withstand the jaw’s pressure of daily movement when chewing or biting. Because it contains no metal, the body does not reject it as a foreign object or a toxin. This creates a stronger bond and integration into the facial and jaw bones, which means the implant will last a very long time — a lifetime, if installation is done well.

The absence of metal also promotes better health in the surrounding tissues. Fewer, if any, bacterial infections occur if the implant and crown are carefully maintained with daily hygiene. Also, sometimes titanium implants will show off slight grayish discoloration around the gum line. Zirconium implants are all white, just like a natural tooth, and will not cause aesthetic disturbances. Patients’ satisfaction tends to be higher with ceramic as well.

As a holistically-minded dentist, I prefer using zirconium over titanium any day… if you couldn’t tell. But I offer both, and many patients are content to settle for titanium if they have tested negative for allergies. Not to mention, implants by themselves are not an end-all solution. Restoring a dying tooth successfully and preventing the need for an implant in the first place is certainly a better route to take. With the aid of ozone gas and a dental laser, restoring a tooth to health is more viable than many people (other dentists included) think! Sometimes, on the other hand, implants are the best way to go. I will answer questions and provide all the information patients need so they can make the best decision for themselves.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Improvements in the Realm of Dental Implants

If you recall the Puerto Rico MaxiCourse(R) schedule, maybe you realized that it ended in June. That was ten months of flying to Puerto Rico once per month, staying for almost a week each time, and continuing my implant education with rigorous hands-on training. Ten months is almost a whole year, and juggling a normal-to-heavy load of serving patients at the office the entire time was quite a task. Frankly, I am a bit travel-weary, but it was a great experience. I had many opportunities to perform implant surgeries utilizing innovative bone and sinus grafting techniques.

I do not typically jump straight to implants as the solution to my patients’ more serious dental problems. Many dentists and dental surgeons out there are implant-happy and would love to professionally recommend an expensive procedure. So in spite of the bright spotlight shining on this topic at the moment, I do not want to mislead you into believing I will recommend implants unnecessarily. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about opportunities to perform them, however.

I’ll give you a brief low-down on how it all works over the next few weeks. It will be nothing too lengthy or scientific, because you, my readership, probably don’t care to sift through a page of “Dentalese.”  Let’s be honest:  Besides other dentists, who genuinely finds dentistry captivating? Most people are scared of it. Hopefully, you’ll at least walk away with a little more knowledge and a little more motivation to take care of yourselves… and, dare I hope, less fear of going to the dentist.

Dental implants are not simply screwing in a new tooth and calling it a day. Many other factors must be considered comprehensively, such as how an implant will fit in an individual’s mouth, what angle is proper, whether the patient has sufficient bone to support an implant, what material the patient’s physiology best tolerates, the patient’s healing ability, and careful maintenance of a functional occlusion, among other things.

Modern implants have come a long way in the last 50 years. I have been performing implant surgeries for over 20 years, but only in these last few years, after attending an AAID convention in Las Vegas and completing the ADII MaxiCourse(R) in Puerto Rico, learning the most advanced techniques with state-of-the-art materials and equipment has added a powerful new element to my practice.  Current technology allows for the best implant results we have ever had in history. In the coming posts, I’ll give you some insiders on the things we can do now.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

P.S. I won’t run you off with videos of implant surgeries in process. I’m sure a written description or animations are enough.

P.P.S. If you’re about to visit YouTube out of curiosity, it’s at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.