Get major restorative under control, then dental maintenance can be easy

Dental exam and treatment options

Restorative dentistry is our specialty and people often wonder what their experience might be with dental implants and reconstruction.  Every case is different, and we strive to give every client an experience in our office that is personally tailored to their specific dental needs.

During the examination process, we go through a very detailed dental history with our patients, explain all their options and provide our recommendations regarding the most effective restorative solution. We want our patients to be involved in their treatment process and we give a variety of solutions within the range of excellent treatment options.

We use the dental acronym of BARC to help patients evaluate each option based on their individual values and needs.  For each treatment option, each of the following are discussed:

  • B – Benefits to the patient of the treatment being considered
  • A – Alternatives to the treatment, which always includes the option of not progressing with treatment
  • R – Risks involved with the treatment being considered
  • C – Complications that could be possible for the treatment being considered

After helping patients regain dental health by treating their restorative needs, patients are typically able to maintain their dental health more easily with their regular dental hygiene and dental check up appointments.

Our patients say they are very happy with their experiences and highly recommend Dr. Mastrovich for others considering this type of dental treatment because of his expertise in both the Escondido area and the dental community in San Diego.  Patients repeatedly thank Dr Mastrovich and his entire team for taking the time to help them understand their options and the pros and cons of each, while recognizing each patient’s uniqueness and specific needs.  Again and again, patients talk of how they feel like they’ve found their dental home and can feel comfortable and confident coming to Dr Mastrovich’s dental office.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taNTCI_8I40]

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TMJ pain, implants, and dental occlusion, Oh My!

TMJ orthotic appliances
TMJ orthotic appliance

Dr. Mastrovich is an expert at seeing the dental restorative ‘big picture’ and envisioning the patient’s end goal. He quarterbacks the patients through the process of initial diagnosis and final resolution. Patients can present with one problem, like TMJ pain, and ultimate long term resolution of that problem can involve a series of steps or phases. Initial resolution of TMJ pain may be accomplished by orthotic appliance therapy (custom fabricated acrylic mouth piece) to better support the jaw joint function. Once stable and pain free while wearing the appliance, the next step is diagnosis of restorative dentistry needed to support the joint long term (which may include crowns, dental implants or orthodontics, depending on the case).

These sisters share their diverse needs and experiences that brought them to Dr. Mastrovich: TMJ dysfunction pain, implants, and the need for a dentist with the expertise in occlusion (how teeth fit together when biting) that would implement the treatment to bring long term comfort. Ultimately, these sisters say they smile a lot, thanks to Dr. Mastrovich.

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Dental Implant: an alternative to a dental bridge

Dental implants can be a solution for a number of problems surrounding loss of a tooth or teeth, such as fractured teeth, extensive decay, accident trauma, or genetically missing teeth. Dental implants are an especially attractive single tooth loss solution, in terms of esthetics, function and finances. In these cases, the dental implant option can remove the need to restore two or more neighboring teeth to support a bridge across the site of the lost tooth. This can be more cost effective because one crown restoration is needed instead of three to create the bridge. In terms of function, a single tooth implant is cared for similarly to a single tooth, which alleviates the extra effort/floss care around a bridge.

When the lost tooth is in the ‘esthetic zone’ (the teeth that show when a person smiles), often the papilla has a chance to grow back and allow for more natural appearance. An additional consideration is the lifespan of a bridge (until it will need repair or replacement) versus that of an implant. This is individualized based on what types of stressors a person puts on their teeth when chewing, grinding, biting, etc. There are many considerations for each individual case and the best options for each one are best explored and discussed in a comprehensive exam and follow up consultation.

One example is Diane’s situation. She had a difficult experience following an extraction with her previous dentist and really wasn’t sure of her options or possible restorations. When Dr. Mastrovich and Diane had completed her initial examination appointment they scheduled for a follow up consultation for a more in depth discussion of her options, as it was clear to Dr. Mastrovich that a team approach would be needed with several additional specialists brought in to restore the area to full function. Dr. Mastrovich and his team thoroughly laid out the advantages and challenges of each of her options:

  1. Creating a bridge between the two teeth on either side of the extraction site
  2. Placing an implant in the site and fabricating a single restoration on it, thus leaving the two teeth on either side untouched
  3. Or do nothing (which is always an option to consider)

After careful consideration of her options, and having the dental education support, she chose to schedule with the periodontist (the specialist in implants) to surgically place the implant and then returned to Dr. Mastrovich for the final restorative crown fabrication, which is Dr. Mastrovich’s area of expertise. Dr. Mastrovich ‘quarterbacked’ her case through each of the phases and referrals to specialists, in order to optimize her final restorative and esthetic results.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y2TfWJZWtw]

If you, or someone you know, is considering implants and needs to know more, or has an implant that needs to be restored and is looking for an expert who can see the ‘big picture’, we are here to help.

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