Bill Zortman: Dr. Lou George, Dr. Dennis Miller from Siouxland Oral Surgery. Gentlemen, nice to have you with us today.
Dr. Lou George: Glad to be here, Bill. Nice to see you.
Dr. Denis Miller: Thanks for having us.
Bill: The I-word: Implants. What can you share? What’s important? Who should be involved with implants?
Dr. Miller: Dental implants are the most modern way of restoring an area where you’ve lost a tooth. There’s really two basic patient populations: people who’ve lost one, two, or three teeth due to trauma, mastication and cracking, gum disease, cavities, things like that, but the twist there is it’s just one or two or three teeth. Then there’s other teeth — or other patients that have lost all of their teeth or no longer have any teeth or they’re non-salvageable, and those people usually have to go into dentures, and some dentures fit well, some don’t. But over time, especially on the lower denture — that’s the one that tends to move around a lot — and studies have shown when you’re in dentures, you only have about 20, maybe 30, percent of the chewing force and efficiency that you used to have, and it’s just real tough for people to go to the salad bar and use their front teeth to bite into things. The dentures tend to move around a lot, so dental implants are a really nice way of stabilizing those dentures and giving people a really good quality of life. For bang for your buck, two implants on that lower denture — boy, does that change somebody’s life for the better.
Bill: Better smile — that seems to be in a gratification society, give me a better smile, and I’m happy. And everything that you do, I’m sure, is designed to give them a better smile.
Dr. Miller: Right, and going back to the denture analogy, you can get perfect teeth or teeth that are however you want them, but the idea there where we fit in is we provide the foundation for that, and then our collaborative team members and our dental colleges, they’re the ones that give the person the smile they want. You can have a very natural-looking smile, or you could have the Hollywood smile where the teeth, they’re bleached white. There’s different ways of going about it. Our job is the foundation. What we do — you never see what we do. It’s what your restorative dentist — they’re the masters of the [quote] “smile.” We just help them get to where they need to go.
Bill: You’re not just another dentist is the best way to see how it’s been expressed and at Siouxland Oral Surgery, you guys use the word collaborative effort because you do work with dentists. You do talk with them, and you get their ideas.
Dr. Miller: Yes. No one is an island onto themselves, and I think that once you start trying to be a jack of all trades, you can’t really specialize in one or be really, really great in one. And that’s how we fit in and why we feel that collaborating with other professionals in our field — other dentists in our field — together, we can offer a much better product (for lack of a better term) than if you try and do it all yourself.
Dr. George: And our referring dentists also know that we are extremely approachable. Anytime that they have ideas or questions about different topics, surgical issues, that they want to bounce off of us, they reach out to us without hesitation, and they know, ultimately, we have the patients’ best interest.