RA: You’re watching the wellness hour, the leader in medical news information. I’m Randy Alvarez. Today’s topic: replacing missing teeth with dental implants. According to our first guest he says “NO MORE DENTURES.” We have an expert on the topic, Dr. Pastiu. Dr Pastiu welcome to the program.
DP: Thank you very much for having me.
RA: Now for people that don’t know your center and I know you brought photos and we’ll get to those, but who’s the, who’s the typical patient? Who’s coming in for dental implants?
DP: People who have missing teeth, people with bad breath, people who have broken teeth, people who have dentures and they think that their whole lives their whole life they have to live it with dentures. People who are looking for something else, people who want something else and they cannot believe that they are still in dentures and those cannot be replaced. Our practice specializes in giving those people a kind of instant gratification, specializes in giving those people the solutions in one day.
RA: So you do it all right there?
DP: All right there.
RA: So you say people could come in with no teeth, and at the end of day they walk out with a full arch of teeth that don’t come in and out?
DP: Yes, we do it every single day in one day. Everything is done in one day.
RA: Alright, now lets talk a little bit about your center. Ok, so when it comes to dental implants how its typically done is you go to one place that does the surgery, another dentist puts the tooth on top. You may go to imaging somewhere and then they send it to a lab. You have the lab there, you do the surgery. I mean you do all those parts, is that correct?
DP: Correct. This is how it’s typically done. Patients go from one office to another. They go to have their digital imaging done and after that they go to a specialist or an oral surgeon and after that to another dentist or prosthodontist and after they go back. So it’s a lot of back and forth on these procedures. We do it all in the same day, under the same roof.
RA: Now you’re also a dental technician that makes teeth?
DP: Yes I make. I was trained in Romania. I went to school in the same time when I went to school for dental school, I went to school to be a dental laboratory technician, also. So I have that license also. I didn’t use it too much in Romania, but coming to the United States it became very handy because I can make myself, I can make the teeth myself.
RA: OK good, so it really is kind of a teeth in a day center?
DP: It is, it is.
RA: Same day. Are there a lot of, we talked at the top of the show, “NO MORE DENTURES.” You say nobody should be wearing a denture.
RA: What do you mean by that?
DP: Well dentures are not, are not comfortable. People don’t say to their, people who wear dentures they don’t say to their families or to their friends. The only person that knows that their dentures aren’t comfortable is their dentist, if they go to a dentist, but if they don’t go to a dentist they just live an unhappy life and they have a little dirty secret that which they hide from the other friends or from their circle.
RA: OK now are there a lot of people where you are that have dentures?
DP: At least in my area, at least in my area there are at least a half a million people wearing dentures. This, this amount of people is big, it’s huge. It’s like you can fill 10 Philadelphia Eagles stadiums with those people wearing dentures. So it is a big problem.
RA: Is that right?
RA: Well ok if dental implants are so good, why aren’t they all doing it? Why aren’t they coming in to do it? What’s your take?
DP: Well, Randy, this is my take. From talking to patients and to really asking these questions, this is what I found out: most of the people, most of the patients with dentures they are out of the system. They don’t see a dentist for a regular cleaning, for x-rays you know how people with teeth do. They, they are out of the system because they go to the dentist only if the denture breaks or they lose it or it becomes so loose that they can’t take it anymore and they go really quickly for a realign. They complain to the dentist that their denture doesn’t fit and they are very quickly in and out.
RA: So they don’t even know their options.
DP: Exactly. And being so kind of miserable when they go to the dentist, they are not, they don’t have patience to listen if another treatment is available to them. Another, another reason why they don’t go for dental implants is because they have a chronic fear of the dentist. They went the dentist all of their lives. They had the root canals, they had the crowns, they had extractions, they had bridges,they failed. They paid a fortune, so after all this when they finally had the teeth out, they are happy. They thought “oh this nightmare is over.” It’s not really..
RA: So they don’t want to go to the dentist?
DP: They don’t want to go to the dentist.
RA: Like if you’re wearing dentures or false teeth the last thing they want to do it see you.
DP: Correct, yes.
RA: Do you hear that by the way? Like no offense doctor?
DP: I hear that a lot. I hear that a lot. Yes yes.
RA: What do they say?
DP: Well the moment they sit in the chair, some people say “No offense to you doc, you seem to be a nice guy, but I hate the dentist.”
RA: What do you say? Do you have a funny comeback or anything?
DP: I say, I say “well thank you for complementing me, but I hear that a lot and I understand your feelings.” Because I hear that a lot, it’s not like I’m just saying that. I hear that a lot.
RA: And you say when it’s all done they like coming to the dentist?
DP: They like coming, they like coming back. They talk, they joke around with the girls at the front desk. They call me by the first name. They send me letters. Sometimes they send me gifts during the holiday season. I mean it’s a totally different perception of the dentist from their side.
RA: But isn’t true though and were talking about I guess two groups of people. People that want to avoid false teeth can get a fixed set of teeth in one day, but then the denture crowd that can go in and you say in one day, you can make the teeth right there on the spot and they walk out with a fix set teeth. But if you’ve been wearing dentures for 30 years isn’t it true that you don’t have enough bone to do this?
DP: This is what patients think. They have been told this somewhere else or they self-diagnose. “Oh I’ve been wearing dentures for so long I must not have enough bone so I need a bone graph or a different very sophisticated procedure in order to replace the bone in order to be able to have dental implants.” But with the advancements in the technology nowadays, we don’t need bone graph. We, we have enough bone in denture wears to place implants and to give them a new set of teeth, their 3rd set of teeth.
RA: 3rd set of teeth you call it?
DP: Correct, correct. Well when they are kids, they have the baby teeth and after that the permanent teeth or the 2nd set of teeth, they come in. They have problems, they fall out, they have dentures. And I give them a permanent set of teeth which is exactly like their 2nd set of teeth. And they feel good, they can smile, they can chew, they can live their lives with no worries. They don’t come out, they don’t get cavities, they don’t get gum disease. It’s a 3rd set of teeth and they last for the rest of their lives.
RA: But what about pain? I mean putting the implants in seems like it’s very painful.
DP: Actually it is not. This is what people think also, but it is not. I mean we numb the patients. And the bone where we place the implants, the bone doesn’t have pain receptors. So if you put an implant in there the bone doesn’t feel it. But we still give the patients, we numb them up.
RA: But the gums could get sore right, so there’s a little discomfort.
DP: Not really, not really, not really, not really because the implant is placed in the bone and all the pressure is in the bone on the implant. So being that the bone doesn’t have any pain receptors the patient doesn’t feel it. Yes it’s a little sore, a little tender from the surgical procedure, but most of the patients don’t need to take any pain killers the next day. Some of the patients do not even take the pain killers that specific day of the surgery. Like sometimes I have called the patient and I say “Oh how, how do you feel, how do you feel today after the procedure?” after a couple hours after they are done. “Well doc I took a, I took an Advil just in case. I didn’t really need it, but I just took just in case, in case I’m going to have some pain later, but I didn’t have any.” For the same reason, because the implant is placed into the bone, the bone doesn’t have any pain receptors so this is why they don’t feel it.
RA: So when it’s all done. Ok so they come in. I mean the day of the procedure, they can come in and what about the people that need you know their teeth removed. You say they’ve been told their teeth have to go.
RA: Are you saying on one visit you can remove the teeth and put the dental implants in, the full arch of teeth the same day?
DP: Correct, correct.
RA: How soon can they eat?
DP: Right after. They can eat in the office. I can give them an apple, I can give them a slice of pizza. I can give them something to eat and they can eat right away. Yeah, which is very hard for them to believe. This is, this is why I feel so good about this procedure and this is why I like helping people with this procedure. It’s incredible professionally rewarding. I mean, people come in with loose teeth, bad teeth. We take them out, put the implants in. We put permanent set of teeth on top of the implants the same visit within a couple of hours and after that they can smile. And after that they can bite from an apple. They are still afraid. They feel like, oh something is going to break, but nothing breaks. It’s, it’s incredibly rewarding to see that.
RA: Aren’t you a little worried when they’re biting out of an apple?
DP: No I’m not worried because I’ve been worried at the beginning, at the very beginning , yes, but now after seeing that so many times I’m not worried because I know how strong the implants are placed onto the bone. I mean, those implants are pretty big, they are very strong. They are made of titanium.
DP: They’re not going to break.
RA: How old can you be to get this, to get dental implants?
DP: There’s no age limit. There’s no age limit. I mean you can be 90, you can be 100 years old. You can be in your 20’s. I have patients in their 20’s, I have patients in there 80’s.
RA: Now are they more likely to fall out if your 80?
DP: No, no. The age doesn’t interfere with the success of the procedure at all. No interference at all.
RA: Do you have data to back that up? So that’s not a problem you have scientific data?
DP: Absolutely, yes, there is research there is research on that, yes. Well I have patients who are in their 70’s, in their 80’s and if you are lucky enough to live to that age and you have a problem with your teeth, you really want to enjoy whatever is left of your life. So you have the family bringing you food, you have to go to this family reunions, birthday parties, whatever. You want to smile you want to be a part of the world, a part of the family. You want to live, if you want to take a picture you have to smile. If everybody eats, if everyone else at the table is eating something, you want to eat the same food. You don’t want to say “oh my gosh I cannot eat that because my denture is going to fall out or my denture is going to break.”
RA: Do denture wearers really have a tough time eating?
DP: Absolutely, absolutely.
RA: Now knowing you were coming on the show, I know a few denture wearers. I’ve never heard them to complain, not once.
DP: Well of course Randy. They’re not going to complain to you or to their family or their friends because it’s very embarrassing to them. It’s very embarrassing for someone to have a denture. It’s like a handicap. You are very embarrassed, it holds you back. You are not going to go around with your denture saying “oh poor me, look at me. I have my denture.” You know? They have that little secret which that they hold back. They smile, they try to put their facial veneer, but when it comes to eating and to really living their life, it’s a nightmare. Because I know for a fact my patients who are telling me stories before they had this teeth in a day procedure or before they had the permanent teeth on implants, they were saying that “doc whenever I was eating something I would prefer to take my denture out. I would put my hand over my mouth. I would take it out and put it in my pocket and eat with my lip down and don’t smile at all and just eat soft stuff like starchy stuff.
RA: So when they are out home they would just take out their denture? Really?
DP: Yea, yea, yea. They put their hand over and they take it out put it in their pocket. And when they are done eating they put their hand over again, they put it in their mouth and they smile. You know? This is how the life of a denture wearer is and there are many other things. I mean constantly when they bite, they bite a little bit on the denture. The pressure of the biting force it goes to the gums. So they are constantly sore and they have to use the denture cream, Fixodent or Polident or whatever. That cream dissolves in saliva so they constantly swallow it. So it goes into their stomach and it’s not good, it’s not good at all and they are not going to complain.
RA: So nobody should be wearing a loose fitting denture?
RA: So they should all be attached to something? I mean that’s your whole, I mean is that the future? All denture wearers in the future whether it’s 10 years or 50 years, everybody will get implants or something that snaps on those dentures?
DP: Something that are secured, a permanent set of teeth that is secured to the implants. With those that are secured to the implants, they are not dentures anymore. There is a bridge. The difference between a bridge and a denture is quite significant, but that teeth, the new set of teeth is secured to the implants.
RA: Now we talked on the telephone and you do this all on 4 technique, where it’s 4 implants a full arch of teeth and the teeth don’t come in and out.
DP: They don’t come at all, they don’t move.
RA: But there’s a lot of talk of snap in snap out.
RA: You say you don’t like that. So tell me about the options for denture wearers.
DP: Well there are 2 options. One of them is to have 4 implants or 2 implants and to have the snap in and snap out denture, which is better than having a loose denture because the attachments, they keep the denture on the gums without moving too much. It still moves, it still moves a little bit but not as much, but the best option is the bridge that goes on top of the implants and those teeth, they never move. They are very secure, they never move at all. But in my experience, in my practice I’m talking about my professional experience in my practice. Most, 80% of the people who get this snap in snap out dentures within 2 years they convert to the very permanent set of teeth. The reason is, they tell me “Doctor, this is a better denture than I had before, but it is still a denture. I still have to go to the bathroom after each meal snap it out, rinse it out put it in. At night, I still have to put it in my glass of water so it is still a denture.” The permanent set of teeth, the bridge that goes into the implants and is secure to the implants and never come out they become a part of their bodies.
RA: So it’s like their teeth.
DP: After a few hours they forget that they had anything done. It’s their own bodies. They are a part of their own body. So this is the big difference.
RA: OK. So a fixed set of teeth in one day and for people just tuning in we are talking about no more dentures and also for people that are headed toward dentures. Is that a big part of what of what you do? That means people that their mouths, cause I know I’m looking from a distance, your photos, does not look good. So a big part of your practice are people that their teeth are failing.
RA: They’re going to come out.
RA: So why don’t you show us some of these photos cause you’re also saying you’re changing lives in one day.
DP: Correct, correct. The life is very much changed in one day. Within those hours that we do the procedures, I mean their life could be divided into 2 episodes, before having this and after having this. Because after having this is like having a brand new life.
RA: Good, so what are we looking at?
DP: This is Mike. He had a, he had gum disease.
RA: Now, that’s got to be unusual.
DP: It happens to be more often than you think because those people they learn how to smile or they learn how to hide it. Even they don’t know what’s in their mouth. When I showed them the picture like this they say “Doc I knew it was bad, but is this really me?” Yes it’s really you, you know.
RA: So these people just never smile so you don’t see it.
DP: They never smile, they hide it. They are even afraid to brush they are afraid to touch their teeth they are afraid to eat because they know there is something in there, very bad and if they do something and in the wrong time something even worse is going to happen.
RA: What did you do for him?
DP: Well for him, everything needed to come out. All of the teeth were beyond being restorable so we took them out. The teeth were the cause of the infection in his mouth so once we took the source of the infection out, the gums were becoming healthy. We put the implants in, 4 implants on the top and 4 implants on the lower and we attached a bridge on top and a bridge on the lower.
RA: So a full arch of teeth?
DP: Yes on the top and on the bottom, the same day. So this is, this is the result that he had right after.
RA: Oh my goodness.
DP: He’s smiling so much that sometimes he keeps his mouth open.
RA: Really keeps his mouth open.
DP: And he’s a handsome man. He’s a very handsome man. And I remember calling him the next day after the procedure. When he came in, let me tell you about him a little bit. When he came in he was so embarrassed. He said “Doc I don’t think you saw something like this before,” which I hear that a lot from patients because they know something is bad in there. They know that something needs to be done and he had this feeling of self-blame, like how did I let this happen to me, why didn’t I go to a dentist, why didn’t I seek for help before. So he was very introverted and he’s a very very good looking man and his wife was saying “well Mike, don’t worry. The most important is that something can be done about it right now.” So he was saying before he couldn’t go out, he didn’t feel like being social, he didn’t feel like meeting with his friends, he didn’t feel like interacting with people. He had a secret he had something going on that held him back. Next day after the procedure, it was during the summer. Next day after the procedure I called him to check on him, how do you feel do you have any pain what’s going on? And he said, I heard a noise on the phone I said “Mike where are you?” “Well I’m on the boat fishing with my friend at the shore, at the jersey shore.” You know. Well when you hear that, that one is, I mean you cannot put a price tag on it. It was, when I heard that it was like oh my gosh what this procedure can do for these people. It’s a life changing event in their lives. Look at those 2 pictures, look at the difference that this procedure can do for him. I mean imagine how he lived his life with those teeth and imagine how he lives his life now with those teeth.
RA: They look real by the way. They do look real.
DP: They look very real. They fill his face. You know he’s a good looking man he has good looking teeth I mean he has a nice smile. I mean imagine about his social interaction right now versus what he had before.
RA: Yeah, or even on a job interview.
DP: On a job interview, I mean he’s a, he’s a contractor. He does, he does his refrigeration work. I mean he was saying before, “Doc I go to the job and I interact with potential customers and I never smiled and I never want to show. I feel embarrassed because I feel like I’m a, I’m a low, you know like a scumbag , low life person.”
DP: You know and look at him now.
RA: He looks sophisticated. You can’t see his face, but he does.
DP: He looks sophisticated, yes. He’s smiling. When he talks, he’s talking with the full, full face. He shows his smile.
RA: But you have a lot of these. Like every, I think you told me on the phone like every single day in your office, transformations.
DP: Right, transformations. Life changing, life changing, this is a life changing event. Let me show you this next women, very nice person. She comes in with a failing bridge and she has other bridges failing on each side. Her main issue was intimacy, lack of intimacy or holding back from intimacy. She doesn’t, she didn’t say it right away, but at some point in our conversation because I talk to these people a lot. At some point in our conversation it came up.
RA: Like kissing and things like that?
DP: Kissing. She said “Doctor I love to kiss my loved one, but I hold back from it.” And when you don’t have this situation you never think about. You and I we never think about it, but in that situation when the bridge is loose and she feels like any wrong movement of the tongue or the lips is going to make the bridge fall out, imagine how the intimacy could be. So this was her main issue. She had those failing bridges, the other failing bridges. Nothing could have been done about except to take the teeth out put the implants in and give her a new set of teeth on top of the implants. Now look at the result, those teeth are fixed. Those teeth they never come out. There’s no, doesn’t even cross her mind that those teeth are going to come out in any event, I mean intimacy, or eating or drinking, or whatever she does, you know? It’s a sense, it’s a sense of security now. Before everything was very insecure, now she’s very secure with her teeth in her mouth. Randy let me give you recap on how this procedure goes. The patient with these big problems which they think they are not sure if they can be solved or not. They come in and I tell them yea it can be done and it can be done in one day. They come in, we take the teeth out, we give them implants, we give them a new set of teeth, permanently secured to the implants. They never come out, they never break. And they leave the same day with a new set of teeth, which they can bite from an apple, they can bite from corn on the cob or from a carrot.
RA: So they can eat like a corn on the cob with their front teeth or they have to be careful?
DP: They can eat it with the front teeth. Right away they can eat with the front teeth.
RA: Like broccoli, or carrots, salads?
DP: Broccoli yes, yes.
RA: A nut? Could they eat nuts?
DP: Yes, yes. They never come out Randy. They never break. They are more resistant to breakage than natural teeth. A natural tooth is going to be more likely to break in this kind of instances than the implants.
RA: So what’s the maintenance on something like this? Like when it’s all done?
DP: It’s the same like regular teeth. They brush, they floss, they use the water pick, it’s a little device which shoots water and they come to the dentist every 6 months like every other person with teeth comes for their 6 month cleanings. We take a look at them. We do whatever needs to be done, we clean them. They are proud and they like coming to the dentist now because they know it’s no problem. People are afraid to go to the dentist because they know they have problems, but after all this is done they come, and they come sometimes with flowers, with coffee.
RA: Is that right?
DP: They come, yes. They bring coffee to the whole staff and they come and they are loud in the waiting room, they laugh.
RA: They are loud in the waiting room?
DP: Yes, yes, yes.
RA: So their personality comes out.
DP: Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, all of a sudden all these people who are introverted, they are very extroverted.
RA: Alright, so no more..
DP: It’s a pleasure, it’s a pleasure
RA: Go ahead go ahead.
DP: It’s a pleasure to see them, to see their name on the schedule and I say oh Mary is coming back oh Mike is coming back yea yea and then they come in and we joke and we clean their teeth and we see them after 6 months again.
RA: And you do it all right there?
DP: Everything is done in my office under one roof every single step everything, including the maintenance.
RA: You even make the teeth right there, you even make the teeth.
DP: Exactly, exactly.
RA: So how it’s normally done for people just tuning in, we’re talking about dental implants replacing missing teeth, no more dentures, teeth in one in the same day. But it does sound like a little bit of an exaggeration in the same day. So if somebody flies in, you’ve never seen them before. You are saying they can go in without teeth and that same day walk out with upper and lower fixed set of teeth.
DP: Randy, they can potentially fly in without meeting me before, or without me meeting them before. They can fly in, I can take a look at them and I can do the procedure and in the afternoon they can take the flight back to their own city.
RA: Like a temporary set of teeth or a fixed set of teeth?
DP: It’s a fixed set of teeth, it never comes out. Here’s another patient.
DP: He’s an engineer.
RA: These photos are good by the way.
DP: Thank you.
RA: People need to know I’m not trying to endorse you, right, but these are good stories.
RA: And you like this?
DP: I love it, I love it Randy. I can’t wait for the next patient to walk in and to help this patient.
DP: When they come in and they feel like “Uh I’m not sure if this can be done doctor. I’ve been to other dentists and they said that I don’t have enough bone and nothing can be done.” When I hear their story I know where the whole thing is going to. I know exactly how the patient is going to look. I know how their life is going to change after my few hours of work. So here’s a patient who comes in. His name is John who had also a failing bridge on the top. He had a bridge for a while and he came with the same thing as Mary. The bridge was moving and he said “Doc I know that the bridge is suppose to hold on many teeth, but I know for a fact I feel it that it’s holding only on one tooth. All the other supports of the bridge, they are loose and it’s a matter of days when this bridge is going to come out.”
DP: I mean he could move it with his tongue, he was doing this. Food was getting under, but food was getting under he wasn’t able to brush in there.
RA: So what do you do for a guy like this? I mean what are his options?
DP: The same procedure, it’s very very easy. We took the teeth out and this is how it looks at the end and those teeth are secure. Those teeth are that good. They never come out. His, his life, the quality of life, in this kind of instances, it changes dramatically. It’s not like a little change, oh I exercise a little. It’s a dramatic change. I mean for a life that has where they have a chronic infection in their body. And who knows how long that bridge was loose before he felt that it was loose.
RA: So he was miserable for a long time?
DP: He was miserable.
RA: Are most of these people, they put it off and put it off? Especially guys, right?
DP: Yes and when they hear from the first doctor or the first dentist they go to “hmm not too much can be done, maybe a denture,” or and they go after that for a second consult and they are told the same thing. All of sudden they get this fixed idea that nothing else can be done. They’ve already been to 2 people so after that..
RA: So why is that you can do it and they can’t do it? I mean they’ve been told else where they don’t have enough bone, does it come down to training of the, of the dentist?
DP: I think it comes down to training to, to really looking to..
RA: Cause you’re known for this, right? The same day thing?
DP: Right, right, right, right, right. And this is why people come to me because they know that within one day I can give them what they want or what they need.
RA: So how do people hear about you?
DP: Because a lot of people had the procedure done in my office and after that they told other people and this is how the word spreads in my community or in my area that I do these kind of procedures and I can help these kind of people. And being that a lot of people have dentures or a lot, a lot of people have very bad teeth and they were told they needed dentures, they seek my help.
RA: So you, so no more dentures.
DP: No more dentures.
RA: All in the same day.
DP: Yes and no, no person, no human being deserves to live their lives in denture or in dentures.
RA: Well good for you we are out of time. Final message, if somebody is watching this, either they’re headed toward false teeth, they don’t want false teeth, but they have teeth still or somebody currently wearing false teeth or dentures what do you say to them? And they’re skeptical, they hear what you’re saying but they’re still skeptical.
DP: To seek my help and definitely I can help them and I say that with certainty because I haven’t had, so far, I haven’t had one person that I turned back. My advice to them is to seek my help because the age is not a, is not an issue unless there’s an underlining medical condition that doesn’t allow surgical, dental surgery.
RA: Like uncontrollable diabetes or something?
DP: Yes or a malignancies or different treatments that they are on. Unless it’s something really bad like that, they can be helped.
RA: OK good.
DP: They can be helped.
RA: Alright, I want to thank you for coming on the show. Good for you and now your consultations you say are free?
DP: The consultations are free. There are no obligations.
RA: Insurance, unfortunately, does not cover this procedure, like Medicare, Medicaid does not cover dental implant?
RA: They don’t cover, but the dental insurance covers part of the procedure which is like taking the teeth out.
RA: And you’ll accept or, or look into that?
DP: Yes, yes we will work with them, yes.
RA: OK, thanks again.
DP: Thank you.
RA: Thanks for coming on the show. You’ve been watching The Wellness Hour, I’m Randy Alvarez for now. I wish you good Health.