Dentists share exciting advances in oral and maxillofacial surgery

Sept. 28, 2011
During a candid conversation, two South Florida oral surgeons explain the cutting edge procedures they offer in their dental practice and share some exciting advances in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Drs. Jeffrey Blum and Eduardo Nicolaievsky (Nico) are two of South Florida’s premier oral and maxillofacial surgeons. From their state-of-the-art facility in Mount Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach, they offer the perfect blend of cutting edge technology and dedicated patient care. In addition, the traditional oral and maxillofacial procedures such as corrective/reconstructive surgery of the oral and facial regions, dental implants, and dental extractions, Drs. Blum and Nico distinguish themselves with technologically advanced techniques, forward-thinking procedures, and their own brand of customer care.During a candid conversation, both doctors answered some of the most frequently asked questions about their practice and shared some exciting advances in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Jeffrey D. Blum, DDS
Eduardo Nicolaievsky, DDS (Dr. Nico)What types of procedures do you perform?At Blum-Nico Oral Facial Surgery Associates, we use CAT scan technology, available right in our office, to make better diagnoses and perform a wide range of oral and maxillofacial procedures, including:
  • Correction of jaw deformities and birth defects
  • Facial trauma repair procedures
  • Minimally invasive dental implants and implant-related surgery
  • Diagnosis and treatment of facial pain disorders, including temporomandibular joint problems
  • Treatment of pathologic conditions, such as benign and limited malignant cysts and tumors of the mouth and jaw
  • Dental extraction of wisdom teeth or other impacted or diseased teeth
  • Full range of anesthesia services, including intravenous sedation and general anesthesia

A portion of your dental implant cases are “immediate load” cases. What does that mean?

Immediate load is the most advanced design of dental implants. There is no waiting period with this implant. Patients can come in with a broken or missing tooth, have it replaced immediately in a simple procedure under local anesthesia, and — on the same day — walk away with a fully functioning new tooth. In some cases, patients come in with no teeth at all and are able to leave our office with all of their permanent teeth, thus avoiding multiple visits to complete their treatment.

Can you explain what is entailed in performing 3-D imaging and guided surgery for dental implants? What are the results of this type of procedure?

We are proud to be equipped with some of the most advanced technology, such as our state-of-the-art 3-D digital imaging. With 3-D imaging, we are able to obtain a detailed computer view of the patient’s mouth and jawbone from all angles so that we can very carefully assess the patient’s surgical options and safely plan their surgery. We are also able to use this imaging to precisely guide, to the tenth millimeter, the surgical procedure and avoid inferior alveolar nerves and blood vessels proximate to the roots, which can cause permanent damage. The result is a safe, accurate, and minimally invasive surgery, with the added benefit of taking significantly less time. Whereas conventional implant surgery can take several hours just to place several implants, with the guided surgery, the same amount of implants can be positioned in less than an hour.

Do patient procedures take place in your office or in the hospital?

We are a hospital-based outpatient private practice. Procedures can take place right in our office or at the hospital, depending on the type of procedure and on each patient’s preference. For surgeries performed at the hospital, such as orthognathic surgeries, our expertise and extensive experience enable us to perform smooth, uncomplicated surgeries with anesthesia that result in the patient being able to go home from the hospital within the same day. These ambulatory surgeries are not only much more comfortable and convenient, but they can also reduce the cost to the patient.

Further, Dr. Nico has performed hundreds of these ambulatory orthognathic surgeries in his office in Mexico, and we expect that we will soon be able to conveniently and safely perform them in our own office in Miami Beach.

You are not an insurance provider. Your practice prides itself on a different brand of patient care. Can you describe this?

We strive to offer a better brand of care in our practice that we like to call “ENsurance,” because everything we do is geared toward ensuring that our patients are receiving the very best care available. In a traditional volume-insurance practice, there is little time to experience a true patient/doctor relationship, since many doctors are pressed to see as many patients as possible in an effort to maximize the compensation received from insurance companies.

We pride ourselves on excellence in patient care; therefore, our office has no contracts with insurance companies. What we do here is file the insurance claims for our patients, and then do everything we can to help them obtain the maximum reimbursement. This allows us to devote more time and energy to our patients’ needs and provide a unique level of personalized, undivided attention to each case — something that is not possible in a volume-insurance practice.

Each patient in our office receives a thorough initial evaluation including digital photography, X-rays, and models, which makes it easier and faster to create accurate before-and-after photos of treatment. Patients will also be able to view videos related to their procedure and receive the undivided attention of our doctors to assess their needs and address their questions and concerns. We have highly trained staff members who will interact with patients, including coordinators for the various procedure modalities and financial specialists who will explain in detail payment procedures and financial arrangements.

After a procedure, our postop service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to address any concerns or emergencies that may arise. One of our doctors will also be available at all times to take care of all postoperative needs. A postop visit or series of visits will be scheduled to ensure that the patient is healing properly and that there are no complications.

In addition to traditional oral and maxillofacial treatments and dental implants, you now offer expanded cosmetic services, including BOTOX® injections and facial rejuvenation treatments with Juvéderm. Why would patients turn to you for these services?

This is a natural area of expanded services for our practice because we are schooled in facial proportions. Who better than an oral-facial surgeon to understand the details and muscles of the face and make the results natural looking? In addition, because of our advanced training in anesthesia, we are uniquely qualified to apply a full range of anesthesia techniques and ensure that the patient’s experience is comfortable. This is a new dimension for these types of cosmetic procedures not practiced by other surgeons and dermatologists.

Of further significance is that we use BOTOX for medical applications, not just facial rejuvenation services. We use it to treat muscular diseases of the face, TMJ, and a variety of medical conditions involving muscular problems. BOTOX is also an alternative treatment to conventional medicine for patients experiencing atypical facial pain, such as Neuralgia.

What advances are you making using stem cells derived from teeth?

There are numerous medical applications already benefiting from the harvesting of stem cells. It has been proven that stem cells can be harvested from the pulp or inside tissue of the teeth, and can then be used in multiple medical applications such as the treatment of diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, degenerative nervous system diseases, and various forms of cancer. We provide our patients with the service of delivering their teeth to the appropriate laboratory so that the stem cells can be extracted and harvested. These stem cells can then be employed in any current or future medical treatment that the patients may require.

After 30 years, you are now Blum-Nico Oral-Facial Surgery. How will the addition of Dr. Eduardo Nicolaievsky (Dr. Nico) add value and catapult your practice to the next level?

Dr. Nico is an extremely talented surgeon with significant experience in private practice. He brings his additional experience and expertise, which complements that of Dr. Blum, whether it be in the area of surgery to correct jaw deformity, implant surgery, or grafting surgery. In addition, for major hospital-based procedures, our patients will have the benefit and experience of two skilled surgeons on their case, which greatly facilitates surgery. What’s more, Dr. Nico, who is a native of Mexico, is fluent in Spanish, so he can provide Hispanic patients an added comfort by communicating with them in their native language.

You may contact Drs. Blum and Nico at http://www.drblumoralsurg.com/.