A DENTAL practice in South Lanarkshire renowned for its implant work has seen a 30% year-on-year increase in enquiries after pioneering a technique that uses patients’ own blood plasma to grow bone.
Larkhall Dental Institute, of the Clyde Munro Dental Group, has adopted an organic approach to implantology developed by a Spanish company, Biotechnology Institute, that uses platelet rich blood plasma to effectively regenerate and repair tissue and bone with a quicker recovery time.
Dr Callum Graham was the first practitioner in Central Scotland to adopt the regenerative treatment back in 2011 as Practice Principal, saying he ‘stumbled’ across the process, called PRGF®-Endoret®, and has never looked back.
Typically, a dental implant will be made of a titanium alloy, similar to those found in hip or shoulder implants, the surface of the implant, with this system, is specially treated with Calcium ions that work in harmony with the PRGF®-Endoret® system to help new bone attach onto the implant surface. It is the quality of this bone-to-implant surface interaction that determines the success of implant treatment.
He said: “PRGF®-Endoret® is a treatment which is still not widely known on these shores. Like many doubters I was not convinced it could be effective.
“However, I took a trip to Spain, to learn about the process and found it was a healthier, more natural and effective way of providing dental implant treatments. There was a learning curve to adopt to this method, and we felt we were breaking from the norm – but the research speaks for itself.
“Another facet of our process is laser treatment, and this has proven to be helpful in disinfecting the tissue, as well as causing less damage and providing a cleaner cut than what we would expect from a scalpel.
“There is also a developing branch of laser treatment, Photobiomodulation (PBM) that uses a very low dose of laser energy to help reduce post treatment symptoms and swelling, shortening any recovery or down time and helping us provide a more comfortable patient journey.
“I come from a civil engineering background, and certain principles for this industry, problem solving and analysis, can be transferable to dentistry. I saw the benefits PRGF®-Endoret® could have on my patients.
“We are always looking to broaden our horizons and develop new concepts and ideas that boost patient outcomes and experiences.”
Callum, 50, started Larkhall Dental Institute eight years ago with no patients. Since then he has built his patient database to more than 6000. In late 2019 the practice became part of the Clyde Munro network, enabling Callum to focus entirely on patient care.
The practice’s innovative techniques have proven a success with its patients. One such patient is Kevin O’Donnell from Strathaven, South Lanarkshire who has found the regenerative treatment has had a profound impact on his life.
Kevin, 59, said: “I was looking for a long-term solution in treating my false teeth. The majority of my top jaw had suffered throughout the years – I recall one being kicked out whilst playing football.
“After putting up with bridges I decided to go for implants as I felt it would be a more permanent feature and would be more cost effective in the long run.
“Dr Graham has been my dentist for some years and he introduced me to this new technology which uses your own blood cells in the healing process.
“I was amazed at how progressive the technology was. Treatments which used to take hours could be done in 30 minutes, and the recovery time was reduced from months to just weeks.
“Dr Graham makes the whole process painless. He puts you at ease and is very good at explaining how the technology works and the impact it will have on your teeth.
I have never looked back after receiving this treatment. It has made me a more confident person. It has had a tremendous impact on my self-esteem and I urge anyone considering implants to do so.”
Clyde Munro, Scotland’s largest dental group has been able to successfully start welcoming back patients across its practices from July.
Dr Jacqui Frederick, Group Clinical Director at Clyde Munro said: “As a group, we’ve been able to react promptly to guidance to enable us to safely open all of our practices to offer our patients choice at each stage of remobilisation”
Those attending its practices are asked to observe a wide range of safety procedures which include, filling in forms digitally before attending, using on site sanitising stations, observing strict social distancing, following a one-way system and paying by contactless methods where possible.
Clyde Munro was founded by Jim Hall in 2015 with the acquisition of seven practices. Since then, it has enjoyed rapid growth through acquisition and has plans to continue expanding.
It now comprises 42 practices across Scotland, with more than 200 dentists, 350 staff and 300,000 patients. The group’s ambition is to become Scotland’s “local dentist”, operating an expanding network of family dentists across Scotland, with each devoted to providing the best dental care, while reflecting the needs and character of its community.