When it comes to replacing missing teeth, Dr. John Shillingburg at DFW Oral Surgeons believes dental implants are the best answer.
“The nice thing about them is they don’t decay like teeth,” said Dr. Shillingburg, a board certified oral and maxillofacial specialist whose surgical specialty practice has been located across FM 2499 from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound since 2015.
“Once they are integrated, these implants just last. We have the ability for people who need all of their teeth removed in one or more jaw to go in and take the bad teeth out and put implants in the same day.”
That technique, called All-on-4 dental implants, really is life changing, as in the past implants had to be replaced individually – one implant for one tooth. Individual teeth needing implant replacement typically require temporary teeth and take longer.
“We used to have to put in 6-8 dental implants for people with dentures who didn’t want to have to take them in and out,” Shillingburg said. “Now it’s just 4-6 dental implants and patients can have a full set of teeth that function well. They feel like their natural teeth.”
DFW Oral Surgeons can still help patients with bridges and dentures but Shillingburg said they don’t last as long as implants. Plus, dentures can take patients’ chewing efficiency below 25 percent, possibly causing additional health issues.
While implants have been around for decades, research and the resulting advancements in materials, surface and connections have made Shillingburg’s job easier.
“We place one type of implant that is 20 percent stronger than titanium,” he said. “They’re very strong. The surface of the implant has been perfected to where they integrate into the bone extremely well. The success rate due to technology and improvements in surface characteristics and all of that stuff have gone through the roof.”
Helping Shillingburg and his 12-person staff is the X-Nav machine, a guided surgery technology used to aid in placing dental implants making surgeries easier and quicker. It also employs a digital scanner eliminating the need for traditional cumbersome impressions.
To address the growing request for implants, DFW Oral Surgeons will welcome Dr. Lico Castillo in August. He will play a key role in keeping business as usual this year after restrictions early in the pandemic though staff members still are required to wear masks.
“Our goal is not only to help people feel good about their smile and their aesthetics but to be able to eat,” said Dr. Shillingburg, who lives in Bartonville with wife Carrie and 13-year-old daughter Karis. Their twin sons Caleb and Jacob, 22, and son Joseph, 21, reside elsewhere.
“We have people come in here all the time who I don’t know how they function because they can’t chew. It’s a tough thing for them to go through.”
Dr. Shillingburg originally started helping those patients in 2009 when joined DFW Oral Surgeons founder Lee Oneacre. He took over the practice in 2016 when Oneacre retired.
Prior to that, Dr. Shillingburg served in the United States Army in the Reserves from 1995-1999 and on active duty from 1999-2009. He completed his general dentistry residency in 2001 at Fort Carson, Colorado and studied oral and maxillofacial surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center from 2001-2005.
DFW Oral Surgeons is most proud of being named Best of Denton County for the fifth straight year in 2021 in the categories of Dental Implant Dentist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Best Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Center.
Plus, DFW Oral Surgeons has been designated as a bonafide outpatient surgery center with a generator, so power is never lost during an outage. Dr. Shillingburg also manages dental and oral surgery emergencies at the hospital.