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Lexington VA Healthcare among first to perform new type of dental surgery

Lexington VA Healthcare staff are among the first in the United States to offer a new type of surgery for people with bone loss so severe they can't wear dentures.
Lexington VA Healthcare
Lexington VA Healthcare staff are among the first in the United States to offer a new type of surgery for people with bone loss so severe they can't wear dentures.

Lexington’s Veterans Affairs Healthcare is offering a new type of dental surgery for people suffering from bone loss that prevents them from wearing dentures. Prosthodontist Dr. Gerald Grant said they performed the procedure for the first time in VA history in January, and for the third time Tuesday. They call it an individual personal solution.

“It's an implant that is designed that fits that specific patient. It is designed so that we don't have to do any bone grafting and, and it will fit a prosthesis usually for a dental search. So we're looking for patients that have don't have enough bone to hold their dentures in.”

Grant says Lexington VA staff were the first in the U.S. south of the Ohio River to perform the surgery. Dr. Regina Ratliff is the assistant chief of the dental service. She said for these people, it’s a gamechanger.

“These are people who are desperate that aren't normally a candidate for dental implants, because of their lack of bone. If we can't do a surgical graft, and they don't have enough bone, then, you know, they're pretty much hosed as far as getting something that's going to either snap in as far as a removable denture is concerned, or that we could build something fixed that stays in.”

Ratliff said the three patients they’ve performed the procedure on are doing well.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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