Exploring Advanced Dental Implant Solutions with Dr. Priyanka Kulkarni

For Dr. Priyanka Kulkarni of Dental Depot’s Arlington dental clinic, where she is is where she was meant to be. From her first introduction to dentistry at her childhood orthodontist to her new role as partner-owner of Dental Depot’s seventh DFW location—the first woman to be offered a partnership, no less—Dr. Kulkarni has been passionate about helping patients rediscover their confidence through quality dental care. Over the last 10+ years, she has continued to expand and develop her skills to provide more options to more patients, particularly in the areas of restoration and full-mouth rehabilitation.

“There is a lot of research regarding the connection between oral health and cardiovascular health, so having a healthy smile is about more than just having all your teeth; it’s about fixing problems now so you can have fewer issues in the future,” says Dr. Kulkarni.

This is especially important for people who have lived with missing teeth for a long time, she continues, because they stand to benefit the most from procedures like dental implants.

“Being able to give patients a solution to replace their missing teeth in the most natural way possible with dental implants—especially for people who’ve had a bad experience with other restorations or who may not have been able to have implants before—is something that really excites me because it’s so much better for the patient.”

Dr. Kulkarni Headshot

The Dental Depot Difference for Dental Implants

After a short hiatus with another practice in Houston, Dr. Kulkarni returned to Dental Depot in 2017, where she had begun her career immediately after graduation. It wasn’t long after that that she was offered the opportunity to open the Arlington office.

“I couldn’t wait to get back to Dental Depot. It’s such a great place to work.”

In addition to an employee-friendly, family-based atmosphere—one in which it isn’t unusual for several generations of the same family to work with the company—Dental Depot cultivates a professional, patient-focused approach that encourages doctors and dentists to do what is right for the patient, not for production goals or quotas. Doctors are given the freedom to work with patients on an individual basis and help them work through not just the solution they want, but the one that is realistic and affordable for them as well.

“We’re encouraged to treat people the way we want to be treated,” Dr. Kulkarni says. “We strive to be honest with them and give them the answers that we would want to hear ourselves.”

Dental Depot has also always been on the leading edge of innovative and effective dental procedures, and dental implants are no different. When it became apparent that dental implants were going to become a more practical and affordable option for more people, the Dental Depot leadership team selected ten of their general dentists to receive advanced training for dental implants. Dr. Kulkarni was one of the ten identified for her extensive experience in prosthodontics, surgical extractions, and restorations like crowns and bridges, making her one of the first—and one of the first women—to begin performing dental implants for the company.

For Dr. Kulkarni, dental implants were a logical progression of the types of procedures she had already been pursuing, including 8-on-8 crowns, full mouth rehabilitations, and smile design.

“I really loved the challenge of improving function and overall appearance,” says Dr. Kulkarni. “The more I did in prosthodontics and the more experience I had with the aspect of bite and functionality, the more I wanted to not only expand my duties but also be able to expand the options I could offer my patients.”

The dental implant training provided by Dental Depot did more than broaden the skillsets of the dentists; it also created a unique opportunity for patients where they could receive comprehensive care and an array of procedures and services all in one place. By offering implants, oral surgery, prosthodontics, and family dentistry at the same office, patients can enjoy fewer appointments, stronger patient-provider relationships, and better continuity of care.

“Before, we had patients asking about dental implants and we were having to send them out to other providers and practices,” Dr. Kulkarni explains. “But now, we can do everything in-office. Patients don’t have to go to five different places to get work done.”

Dental Implants: The Future of Dentistry

As Dental Depot’s dental implant capabilities continued to grow, so did their investment in the technology that could produce the best possible results, namely the iTero Element Intraoral Scanner and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). With advanced imaging techniques like this, doctors like Dr. Kulkarni can not only better plan the placement of dental implants, but they can also explore opportunities for patients who may not have been candidates for dental implants before.

Traditional x-rays, for example, may only show insufficient bone density for dental implant surgery or provide too little information to help a patient make the best decision. With intraoral scanners and CBCT, however, doctors can create accurate surgical guides that recreate the smile better than it was before—including precise placements of implants and areas that can benefit from bone grafting—and they can give patients detailed, real-time visuals of their oral health, making it more likely patients will accept the treatment necessary to improve their condition.

Integrating this technology, says Dr. Kulkarni, has improved the outcomes and success rates associated with dental implants while reducing errors and overcoming the patient compliance and comfort issues inherent with other options like partial dentures, crowns, and bridges. That, along with improvements in materials and the addition of 3D printing capabilities to produce restorations in-house, have made dental implants more acceptable and affordable to both patients and insurance companies.  

“The number one reason people weren’t getting dental implants was often because insurance companies weren’t paying for them,” Dr. Kulkarni says. However, more and more insurance companies have started to cover them at roughly the same level as other prosthodontics. Eventually, Dr. Kulkarni hopes, insurance coverage will treat dental implants the same as bridges.

Trust the Experience of Dental Depot Doctors for Your Dental Implants

No matter what brings a patient to Dr. Kulkarni’s office—or what’s keeping them away from the dentist altogether—she has a simple message: “Give us a chance.”

“We know patients have had bad experiences with dentists in the past,” says Dr. Kulkarni, “but the more they stay away, the bigger their small problems will become, so instead of simply cleaning your teeth, we’re treating gum disease. Instead of doing a filling, we’re talking about dental implants.”

Whether they suffer from long-term neglect, bone deterioration, lack of insurance, worn-down teeth, or something else, Dr. Kulkarni wants patients to know there are solutions to restoring their smile, their confidence, and their quality of life. From training other dentists on dental implants to expanding her own surgical experience to include advanced skills like bone grafting, Dr. Kulkarni is constantly looking for ways to help fix the problems she sees in her patients, and she and Dental Depot are always looking ahead for ways to make more options available to more patients, such as with zygomatic or all-on-4 dental implants.

If you are interested in more information on dental implants from Dental Depot, contact us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation.



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