New Technology Means Eliminates Messy Impressions
Posted on Sep 22, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
In addition to staying on top of the latest techniques and materials in periodontal treatment, I select advanced technology based upon its benefits to our patients. In addition to technology that helps to optimize treatment outcome, I incorporate advancements that allow patients to move efficiently and comfortably from the exam process to treatment to the final results.
This is what Carestream 3600 provides with fast, easy and accurate digital imaging. What is this?
If you’ve had impressions of the inside of your mouth made, you probably recall having a mold filled with an oozy substance placed over the upper or lower portion. This was held in place to ‘set’ firm and was then rocked back and forth to remove. From this impression, a mold was made to show unique contours that would be involved in treatment.
Using Carestream 3600, we are able to eliminate that process altogether while creating vibrant full HD 3D images. Using a small handheld device, I scan the full arch in one continuous motion for a more comfortable experience for our patient.
Carestream provides precision dimensions at every angle. While this helps us to achieve outstanding clinical results, our patients no longer need to have messy impressions taken.
Carestream 3600 also makes sharing the images with referring doctors or with a dental lab more straightforward—resulting in clearer communication and faster turnaround. I have found it to be especially helpful for Dental Implant cases.
We are pleased that our patients can enjoy a simpler process through this advanced technology. For more about Carestream 3600, visit: http://carestreamdental.com/us/en/scan/CS%203600#Features%20and%20Benefits
Custom-Made Trays For More Effective, Non-Surgical Treatment
Posted on Sep 15, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
As a dental specialist, my goal is to provide each patient with appropriate treatment through the most effective, yet conservative, means possible.
My philosophy has always been to “never over-treat or under-treat.” This applies to patients who require surgical procedures as well as those who can achieve oral wellness via non-surgical means.
Even though non-surgical periodontal treatment has its limitations, it can be made more effective by incorporating up-to-date techniques. Using these techniques, I can often restore the patient to periodontal wellness without the need for surgical measures.
One such technique is through the use of a Custom Tray Delivery System. I begin by creating a custom-fitted tray by taking impressions of the patient’s mouth. This gives the patient’s unique oral contours that are used to form a ‘tray’ that fits over the teeth and gums. This is similar to a mouth guard (but far less bulky).
After filling with prescribed medications, patients are able to use these trays at home. The trays keep the medicine in direct contact with the areas in need of treatment.
Although tray delivery systems are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they have not been verified as an effective way to treat gum disease. We evaluate each patient’s condition to determine the appropriate treatment and if surgical or non-surgical means are needed. Thus, Tray Delivery Systems may not be helpful when it comes to overcoming certain levels of gum infection.
However, one condition we’ve found responds positively to Tray Delivery is in the treatment of erosive lichen planus. This is a chronic inflammatory condition inside your mouth. Lichen planus may appear as white and lacy patches, red and swollen tissues, or open sores and can cause burning sensations or pain.
Lichen planus isn’t contagious (through things such as kissing or sharing food and beverages). However, it is an autoimmune disorder and the result of the immune system attacking cells of the oral mucous membranes for unknown reasons. People with lichen planus are cautioned to have their condition monitored on a regular basis due to a higher risk for oral cancer.
In addition to regular monitoring, delivering medications through Tray Delivery Systems provides a dependable means of treatment that is non-surgical.
If you have questions about Tray Delivery Systems or any treatment, including the placement of dental implants, call 828-274-9440. We will be happy to arrange a consultation appointment to discuss various treatment options based upon your individual needs and goals.
Avoid Bad Breath
Posted on Sep 11, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Whether at work, home with family members or mingling at social gatherings, knowing our breath is fresh makes us feel more confident. Naturally, we can’t always count on having fresh breath. A morning of coffee or a hot dog lunch, for example, can leave us sensing that being in close proximity can raise an eyebrow. Even worse, bad breath can leave an impression – a lasting one, at that.
Occasional bad breath is a nuisance and can generally be controlled with good oral hygiene, keeping our mouth moist and limiting sugar. However, frequent bad breath is not only embarrassing, it is a warning sign.
Persistent bad breath is one of the symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease. You may also notice tender gums that bleed easily when brushing or have swollen areas around some teeth.
However, gum disease can begin without obvious warning signs. By the time symptoms emerge, it is often at a level known as gingivitis. If not resolved promptly, subsequent stages will require prompt treatment.
As gum disease advances, symptoms include gums that turn red in color and become sore, swollen and bleed easily. You’ll have persistent bad breath and may develop pus-filled pockets near the base of some teeth. Eventually, teeth loosen and require removal.
The majority of bad breath (known clinically as ‘halitosis’) comes from the accumulation of oral bacteria in the mouth. Oral bacteria coat the teeth, gums, tongue, inside of cheeks and roof of the mouth.
Good saliva flow helps to keep this bacteria moving out of the mouth. However, when brushing is infrequent or insufficient or the mouth becomes dry, saliva becomes unable to manage the bacteria levels in the mouth.
Another contributor to oral bacteria in the mouth is wearing a denture. The ‘gum’ portion of a denture is made from a porous material. Bacteria are able to live and breed in these tiny hideouts. Food that is caught between teeth and not removed by brushing or flossing also contributes to bacteria growth that saliva can’t always keep up with.
As bacteria thrive and reproduce, they coat the inside of the mouth and form a sticky film. This film is known as ‘plaque.’ Plaque that remains for more than a day or so can harden into ‘tartar,’ or ‘calculus.’ This attaches to teeth and is resistant to being brushed or flossed away. These bacterial masses attack tooth enamel and gum tissues if not removed by a dental professional.
Keeping a moist mouth is very important to oral hygiene. Drinking plenty of water during the day is advised. Colas, sweet tea, and energy drinks actually make dryness worse. You should also monitor the medications you take (both prescription and over-the-counter) and look for side effects that include oral dryness. And, smoking is one of the worst contributors of all to oral dryness.
Proper brushing and flossing is necessary. Brush for at least two minutes twice daily and rinse thoroughly. Use a circular motion rather than scrub teeth back and forth to avoid damaging tender gum tissues. Never use a hard bristle tooth brush or brush with harsh substances such as baking soda!
The tongue harbors a significantly high percentage of oral bacteria.
After brushing, use a tongue scraper to uproot oral bacteria embedded in the grooves of the tongue. This will significantly lower bacteria levels. As a matter of fact, Dentistry IQ states that “A study at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine found that 80 to 90% of bad breath comes from bacteria on the tongue” and is “the largest niche for microorganisms in the oral cavity.” (http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/04/a-deeper-look-into-tongue-cleaning.html)
An advantage of achieving and maintaining a clean, healthy mouth is having confidence when close to others. Plus, you’ll be contributing to the health and well-being of your entire body. Research has shown that a healthy mouth is a supportive component of a healthy you!
If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease or are concerned your breath is frequently bad, call 828.274.9440. Let’s help you establish a healthy smile and feel confident in closeness!
Correcting A Gummy Smile With Beautiful Results!
Posted on Sep 06, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
A smile says a lot. A warm, genuine smile sends a message to others of acceptance and joy. A beautiful smile also complements appearance and can relay an impression of confidence, happiness and openness.
As a Periodontist, I treat the soft tissues of the mouth in addition to placing dental implants and treating gum disease. As an expert in oral gum tissues, I have advanced training that enables me to create gum tissue contours to give a natural appearance and provide healthy seals around teeth.
Before & After Of A Gummy Smile
For people who have a ‘gummy smile,’ too much gum line is visible above the upper teeth in a full smile. While this trait does not interfere with the ability to have and maintain a healthy smile, for many, it causes them to ‘hold back’ rather than smile fully. Some people cover their smiles with a hand or try to smile with lips only.
For many with a gummy smile, the deterrents to having it repaired are (1) cost; (2) treatment discomfort; and (3) treatment time. However, in consultations with patients, I explain how modern techniques ensure exceptional comfort and reduce healing time. Often, once the patient is better informed as to what to expect, they are receptive to proceeding.
Gum re-contouring is the procedure to correct a gummy smile, referred to as a ‘gingivectomy.’ It is performed to remove the excess gum tissue that arches over the teeth most visible in a smile.
To begin, we numb the gum tissues and carefully trim the excess. As a Periodontist, I take specific measures to ensure a natural looking arch remains over the teeth while preserving the natural points that ‘dip’ between each tooth.
It’s normal to experience some tenderness or swelling after the procedure, however, most patients do fine by applying an ice pack off and on for the first day. In most cases, over-the-counter pain medications are sufficient, however, we make prescription strength options available to ensure comfort during the healing process.
Healing time depends on each individual and can vary from a few days to a few weeks. For patients who smoke, healing times are longer due to smoking’s drying effect on gum tissues.
Most gingivectomies are followed by crown lengthening procedures that enhance the appearance of the teeth most visible in a smile. Crown lengthening uses porcelain veneers or crowns to give a beautiful, even smile line.
Treatment fees depend on the extent of the condition and whether crowns or veneers will be applied following treatment. In either case, beautiful results can occur, helping the individual who once ‘held back’ to smile confidently and reveal a more outgoing, vibrant personality!
A healthy smile is a benefit to our overall health. An attractive, confident smile is beneficial to our self-image, helping us to feel good from the inside out! Call 828-274-9440 for a consultation to discuss a gingivectomy and what is recommended for your specific need.