Recent Posts



Overcoming Dental Fear To Change A Denture For Dental Implants

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

QUESTION: “I’d like dental implants but haven’t been to a dentist for over ten years because of fear, so how will I ever get rid of this denture?”
Answered By Dr. William Claiborne, Specialist in Periodontics

Your problem is shared by millions of American adults. It’s estimated that as many as 75% of American adults have some level of fear associated with dental visits, with an estimated 10% of those who are classified as dental phobics. These people have such intense fears that they only seek dental treatment when it becomes an emergency need.

For most, dental fear is the result of a past traumatic experience while in a dental chair. Regardless of its origin, the events cause an uncontrollable reaction for many adults when it comes to the mere thoughts of dental visits.

Whether or not you remember what triggered your dental fear, please know that we have been highly successful helping patients overcome this. The first step is to arrange a time when we can sit down and discuss the different methods to help you relax. After many years of not seeing a dentist, I suspect you have some level of gum disease present. Our first goal will be to provide the treatment your gums surely need while you are totally relaxed and comfortably throughout the procedure.

We begin in a private Consultation Room, which is a setting separate from the clinical side of the practice. We discuss your concerns and ways that dentistry now provides options that make comfort a part of your treatment. We are sensitive to high fear patients and ask them to raise a finger or hand if they feel anything so we can make immediate adjustments. In addition to numbing medications, we provide conscious sedation to help you relax fully before and throughout your treatment.

Oral sedation, in pill form, is taken prior to your visit so you are relaxed even before you arrive. By the time you are seated in the treatment chair, you are in a tranquil state and are typically unaware when numbing medication is administered. Oral sedation also has an amnesiac effect, leaving most with little or no memory of their procedure afterwards.

While we take every measure to ensure your comfort, nothing takes the place of trust. Once you understand that I will not hurt you, you will begin to relax on your own. I’m pleased to say that most patients eventually tell me, “I don’t need the sedation anymore.”

Dentistry has come a long way since you were in a dental office, with comfort a high priority with the Dentists I know. I hope you’ll allow us to show you just how respectful, compassionate and gentle we are when it comes to to the care and comfort of patients. Call our office at (828) 274-9440 for a free consultation or to learn more.

Could YOU Tell A Co-Worker They Have Bad Breath?

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

QUESTION: “A co-worker always has bad breath, even though she’s always chewing gum. Is there a way I can hint to her in a kind way?”
Answered By Dr. William Claiborne, Periodontal Specialist

It’s always awkward trying to help someone understand they have a problem as offensive as bad breath. Even when bad breath is an occasional problem, it’s embarrassing.

You indicate your co-worker’s bad breath is constant, not just after a tuna sandwich lunch or a morning of coffee. Plus, she chews gum constantly. Because her breath is bad all the time, I suspect that she has periodontal disease. Bad breath is a symptom of gum disease and can’t be camouflaged by mouth rinses or even brushing for very long. It can also have a slightly different odor than “typical” bad breath.

The constant gum chewing indicates that your co-worker may know she has a problem. Someone may have already told her that her breath is bad and she is trying to keep it fresh. Or, her gums may be bleeding, another symptom of gum disease. She may be trying to keep saliva flowing in her mouth to mask the bad taste.

If she suspects she has gum disease, she may be avoiding periodontal care because of fear of pain or even financial constraints. We find these issues cause many to avoid or delay much needed treatment. Most are unaware that today’s periodontal treatment can be provided with virtually no discomfort.

Additionally, treatment costs not covered by insurance can often be spread out through payment plans. We also try to help patients understand that the earlier treatment occurs, the lower the cost. Periodontal disease will never get better on its own, so the sooner treatment begins, the better.

Consider starting a conversation with her by mentioning that you are considering periodontal treatment for yourself. Explain that you wish to keep your natural teeth for your lifetime and have noticed some bleeding when brushing. Mention research about periodontal disease and how it begins silently at first, but can eat away at gum tissue and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.

If she opens up about her own oral health, you can then encourage her to see a periodontal specialist. Her first visit can be a consultation to ask questions and learn what to expect. This way, she can get to know the Periodontist without having to get in a treatment chair.

You may also want to download information from the web site of the American Academy of Periodontology at or call our office to request information at (828) 274-9440.

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Posted on Jun 27, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

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Posted on Jun 27, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS