Recent Posts



We Make Patient Safety A Priority

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

I recently read an article about an Oklahoma City oral surgeon who has put over 7,000 patients at risk for Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV. This is shocking, especially since the majority of dentists adhere to very strict guidelines in the prevention of exposure to any and all risk factors.

Although the patients (all since 2007) were told by the Tulsa Health Department, “It should be noted that transmission in this type of occupational setting is rare,” this is very upsetting. This sends an alarm of worry out to people, many who are already terribly frightened of dental visits.

Please know that our heat sterilization process exceeds guidelines set forth by OSHA and the CDC. Additionally, all staff members are trained to administer patient care to the highest safety standards at all times, regardless of your procedure.

It is our goal to provide an exceptional experience at every visit. You can rest assured that your safety and comfort are top priorities at our office.

Check Out All Angles Of Your Smile Before A Makeover

Posted on Mar 25, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

These days, I don’t have lots of photos of me, mostly because I’m the one taking the pictures! However, when I see myself in a photo, it is usually with the well-rehearsed smile I’ve been using in poses most of my adult life. Yet, when I’m with friends and family, I smile bigger and laugh freely, showing more of my smile than what appears in most images.

When patients who want to enhance the appearance of their smile, several side teeth may be easily visible along with front teeth. But, it’s not just “teeth” that create a smile. In our office, we work with a number of dentists to enhance the patient’s esthetic outcome. Along with the number of teeth, shade and shape, we help to optimize the outcome with gum recontouring.

If you’re considering smile enhancements, take a look at your smile in the mirror. You’ll see what others see by holding a hand mirror up to a wall mirror for a close up view. Check out your smile at several angles and watch your smile as you laugh. Do you have gum recession? Do too much of your gums show when you smile big or laugh?

An attractive smile can improve your appearance AND enhance self-confidence so you find yourself smiling more often! In turn, this projects you to others as an upbeat, positive person! To discuss gum recontouring, call (828) 274-9440for a consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss what will help to create an ideal smile makeover for you.

Considerations Of Dental Implants Vs. Bridges Or Dentures

Posted on Mar 20, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The upfront costs of dental implants are typically the only obstacle for some patients who want to replace missing teeth. Although the long term cost efficiency of dental implants makes them a better option than other tooth replacement alternatives, dental implants do have a failure rate. Here are tips to help you enjoy a successful outcome and an excellent investment:

Select Your Dentist Carefully: Dental implants must be selected and placed properly, and then carefully maintained (at home and through regular dental check-ups). The success rate of dental implants is over 95%, although smokers have a failure rate 2.5 times higher than that of non-smokers. Experienced implant dentists have around a 99% success rate, which is why it’s important to ask about the implant training and success rate of your doctor.

Longevity: A dental implant that has been selected, placed and maintained properly should last for a lifetime. A bridge will need replacement in an average of 10 years on average. Dentures will also need replacing or modification in about ten years because bone loss changes the fit of the denture. This is caused by the absence of tooth roots in the jaw and pressure of dentures. Looking at a 20 year period, your bridge or denture costs have now doubled, whereas the dental implants are worry-free.

Protecting Oral Health: In order to support a bridge, healthy natural teeth have to be cut down to serve as anchors for the bridge. This creates more susceptibility for tooth decay. Because it can be more difficult to clean around bridges, the accumulation of plaque increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Jaw bone loss is also a problem with removable dentures, which can lead to an aged appearance far beyond one’s actual years. Dental implants function the same as natural teeth without special care or requiring the support of adjacent teeth. The additional costs of treating decay or gum disease caused by a partial or full removable denture must be factored in when calculating the long term cost efficiency compared to the one-time expense of dental implants.

Enhanced Overall Health & Confidence: Dental implants give a natural look and feel while restoring a dependable, comfortable bite and chewing function. Trying to eat with removable dentures is often over-shadowed with fears of embarrassment. Those who wear removable dentures also have a tendency to select soft food that dissolve easily and quickly in the mouth. Thus, they often deprive themselves of fiber and protein-rich foods and satisfying, vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables.

Bottom Line: Initially, dental implants typically cost more than other dental restorations but are the clear winners when it comes to the investment. Because dental implants prevent bone loss, enhance dental (and overall) health and keep replacement teeth more secure for a lifetime, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial expense. Dental implants can also enhance your quality of life and actually lower the costs to maintain a healthy mouth over the course of your lifetime.

Oral Cancer – The Ugly Truth

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth and most commonly involves the lips or the tongue. It may also occur on the gums, roof of the mouth, under the tongue or lining of cheeks.

If the cancer is found early, before it can spread to other tissues, the survival rate is 90%. However, more than half of oral cancers have spread by the time the cancer is found, most spreading to the throat or neck.

Oral cancer tends to spread quickly. Treating oral cancer early, when tumors are small, may require surgical removal only. For larger tumors, surgery may be combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Surgery is not commonly done if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the neck.

About 1 in 4 with oral cancer die because of delayed diagnosis and treatment complications. Approximately half of patients with oral cancer will live more than 5 years after diagnosis and treatment. Treatment can leave the survivor with disfigurement of the face and/or neck, speech problems, and difficulty chewing and swallowing.

Some oral cancers begin as a white sore or spot. While smoking and other tobacco use are linked to most cases of oral cancer, heavy alcohol use also increases its risk. Men over the age of 40 have a higher risk than women. Other risk factors are the HPV virus, poor oral hygiene, chronic irritation, or medications that weaken the immune system.

Early symptoms of oral cancer include a sore, lump, or ulcer in the mouth. You may also experience pain with swallowing, speech difficulties, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and weight loss.

If you have a sore in your mouth or lip or a lump in the neck that does not go away within 2 weeks, you should be seen in our office immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer greatly increases the chances of survival. Call us at 828-274-9440 so we can catch problems at the earliest possible stage.