Recent Posts



Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Posted on Jul 28, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Occasional excuses for not flossing, forgetting to brush one’s teeth once in a while, or consumption of too much sugar is common for most Americans. We’re humans and prone to not always being ‘perfect.’ Fortunately, these occasional errors in judgement can be undone by quickly resuming our oral hygiene regimen at home and maintaining our six-month oral hygiene cleaning appointments to remove plaque build-up that has occurred as a result.

These occasional oversights become true problems that involve treatment time and costs  when “occasional” becomes “frequent.” Too, when people assume those six-month check-ups can be delayed and become annual visits or longer durations, repairs are not an “if,” they are a “when.”

If you over-indulge in a Snickers bar here and there, so be it. If you miss brushing your teeth while on vacation a couple of times, that’s okay. If you don’t floss every night each week, your teeth won’t drop out of your head. However, all things considered, do the best you can and keep those six-month check-ups and cleanings so you’ll save yourself a great deal in the long run in dental repairs.

After all, the best type of dental procedure we can provide you is none at all!

Why Your Ability To Chew Properly Is So Important

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

For adults who wear dentures, many feel their ability to bite and chew comfortably and securely is the most difficult part. When chewing, dentures tend to slip and move, causing discomfort. When some food particles become trapped between gums and dentures, such as seeds of berries or pieces of nuts, they can pierce tender gum tissues. This can cause denture wearers to avoid these foods altogether as well as other foods that require thorough chewing. The tendency is to select soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth, bypassing protein rich meats, fibrous fresh fruits and vegetables, and others that supply ample vitamins and minerals.

Teeth are a major part of the digestion process, which begins in the mouth. When chewed food is ground into fine particles, digestive juices can break food down for more efficient processing by the body. Digestion of food begins with chewing with saliva mixed in during the process. Saliva contains an enzyme that converts some of the starches to sugar.

After chewing and swallowing, food travels down the esophagus and into the stomach where gastric juice starts protein digestion. However, when food is not processed thoroughly in the mouth through chewing, the digestion process is compromised. It is a fact that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems and take more drugs than adults who chew with natural teeth.

One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is their ability to restore secure biting and chewing. Our dental implant patients are thrilled to resume a diet of healthy foods they love since they feel confident and comfortable eating again.

If you wear dentures and would like to discuss dental implants, call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and explain all your options.

Rather Than Compare Price, Compare Quality

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Occasionally, our front office receives calls from people who are calling different offices to check fees. While we all want to spend our money wisely, these types of comparisons don’t always give an ‘apples to apples’ accuracy.

Take, for example, the inquiry, “How much are Dental Implants?”  Is the caller wanting the cost of the implant and placement procedure? Or, does he want to know the added cost for the replacement tooth. And, since one implant can hold more than one tooth (in many cases), calculating the cost of three implants and three replacement teeth may be far more than is necessary, when one implant and a bridge of three teeth will suffice.

It’s also difficult to answer cost questions since no two mouths are alike and fees can vary according to the type of implant that’s best suited to the individual’s need. Or, for example, to learn the fees to repair a ‘gummy’ smile, the number of teeth involved will largely determine the rate. Although, veneers or crowns may be recommended as part of the treatment to improve or protect natural teeth. These fees are extra.

Another issue with cost comparison is even more concerning when people try to ‘shop’ for the ‘best price.’ While a dentist or specialist may have higher fees for certain procedures, there is often a good reason. Having your treatment provide a flattering, natural look and feel that gives exceptional longevity and does not compromise your bite alignment (which can eventually cause headaches, chipped teeth, sore jaws, etc.) is worth the extra for a dentist who is highly trained, skilled and experienced.

For example, a dentist who has taken a few weekend courses on placing one particular type of  dental implant may offer a terrific rate. However, doctors don’t ‘guarantee’ work since, once the patient is out their door, the dentist no longer has control over its care. With implants, when not selected or placed properly, failures (and therefore, removal) can occur. When implants have to be removed, the investment is down the drain.

Think of your dental investment like you would when selecting a new roof for your family’s home. Would you pick the cheapest company, realizing the materials and workmanship will likely be inferior? Be committed to finding the right dental professional to do the job to the highest standards. A healthy, appealing smile is an investment that’s worth the very best!

Don’t Let Dental Fear Keep You From A Healthy Smile

Posted on Jul 09, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontist, I see a large number of adults who have developed periodontal (gum) disease. Yet, it never surprises me when I meet a new patient who has arrived because their problems stemmed from avoiding dental care due to fear.

While fear of dentistry affects an estimated 75% of the U.S. adult population, nearly 10% are categorized as “dental phobics.” These are adults who have such a severe level of dental fear that they avoid going to a dentist until it’s no longer a choice, but a dire necessity.

Most often, we discover this fear has resulted from a traumatic dental experience in the past. Over the years, I’ve heard some appalling tales. Many felt ‘pinned down’ in a treatment chair while a dentist worked on them even though they were in pain. Some say it’s the noises and smells that conjure up a perception of pain even before anything is done.

A few have shared that they feel unable to breath during dental treatment. Because breathing through the nose is necessary during many procedures, this causes some to feel ‘suffocated.’

A comfort option that has helped many to overcome their fear is Oral Sedation. This is a pill that is swallowed at home so they are relaxed by the time they arrive at our office. This helps them to walk in without the anxiety they would typically experience. By the time we begin treatment, they are totally relaxed and often snooze in and out while in the chair.

This typically erases most memory of the procedure afterward. It also allows us to apply numbing medications without the patient being aware of having injections at all.

Once patients have Oral Sedation, they often return and feel they no longer need this type of relaxation. In most cases, when a foundation of trust has been formed, they relax on their own. Until that time, however, we move at a pace that is best for each individual.

If you’re ready to “take that step” to a healthier, more attractive smile, let’s begin with a consultation. This will take place in our Consultation Room, which is a relaxed setting away from the clinical side of the office. From there, you can decide how you’d like to proceed. Call (828) 274-9440 to speak with one of our friendly staff members.