Recent Posts



When A Dental Implant Fails

Posted on Jan 30, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Occasionally, a patient is referred to me because they have a failing Dental Implant. Implants can fail for a number of reasons, including a patient’s health conditions (osteoporosis, uncontrolled diabetes, use of steroids, heavy smoker, etc.).

Implants can also fail due to improper placement issues. I’ve seen this occur when a bone drill was too hot and destroyed bone tissue, implants that are not fully protected during the healing process, and when a dentist restores the implant too soon.

Other issues that can affect implant failure are incorrect selection of implant types, such as an implant too heavy for the bone mass in which it is placed. I’ve also seen implants fail for things like overuse of adhesive that worked its way into the bone during attachment of the teeth.

Poor oral hygiene at home is another cause of implant failure. After implants are placed, they are designed to last a lifetime, but require proper care. When a patient does not adhere to a strict daily hygiene regimen at home to keep their mouth clean or they resist dental check-ups and cleanings (implant patients are often scheduled more frequently than every 6 months), implant failure is a high risk. This means that the investment the patient has made in secured teeth for chewing comfort and smiling confidence turns into a loss.

Many of these problems can be avoided by seeking the best experience and skills of the specialist to place your dental implants. You should select one with a reputable track record of success who is willing to provide a list of past patients to contact.

Periodontal specialists are specifically trained in the selection and placement of dental implants. This individual can be a key factor in a successful outcome!

For a consultation, call us at (828) 274-9440.

Why Dentists Refer You To A Specialist

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

I interact with a great many general dentists in our area who provide exceptional care. These doctors truly have the best interests of their patients and know when to perform a procedure and when it’s best to refer the patient to a specialist.

When a patient is comfortable and confident with their general dentist, they may insist that he or she perform all procedures. This can often be the case with high fear patients. Although some patients resist being referred to a specialist, this can place a generalist in an awkward position. To appease the patient, some will attempt to perform periodontal treatment, root canals or extractions that should be performed by specialists in these areas.

All of us in the dental profession, deep down, know our capabilities; things we are well-trained and qualified to do. We are also aware there are particular procedures where we will be less effective than a specialist. Attempting some of these can be downright risky when not performed by adept hands.

If your dentist encourages you to see a periodontist and you’re resistant, I advise starting with a consultation appointment to discuss the treatment you need and any concerns you have.

I have tremendous faith in our community of general dentists and admire their ethics, skills, and commitment to optimal patient care. However, there are a few in every profession who make decisions based on profits rather than those they serve. Getting effective treatment for periodontal disease can be performed in an effective and efficient manner by a periodontist.

A dental specialist’s goal is to provide you with optimal treatment for particular oral needs and work in conjunction with your general dentist for your best outcome possible. To discuss your needs, call (828) 274-9440.

A New Reason Sipping Sodas Not Wise

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

In the dental profession, we often see decay that seems reoccurring. While some people are more susceptible to an oral bacteria that is particularly harmful to tooth enamel, the real culprit is often in our hands, not our DNA.

In conversation, patients will occasionally admit they sip on a soda throughout the day. This continual intake of a sugary beverage may give a little perk to their time at a desk, but it places an ongoing attack in your mouth.

Every time you eat or drink something (other than water), an acid attack occurs in your mouth. If you’ve ever heard that digestion begins in the mouth, this is the first stage of the process. While that acid helps in digestion, your teeth are getting bombarded with the acid, which is not beneficial to teeth. So, when you sip on a soda over a long period of time, the acid attack is continual.

Even artificially sweetened drinks without sugar (in any form) are harmful, as the mouth perceives the contents as food. And, as if you needed an added reason to toss the can, research has now found that the caramel coloring in sodas is actually a cancer-causing chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI.

Labels on these brown sodas list the chemical as “caramel coloring,” which sounds innocent. Yet, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer says it contributes to cancer when consumed in certain amounts.

Dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and gum diseases. Nothing cleanses the mouth like good, clean water. And, you can sip that all day, every day and your smile will thank you!

Dental Fear & Dental Phobias Not Uncommon

Posted on Jan 20, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

If you do not have a phobia when it comes to dental visits, feel lucky. For those with dental phobia, here’s what many experience:

• Not being able to sleep the night before a dental visit
• Being highly nervous while in the waiting room
• Crying when seeing a dentist or seeing instruments
• Feeling panicked when instruments are placed in the mouth
• Finding it difficult to breathe during treatment

According to a survey by the American Association of Endodontists (dentists who specialize in root canals), 80% of American adults fear the dentist with over half admitting they avoid seeing a dentist until the need becomes dire.

Approximately 5 – 10 percent of Americans are considered dental phobics, adults who are so terrified of dental visits that they avoid dental care altogether. And, according to a study involving over 11,000 adults, women are nearly twice as likely to have extreme anxiety than men.

We occasionally see an adults who, after finally gaining the strength to see a dentist, was lectured or made to feel guilty about not properly caring for their teeth. This is something I’ll never understand since it does nothing to help the patient feel more comfortable with their dental visits.

In our office, all patients are treated with respect and a gentle hand at every visit. For people who have a high level of fear or phobia, we can provide an oral sedation that is taken prior to their arrival. This allows them to be in a relaxed state before they reach our office. They are promptly seated in a treatment room and made comfortable while the sedation takes full effect.

If you have dental fears or know someone who does, please suggest they contact us at (828) 274-9440. When a is repair needed in the mouth, it will only worsen when care is delayed. Delay in care typically results in more extensive treatment, more time and greater expense.

Let’s discuss your fears. Then, we can talk about what will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable at every visit. Our job is to have you smiling your best – every day! Call to speak to our friendly receptionist to see how you can take that first step!