Recent Posts



Oral Or I.V. Sedation

Posted on Jul 26, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Whether a patient has fear or anxiety associated with dental visits or merely wishes to be more relaxed during a long procedure, sedation options can help greatly.

In our office, we offer oral or I.V sedation to accompany many procedures. While both are beneficial to quelling anxiety, tension, stress or even intense feelings of fear, each has its advantages as well as limitations.

For individual who have trouble relaxing in a dental chair or even feel anxious or fearful, oral sedation is often sufficient. The medication is in pill form and taken before the patient leaves their home. A companion will drive you to our office. By the time you arrive, you’ll feel very relaxed and groggy. A trained staff member will escort you to a treatment suite where you’ll be made comfortable.

Oral sedation’s intensity increases gradually, so by the time you are seated in the treatment chair, you should be very relaxed. The staff member will attach safety monitoring equipment and will check this carefully throughout your procedure.

Injections are given to sedated patients once they are fully relaxed and in a state near to ‘dozing.’ However, even in this state, a patient can respond to simple requests, such as “Turn a little more towards me.” While you’ll be able to respond, you likely won’t remember any of the procedure afterwards.

Once your procedure is completed, you’ll be monitored for a brief recovery period. A bonus of oral sedation is its quick recovery. After your companion returns you home, you may want a short nap but many patients are fine after several hours.

While oral sedation provides a very relaxed, near dozing state, I.V. sedation puts you in a complete sleep state. This is sometimes referred to as “twilight sleep.”  I.V. sedation is ideal for people with higher levels of fear or dental phobia. A dental phobic is an individual who has such deep-seated fear that just the thoughts of walking into a dental office causes sweating, crying or rapid heart rate.

I.V. sedation is delivered through an I.V. drip, or intravenously. It takes effect rather quickly and patients nod off within minutes. This is when numbing injections are administered and, once they’ve had time to take effect, treatment begins.

Typically, you’ll be able to respond to simple requests while under I.V. sedation. However, I.V. sedation generally erases all (or most) memory of treatment afterward. A few adults vaguely recall hearing a voice but most remember no part of their procedure. For patients with high fear, this is a desirable effect of the drug.

Once your companion returns you home, you’ll nap for a time. I.V. sedation does require a longer recovery time. After a nap, you may feel groggy or hazy for several hours but should start to regain your focus by that evening. You’ll be given post-op instructions that include cautions during recovery when sedation is used. Driving or using appliances or machinery is highly discouraged and can be dangerous to you and others.

Whether given oral or I.V. sedation, your comfort and safety is a priority at all times. And, while sedation is helpful when fear or anxiety exist, some people who have no fears at all request sedation for its ability to relax them during lengthy times in a dental chair.

Achieving a healthy, confident smile can occur in comfort! Never hesitate to ask us about comfort options if you feel these may help create a better experience during your treatment. Call 828-274-9440.


Diabetes Related To Your Oral Health?

Posted on Jul 19, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared diabetes to be at a pandemic level with a prevalence that has risen dramatically over recent decades. And, the number of those affected by diabetes is expected to triple in the next decade.

Diabetes is a leading cause of death due to the vascular complications it causes. The most common types of diabetes are type 1, which requires insulin control, and type 2, which is non-insulin dependent.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that results from insufficient insulin secretion or being resistant to insulin. This occurs when the body is unable to properly process carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Regardless of the advancements in treating diabetes, the U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health reports that it is “a growing public health concern and a common chronic metabolic disease worldwide.”

Diabetes affects all age groups but is most common in adults. According to the American Diabetes Association, the largest segment of those who suffer with diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, which usually begins after age 45.

Initial warning signs of Type 2 diabetes are bad breath and bleeding gums, which are also symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease has been found to be more frequent and severe for patients who have poor control of their diabetes. It has been shown that diabetics can help to prevent periodontal disease by properly controlling glucose levels. This is also helpful in the successful treatment of periodontal disease.

To those in the medical and scientific fields, the initial emergence of diabetes in the form of oral problems makes perfect sense. For decades, various inflammatory diseases and periodontal (gum) disease have shown connections. Not only is gum disease the sixth greatest complication of diabetes, research has shown that one triggers the other.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that can create inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. Because of this relationship, diabetics are advised to have frequent dental exams (every 3-4 months) to avoid the inflammatory reactions of gum disease, and vice versa.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include gum tenderness, bleeding gums when brushing, frequent bad breath, gum recession and gums that darken in color. When these signs are present, an individual should arrange to be promptly seen by a Periodontal specialist before gum disease worsens. For diabetics, the need for treatment has even greater urgency since they have a particular vulnerability to inflammatory reactions in the body.

After a periodontal examination, we will discuss treatment recommendations if gum disease does exist. Call 828-274-9440 to arrange an appointment. And remember, gum disease only worsens without treatment, resulting in greater treatment time and expense with delays. It is also the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

You Can Help Your Dental Implant’s Success

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Over the years, the design and placement process of Dental Implants have been so perfected that they’ve come to hold one of the highest success rates of all in-bone implant types – nearly 97%.

One of the reasons that Dental Implants are such a wise investment is that they are designed to last your lifetime. However, there is a potential for failure. Like any procedure that involves an implant in human bone (including hip, knee, etc.), there is an element of risk.

Having an implant removed due to infection or malfunction is difficult for the patient. Although it’s not a frequent occurrence, removing an implant means the patient has lost their investment and must endure additional procedures and expenses for repair and replacement. How can you help to minimize this risk?

One of the most important factors in any successful medical or dental procedure begins with the doctor who coordinates your care. Your doctor should never be selected based on the lowest fee. The doctor chosen should have extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and placement of all types of Dental Implant systems. This enables him or her to select an implant that is appropriate for your individual needs.

In selecting the doctor who will oversee your treatment, you should also look for advanced skills in the placement of your implants. Successful placement relies on the ability to assess for adequate bone mass to support an implant without interfering with adjacent structures. The ability to select the proper implant type for available bone depth is equally important.

Without proper placement in sufficient bone, an implant risks coming in contact with a nerve that extends horizontally through the lower jaw. Upper implants placed too close to the sinus cavity can, over time, penetrate that area. Removing an implant in either of these situations, of course, is no simple task.

Obviously, a qualified doctor can enhance your potential for a successful outcome. This is why many people rely on a periodontal specialist. A Periodontist has particular expertise in the diagnosis and placement of all types of Dental Implants. As a matter of fact, many general dentists prefer to have a Periodontist place implants in their patients. The patient then returns to their dentist for the attachment of teeth to the implants.Clairborne w:Pt

While the doctor involved in your treatment is important, much of the risk falls into the patient’s hands after the placement process.

As a patient, helping to have a successful outcome begins as soon as your implants are placed. First, closely follow your post-placement instructions. For a few days following placement, most patients are advised to eat only cool, soft foods. This helps to minimize swelling and bleeding, which helps gum tissues to more quickly seal incision sites. This can lower your risk for infection.

Once home, other factors can also place your implants at risk. For example, smokers have a higher risk for implant failure. Because the chemicals in cigarette smoke are very drying to oral tissues, the healing process takes longer. Delayed healing creates a greater risk for infection to occur.

An element of risk that may surprise you is grinding or clenching teeth during sleep, which is typically a symptom of a misaligned bite. Some clenching is so intense the force can be likened to that used to crack a walnut. A sign of night-time clenching or grinding may be worn, chipped or broken teeth. However, even without signs, if you suspect you grind or clench, mention this to your implant dentist prior to treatment. This way, proactive measures can be taken to resolve the problem before complications result.

Most important of all is the patient’s commitment to maintaining good oral hygiene. Although Dental Implants themselves do not experience decay, the gum tissues and bone supporting the implants are as susceptible to oral bacteria as before. When oral bacteria infection (gum disease) penetrates to the implant site positions, the only way to treat the infection may require removing the implant.

Having Dental Implants will require you to be highly committed to your oral hygiene at home. Additionally, your dental check-ups will likely be scheduled for every four months than twice a year. During these visits, a hygienist will remove accumulated oral bacteria to reduce risk to your Dental Implants. The condition of your gums will also be assessed.

At Biltmore Periodontics, we are very proud of our success rate. When our patients regain the ability to bite, chew and laugh with confidence, we celebrate right along with them. Our goal, for every patient, is to have each enjoy confident smiles for a lifetime!

If you’ve considered Dental Implants, let’s discuss the types that may be best for you. Call 828-274-9440 to schedule a consultation appointment. I’ll explain the process and answer your questions thoroughly.

Frightening Statistics Of Oral Cancer

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

When you ask the American population which cancer affects most adults, you usually hear replies of breast cancer or colon cancer. Yes, these cancers are widespread and can be deadly. However, several cancers have had the voices of famous celebrities to help bring them to the forefront. This has been a positive step in helping to save lives.

Being aware of the symptoms of cancers is important. It helps us detect early warning signs and see a doctor, who can take appropriate action. The publicity has also garnered governmental guidelines for regular screenings and even inspired the development of advanced technology. This has furthered the ability to catch the disease at its earliest stages.

Yet, for Oral Cancer, having a widely-known and influential public spokesperson has yet to occur. Quite frankly, even though your regular dental checkups and exams include an annual screening for Oral Cancer, that has left a large percentage of American adults unchecked.

The latest figures from the Centers Of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) show that only 62% of adults ages 18 – 64 have a dental check-up each year. So, if the key component in catching Oral Cancer early lies in the hands of a dentist, until the patient is in the dental chair, the challenge will continue.

What makes Oral Cancer so deadly is its ability to progress long before symptoms emerge. By the time they do, it becomes a difficult cancer to battle. Treatment is often very disfiguring. Even worse, it is known to be one of the deadliest of all cancers, taking the life of one American every hour of every day.

According to the National Cancer Institute Survey, there has been a 15% rise in oral cancer rates over the past three decades. Adult males are at the highest risk for Oral Cancer, with Black males being the most susceptible.

Oral cancer risk also increases with age, especially after age 50. Risk levels generally peak between ages 60 – 70. The highest rates have been noted with males between ages 50 – 59.

A particular factor that is spiking numbers in younger age groups is the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). Other risk factors (for all ages) includes tobacco and alcohol use. While most cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking or heavy alcohol use, combined tobacco and alcohol use increases the risk even more than the two risk factors combined.

Unfortunately, many people assume “if it doesn’t hurt, then nothing is wrong.” This, I believe, is one of the reasons our nation has such high levels of periodontal (gum) disease and subsequent adult tooth loss. And, as rising Oral Cancer statistics show, the casual attitude toward dental exams can lead to far worse than losing teeth.

Be aware of warning signs of oral cancer, including:

•    A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in the mouth, lip, or throat
•    White or red patch inside the mouth
•    Feeling something is stuck in the throat
•    Difficulty chewing or swallowing
•    Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
•    Numbness in the tongue or other areas of the mouth
•    Unexplained swelling of the jaw
•    Pain in an ear without hearing loss

While the symptoms above do not always indicate Oral Cancer, any that do not clear up on their own within 2 weeks should be examined immediately. Being proactive can mean the difference between resolving the problem simply or disfiguring surgeries, and even death.

A Periodontal specialist has extensive training in the treatment of the soft tissues in the mouth. A periodontist is your best choice when any unusual symptom in the mouth arises and is your first step in protecting your smile and adding to a healthy YOU.

Call 828-274-9440 for an examination appointment. Also, the American Cancer Society has excellent information at: