For Dental Implants, Begin With A Specialist For Optimal Results.
Posted on Apr 10, 2019 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
If you are considering dental implants to replace teeth or an appliance (dentures or partials), having your treatment BEGIN WITH a Periodontist offers many advantages to achieving a successful, overall result.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the he placement of dental implants as well as the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontists are experts in the treatment of oral inflammation of the gum tissues, which make up much of the foundation for an implant.
A periodontist is familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures. To specialize in periodontology, he or she must undergo an additional 11 years, on average, to complete the educational, clinical and specialty requirements after high school.
Essentially, a periodontist becomes a dentist and continues on in education and training to further expand his or her realm of knowledge and skills. While some general dentists offer dental implant diagnosis and placement in their dental office, having a specially-trained periodontist can help you enjoy an optimal outcome based on a unique understanding of the supporting gums, bones, and appropriate implant types and placement.
For example, a dentist who offers dental implant services may actually have completed a brief weekend course hosted by a particular implant system company. The dentist, while ‘taught’ to place the particular implant type, is essentially instructed in what the hosting company teaches as far as diagnosis and placement of their system alone.
Yet, every mouth is different. An implant designed by one company may not be appropriate for the number of implants you actually need, nor the bone structures you have, or the number of teeth being supported. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration for a successful result.
A periodontist uses specialized training that covers all types of implant systems to carefully select the type of implant that is most appropriate for unique needs. From this, a treatment plan will be developed for the number of implants needed and ideal positioning in regards to existing bone structures and surrounding gum tissues.
If finding the “cheapest” price for your implant is the priority in your decision, the involvement of a periodontist will probably not be less expensive than what you’ll find advertised online. You’ll find bargains that sound too good to be true (which often are).
However, your choice in dental implant treatment should factor in the risks of failure. Some people are unaware that dental implants can “fail.” While insufficient at-home care can be a contributing factor to the need for implant removal, an implant that is placed at an improper depth and angle, or one that is too big or small to support the attached restorations (replacement teeth) is also a cause.
As a Periodontist in Asheville, I’ve had to remove a number of implants that were poorly selected or placed over the years. I feel badly for these patients, knowing they have to go through the entire process again, and make the investment all over again. In our practice, we take every step to “do it right the first time” so implant selection and placement is the very best for each patient.
At Biltmore Periodontics, we offer oral sedation for added relaxation. We also have a Board Certified Anesthesiologist on our team. Dr. Brad Stone is a medical doctor providing sedation and anesthesia for optimal comfort and relaxation. Here, our patients know us for making comfort and safety high priorities. (https://www.biltmoreperiodontics.com/comprehensive-care-team/) IV sedation provides patients with a “twilight sleep” state with a quick recovery. Too, it typically erases all memory of the procedure afterwards.
It may be tempting to consider a “cheap” dental implant offer or a “one-stop clinic” for your treatment. However, your overall comfort and long-term success should be the guiding force in your decisions in tooth replacement.
Begin with a consultation appointment. Call 828-274-9440. During this time, we can discuss the implant type that may work best for you and the process involved. We will also be happy to address anticipated fees and payment options, if desired.
Dental implants, when properly chosen, placed, and cared for, are designed to last your lifetime. In the proper hands, your new smile will be an everyday joy, every day of your life!
Reshaping Gums Can Protect & Beautify Your Smile.
Posted on Jan 08, 2019 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
As a periodontal specialist, I spend a great deal of my time treating patients who have periodontal (gum) disease and placing dental implants. My specialty has given me advanced training in both areas; both being important for the preservation of your smile and protection of your health.
Receded gum tissue
One aspect of the periodontal specialty that is not always familiar to the general public, however, is our ability to recontour gum tissues. While this can be done to enhance the appearance of a smile, reshaping the gum tissues is also performed to protect and even save natural teeth. I’ll explain.
For several reasons, gum tissues can pull away from the base of teeth. This can occur from gum tissues becoming drier with age or over-zealous tooth brushing. Gums can also loosen their grip around teeth when teeth tilt out of their proper positions.
When the tight seal around the base of teeth is compromised, the tooth becomes more vulnerable to oral bacteria. Darker, sensitive tooth root segments can be exposed. This not only causes discomfort, these areas are more susceptible to bacteria. And, because of allowing an entry point for oral bacteria, the tooth roots and bones that support teeth are more vulnerable to damage as well.
In cases when a tooth breaks near the gum line, gum re-contouring may be able to expose enough of the tooth structure so a crown can be placed. This means the natural tooth can be saved rather than require removal. Once a natural tooth is removed, it brings with it a long list of decisions and associated costs.
Although protecting and saving teeth is the priority, gum contouring can also be performed to enhance the appearance of a smile. For example, for people who have a “gummy smile,” too much gum tissue is visible above upper teeth in a full smile. A periodontist can use his or her specialized skills to reshape the tissues to provide a more balanced smile line.
This procedure is known as a Gingivectomy. This repositions or removes excess gum tissues so the smile line is more balanced to teeth. The procedure is performed while the patient is fully comfortable and the healing time is greatly reduced with our advanced technology.
Another procedure that greatly enhances the look of a smile is crown lengthening. This is recommended when the gum tissues that arch one or several teeth is at a different level than surrounding teeth. With this uneven alignment of gum tissue, it can create a jumbled look in spite of having attractive, healthy teeth.
A crown lengthening procedure typically combines the repositioning of gum tissues along with placement of a crown. This recreates a smile that has proper balance amongst teeth and gum tissues.
It’s not uncommon for new patients to arrive with misconceptions about the procedures. With advanced technology and techniques, along with specialized skills, our patients enjoy optimal comfort, minimal treatment time, and exceptional outcomes for every periodontal need.
Too, many patients feel these procedures are out of reach financially. For many treatments, we offer payment options that are manageable to most budgets. This way, you can make payments while enjoying the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile.
Now that you know how a periodontist can enhance the health and appearance of your smile, consider scheduling a consultation and exam. Call 828-274-9440 or tap here to begin.
Start The New Year With A Smile That Enhances Your Life!
Posted on Dec 31, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
As we look at the new year, many of us are setting goals for positive changes in our lives. Whether we aim to lose weight, tackle an upcoming 10k run, or kick a bad habit, a new year resets our enthusiasm and motivation to improve.
And oft-overlooked area that many Americans should add to their “need to improve” list is caring for their oral health. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), over 47 percent of the adult population in the U.S. has some level of periodontal (gum) disease.
So, this year, I’d like you to relook at the list you’ve already made and consider adding “improve oral wellness” to it.
Although a clean, healthy mouth gives you a better-looking smile and fresher breath, there are even more important reasons to maintain excellent gum health. Not only is periodontal disease the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, it has been linked serious health risks. This includes heart disease, high blood pressure, memory loss, arthritis, diabetes, preterm babies and impotency.
Gum disease can begin silently, with warning signs that are not obvious or may be easily ignored. It may be first noticed by sore spots on gum tissues. You may notice some blood in the sink when brushing teeth. Your mouth may feel sticky and you have bad breath more frequently.
When these signs are ignored, gum disease is allowed to progress further. The symptoms of gum disease are:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other sore areas in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Gums that recede or pull away from teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus pockets between your gums and teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
You can also learn about the stages of gum disease on the web site of the American Academy of Periodontology: (https://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html).
Your mouth also sends off warning signs when something is wrong. For example, an ache coming from a tooth may indicate a cavity or crack. A sore spot in the mouth could be caused by a canker sore or warning sign of oral cancer.
Some periodontal needs can be managed by their general dentist. However, as signs of periodontal disease continue, periodontal treatment may require the skills of a specialist. Patients who have moderate or severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with more complex cases, are often best managed through ‘team treatment’ between a general dentist and periodontal specialist.
The American Academy of Periodontology defines a periodontist as “a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
“Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures.
“In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.”
However, if you are experiencing signs of periodontal disease and do not have a regular dentist, please know that you do not have to be referred to our office for care. Once your mouth is restored to optimal health, we can suggest a general dentist for you if you do not have one.
Don’t delay seeking care when you notice the first warning sign. Early treatment may save you greatly in time and expense – and even help you avoid tooth loss! Once your mouth is restored to a healthy state, we’ll help you maintain it by recommending home care steps combined with periodic check-ups.
If your obstacle has been fear of dentistry, we have an excellent reputation for helping fearful dental patients overcome these. We also offer oral and I.V. sedation (twilight sleep) that help patients feel more relaxed during treatment.
Or, if you feel you can’t manage the expenses associated with dental care, we offer several payment plans. Through these, you can afford to achieve a healthy smile while making easy, monthly payments.
Begin with a consultation or ask for an initial periodontal exam by calling 828-274-9440. Let our specialized skills in periodontics help to restore your teeth and gums to excellent oral health and confident smiles!
Being Afraid Of Seeing A Dentist Can Lead To Major Expenses.
Posted on Sep 17, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
If you are afraid of going to a dentist, you’re one of over 70% of American adults with the same issue. Some people suffer from such fear that it keeps them from having a healthy, confident smile.
While it’s important for people to feel good about smiling (which motivates them to smile more often), research also shows that smiling can improve mood, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
Yet, having a fear of dentistry can interfere with one’s ability to achieve and maintain a smile they feel good about. As a periodontal specialist, I frequently see patients who have developed periodontal (gum) disease or lost natural teeth because dental fears prevented them from receiving regular care.
It’s a vicious cycle. Delaying or avoiding regular dental care allows tartar (or calculus) to build up on teeth. This can lead to problems such as cavities and gum disease. When treatment for these problems is postponed, the complexity of the treatment needed increases. And thus, so do the costs.
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the unique concerns that people have when it comes to dental care. While many adults suffer from dental fear because of an unpleasant experience in their past, some can’t recall what originally caused their fears. Others have unexplained reactions to certain smells or sounds often encountered in a dental office.
Regardless of the source of one’s fear of dentistry, we understand that these fears are essentially uncontrollable. People can’t just ‘let them go.’ And, for many individuals, perceived pain can be just as real as actual pain. This is why we offer a number of comfort options, including oral and I.V. Sedation (also known as ‘twilight sleep’).
These sedatives are helpful for patients before and throughout treatment. While helping the patient to relax, both erase most (if not all) memory of the procedure afterward. For those who are facing lengthy procedures, sedation also enables patients to easily combine several appointments so treatment can be completed in just one or two visits. Our advanced technology also helps to reduce treatment time while providing an exceptional level of comfort.
Keep in mind that it’s not just your smile that suffers when your oral health doesn’t receive adequate upkeep. Research has shown that your overall health is intricately connected to your oral health. This is because the potent bacteria of gum disease can enter the bloodstream through tears in gum tissues. Once bloodborne, it can trigger inflammatory reactions that have been associated with a long list of serious health problems. These include heart disease, preterm babies, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers (including pancreatic cancer), and impotency.
When dental care is administered with a gentle touch and skilled hands, pain should never be part of the experience. In our office, my entire team takes much pride in the words of praise that come from patients who once had an intense fear of dentistry, yet are now comfortable and relaxed throughout their appointments.
If you’ve avoided dental care due to fear, call 828-274-9440 to schedule an examination. And remember – a problem with your oral health now will only become more severe over time without treatment. Let’s help you form new, positive impressions when it comes to dental care!