My Blog

Posts for: April, 2014

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
April 18, 2014
Category: Family Dentist
Tags: Charlotte  
College isn’t the last place you learn. In general, your workplace is where you will acquire additional skills and dentistexperiences. The same can be said for your health care professionals. Each day, patients come in with different dental problems, which means the cases require varying levels of knowledge and experience. To handle the unexpected and provide the best care, doctors need to be prepared. And for the patient’s comfort, doctors need to understand the benefits of new technology and techniques related to their fields.
The easiest way to go about doing this is by maintaining membership with active organizations. In dentistry, two key dental organizations are the American Dental Association (ADA) and Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Building Benefits with the ADA and AGD
As members of the ADA and AGD, Drs. Hockaday and Baucom have the support of two national dental organizations. These supportive networks made up of dentists, dental students and researchers are the building blocks to a better practice. As active members, Drs. Hockaday and Baucom continually build upon their benefits:
  • Access to significant dental techniques and equipment
  • Keep updated regarding national and international research
  • Find appropriate continuing education courses
How does this transfer to our Charlotte family dentist office?
With the ADA and AGD at their sides, Drs. Hockaday and Baucom are able to establish the best practices for their patients. When it comes to emerging dental issues across the board, they will be in the loop. And additional information and equipment can be added to improve the leading services already offered at our family dentistry in Charlotte.
Want to know more about the organizations Drs. Hockaday and Baucom are involved with? Do you have additional questions regarding available dental treatments (link to services page)? Call our office at (704) 553-2348.


Here's an interesting tidbit of information on Wheel of Fortune host Vanna White: like many people, she grinds her teeth at night. In a detailed interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Vanna explained how she had to replace a filling in a back tooth several times because of her grinding habit. Eventually, she had her dentist make her a nightguard to protect her famous smile.

“I really try to sleep with it every night,” Vanna told the magazine. “I try to keep it on my nightstand so when I go to bed, I remember to put it in. Or I will put it by my toothbrush so I can put it in after brushing my teeth at night.”

The habit of teeth grinding or clenching is often associated with stress and/or sleep deprivation. It is referred to as “parafunctional” (“para” – outside, “function” – normal), meaning it can generate biting forces well outside the normal range — perhaps 10 times normal. This excessive force can affect many areas of the oral system. Teeth may become worn, chipped or loose; jaw joints or muscles can go into spasm; and some grinders (or “bruxers” as they are also called) may even experience discomfort of the head, ears, neck or back. Many times, a person with a grinding habit does not become aware of it until it is pointed out by a sleep partner or dental professional.

Like Vanna White's dentist, we often recommend a nightguard to those with nocturnal bruxing habits. It is made of a very thin, wear-resistant plastic that fits over the biting surfaces of the upper teeth only. The lower teeth are then free to glide or skate over the guard, which prevents them from biting into the upper teeth. Some people wear their guards during the day if they tend to clench their teeth when under stress.

If you are concerned about teeth grinding or interested in learning more about nightguards, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Vanna White, please see “Vanna White.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Stress & Tooth Habits.”


When it comes to dental procedures, not everybody has the same comfort level; what’s easily tolerated by some can be a major source of anxiety and stress for others. In fact, by some estimates perhaps 10 to 15 percent of Americans avoid visiting the dentist entirely because of the fear factor — and this applies to kids as well as adults. So what should you do if your child needs dental work but is seriously scared of the chair? Here are the top five reasons for considering conscious sedation to relieve your child's dental anxiety.

  1. It allows dentists to treat children and teens who would otherwise be too fearful to come in. This can be especially useful when invasive treatments like root canals or extractions are needed. When problems are treated at an early stage, it’s often possible to prevent more extensive work from being required later; this can reduce the overall cost of treatment — and also help to preserve the natural teeth!
  2. Dentists who use pediatric conscious sedation are specially qualified to do so. Advanced training and continuing education are part of the qualification process. In addition, emergency life support equipment is kept on hand, and practitioners are familiar with its use.
  3. The medications used are safe and effective. New, fast-acting drugs get the job done and then leave the body quickly. They are commonly administered by mouth (orally), so there is no need to fear the needle. While any type of sedation comes with a slight risk, minimal conscious sedation is a lower-risk alternative to deeper levels of sedation, or general anesthesia.
  4. A designated staff member monitors your child at all times. Vital signs such as heart rate, blood oxygen level, respiration rate, blood pressure and temperature are constantly under observation. This helps ensure that the level of sedation remains effective, yet safe.
  5. It can form a foundation for stress-free dental treatment in the years to come. No one wants to put their child through a terrifying experience — especially when the fearful memories could prevent them from getting necessary treatment in the future. With conscious sedation, that’s not an issue. In fact, with many of the medications currently in use, your child may not even remember the procedure when it’s over.

Dental anxiety can be a serious problem — but it’s good to know there are ways to control it. If you would like more information, call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”