At Asheville Dental, conquering dental phobia is one of their top priorities.
Approach a stranger on the street and inquire, “What’s your biggest fear?” and there’s a good chance they will reply, “Going to the dentist!” Asheville Dental knows this well. Dr. Chris Kennerly (DDS, PA) and Dr. Jeremy Ledford (DMD, FICOI) partnered together in 2011 after Dr. Ledford had been there a year (the practice was originally started by Kennerly’s father in 1945), and at that point Asheville Dental had already been offering IV sedation for a number of years. Kennerly, it turns out, once had a patient who couldn’t be numbed by local anesthetics, so he reached out to board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Brad Stone for assistance. Stone continues to this day at Asheville Dental.
This strategy for combating severe dental phobia, dementia, gag reflex problems, and other issues has proven to be remarkably effective: Patients can be monitored closely and adjusted as needed, allowing for safe, effective, and pain-free dentistry for those who otherwise might fear needing treatment such as implants, root canals, crowns, extractions, or even routine cleaning. As the doctors themselves note, “Establishing IV sedation for general dentistry has had the most impact on our practice, since we have been the only practice in the area using an anesthesiologist. We have done about 900 cases so far with excellent results.”
The dentistry world, they add, has been changing dramatically over the past few years. “It’s evolving from a relation-based business to a market-driven business, but our goal has been to maintain the relation-based model. The gap has been widening between the best dentistry and the least expensive dentistry, and as a result, comprehensive care suffers—and we end up having to pick up the pieces.”
Dr. Kennerly is a native Ashevillian. He graduated from Lee H. Edwards High School, then the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973 with a B.S. in biology. He graduated from Emory University School of Dentistry in 1979 and returned to Asheville to join his father’s practice. Dr. Ledford grew up in Hendersonville, graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in chemistry. He attended the Medical University of South Carolina and attained his DMD degree. Following dental school, he was accepted to the General Practice Residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, and joined Dr. Kennerly’s practice after his residency. Dr. Ledford was also the recipient of a fellowship from the ICOI (International Congress of Oral Implantologists) in December of 2011.
Asheville Dental currently employs 12 staffers, all of them living wage certified: four hygienists, three administrative personnel, and five assistants. In addition to offering IV sedation, they do guided implant placement using a cone-beam X-ray system, which makes the placement of the implant much more precise; make digital impressions for crowns, which makes the crowns more accurate and also available in one appointment; and utilize a new VOIP phone system to facilitate better communications with their patients.
What comes next for the business? “We want to maintain our position in the community as a value and patient-oriented practice while simultaneously supporting science-based dental care. We will do that by continuing to embrace new concepts in delivery of quality dental treatment.”
Go to the Asheville Dental website for more details: www.AshevilleDental.com
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