DR. DEBORHA STATEN, DMD
“I personally pride myself on people enjoying their dental experience.”
Dr. Staten’s motto shines bright in her patients’ pearly white smiles: “Because Your Smile Is The Most Important Thing You Wear.” Not only keeping customers wearing a beautiful white smile, but offering them a relaxed and stress-free Dental experience is what Dr. Staten prides herself in achieving daily.
A Las Vegas native, Dr. Staten earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Chemistry minor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Pursuing her passion led her to earn her Doctorate of Dental Medicine, also from UNLV. So dedicated is Dr. Staten to the value of education, she even taught Endodontic Dental Principles at UNLV’s Dental School Simulation Lab.
“Dental anxiety is extremely widespread and I understand that Dental visits can evoke nervousness and even panic in many people,” explains Dr. Staten. “I want my patients to realize that there have been a lot of advances in dentistry, and the use of conscious sedation is very helpful in helping them to relax.”
When someone loses a tooth, or several teeth, from a car accident or other injury, they can now have replacement teeth that look and feel like natural teeth. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone to support one or more of these artificial teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of ceramic material that can be bonded to your teeth. They can be used to cover any type of discoloration or cosmetic damage, such as chips or cracks to the front of the tooth. Many celebrities have veneers so they can flash their pearly white smiles. Oftentimes, our teeth can get yellowed from coffee, wine, and other foods that stain our enamel over time. Dr. Staten offers new bleaching techniques that are easy and provide beautiful, fast results.
Dr. Staten advises that your teeth are a big investment, and one that’s worthwhile. But if you’re not going to take care of your teeth, then you’re just wasting time and money. She says: “ You only get one shot at your teeth. We’re not sharks – we don’t get a new set.”
Currently serving as a Captain in Nevada’s Army National Guard Medical Detachment, Dr. Staten also holds active memberships in several professional organizations, including the American Dental Education Association and the American Association of Women Dentists.
STRIPLV: What should a person look for in choosing a Dentist?
DR. STATEN: I believe that people are looking at recommendations or referrals or comments online. Our reviews are really good and I believe those reviews of current patients really help us. I like to take my time with my patients and educate them, not only on what their needs are, but hygiene. People know they’re supposed to floss, but they don’t know why. In my opinion, I don’t think flossing is for the teeth – it’s to take care of the bones and gums that hold the teeth in the mouth. I believe that if I can bring that to people’s awareness, then they’ll actually start doing it. That is true preventative Dentistry! Going to a Dentist is really scary for a lot of people, so choosing one is a difficult thing to do.
Dr. Staten’s Mission:
“From the moment you walk through our doors, we want you to feel at home in our comfortable, calming waiting room. Relax in a cozy chair and sip a cup of coffee or perhaps enjoy a warm cookie as you wait.”
STRIPLV: Fear is a big hurdle to overcome in the field of Dentistry. Tell us how you relax your patients and alleviate anxiety through the “conscious sedation” that you offer.
DR. STATEN: We offer all levels of sedation. We have a general anesthesia permit and that allows for all modalities of anesthesia. We can completely sedate someone or use conscious sedation, which is an IV sedation. It’s like twilight, and you’re still cognizant of your own body functions, you’re still breathing on your own, you’re alert and able to respond, but you’re not consciously all there, so you’re very relaxed. We do administer local anesthesia at that point. The nice thing about being treated that way is that you have two doctors providing care for you at that point. I have a Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist that comes in and monitors all of the sedation, and that way I can just focus on Dentistry.
STRIPLV: When would you use conscious sedation?
DR. STATEN: I would use it for anything. If people feel like that is what they would need or desire and would make them most comfortable in our environment, then that’s what I’d provide.
STRIPLV: Do you also do extractions?
DR. STATEN: I do everything. I do implants, extractions, veneers, and all types of Dental work.
STRIPLV: Do you do teeth whitening called “Zoom”?
DR. STATEN: We do have the “Zoom” product, and recently we found a product that I feel works even better in my opinion. It costs us a little bit more money, although I think for a patient’s outcome, that it is a better product. It’s called “Opalescence”, but we offer both products, so whatever people feel is best.
STRIPLV: How often can you use these products, without hurting the tooth’s enamel?
DR. STATEN: Studies state that the enamel is not getting affected. Teeth are just porous, so they just open up. Teeth will only whiten so much, but every individual is different. We do the in-office bleaching and we also offer trays that people can do at home to bleach, as well.
STRIPLV: You also do veneers. How successful are they, and do people have problems with them?
DR. STATEN: Everybody is different. When you do veneers, it’s kind of like doing a press-on nail. Hygiene becomes a very big factor and it’s very important that your oral hygiene is maintained, and flossing is done properly and regularly. When I do cosmetics, I like to offer people a warranty with my work. I’m very confident in my Dentistry; however, what I do is only 25% of the effort – so 75% of the effort is maintaining your oral hygiene. As long as people stay regular with their Dental cleanings, in whatever prescription, that is: whether it’s 3 months or 6 months – then if there’s any failure in my dentistry within five years, I’ll gladly replace that.
STRIPLV: Do you tell them to change their way of eating? For example, can they bite into an apple or should they use other precautions?
DR. STATEN: No, I don’t feel like we should be altering the way you have to eat. I think with Dentistry, if it’s done properly, you should be able to go about your life normally.
STRIPLV: Implants have been very successful in the past few years. Do you also do the mini-implants that can hold dentures in place?
DR. STATEN: I’m not sure how I feel about mini-implants yet. It’s still an up and coming technology. Generally it depends on how much bone is retained in someone’s mouth, whether you can do regular implants or minis. The minis are definitely a viable option; again it’s on a case-by-case basis, when I evaluate each person. I would have someone do a CAT Scan, so that we have a 4-dimensional image, and we can literally go through and look at the bone. Then we can preplan the case electronically, so when we go into surgery, the success rate goes up. The implants stimulate the bone to stop the re-absorbtion. People can then snap in their denture. The difference between having implant supported dentures and just dentures is functionality. Your brain still has a connection with the implants once they’re into the jawbone, so your functionality goes higher and you’re able to make that connection and you have power back in your bite versus just a mouth full of plastic that you’re trying to get along with.
STRIPLV: Tell me about the screening for oral cancer with ViziLite.
DR. STATEN: It’s an ultraviolet light that has different modes with it. Oral cancer is definitely on the rise, especially here in Vegas, because we have high smoking rates. Oral cancer is a fairly high cause of death and it’s generally not detected very easily without regular dental visits. We do an oral cancer screening and if the ViziLite does display irregular tissue, then at that point, I will refer the patient to an oral surgeon for a biopsy.
STRIPLV: Discuss the mouth guards that you make to prevent sports injuries and grinding of the teeth during sleep.
DR. STATEN: It’s a very straightforward process to make those guards. I’m even a product of grinding, myself. I don’t know if it’s our high-stress lives or maybe electronics, but it’s a very common thing. A lot of us are relieving stress in our sleep, which is causing destruction to our teeth. I believe that the guard is a very nice barrier to avoid further destruction in our mouth, as well as protection of our temporomandibular joints (this is also called the TMJ, which acts like a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to your skull).
STRIPLV: Do you use digital X-rays?
DR. STATEN: Yes. They lower the radiation a lot! Patients seem to enjoy that too, because it’s a faster turn around. We take an X-ray and it immediately pops up onto the screen. It also allows me to view an image in a much bigger scale. I can zoom in and change the contrast on it and it’s much more versatile that way. It allows me to diagnose better having the digital radiology.
STRIPLV: Does your hygienist do deep cleanings, in addition to regular cleanings?
DR. STATEN: Yes, and my hygienist is a favorite part of a patient’s experience here. She’s very gentle and very professional.
STRIPLV: If someone hasn’t been to the Dentist lately, there have been many changes that make it a less frightening experience. Is that right?
DR. STATEN: There have been a lot of advances in Dentistry. Deep cleanings aren’t as invasive and we don’t have to hand scale as much anymore, so the sounds that people are accustomed to during cleaning have really evolved. We have an ultra-sonic cleaner, that’s basically like power washing teeth. The cleaning is much more comfortable these days for people. I also have a topical anesthetic that we can inject right into the tissue, so we don’t have to numb people up as much and it’s pretty comfortable for people. We only do a handful of procedures over and over again, but because people are so unique, it turns every situation into an adventure in itself. I personally pride myself on people enjoying their Dental experience. I used to be a dental assistant and experienced a lot of what not to do, and what it’s not supposed to look like. Because there’s a lot of unethical practice in this industry as well, people don’t know if they’re getting good Dentistry or bad Dentistry. They just don’t know. As I sat chairside to a lot of bad things, it was very motivating for me to actually go to school and become a Dentist myself. I realized there was no way I was going to be happy in this industry, unless I could do it myself and make sure what I was doing was of quality and right for the people. That’s why I am a Dentist – but mostly I like changing people’s perspective when they come in, because a lot of people come in afraid. I strive to make sure that when you leave my office you were happy about your experience and won’t mind coming back. Then I hope you’ll share that with your friends, because a dental experience doesn’t have to be a miserable one.
STRIPLV: Do you work on children, too?
DR. STATEN: I get to see a lot of children and I get to be their first experience at the Dentist in many cases. That’s a huge thing for me, because instead of kids saying: “I hate the Dentist,” I try to change that into: “I love my Dental experience.” When children come into this office, the first thing we do is offer them a chocolate cookie and then we take them straight to the toy box. Now they’re having fun already, before we even start the Dental experience. My staff knows that when a child is scheduled, that I want to be the first to meet them. I will go directly to the waiting room to meet them, so there’s no fear installed in the child.
DR. DEBORHA STATEN D.M.D.
Desert Hills Dental
5475 S. Fort Apache • Ste 100 • Las Vegas, NV 89148
702-736-7979 • DesertHillsDentalLV.com