By Genni Burkhart
With 42 years of experience, over 1,000 sedation cases, and extensive training, Dr. Brad Bynum, DMD, is uniquely qualified to provide high-quality dental care to his North Valdosta Dental Care patients.
Dr. Bynum earned a BS in Microbiology from the University of Georgia and a DMD from the Medical College of Georgia in 1980. He's a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), an honorary fellow of the Georgia Dental Association, and an active member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He received his Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2015 and his Fellowship from DOCS Education in 2006.
Three doctors work in Dr. Bynum's practice, all of whom have had sedation dentistry training from DOCS Education.
Dr. Bynum states, "We consider ourselves a super general dental practice since we provide full-mouth reconstruction using K7 technology and guided implant placement using Planmeca CBCT and Asiga 3D printers. Additionally, we place PRGF with bone grafts, use itero scanners for Invisalign, and use them for crown and bridge procedures. Furthermore, we provide endodontic treatment, removable partial dentures, Geneva Dentures, dental fillings, cleanings, and nonsurgical periodontal care."
A Legacy of Sedation Dentistry
After practicing sedation dentistry since 2002, Dr. Bynum states, "Early on, I thought 10% of patients had high fear, but it did not take me long to realize it was closer to 75%; they simply manage to hide it very well."
Amanda, the office manager at North Valdosta Dental Care, further explains, "Sedation has allowed our practice to help patients overcome their dental fears and enjoy visiting the dentist. It's amazing to see patients progress from anxiety at their first appointment to being fully relaxed and satisfied after treatment. It's a full-circle transformation and makes everything we do worthwhile. Patients come back smiling from ear to ear."
From the business aspect, sedation dentistry has allowed Dr. Bynum's practice to see more productive cases – patients who sedate choose to do more treatment at one visit. Most of their patients desire to have the dental care they need; some, however, struggle with dental anxiety. Those patients want to care for everything at once when they come in. Sedation dentistry allows these patients to get the care they need and want without fear.
Married for 32 years, Dr. Bynum and his wife, Vicki, have two sons, Bradley and Aulden. An avid lifelong Georgia Bulldogs fan, one of his proudest moments was when his son Aulden played for the Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl and 2017 National Championship game. During his free time, Dr. Bynum likes playing golf and bass fishing in Georgia and Florida.
Since 2017, Dr. Bynum's practice has participated in Smiles for Freedom (SFF) (missing 2020 due to COVID) and donated over $141,000 to veterans.
Supporting the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) of Lowndes County is one of their team's favorite community involvements. Annually, the CAC assists over 700 children and families who have been abused physically or sexually. Dr. Bynum and his team are passionate about supporting the CAC by purchasing Christmas presents for these children and attending their annual fundraising dinner.
Grateful for Sedation
North Valdosta Dental patients are grateful for what sedation dentistry provides them. While some dentists consider dental fear the primary reason a patient requests sedation, Dr. Bynum has found that many patients use sedation to relax due to the length of their dental procedures.
For example, Peggy was a 65-year-old patient that came to our practice missing the enamel on her teeth. She had a supra erupted molar on her lower right responsible for her occlusal issues. She recently moved to our area but told us she had not visited the dentist in years due to fear. She stated that she only came because she was on a porch swing with a grandchild, and the child looked at her and said, "Grandmother, let's go inside and brush our teeth."
Peggy was very embarrassed. It took courage, but she called. Our team developed a special relationship with Peggy. We did a K7 workup for her occlusion issues and full mouth reconstruction. She continued her routine visits and, without fail, would walk into our reception area and playfully ask, "Do I have to be here?"
Peggy has since moved back to Atlanta and is missed by Dr. Bynum's team.
Dr. Bynum explains how sedation dentistry has impacted his practice and patients.
"I have always been on the leading edge of new procedures and continuing education. So, the sedation techniques I learned through DOCS were a natural fit for our practice. It has always been said that 50% of the population never goes to the dentist unless there is a severe emergency. Another 25% go sporadically. Much of people's lack of dental care is due to fear. Now I realize a great deal of psychology is also linked to the mouth. It is the gateway to our body; it is our sex appeal, it's how we nourish ourselves, and it's how we communicate.
"Our smile can lift up those around us. However, whenever we enter a patient's mouth, we invade their space. I find many patients are fearful due to an unpleasant dental experience in the past. They stay away due to this fear.
"As our patient's mouths deteriorate, the fear is multiplied by embarrassment. Their teeth and smile become so unsightly that they are embarrassed to seek help until they have no choice. So, when you have all the psychological components involved with the oral cavity and add fear and embarrassment, it overwhelms many patients. To overcome all these factors, sedation dentistry is the only choice."
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Author: With over 13 years as a published journalist, editor, and writer Genni Burkhart's career has spanned politics, healthcare, law, business finance, technology, and news. She resides on the western shores of the idyllic Puget Sound, where she works as the Editor in Chief for the Incisor at DOCS Education out of Seattle, WA.