Friday, June 23, 2017

Finance Options For Dental Care

Ok, so you've just been to the dentist and found out that you need thousands of dollars of restorative work. You have what we commonly refer to as "sticker shock". You know that you don't have that kind of money just laying around......
Whether you are in need of restorative work or cosmetic dentistry, there are a variety of creative financing plans available to help. Dentistry is among the most expensive in healthcare, with costs rising even as the economy is failing. Here are some suggestions for those who are in need of major restorative work, but who cannot afford the out of pocket expense. 
First of all, make sure you have good dental coverage (a good dental plan used in conjunction with your credit plan will go a long way toward lowering the costs, thereby making your money go farther.) 
Here are some credit organizations to consider:
  • Care Credit Healthcare Plan is a financing company that is offered by GE Money Company. It offers financing for personal healthcare, i.e. dental, (cosmetic or restorative) vision care, surgical procedures, (and just FYI) there is financing available for pet care as well! This option does require that you qualify for a loan. Click here to read more....
  • Citi Health Card is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of flexible payment options. The have some no interest payment options, options that are for certain periods of time and a revolving card option with no minimum expense. According to their website, they have a quick approval process! If you have a need for an immediate procedure and are low on funds, this one may be the one to try.

    Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't give up! Many dental providers are now offering in-house financing options for people with no insurance, or who might need a little help with funding for an expensive treatment plan. Additionally, dental school clinics are a consideration, as they can perform most procedures at discounted fees and all work is done under supervised conditions.
Believe it or not, there is something out there for everyone in the way of affordable dental care! Don't be discouraged! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bad Breath-Is it Perio related or....NOT?

Generally, when we encounter someone with bad breath, we think of gum disease or poor oral hygiene habits. The first thought that comes to mind (after trying to escape the close proximity) is that they probably don't brush their teeth regularly. Judgmental lot, we humans! But there may be a much more sinister malady at play.  Think tongue plaque.  Yep, that gross, slimy coating on your tongue that builds up over time and wrecks havoc on the bacteria count in your mouth...  Epiphany! Oh, so this is why the dentist includes a tongue scraper in that little hygiene goody bag you get when you have your teeth cleaned!  Turns out it is an important part (or it should be) of your daily oral routine. Why?  Because that bacteria can cause gingivitis.  That's right, gum disease, aka  periodontal disease, infection, bad breath and extreme embarrassment.  Or, to mention the extreme, loss of teeth.
So why take a chance?   Brush, floss and then scrape your tongue for goodness sake!

Keep Smiling!

Did You Know Eating Disorders Can Effect Your Oral Health?

Many Americans are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. It is often the pain and discomfort related to dental complications that first causes patients to consult with a health professional. Dentists are often the first health professionals to observe signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

Anorexia-Involves an extreme fear of weight gain or a dread of becoming “fat” even though these individuals are markedly underweight.

Bulimia-Discrete periods of overeating (binge eating) which may occur several times a week or at its most severe, several times a day. This leads to self-vomiting.

Binge Eating-Binge eating may involve rapid consumption of large amounts of food with a sense of loss of control. Feelings of guilt and shame may lead to repeated episodes of binge eating.

Eating disorders that may include frequent vomiting and may result in nutritional deficiencies can also affect oral health. Salivary glands may become enlarged. Lips are often red, dry and cracked. Lesions may appear on oral soft tissues which may also bleed easily. There may be changes in the color, shape and length of teeth. Teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oral Cancer- The Forgotten Killer?

So many people just don't take this deadly disease seriously...  

There are approximately 30,000+ new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Out of these cases as many as 8,000 people will die from the disease. This works out to be about 22 deaths per day, each and every day, from oral cancer in the United States. On top of this staggering statistic, the 5 year survival rate is only 50%. Although survival rates for most cancers are increasing in the United States, the rate of survival from oral cancer has not improved in decades. 
What people don't realize about oral cancer is that regular screening can help to detect it in it's early stages, when it is easiest to treat and cure.  Make sure you have an oral cancer screening at your next visit to the dentist.  It could save your life!  Early detection is the key to curing this deadly form of cancer. Don't put it off and risk becoming a statistic! Ask your dental provider about your risk today.

Keep Smiling! 


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Antacids Weakening Your Teeth?

We all have taken antacids such as Tums, Alka-Seltzer or Prilosec at some point in our lives to quickly relieve heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach.

Although antacids neutralize the acid in our stomach it can cause major damage to your smile.

Below are some ways antacids have effects on the teeth:

Weakening the teeth: Antacids can inhibit the absorption of calcium and protein which are the vital components for having strong teeth and a strong jaw.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease:

  • Antacids can cause dry mouth - Without normal saliva production its hard to wash food debris from the teeth and neutralize acid produced plaque. Leaving your more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Antacids are full of sugar - Chewable antacids can get stuck in between the teeth witch can cause cavities.

If you have to take an antacid please follow these recommendations so you can avoid negative effects on your smile in the long run:

  • Use "sugar free" antacids
  • Rinse mouth with water after taking chewable antacids and brush your teeth after 30 minutes. 
  • Baking soda can help clean your teeth and neutralize stomach acid. 

Remember to stick to a proper oral health routine and visit your dentist on a regular basis!  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Over-diagnosing in Dentistry

You can't avoid the shell-shock reflex....imagine you've just been to the dentist and he said you need, what?  A half dozen crowns.. or maybe it was veneers....or even a full mouth restoration? $5000, $10,000....or eeek!  $35,000? Your head is spinning. You can't even think! Surely he was kidding, right? What now?

This is a growing problem in dentistry...it truly has become an art and as such, well, artists can command their price, right?  It is unfortunate but in today's market it is a reality.  One can visit 5 dentists and get 5 separate and varying opinions at various levels of expense. Why is that, you ask?  It's a legitimate question.  Let's touch on the obvious, although I hate to bring more negativity, but greed is a factor.  Then we can move to the less obvious, the things that most wouldn't think of;  The Dental Schools.  Frankly, some dental schools teach a more conservative curriculum than others and where he went to school makes a difference as to the quality and ummm..[ambition] of a dentists practice. Geographical location is yet another factor...it stands to reason that if you are in a more affluent area you will pay more for just about everything, right down to the cost of an ordinary hamburger.  Other factoring points are high overhead costs such as equipment, payroll and malpractice insurance. The thing is, however, all of that aside; it isn't like dentists are starving here...their median income is probably right around $120,000 per year. Now, I'm talking about general dentists.  I'm not even going to venture into the financial world of the specialists. That's another topic for another day.

So, the question here is:  What can you do if you suspect you've been over-diagnosed or upsold? The first thing is to not panic!  As long as you haven't signed a contract then your treatment plan is exactly that...a plan.  You can opt in or opt out, but before you make any decision you should get a second opinion.  Maybe even a third, just to find medium ground. Solicit your friends and family members for the name of their trusted dentist.  Get a good, solid recommendation. Talk it over with a professional consultant or someone whose opinion you trust. You can never research too much.

This is the best advice I can offer!  Forewarned is forearmed.

Keep smiling!

The Advantages Of Digital Dental X-Rays

The advancement in x-ray technology is nothing short of amazing. The old days of having to hand develop the images, use lighting boards and wait a while are long past us.

The digital x-rays today are quicker, clearer, readily available at any time and more accurate than ever before. Almost every dental center is now using them. The feedback that I have received from the dentist on them have been great. It really makes their job easier and making tracking the treatment progress easier as well.

For the patient it is less intrusive, the process is quicker and they have the peace of mind that their dentist is getting the best image possible of their teeth and mouth. Not to mention that the dental office now has the ability to save multiple x-rays digitally and they are not placed in a file and need to be located every visit.