Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Rise and Fall of Dental Prices, Among Other Things

The dental industry suffered in the slow economy just as any other industry, but the question I'd like to ask is why? In the past it was one of the most lucrative fields in the market, and it seemed that dental prices were rising faster than the rate of inflation. Seriously, you could buy a car (or two) for what it costs to restore your teeth nowadays... with the new technology for cosmetic procedures such as implants & veneers, even crowns are exorbitantly priced! However, in the last few years, with the recession/depression/economic downturn (call it what you will) it seems that all of a sudden, the price of dentistry has become more negotiable! Dentist's are lowering their fees; some are even offering a 50% cut in everyday routine procedures. Or maybe it's that they are getting more creative with payment options; their own "in house" financing, credit card companies that are getting in on the action by offering medical and dental financing to qualified people. I don't know, it just seems to me that in this time when everyone is recovering financially and struggling to stay afloat, if they can offer these discounts and options now, why couldn't they have offered more creative financing options and lower prices all along? Would you chalk it up to GREED? Seriously, one could apply this theory to every product or service based industry out there and the question is the same. Could this GREED factor have put us where we are today? I would say absolutely.

Your feedback is welcome!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fillings: Silver Vs. White

No one wants to hear "you need a filling" But if you need to have a filling done you will want to know what type of material will be used on your teeth.

There are two types of filling materials used to fill your teeth, Amalgam and Composite.

Amalgam: More commonly known as silver fillings. This material is made out of metallic mercury. There has been some controversy surrounding silver fillings saying it can be toxic. However research has shown that silver fillings have little threat on mercury poisoning.

The disadvantage of having amalgam fillings is the way they look in your mouth, sliver fillings tend to be gray/black or silver. Many dentist now will recommend getting white fillings. White fillings blend in with your teeth so no one will ever know you have fillings!

Composite: More commonly known as white "tooth-colored" fillings. This material is made out of microscopic glass and porcelain particles embedded in a mass of acrylic.

The disadvantage of having composite fillings is they may become slightly discolored if you eat or drink staining substances. Composites tend to wear out soon than silver fillings.

Regardless of the type of filling you need, There's no need to worry!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mouthwash.. Are you using it correctly?

A question like this may sound stupid but realistically most people do not use mouthwash correctly. I mean it sounds simple, put the mouthwash in your mouth, swish it around, spit it out and then walk away from the sink with a hint of minty freshness on your breath..right? As you know, very few things in life is that simple. There are some unanswered questions that comes with using mouthwash. How much do I use? What kind do I use? How long to I swish? Well take a look at these DO and DON'TS for using mouthwash.

1. Don't use mouthwash in lieu of brushing and flossing: Mouthwash will not clean your teeth the way that brushing and flossing will.

2. Don't swallow the mouthwash: Mouthwash can make you sick if you swallow it. Most of them contain about 30% of alcohol and although fluoride is great for your teeth, it is not good for your stomach. Swallowing too much mouthwash could poison you.

3. Don't rinse with after immediately after using mouthwash: The cleansing properties of mouthwash will work long after you spit it out. If you rinse with water right after, you will dilute the mouthwash and minimize the effectiveness.

4. Don't use mouthwash with extreme mint flavor on a regular: The extreme mint flavor can dry your mouth and dehydrate you. Plus it may be too strong for some people. You should limit your use of it.

5. Don't let children use mouthwash without adult supervision: As harmless as it may seem, mouthwash can be dangerous for children. As I stated before, it contains 30% alcohol. It can cause alcohol poisoning in children. Check with your child's dentist before you allow them to use mouthwash of any kind.

1.  Use about 20ml of mouthwash:  This is the amount that is recommended by most dentists. Just as using too much can harm you, using too little will not do you any good either.

2. Gargle and Swish for about 45 seconds: This will help you break apart any debris left over from brushing and flossing and will give your mouth a good solid fluoride rinse.

3. Use mouthwash that contains fluoride: The fluoride is really good for your teeth and will help you maintain the beautiful smile.

4. Talk to you dentist about your mouthwash use: Your dentist will know best. As them about how much and what kind of mouthwash you should use.

So.. are you using mouthwash correctly? Whether you are or are not, I hope you find these tips useful. When all else fails, ask you dentist. Most dental centers will give you "oral hygiene instructions". This may sound stupid, but they do contain some great tips to help you keep your teeth and maintain a beautiful and health smile.

Happy Brushing!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Historic Dental Facts

If you love trivial facts, I found some fun stuff on the web to share. The following is a compilation of dental facts that I found in numerous places....there is so much information available out there and only so much space for it in a blog! I will probably post again on this topic in the near future.  Enjoy!!
  • George Washington NEVER actually had wooden teeth! He did, however, wear dentures.  They were made from a mixture of gold, tusks of a hippo, elephant ivory and human teeth!  Ugh!
  • In early America, it was common for dentistry to be a secondary profession.  You might have visited your barber, who was also a dentist.  Or your blacksmith.....
  • Twigs from trees served as toothpicks and tooth brushes.  Known then as a "chewstick" you could make a toothbrush out of a twig by chewing the end of the twig so that the fibers would spread out.  Great knowledge to have now for survival skills!
  • The first licensed female dentist was Lucy Beaman Hobbs in 1866. She was denied entrance into college because of her gender, and went on to establish her degree with the help of a private tutor.
  • Did you know that Paul Revere was a dentist?  He was an accomplished Silversmith by trade, but practiced amatuer dentistry as well.  He used his skill as a Silversmith to craft dentures out of ivory and metal. He is responsible (however unwittingly) for what we know today as  forensic dentistry (the identification of corpses through dental records) He identified a friend who died at Bunker Hill when he recognized his own work in the remains of the teeth.
  • The very first dental drill was a foot driven utensil invented in 1790 by a man named John Greenwood.  He fashioned the drill using his mother's foot treadle spinning wheel as an example, and it worked! 
This is great stuff!  Here is one more fact I found on the web that you might think is amazing....I'd love to do this survey again now, in 2013. The fact states that a in survey done in 2003 of adults and teens,  the toothbrush was the # 1 invention that people couldn't live without, even winning out over computers and cell phones!  I'd be willing to bet that if that survey was done today, cell phones would win hands down.  What do you think? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Waxed Or Unwaxed Dental Floss

Many people wonder what the difference between waxed and unwaxed dental floss is? Well there are a few differences which you might find interesting!

Waxed Dental Floss:
  • Helps slide in between tight teeth
  • Does not remove as much plaque as unwaxed floss
Unwaxed Dental Floss:
  • Could get stuck or shred while trying to get between teeth
  • Removes more plaque then waxed floss
*Either waxed or unwaxed will do the job of removing debris...

What kind of Dental Floss do you like?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Financing your Dental Treatment Plan

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....

  • Capital One Healthcare Finance offers financing for Dental, Vision, Cosmetic Surgery, Fertility and more. Again, this option requires that you qualify for financing. Read more....

  • All Care Financing is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of payment options. According to their website, they have high approval rates! If you think you may have a problem qualifying for a loan, this one may be the one to try. Here's the link....
Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't be discouraged. The options may be limited, but they are available if you are resourceful! There are still dentists out there who will arrange payment plans with a patient. 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!

Originally posted by walnutflwr 3-11-2009

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Teeth Whitening Sensitivity

Teeth whitening is great for anyone who is looking to brighten their smile! Before you decide to start any whitening treatments you should consult with your dentist to make sure you are a good candidate.

If you are a candidate for teeth whitening, ask your dentist what they recommend doing before you make your appointment. Some dentist will ask you to use a certain toothpaste and mouthwash for about 2 weeks prior to your appointment to help relief sensitivity during and after the treatment. Other dentists might recommend something different, or nothing at all.

One thing you might not know or be told is you may have very sensitive teeth after your treatment. Sensitivity can last a few hours up to a few days. The problem is each patient reacts different to the treatments. 

What causes tooth sensitivity after the treatment?

One cause of tooth sensitivity may be the bleaching agent getting on the gums and other soft tissues near a tooth.
Another cause of tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening are the dentinal tubules. Dentinal tubules are little holes in the dentin layer of the tooth that are linked to the dental pulp within the tooth. This explain how teeth are sensitive to heat and cold. The whitening agents can cause the tubules to become completely exposed (this is a temporary condition, by the way), making teeth hypersensitive.
I have had my teeth whitening twice, once with the Zoom and once with the Venus. From my two experiences, I will most likely never get a professional whiting treatment again, due to the horrible sensitivity
During and After the treatment I was experiencing major sensitivity. I keep getting sharp "zings" (started in the 3rd phase of the treatment) and they lasted until I went to bed. In the morning I felt great!
Aside from the pain, my teeth where so pretty!
Have you had any professional whitening done? If yes, Please share your experience.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Top Ten Reasons to remove your wisdom teeth

Here are reasons 3-1... 

3. ~ Even wisdom teeth that seem to be problem free- (asymptomatic) remain a breeding ground for oral infection and inflammation. Research supports the concept that such inflammation may enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development and/or progression of a variety of diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

2. ~ Once it has been determined that a wisdom tooth will not successfully erupt into your mouth and be maintained in a healthy state, early removal of wisdom teeth is associated with faster and easier recovery.

1. ~ The number one reason for removing you wisdom teeth is "Peace of Mind"

 Original Post by btflbutterfly77

Thursday, July 11, 2013

So You Think Dental Insurance Is Better Than A Dental Plan… Think Again!

Many people have the misconception that dental insurance is the only way to go and that discount dental plans are a rip-off.   The fact of the matter is dental insurance is the possibly the worst type of insurance to buy.

The only advantage that dental insurance has is, for the most part, you can go to any dentist that you want to.  Beyond that, the main thing you are really buying is peace of mind.  Keep in mind that insurance companies are gambling that during a calendar year you won’t use your insurance.  If the claim to income ratio passes a set point, you may see a rise in annual premium or an adjustment in benefits.

The vast majority of dental insurance is provided through group policies.  According to NADP (National Association of Dental Plans) estimates, annual premiums ranged from $234 to $432 per person in 2011.  If you’re an individual purchasing dental insurance, your policy would average about $360 a year.  Another thing that can affect your annual premium is the “ceiling” or maximum yearly benefit.  Ceilings can range from $750 to $2,500 with an industry average of $1.500.  If you need the higher ceiling, your annual premium will be higher.  Keep in mind that once you exceed your ceiling for the year your dental insurance benefits end until the start of the next year.

Most dental insurance emphasizes prevention and diagnostics.  They usually cover two annual examinations, cleanings and x-rays (x-ray are usually once every three to five years).  Most insurance companies have what is described as a 100-80-50 coverage, meaning they pay 100 percent for routine preventative care such as checkups and cleanings; 80 percent for basic procedures such as fillings, some extractions, and some root canals; and 50 percent for major procedures such as crowns, bridges, dentures.

Although preventative care is covered immediately, there is usually a three to six month waiting period for basic procedures and twelve to eighteen month waiting period for major procedures.

According to the American Dental Association in 2011 the average cost of two exams and cleanings and a set of X-rays would have about $370 if you paid out of your own pocket. 

Discount Dental Plans have a big advantage over dental insurance.  Dental plans have a set fee schedule that the dental facility is under contract to abide by.  As long as you stay within the provider network of the dental plan you should never pay more than the fee that has been set.  This means that the dental facility cannot bill you for the difference between their usual fee and the agreed fee.

Most dental plans have a fee schedule that discounts fee between thirty and fifty percent based on an average of the “normal” fees for the state that they operate in.  Since dental plans do not pay claims the annual cost of plan membership is usually significantly less expensive than dental insurance.  Individual plans average under $100 per year and family plans average under $200 per year.  Some dental plans offer employer and group rates that can be as low as $20 per year per member for large groups.

As a rule of thumb, dental plans do not have waiting periods.  When you become a member of the dental plan you can start using your benefits within one or two days if not immediately. Since dental plans are not insurance companies, the dental facility does not have to waste time and resources getting “permission” to perform different procedures.  Your dental care is strictly between you and your dentist and is based solely on your needs and your budget.  Since dental plans do not pay claims, there are no yearly ceilings.  This means that you don’t have to worry about your benefits ending before the work you are having done is complete. 

The biggest issue I have seen with people joining dental plans is that they are restricted to a “network” of providers.  Keep in mind that there are three types of dental insurance and two of them, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) restrict you to their “network” of provider.  The only insurance that gives you free choice of dental facilities is Dental Indemnity Insurance and it’s the most costly.

When you are considering dental coverage take a close look at what you are paying for.  How long do you have to wait before something is covered, what’s the deductible, what’s my copay and most importantly what is my yearly premium and ceiling?  If you are concerned about your oral health, budget and time, a reputable discount dental plan may actually be what you are looking for.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Dentist Roulette.. How often do YOU change dentists?

Some people spend a lot of time looking for the right doctor that they are comfortable with. That got me thinking, how long do people look for a dentist that they are comfortable with. I did some online research. I was astonished by results.

It turns out that almost 43% of people rarely visit the same dentist more than twice

If you have a problem with you dentist, then I can see reason for changing a dentist. Other than that, what would be the point of going to a new dentist each time you need work done? I am curious to hear your thoughts on this.

If you are one that plays "dentist roulette", let me fill you in a secret:

YOU ARE SPENDING MORE MONEY: Think about it. Then dentist you went to before has already done an examination, has your past x-rays on file, has a treatment plan created and knows the work that they did on your teeth. Every time you change dentists you have to go through that again. The need to take more x-rays so they can see what the status of your teeth are when you walk in. They need to do a exam to see what has been done before and create a new treatment plan. Not to mention the paperwork that is needed on your first visit. 

Okay, I have given you my point of view, I am interested to hear yours!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mouth Injuries Related To Sports

Sports will be starting  in a couple weeks, did you know sports is the leading cause in mouth injuries? If you play or have played a sport you have been probably been hit in the mouth at least once. The most common injuries that a dentist has seen related to sports are: broken, displaced or knocked out teeth, and broken jaws.
What should you do if you or your child loses a tooth?

If a tooth has been knocked out, the tooth needs to back in the mouth with in 30 min. for the best chance of survival.
·  Avoid touching the root because it can be damaged easily.

·  If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part and rinse it off with milk. If you don't have milk, don't clean it. Wiping it off may cause more damage.

·  If you can't get it back in the socket, put it in a cup of milk and head for the dentist or emergency room.

***Milk will help provide nutrients to the cells, DO NOT place/wash tooth in water***

What should you do if you or your child's jaw is hurt?

·  See a doctor immediately.

 Remember always wear a mouth guard no matter what sport you are playing!

Monday, July 1, 2013

What Is A Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)?

You see them often when you go in to get your teeth cleaned. Very rare does the dentist actually do it. It is usually done by the registered dental hygienist (RDH). So that begs the question, What is an registered dental hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive medical care, typically, but not limited to, focusing on techniques in oral hygiene.

Common procedures performed by hygienists include cleaning, scaling and root planing, taking of prescribed radiographs, dental sealants, and provide instructions for proper dental care.
Educational and licensing requirements in U.S. To become a dental hygienist in United States, you must graduate from a dental hygiene program, with either an associates degree (most common), a certificate, a bachelor's degree or a master's degree from a dental hygienist school that is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).

The dental hygiene process of care has five steps:
Assessing the patient: This includes, but is not limited to, a full review of the patient's medical history, necessary x-rays to be taken, a clinical exam, and a periodontal assessment.
Dental hygiene diagnosis: Assessing of data pertaining to a client's condition in terms that will help identify problems so as to lead to a creation of an order to apply available professional therapies. The diagnosis of disease in most jurisdictions may only be performed by the doctor.
Planning: creating a sequential treatment plan for the patient. The treatment plan will vary based on the patient's immediate needs.

Implementation: Carrying out the plan.
Evaluation: Determining the effectiveness of the work that was performed.
Over a period of months or years a dental hygienist may have his or her work evaluated several times, altering the diagnosis and plan numerous times as the client's condition changes.

(original post by Jennifer)