Thursday, September 26, 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....
  • 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, September 25, 2013

Ways Your Bad Breath Could Mean Bad Health

Yuck, what is that smell? Could it be your breath? Checking your breath may not just save you from social moments, but it may save your life. Recurring bad breath could be a sign of underlying medical conditions.

  • Electric Nose Technology: Detects lung cancer from bad breath- This is a cheaper alternative than doing a biopsy to detect lung cancer. The "electronic nose" detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breaths. All you would need is a simple breath test.
  • Breath tests can detect heart failure- By taking a breath test, Researchers can use "mass spectrometry" technology to analyze the sample for molecular and chemical compound signs of heart failure.
  • Fish Breath: Kidney Failure: The fishy breath occurs when the kidney failure affects the respiratory system and makes it hard to breath. This is because the damaged kidneys can no longer filter waste products from the blood and turn it into urine.
  • Sleep Conditions may cause sour mouth- Saliva decreases during sleep, which causes a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Excess Weight- A poor diet and lack of water can play a major role in bad breath. Try drinking large amounts of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, this will help keep breath fresh.

If you notice your recurring bad breath please seek medical help!


To read more click here!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Poor Dental Heath Links To Malnutrition.

Malnutrition is a growing problem in society these days. There are many programs, treatments, supplements and plan available to help a person that suffers from this. Malnutrition is more common with seniors than anyone else. One of the reasons is because of poor dental health. Seniors that have poor dental heath are more likely to eat poorly or not completely chew their food. If they have a sore tooth, missing teeth, a denture that does not fit too well, a broken denture or even a poor quality denture, it would make it uncomfortable for them to eat and chew properly. Nutrients are dispersed in the body more-so when the food is chewed. Food not chewed properly will be digested but the nutrients that the food contains will not all be received by the body.

If you or someone you love is suffering from malnutrition, be sure to talk to them about their dental health. Find out if they are having trouble eating due to something going on with their teeth or dentures. If so, have them checked by a dentist as soon as possible.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Troubled By A Toothache?

We all know tooth pain is the worst possible pain. It makes eating and drinking very difficult, and may also cause an infection in or around the tooth called an abscess.

Here are some warning signs of an abscess:

  1. Throbbing pain
  2. Tender tooth
  3. Gums are red and swollen
  4. Swollen face
  5. Fever
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call your dentist right away!


Monday, September 16, 2013

An Interesting Use Of Denture Glue

Denture glue is something that you would really think to only use for one thing.. dentures..right? Well a turtle rehab center in Florida turned to it in a last ditch effort to save the life a sea turtle. The 40 pound turtle was brought into the center with a 10 inch crack on the shell from being struck by a boat. With a fractured shell, the turtle becomes vulnerable to infection on top of the danger of the cracked shell to begin with.

After unsuccessfully repairing turtle shells with various marine epoxies and dental glues in the past, the center turned to a local dentist to see if there was something new they could try.

After researching and brainstorming, they used a waterproof denture resin to repair the break in the shell and then fitted it with prosthetic pieces to replace the missing shell pieces.

So far, the treatment had worked and the sea turtle is no longer in critical condition.

This complete story can be found on the ABC News website!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Is This Going to Hurt?

"Is this going to hurt?", is one of the most common questions presented to dental professionals today. Long gone are the days of "cowboy dentistry" where a good shot of whiskey and white knuckling the dental chair were your only means of coping with dental procedures. Long gone are the days of foot pedaled and belt driven "drills" assaulting your senses with the incessant whine, the astrid smell of barbecued tooth and the oh so popular repetitive expectorating into the cuspidor. Yes, dentistry has indeed come a long way.

Painless dentistry is the new wave of the future! Dental anesthetics are by far more effective now, then ever. Patients are presented with a plethora of options to suit their comfort needs. Local anesthetics ( previously known as "Novocaine") are offered and at most times highly suggested with almost all dental procedures. They work faster and last longer to insure the maximum level of comfort for both patient and the dentist. Now, some exceptions do apply. In fact, there are quite a few dental procedures that are regularly done with no anesthetic because there is rarely an opportunity or occurrence for discomfort. (IE., bleaching, sealants, routine cleanings...to name a few.)

General anesthesia is becoming another common practice among specialists and some general dentists when performing more difficult and invasive procedures such as extractions, periodontal (gum) surgeries and implant placements. This allows the patient to comfortably "fall asleep" prior to the dental procedure and awaken after with very little memory of the experience. This can be done intravenously and sometimes orally.

For those dental phobics out there that can't seem to bring themselves to face the dentist because of their "horrific childhood experience", "needle phobias" and "level of pain intolerance", many dentists now offer oral sedatives and nitrous oxide to help calm those dental jitters and make your dental experience a pleasant one.

"How bout after the work is done?"

Lets face it, you are more likely to experience some sort of sensation after dental treatments. The intensity of the sensations you may feel will depend on the level of invasiveness of the procedure you are having done. For example:

Fillings: In most cases patients may experience mild soreness in the injection site more so than in the tooth. It is common, however, to experience mild to moderate sensitivity to cold for a short period of time after a filling is placed. Again, this sensitivity will depend on the type of filling placed, the depth of the cavity and its proximity to the nerve of the tooth. (IE., teeth with large deep fillings may feel more intense cold sensitivity for a longer duration than a small shallow filling.) Fillings that may feel "high" can also make the tooth and surrounding bone feel bruised because of the constant heavy contact during eating. This causes the ligament surrounding the tooth to become sore. With a simple adjustment by the dentist, this problem is usually remedied in a few days.

Extractions: Patients often say that the extraction site is mildly sore after the tooth is removed. This being one of the most invasive and non-reversible dental procedures, that shouldn't come as a surprise. A lot of healing takes place after a tooth is extracted and if you follow the post operative procedures given to you by your dentist, this healing should go off without a hitch. On the rare side, dry sockets and bone chips can cause discomfort, however, these are also easily treated by your dentist to help speed the healing along.

Root Canals: Oh the horror stories we have all heard! The fact here is, once the nerve is removed from a tooth, the tooth itself has no feeling. Patients will still feel sensations from biting pressure, but that's because the bone and tissue around the tooth still have feeling. One of the most common things I've heard after patients have had a root canal is, "the tooth doesn't hurt, but my jaw is sore." Well, again this makes sense. The tooth has no feeling, therefore it shouldn't hurt, and you've been propped open for over an hour during the root canal so your jaw muscles are fatigued and they become sore. In most cases, some basic over-the-counter pain relievers keep this discomfort in check. Again, on the rare side, sometimes teeth have little side canals or extra canals that can't be seen visually or on a radiograph and they don't get cleaned out. When this happens, it is common for the tooth to begin to ache and a subsequent visit to the dentist is necessary to retreat the tooth. Most dentists do prescribe mild pain relievers in conjunction with procedures like that to help keep your discomfort at bay.

Now these are just a few example of common reactions to the dental procedures listed above. Every mouth is different and every person's pain tolerance is as well. Don't be hesitant about asking your dentist what type of anesthesia and pain management would work best for you. By discussing your options and your tolerances, both you and your dentist should have a pain free experience!

original post by walnurflwr 9/26/08

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What you thought you knew about dental: Myths uncovered!

**This information was gathered from various online sources**

Myth: Brushing more than once a day can harm tooth enamel.
Well, sort of. Brushing multiple times a day with anything other than a soft toothbrush could possibly harm your enamel. That's why most dentists recommend you use a soft bristle toothbrush, and brush preferably after each meal.

Myth: There's no need to take a child to the dentist because their baby teeth will fall out anyway.
As soon as your child develops a tooth, it's time to pay attention. Neglecting your child's baby teeth can cause major and even painful problems for them presently, as well as possibly causing major issues for them once the permanent teeth come in. It is never too early to teach your children about the importance of proper oral hygiene.

Myth: Chewing sugarless gum is the same as brushing.
Nothing replaces actual brushing (with a toothbrush) and flossing. Chewing sugarless gum in between meals can help clean the surface of your teeth and may also freshen your breath, however, it does not remove plaque and food that may be stuck in between your teeth. Also, it does not effectively remove plaque and build-up around the gum line which is what a toothbrush and floss are designed to do.

Myth: Women should avoid the dentist altogether while pregnant.
Due to the amount of vitamins and nutrients the baby needs, pregnant women often find that they develop more dental problems during this delicate period. It is for this reason that regular dental visits should continue and are, if anything, more important during pregnancy. Of course, there are certain dental procedures that pregnant women should avoid, such as x-rays and dental surgery, but your dentist will advise you properly and this should be no reason to skip out on your dental care.

Myth: I can't see any problems with my teeth, so I don't need to go to the dentist.
Not all dental problems are visible. You could have a cavity the size of Texas and never see it because it could be on the back side of a molar or in between two teeth. Too many people go by the notion that "if I can't see it or feel it, it's not there." As with many health related issues, you don't always know that there's a problem until it's too late. If you could physically see every problem in your mouth, what would be the purpose of dental x-rays?

These are just a few myths I found and did a little research on, but all comments or additions are welcome!

Original post by Moobiedoo 4/09

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Teeth Could Use Some Brightening- What Actually Works?

We all know that coffee, tea, wine, dark snacks and condiments will stain our teeth. This does not mean you have to swear them off Though!

The dietitian says:
 Just rinse your mouth with water right after eating, or stash some sugar free chewing gum. Consider adding foods and drinks that work towards whiter teeth into your diet, such as cheese, fruit and veggies.

-Lisa Young, PH.D

The dentist says:
Use at home teeth whiting kits such as Crest 3D whiting strips for lighter stains. For darker stains or instant result you will need professional whitening.

-Marc Lowenberg, D.D.S.

The makeup artist says:.
Cool-toned lip colors create an optical illusion. Fair skin should wear pinks, medium/olive toned skin should wear reds, while darker skin tones should stick to plums. Another trick is to dust some bronzer. Tanned skin makes teeth stand out!

-Matthew VanLeeuwen, Celebrity makeup artist



 Information was found in the redbook magazine. October 2013
 

Gum: Go Ahead, Gnaw on This!

As a dental assistant, I would frequently be asked by patients if it's ok to chew gum. My answer "yes, chew gum!" came easily, but..with a few guidelines. 

Dentists today are encouraging patients to smack, chomp, chew their gum for their dental health. Done in moderation and in a sugar free format (i.e., gums containing Xylitol), chewing gum has many proactive benefits. Not only does it instantly freshen breath, it helps clean the surface of your teeth while chewing and stimulates the saliva flow, which in turn helps fight tooth decay!

Dentists do offer a few guidelines when choosing your chewing gum. It's best to avoid gums containing sugar, as to chewing those can actually increase your chances of getting tooth decay. Excessive chewing of gum can also lead to potential problems with your temporomandibular joints which leads to problems such as TMD. Dentists suggest that chewing a piece of gum will freshen your breath after 3-5 minutes and shouldn't be chewed more than about 20 minutes.

Should you have doubts about what brands of chewing gum are right for you, ask your family dentist!

Happy Chewing!!

Original Post by Dawn D.A.12/17/2009

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Premedication Prior To Dental Treatment

The need for a qualified patient to premedicate prior to dental treatment has been a preventative measure that has been in place for many years. I grew up with a heart condition and I have always been required to premedicate before a dental visit. The topic came up around the office over that last week because we had heard that the recommendations for who needs to premedicate and for how long had changed. 

I did a lot of research and spoke to some of my colleagues in the dental field. The recommendations have indeed changed. According to the American Heart Association, American Dental Association, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, people with certain heart conditions are no longer required to premedicate, unless they have had a valve replacement surgery. People that had a joint replacement are required to premedicate for 2 years after the surgery.

The reason for this change is that research has shown that the risk of anaphylactic shock from taking the medication every time is greater than the risk of infection that could occur if you do not premedicate. Much to the surprise of the dental industry, these new recommendations have not gone over well with patients that have become accustom to premedicating as the practice has become more a "peace of mind" for them.

Regardless of what the recommendation is, a doctor's order will supercede it. So make sure that you check with your doctor on whether or not you still have to premedicate!