Monday, December 29, 2014

A Year End Message from our C.E.O. Clayton Parker Jr.: "Out with 2014 and in with 2015"

Thanksgiving and Christmas is over and in the blink of an eye it will be 2015.

As I reflect on the past year I am overcome with many emotions.  I have seen some people have a very successful year but I have seen many more (too many) struggle just to get by and make ends meet.

Savon has not been immune from the trickle down effects of the Affordable Health Care Act and we have felt the pinch as many of you have. In years past (2009 and earlier) no health insurance company offered individual dental coverage.  Between 2013 and now, virtually all health insurance companies offer it. 

These insurance companies have the capital and means to make what they are offering to its’ customers attractive, however in the end people are finding that it is a far inferior product to what Savon offers. The good news is that many members are realizing this and returning to Savon!

We pride ourselves in our customer service and we will go to any reasonable extreme to work with our members and make them happy.  Our phones are monitored by a customer service representative 7 days a week, (and yes… I personally helped one of our members on Thanksgiving Day while I was watching football at home).

For those of you that may be facing financial challenges, we have re-instituted our monthly payment option and the 50/50 option. The early renewal option has also been a great success as it has saved us 
on printing and postage and we have been able to pass those savings along to the members that take advantage of the early renewal offer.

At the request of many of our members, we are exploring the possibility of adding an optional vision and hearing plan to our portfolio and we will keep you posted as progress is made.

I would personally invite, (beg, grovel, implore, request or whatever word best describes it) you to visit to our page on the Better Business Bureau and give us a review.  Please note: This review is for the dental plan not the dentists.

Check Us Out And Review Us!
The Better Business Bureau is a strong marketing tool for us and we have had an A+ rating since they started their rating system.  In the past the only thing the BBB allowed consumers to do was file a complaint against a business. They now allow you to give 
reviews and express their feelings (good or bad) about a business.  Please take a few minutes and give us a review.  It will be greatly appreciated.

This has been a snapshot of Savon for 2014 and in closing, I would like to wish each and every one of our members and their families the happiest of holidays and a fantastic and prosperous 2015.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay with Savon, “your dental plan every step of the way!”

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

High Speed Dentistry

We get calls almost daily from people that have been to the dentist and felt they were overcharged because their procedure “didn’t take long enough”.

Those of us that have been around for awhile can remember when a simple cleaning took 45 minutes to an hour and if you needed a root canal… well that could be an all-day adventure.

Welcome to the 21st century and the world of high speed dentistry!

Here is a quick look at some of the advances in dentistry that have made a visit to the dentist less frightening and less traumatic.  A lot of these advances allow the general dentist to perform procedures that, in the past, would have been referred to a specialist.

Anesthetics – The process of getting numb has greatly improved.  With the advent of strong topical anesthetics and stronger injectable types, getting numb can really be a fairly painless process.  I have found that the simple trick of freezing the roof of the mouth makes that shot at least bearable.

Cleanings – In most cases, the process of scraping, picking and digging at your teeth is gone.  The new high speed cleaning machines are almost like a car wash for your mouth.  The use of ultra sound and water gives the hygienist the ability to cut through the plaque in a fraction of the time it used to take.  With the new laser systems that are available, periodontal scaling and root planing are less invasive and much faster.  Over the past 20 years, the average time for a regular cleaning has dropped from 45 minutes to somewhere around 15 to 20 minutes.

Root Canals – Still a word that no one wants to hear!  With the new high speed endo systems it’s really not a big thing anymore.  Gone are the days of drilling, x-ray, filing, x-ray, more filing, more x-rays and so on.  Now it’s kind of like drilling for oil in your tooth.  Once the dentist locates the canal, the system has a tracking device that can allow him to virtually see how deep he is filing, right down to the apex of the canal.  This is a great advancement that has also allowed general dentists to perform root canals that in the past years would have been referred to a specialist.

Crowns and Bridges – For the dental offices that make the investment, you no longer have to wait days or weeks to get your crown or bridge back from the lab.  A new process called Cerec allows the dentist to make the crown or bridge right in their office with a wait time for the patient of an hour or two.  Along with all of these advancements comes a huge capital outlay for the dental office.  The Cerec system alone has an initial investment of almost $100,000.00. 

So my friends, when you go to the dentist and you’re out quickly just remember that we are in the 21st century now.  Technology has touched every part of our lives.  Dentistry is much faster and far less frightening.  Technology now allows you to visit the dentist, get in, get out and get on with your day.  It does however, come with a price and the cost of time has basically been replaced with the cost of the new equipment.  In the long run the patient is still the winner.  You are not paying any more than you have in the past (inflation taken into account) but you are getting higher quality dentistry at a much quicker pace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Truth: Did You Know That You Can Microwave Your Dentures?

Whenever I'm scanning the internet for interesting and unusual blog material, it seems I never come up empty handed! I found an informative article about using the microwave to clean dentures. Yes, apparently it can be done, and it is said to be much more effective at removing bacteria when used along with a denture cleaner than with just the cleaner alone.
Here is the link to the article. It explains the effectiveness and gives some handy instructions to boot!
**Note: Before you try this you MUST make sure your dentures have no metal parts!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Your Dentist Said They Take Your Dental Plan... But Are They Authorized To?

We run into this a lot here at Savon Dental Plan. A valued member will call in and talk to us about their dentist only to hear the bad news from us that the dentist that they are going to is not credentialed with our office. We get the same response each time.. "Our dentist said that they accept your plan." That may be the case. Most dental offices will agree to honor the plan in order to retain you as a member, but still, that does not mean that they are a credentialed provider for the plan.

The reasons that you want to make sure that the dentist or specialist you are going to are credentialed with your coverage plan are:

  1. They will have the most up to date fee schedule.
  2. They will be familiar with plan and know what discounts are supposed to be given
  3. They will know what is covered and you will not be mis-informed
  4. They will be able to verify your coverage via roster or phone call
  5. If you as a member has a problem with the pricing discount, the plan will be able intervene and help you.

I can not stress this enough. Going to a dentist that is not credentialed with your plan puts you at financial risk! That dentist is under no obligation to give you the discounts or may be charging you off of an out-dated fee schedule. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, make sure that whatever dentist you are seeing is authorized BY THE PLAN to take the plan that you have. 

To see a current list of Savon Dentists, Click Here!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good And Bad Food For Your Teeth

Eating the right foods just might be the key to long lasting healthy teeth and gums!

Good Foods-
  • Fiber rich fruits and vegetables
  • Milk, yogurt, and dairy products
  • Green and black tea
  • Foods with fluoride
Bad Foods-
  • Sticky candy and sweets
  • Starchy foods
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Anything that will dry the mouth
Remember to keep up with your oral hygiene, brush and floss twice a day and see your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and exams!

Friday, December 12, 2014

New Study: Drinking Coffee May Reduce Your Risk Of Oral Cancer

Although this idea is still being researched and is yet to be confirmed, the study is appearing to be promising. 

A brief on oral cancer:

People who use tobacco or alcohol are naturally at a higher risk of developing oral/pharyngeal or mouth cancer.  People who have HPV (human papillomavirus) are also at a high risk as recent studies have shown. Oral cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages due to the fact that the symptoms can easily be mistaken as something else.  Common symptoms include mouth sores that don't seem to heal, or pain that will not go away.

Where coffee comes in:

There have been many studies over the years linking coffee to a reduced risk of mouth cancer.  The study which brings us here today actually began in 1982.  Nearly 1 million people took part, submitting their health and lifestyle information, including their tea and coffee intake.  When the study began, all participants were cancer free.  After nearly 30 years of monitoring and follow up, the results of the study were astonishing.  Out of the near million people who participated, 868 people died from oral/pharyngeal or mouth cancer.  When the relation to these deaths with coffee and tea consumption was analyzed, it was found that participants who reported drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 49% reduced risk of death from oral cancer than those who reported drinking less or only having an occasional cup.  Gender, alcohol and tobacco were not a factor.  The link to decaffeinated coffee was insignificant and the link to tea drinkers was non-existent.

What that means now:

While we would all love to believe that coffee is the cure for oral cancer, unfortunately, more research needs to be done.  There are many factors that would need to be considered before they can determine coffee as a guaranteed treatment.  There are also many other types of cancers, this study only focused on one.  So, for now, myself and my fellow coffee drinkers can simply feel a little bit better about our consumption.  As more research and studies unfold, however, I imagine we can expect to see a breakthrough on this idea soon.

Until then, Cheers to coffee!

Information obtained from various online sources.

Posted by Moobiedoo 2013

Thursday, December 11, 2014

When It Comes To Dentistry… The Good Old Days Weren’t That Good.

Have you ever seen a 62 year old man sit in a waiting room trembling because he was at the dentist office?  You might think that he was afraid of the dentist but in reality he has a phobia about needles.

Being a child of the 60’s (9 years old at that time) going to the dentist was the worst thing one could ever imagine experiencing.  For me personally, it was the most traumatizing event in my life, so much to the point that 51 years later I’m still paying the price.

Let’s look at dentistry in the “good old days”

First the chairs were really hard and uncomfortable and they had straps… yes straps attached to them.  If you had a problem sitting still or you were nervous, no problem, you got strapped into the chair to the point that you couldn’t move at all and in some case that included you head.

Next the dentist walked in with what looked like a foot long needle.  There was no topical antiseptic back then so he just pulled your mouth open and shoved that needle in.  The worst shots of all we in the front of your mouth under your nose (it felt like the needle was going to come out your eyeball) and in the roof of your mouth (it felt like he was trying to shove a golf ball up your nose).  If you survived that and became numb, he went to work on you.  The first thing he told you was not to swallow.  Then he’d start drilling with the assistant spraying water in your mouth to keep the drill from overheating.  Because you were told not to swallow, you felt like you were drowning.  After what seemed like a year of drilling and spraying, they put this thing that looked like a toilet bowl in front of you and told you to spit.  Then they gave you a cup of water and told you to rinse and spit.  While you’re doing all this rinsing and spitting, you’re watching the pieces of your teeth falling out along with what seemed like a gallon of blood.  The two words that struck fear in the heart of men, women and children everywhere back then were “Root Canal”.  That procedure was torture, straight out of the inquisition period.

As Far as restoring your teeth, you usually had somewhere around 3 choices:  Stainless Steel Crowns, huge fillings or extractions and flippers (usually 1 or 2 teeth denture).  As if it wasn’t bad enough that half my friends had steel crowns across the front of their mouth, I really felt sorry for the ones that wore braces.  Oh yeah remember, the railroad tracks so big and bulky and the external headgear that they had to wear all day.  Remember the old transistor radios and how they could actually make the sound come out of their mouths.  Yes my friends, those were the good old days of dentistry and me personally, I say good riddance to them.

With all my childhood experiences, I swore that I would only go to the dentist when I hurt more than they could hurt me.  For the better part of my life I’ve kept that vow and because of that I don’t have the smile that I would like to have.  I’ve had a cavity on the back of my front tooth for years but wouldn’t go to the dentist because it didn’t hurt.  It finally started bothering me so I went.  They took some x-rays and put me on an antibiotic with a follow up appointment.  The tooth stopped hurting so I rescheduled the appointment.  The day came for my new appointment and even though I wasn’t in pain, I took the plunge and went.  I was like a kid again, trembling, nervous, upset stomach, the whole bit.  I told the dentist of my fears and he just smiled and said “relax, I won’t hurt you”.  Yeah, I’ve heard that before.

Long story short, after 3 ½ hours, I walked out of the office having had an extraction and a 4 unit bridge done.  I took the shot under my nose and through the roof of my mouth and I never felt a thing.  The advances in dentistry have brought this profession into the 21st century.  Now we have strong topical antiseptics, products to freeze places before the shot, suction so you don’t feel like you’re drowning, oral cameras, digital x-rays and the list goes on and on.  Going to the dentist is still not my favorite thing, but I have made a new vow to continue to go and practice the good oral hygiene that I preach to everyone.  Although there are excellent dentists everywhere, I want to personally thank Dr. Gary Core of Apple Dentistry in Phoenix, Arizona for his caring, understanding and helping me let go of a lifelong phobia.  With that I say, “Goodbye to the good old days of dentistry and welcome to the new and vastly improved days”.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Good Dental Coverage is Essential

Working in the dental industry, I couldn't help but notice the downtrend caused by the great recession with respect to dental insurance, dental plans and even dental appointments.  While dental health (understandably) was not on everyone's mind at the time, with the introduction of the Affordable Healthcare Act and the current instability of the the economy it is more important than ever to obtain good dental coverage if you can. Keep in mind that many insurance companies do not cover dental.  Many offer the coverage but it is so limited that it may as well be non-existent. Unfortunately, prices for dental procedures have not gone down to match the economy either, so it's as important as ever to make sure that your family is covered in the event that treatment is needed! 

Tip: A good dental plan is an excellent way to help keep the cost of dentistry down, and in most cases can be used as a supplement to dental insurance. If you are insured, it's a safe bet that your dental insurance plan has limitations.  A good dental plan doesn't.  Take a minute and do some research on Dental Plans vs. Dental Insurance.  You might be surprised to learn that a dental plan has much more to offer!  

The following site is a good place to start!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Benefits Of Straight Teeth!

  1. Better Brushing - Overlapping teeth can trap food and straight teeth allow easier brushing/flossing.
  2. Clear Speech - Crooked teeth can cause many speech impediments.
  3. Easier Eating - Crooked, crowded teeth compromise chewing.
  4. Less accident - prone teeth - Protruding teeth are more prone to breaking also mouthgaurds may not fit correctly.
  5. Fewer headaches - Uneven wear puts pressure on the jaw resulting in chronic headaches.
  6. Improved gum health - Lower risk of gum disease.
  7. Better overall health - Tooth decay and gum disease is linked to heart disease and high blood sugar.
  8. Affordable dental care - Few issues mean few expensive treatments.
  9. Lower risk of soft tissue injury's - Cuts sores and infections can result from crooked teeth pushing against soft tissues in the mouth.
  10. Self-Esteem - Confidence in any situation!

If you are interested in getting straight teeth contact an orthodontist!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

How to nurse a weekend toothache

So it's the weekend and everyone is busy.. And where are you? At home with a toothache, wishing Monday would hurry up and arrive so you can get to a dentist. Here's a few tips on how to make it throughout that painful weekend with out suffering completely:

- Try rinsing your mouth out first. Take a mouthful of room-temperature water and rinse vigorously. Many times, a painful toothache can caused simply by trapped food.

-If that doesn't work, try flossing GENTLY. This should get rid of the problem, unless your problem is something other than just stuck food.

-Numb the pain- Take a shot of whiskey (do not swallow it), and hold it in your mouth right over the painful tooth. Your gums will absorb the alcohol and it will numb the pain.

-Rinse with salt water- Make sure the water is room temperature. This is very soothing and cleansing and will help keep it from getting any worse.

-Massage your hand- No, I'm not kidding. Rubbing an ice-cube in the V-shape between your index finger and your thumb for 5-7 minutes can reduce the pain by 50%.

-Put a little clove oil on it- You can purchase this over the counter. Simply drop a little right on the tooth.

-Try not to bite- This is a no-brainer. Obviously, if you have a toothache, try not to bite on that side whatsoever.

-Try icing it up- This may not work if you have sensitivity to cold. If you don't, you might try sucking on an ice cube- on or near that tooth. If sucking on an ice-cube isn't going to work, try puting an icepack on your cheek in 15 minute intervals.

-Shut your mouth- If you are having sensitivity to cold, breathing through your mouth can cause even more pain. Try breathing through your nose.

-Take Aspirin- And no, don't put it directly on your tooth or gum, this can cause damage. Actually take and swallow an aspirin every 4-6 hours.

-Keep it cool- Try to avoid getting to warm or hot. And definitely avoid placing heat on the area. Heat draws infection to the surface, making it worse and more painful.

This information is not intended to replace regular, professional dental care. Do-it-yourself dentistry is never a good idea. These tips are to GET YOU BY until you can see a dental professional. This information was gathered from various online sources.

Repost by MoobiDoo April 14, 2009

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fun Facts About The Mouth!

* People whose mouth has a narrow roof are more likely to snore!
* 85% of the population can curl their tongue!
* Expect to gain 256 colonies of bacteria from kissing!
* If your mouth was completely dry, you would not be able to distinguish the taste of anything!
* Taste is the weakest of the senses!
* Which ever hand you use to write is the side you will chew your food!
* Humans have unique tongue prints just like the fingertips!
* The tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body!
* There are about 9,000 taste buds on the surface of the tongue!
* Humans produce about 37,854 liters of saliva in a lifetime!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dental Funnies

A little Dental humor to brighten your day.  

Enjoy, and Keep Smiling!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why Does Your Dentist Take X-Rays?

Dental x-rays are a important part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to the teeth and gums that are not visible during a routine visual exam.

Some of the most common reason for x-rays are listed below:

  • Looking for decay between the teeth - sometimes decay is not visible to the naked eye.
  • Checking for bone loss associated with gum disease - Gum disease can cause bone loss and the x-ray can show how advanced it is.
  • Checking for decay under fillings - Sometime decay under the fillings can occur and the only way to detect this is by x-rays.
  • Looking for infection at the tip of the root - Infections can appear at the bottom of the teeth where the bone is, which x-rays are needed to confirm.
  • Examine before procedures - Dentist need a full view of the area they will be working on, whether it is braces, fillings and tooth extractions.

So next time you get upset about having another set of x-rays taken, remember this is for your own oral health!

Would you rather take the x-rays and see potential problems or be blindsided?

Dental Myths - Uncovered

How many of these have you heard of?

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 young 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!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teach Kids How To Brush And Floss!

This is a fun but messy activity to teach your young children how to brush and floss correctly!

All you will need is:
  • Rubber glove
  • Peanut butter
  • Dental Floss
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
Have an adult put on the glove, have someone or yourself put some peanut butter between your fingers (make sure you get it all the way down). Tighten your fingers together (your fingers represent the teeth and the peanut butter is the food that gets trapped). With your fingers still tightly together and extended, have your child use the toothbrush and toothpaste to try and remove the peanut butter. Once they are finished brushing have them try and remove the peanut butter using the floss.

This will help your child understand that brushing simply cant reach all the places between your teeth. Dental Floss does a much better job of removing food.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Reasons To Scrape Your Tongue Every Day!

When we are sleeping our digestive system remains awake, removing toxins from our body and depositing them onto the surface of our tongue. If we don't remove these toxins they get reabsorbed into the body causing other problems such as weakened  immune system and respiratory problems.

Listed below are some reasons why you should make tongue scraping part of your daily oral health routine:
  1. Improves breath: Removing bacteria, food debris, fungi and dead cells from the tongue reduces the odor from your mouth. To get the best results you need a tongue scraper, a toothbrush doesn't cut it.
  2. Improves taste: Removing the build-up will expose your taste buds. This will lead to better enjoyment of the flavors of your food.
  3. Improves dental health: Bacteria that is removed from the tongue are responsible for things like periodontal problems, plaque, build-up, tooth decay and many others.

Get to know your tongue!
Did you know your tongue us a mirror reflection of your internal organs? By scraping your tongue you are stimulating and massaging those corresponding organs!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Is Hyperdontia Continued

Last month October, 7th I did a blog about hyperdontia (teeth that appear in addition to the regular number of teeth).  Today I'm going to explain what type of treatment is used along with how long the treatments can last.

Treating hyperdontia is often done by removing the extra teeth/tooth, this can be preformed like a normal extraction if the tooth has erupted (broken the skin). If the tooth is still beneath the gum line, surgical extractions may be preformed. Sometimes if the teeth are fused together, both teeth may need to be removed.

Orthodontic treatment may be needed after the extractions to create a perfect smile! The length of  treatment will be determined by an orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment can last 1-3 years depending on the severity of the teeth, type of braces chosen, and dental health.

The prevention of hyperdontia is not known or still under medical review.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Can your dental exam reveal osteoporosis?

Absolutely!  There are a variety of things your teeth and gums can reveal, and bone loss is one of them
Picture this: Your teeth have been cleaned, x-rayed and examined. You're ready to schedule your next 6-month check-up and be on your way. But instead, your dentist delivers some surprising news: you may have osteoporosis.
You may think he is kidding, but that's probably not the case. Signs of osteoporosis can often be seen on dental x-rays and exams. Oral health and bone health can be directly related. Your dentist can find possible signs of osteoporosis by examining your jawbone, gums and teeth.
Although your dentist may suspect the disease, an x-ray alone is not enough for a diagnosis. To diagnose osteoporosis, you will need to see a doctor for a bone density test.

Keep Smiling!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oral Cancer Screening At Home

Six easy steps to check for oral cancer at home!

  1. Tongue - Extend your tongue as far as it can go, examine the sides and underside for white and red patches and feel your tongue for lumps.
  2. Lip and Cheek - Feel for lumps or bumps while looking for white and red patches.
  3. Double - Digit Probe - Examine the floor of your mouth from the tom to bottom simultaneously for lumps, red and white patches.
  4. Palate Tickle - Check the roof of your mouth for lumps and areas of softness on the hard palate, looking for white and red patches.
  5. Neck Caress - Palpate your neck for enlarged lymph nodes.
  6. Tonsils - Depress the tongue and check for enlarged tonsils and any white or red patches.
Remember this does not take place of seeing your dentist, this is just a cautionary screening. If you notice any unusual patches or unexplained soreness contact your dentist immediately.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soft Foods To Eat After Dental Surgery

After dental surgery it can be difficult to find foods that are filling while still soft and easy to eat.

From my experience of having my wisdom teeth removed and having my braces tightened I know finding soft foods to eat seemed impossible at the time.

I wish I would have seen this list after I had my procedures, it would have been a much easier to plan my meals for the day!

Bellow are some soft foods and liquids you can add to your diet after surgery.

  • Baby foods
  • Broth
  • Mashed fruits
  • Soft casseroles
  • Fish
  • Cottage cheese
  • Jello/Pudding
  • Noodles/Pasta
  • Ice Cream
  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal
  • Soup
 Remember don't use straws or smoke after surgery, this can cause dry sockets which can very painful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top 15 Halloween Candies Your Dentist Wishes You Won't Eat!

With Halloween just around the corner, every year dentist offices across the country encounter a rush of patients experiencing Halloween candy related dental emergencies!! No joke!! It's very common for patients to present themselves to the dental staff with crowns or bridges that have been pulled off, fillings that have been pulled out, teeth that have been chipped or cracked all by these innocent sweeties we consume every year!! I've compiled a list of the most common offenders that can be found in your candy bowl!
Top 5 Worst Culprits
(these are known to extricate crowns, bridges and fillings with ease)
  1. Sugar Daddy
  2. Milk Duds
  3. Dots
  4. Bit-O-Honey
  5. Good n' Plenty
Top 10 Accomplices
  1. Jolly Rancher
  2. Laffy Taffy
  3. Caramel
  4. Gummy Bears
  5. Toffee
  6. Tootsie Rolls
  7. Sugar Babies
  8. Now & Laters
  9. Super Bubble Gum/ Dubble Bubble Gum
  10. Slowpokes
There ya have it! For those of you who have any type of dental work done, watch out for these sneaky little candies...or you may find yourself in the dental chair bashfully blaming your missing filling on one of these sweet little criminals!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Original Post by Dawn_DA on October 13th 2009

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun Trivia Facts

Wow, is this for real?
  • An average person produces enough saliva in a lifetime to fill up a couple of swimming pools!

  • You actually have a tongue print! It is as unique as your fingerprint. No two tongues are identical...

  • Back in the middle ages, people used wine boiled with dogs teeth as a mouth rinse to fight tooth decay. Dogs Teeth? Ugh!

  • The mouth on the Statue Of Liberty is over 3 feet wide.

  • The famous Mount Rushmore took 14 years and 400 men, mostly miners, to carve and it was done during the Great Depression.  The mouths on each president are 18 ft wide! 

  • Snails can have up to 14,000 teeth but they can't chew.

  • It takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 to frown!

So, keep smiling everyone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oral Piercings

Pierced tongue, lip and cheek may be attractive to some but there are many heath related risks that are involved with these oral piercings.
  1. Infections - With the amount of bacteria in your mouth with the addition of bacteria from handling the jewelry you have a increased risk for infections.
  2. Transmission of diseases - Potential risk for the transmission of the herpes virus along with hepatitis B and C.
  3. Nerve damage - Numbness at the site of the piercing or even worse loss of movement (piercing of the tongue) can occur if the nerve was damaged.
  4. Gum disease - The jewelry can come into contact with the gum tissue causing injury as well as recession of the gum tissue, this can also lead to loose teeth or tooth loss.
  5. Damaged teeth - Jewelry can crack or chip a tooth.
  6. Difficulties of daily functions - Tongue piercings can result in difficulty chewing or swallowing or Even speaking.
If you decide to get a oral piecing remember these risks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What Is Hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia - The condition of having supernumerary teeth (teeth that appear in addition to the regular number of teeth) They can appear in any area of the dental arch.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Is Chewing Gum Good For Your Oral Health?

Did you know that chewing sugarless chewing gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay?

Chewing gum causes your mouth to produce saliva, which helps neutralize and rinse away some of the acid that forms in your mouth when you eat.

Of course chewing sugar containing gum increases saliva flow too, but it contains the sugar which is used by plaque bacteria to produce decay causing acids. Where sugarless gum contains non-cavity sweetners.

Don't replace brushing and flossing with chewing gum, this is not a replacement. Brush and floss daily along with getting a regular dental exam every 6 months.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

8 Things You Should Never Put In Your Mouth!

Many people have bad habits that, when accidents strike, can be devastating to your oral health!  The following is a list of things one should never do!  Take heed!  Dentistry is very expensive! 

1. Never chew ice.  Ice chips teeth and causes minute cracks in the enamel, which weakens the structure of your teeth. 
2. Never open can tabs or bottles with your front teeth.  It will cause chips in your teeth.
3. Beware of biting into fruit that has pits in it.  More broken teeth and dentures are caused by cherry pits than any other fruit! 
4. Try to avoid biting your nails.  It just isn't a good practice all the way around.  You can chip your teeth and your mouth contains bacteria that you can deposit near your nail bed and cause infection.

In addition to these things, you should also avoid putting small objects like marbles, coins, paperclips and hairpins into your mouth.  These things all pose a threat to your teeth and can also become a choking hazard.

Keep smiling!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teeth Facts

Teeth help us bite and chew are food, but how much do you really now about your teeth. Most likely if you don't work in the dental field you have very little knowledge on what your teeth are made of and the different types of teeth we have!

Babies start teething around 6 to 12 months old and by the time they are 3 years old they should have a full set of 20 milk teeth, also known as baby teeth. Once they have reached 6 years old the child's teeth Begin to fall out making way for the adult teeth.

By the age of 14 most children have lost all their baby teeth and have their adult teeth. Adults have 32 teeth total. Around the age of 17 we start to gain four more which are called the wisdom teeth. If you experience any pain when the wisdom teeth are coming through consult your dentist, these may have to be removed.

There are four different types of teeth:
  • Incisors- The four front teeth top and bottom. Used for cutting and chopping.
  • Canine teeth- The pointy teeth on each side of the incisors top and bottom. Used for tearing.
  • Premolars- Also known as bicuspid teeth. These are located next to the canine teeth. Used for grinding and crushing.
  • Molars- Strongest teeth, work along side the tongue to help swallow your food, helps with the mashing of the food.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Different types of mouthwash can help various types of dental health.

There many types of mouthwashes available in today's market. Every single one claiming to be optimal for perfect dental health. Is that really the case? Here are some things to look for when choosing a mouthwash.

First you want to check and see if it has alcohol or is alcohol free. Alcohol dries your mouth and can cause burns to your gums and inside of your cheeks. Alcohol free is the better option.

Depending on what you and your dentist have came up with for your area of dental focus can sway your decision of what mouthwash to get. It is based on the ingredients in the mouthwash.

Area of Focus:                                          Ingredient:
Better Gum Health                                Cetylpyridinium Chloride
Dry Mouth                                              Biotene
Cavity Protection                                   Sodium Fluoride
Teeth Whitening                                    2% Peroxide

These are just a few examples of ingredients in mouthwash that can help you in whatever area you are wanting to focus. You dentist or hygienist should be able to direct you as to which they product they recommend. Always remember that mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Could Your Toothbrush Make You Sick?

With the temperatures dropping, change in the weather the flu and cold season is among us. We all know getting a flu shot, washing our hands and avoiding people who are sick will help keep you healthy but that's not always the case.

Many people just getting over the flu/cold usually forget one small detail and that is changing out their toothbrush. Toothbrushes can harbor bacteria, even after is been rinsed. Its recommend that a toothbrush that has been used during a illness be discarded to avoid reinfection. If
the toothbrush is not discard it is possible for the already weakened immune system to allow the flu/cold strain to come back, I'm pretty sure you wont want that either.

Here are a few toothbrush tips to help prevent a cold or flu this season:
  1. Replace your tooth brush every 3-4 months or after an illness
  2. Thoroughly rinse the toothbrush after brushing and allow to air dry in an upright position
  3. Wash your hands before and after brushing/flossing to prevent bacteria from entering the mouth
  4. Never share toothbrushes
  5. Keep all toothbrushes separate from one another to prevent cross contamination
  6. Sterilize the toothbrush once a week

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Unexpected Way Running Affects Your Teeth

We all know that exercising is great for your health. One of the primary reasons for running is that it helps lose weight, fight heart disease and relives stress. However running can also have hidden negative effects on one of the most important parts of your body; Teeth.

When you add all the carbs, sports drinks and protein bars that are likely consumed during or after a work out, your mouth has the perfect environment for cavities. Sugar feeds decay-causing bacteria and our defenses against this bad bacteria lives in our saliva.

While most runners breath through their mouth, the mouth is usually dry during the entire run which slows saliva rates and makes it harder for the mouth to clean its self. Therefore, when the mouth is dry, your teeth are at risk.

Here are a few things you can to save your teeth during a workout!
  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Pop a sugar free mint or a piece gum after a workout (helps your saliva glands to start working again)
  3. Brush and floss regularly

Remember oral hygiene is very important!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Get Sensitivity Relief -Like Never Before-

The other day I was looking through one of my magazines and I came across this new ad for Crest Sensi-Stop Strips. It caught my attention since I have tooth sensitivity, and I wanted to learn more about this new product.

Crest Sensi- Stop Strips is a new way to take care of your tooth sensitivity. These thin, flexible strips deliver a key ingredient for 10 minutes right where it is needed to provides sensitivity relief up to one month of protection.

This unique strip is designed to cover the outer gum line of your sensitive teeth for just 10 minutes, giving the special ingredient time to build a lasting barrier that helps stop sensitivity pain by blocking tubules.

* Remember ask your dentist before starting anything new*

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why Do I Need A Full Mouth Debridement?

Have you been meaning to go to the dentist but things keep popping put - work, school, kids. Before you know it, years have passed.  You finally made your dentist appointment and they tell you they need to do a full mouth debridement, you are probably wonder what this is right?

A full mouth debridement is the removal of plaque and calculus that interfere with the ability of the dentist to preform a comprehensive oral evaluation.

Full mouth debridement takes longer than a normal cleaning and you may need to undergo periodontal treatment if periodontal disease is apparent.

After having a full mouth debridement your dentist will have you come back about 2-3 weeks later, after your gums have healed so he can properly exam your mouth. Now your dentist will be able to detect any cavities, if periodontal treatment is needed and many others!

Remember it's not to late to get your smile back on track!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Healthy Teeth - Fact Or Fiction?

Sweets rot your teeth?
  • Fiction - It's actually a byproduct of the bacteria on your mouth that creates the pores in your tooth structure that we call "cavities".  Starchy foods attract those acid-producing bacteria just like sweets do.
We've all read about what the bacteria that flies around our bathrooms...keeping my toothbrush covered or in a case keep it cleaner?
  • Fiction - Covering your toothbrush or storing it in a closed container actually creates a better environment for those microorganisms to flourish than the open bathroom air.
Discolored teeth can be just as healthy as pearly whites?
  • Fact - Discolored teeth are not necessarily unhealthy. Sometimes when the enamel becomes thinner by age, the darker layer shows through.
It's normal for your gums to bleed from time to time?
  • Fiction - Bleeding is not OK. Bleeding is the sign of infection, and if the infection is not treated the infection can become worse.
If it does not hurt, there's probably nothing wrong?
  • Fiction - Most infections of the mouth and teeth (gum disease and tooth decay) don't hurt. By the time something starts hurting, the treatment can often be much more expensive  and treatment can be more extensive.
Flossing is as important as brushing?
  • Fact - Flossing is just as important as brushing. Flossing helps remove plaque and food from between the teeth and under the gums.
Kids don't need to go to the dentist until they have teeth?
  • Fiction - The ADA recommends babies see the dentist with the eruption of the first tooth r by the age of 1.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What To Avoid For Better Teeth And Breath?

We all brush and floss our teeth... hopefully but what hidden culprits can cause bad breath and staining?

  1. Dark Liquids - Although the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in the human body, it is not flat and smooth. Your tooth enamel contains microscopic pits and ridges that can hold particles of food and drink. Pigments from the dark-colored drinks/foods can become embedded in those cracks and ridges and if the proper steps are not taken this can cause permanent staining on your teeth.
  2. Onions and garlic - These are hard to avoid since they are flavor enhancing ingredients. When you eat garlic/onions you produce several sulfur-containing gases. Allyl methyl sulfide is a "sticky" molecule, it adherers very easily to the tissues in your mouth and that's why your breath smells funky.
  3. High Protein Foods- Bacteria loves glomming into proteins, so high protein foods contribute to halitosis. Top contenders are fish, red meat and beans. Hold the protein and swap out meat courses for vegetarian options a few times a week. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Allergic To Your Toothpaste?

Although you brush your teeth daily there are rare cases of people who experience discomfort around or in their mouth after using toothpaste.

Signs you may be allergic to your toothpaste:
  • Changes inside your mouth - Teeth and gums may become very sensitive, swelling of the tongue, increased redness or sores that don't heal.
  • Skin changes around the mouth - Rashes at the corners of the mouth and also can occur around bottom lip.
  • Body rashes/hives- You can develop rash/hives anywhere on the body, these are raised, itchy bumps in a circle. This rash is often mistaken as ringworm.

Virtually any product that you use has the potential to cause an allergic reaction, but studied have found the ingredients in toothpaste that often show up as allergens in patch tests are listed below:
  • Toothpaste flavorings.
  • Preservatives.
  • Foaming agents.
  • Essential oils and other antibacterials.
  • Fluoride.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't Be Shocked by the Cost of Dental Treatment!

If you haven't been to the dentist in years, you may get a HUGE surprise when you are presented with a treatment plan that is in the thousands of dollars! Now, you should know that many people wait until they are in pain or have severe problems to go, so you are not alone in this! However, gone are the days of a $10 office visit or a $25.00 filling..... Between the overhead costs of operating a dental office and the cost of dental education, the rising number of patients who cannot pay their bill and insurance companies imposing limitations on claims and dental facilities, the cost of dental treatment has literally SKYROCKETED over the past 20 years.
In researching this topic, I came across a very informative website that covers a variety of dental related topics including the cost for cosmetic procedures as an average...this site really captured my attention so I decided to post the link HERE for anyone who is interested.
If you are one of those people who haven't seen a dentist in a long time, this article may be a good one for you to read. It can help you understand what to expect when confronted with an expensive treatment plan.
Always remember, Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Is Perio Scaling And Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is the removal of  dental plaque and tartar, which house bacteria that releases toxins which cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone.

There are two different types of methods your dentist can use. Mechanical , involving dental tools to scrape away debris or ultrasonic, where a tiny vibrating wand breaks up plaque and cleans the teeth. Some times the dentist will combine the two methods.

During this process your dentist or hygienist will numb the gums and tooth roots with a local anesthesia. Your dentist or hygienist will use one of the methods above to remove the debris from above and below the gum line(Scaling) then smooth out the rough spots on the roots of the teeth(Root Planing). 

The whole procedure can be done in one visit, although generally a quadrant (1/4 of the mouth) is recommended per appointment. You can expect your gums to be tender after the anesthesia wears off.

Continue to brush/floss daily and continue your routine checkups every 6 months for a healthy smile!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fields Of Dentistry

Dentistry - Profession or science dealing with the prevention and treatment of diseases and malformations of the teeth, gums, and oral cavity, and the removal, correction, and replacement of decayed, damaged, or lost parts, including such operations as the filling and crowning of teeth, the straightening of teeth, and the construction of artificial dentures.

General Dentist: Provides general dental prevention, care and maintenance services such as regular cleanings, fillings and simple tooth extractions. General dentist will refer patients to other dental specialist for more specialized treatments when they are needed.

Periodontist: Specialize in the care of the supporting tissues of the teeth and mouth. They specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gum disease and any other condition affecting the gums, jaw bone and other tissues.

Endodontist: Preform root canal therapy. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the nerve, pulp, arteries and veins found in the internal cavity that makes the teeth alive.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Preforms procedures on the jaw and mouth including teeth extractions, implants and reconstruction. Oral surgeons identify and treat conditions, injuries and defects (cleft lip, etc.) affecting the mouth, jaw and face. They often work together with a cosmetic dentist and orthodontist in reconstructive procedures.

Cosmetic Dentist: Preform cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of someones smile. They specialize in appearance enhancing procedures such as veneers, bonding and whiting of the teeth.

Prosthodontist: Specialize in replacing missing teeth. These specialists attach structures such as crowns, dentures and bridges to replace missing teeth.  Some prosthodontist preform dental implant surgery.

Pedodontists: Specialize in treating conditions affecting childrens teeth. They offer dental care from infancy through the teen years.

Orthodontists: Specilize in jaw adjustment and reeth positioning. They are able to steaighten crooked teeth, correct misaligned teeth, fix biting problems. They use braces, retainers and other structures to correct imporfections.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What is Dental Attrition

Dental Attrition is when the structure of a tooth is loss because of the forces of opposing teeth. It initially effects the enamel but can spread to where it affected the dentin. When it gets past the enamel, it can effect the softer dentin rather quickly.

Teeth grinding is a common cause of dental attrition. Other habits such as teeth clinching can also be a cause.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sweet or Sour Treats-Which is best for Tooth Enamel

I read an article on the MSN news page some time ago that I thought was interesting. If you're like me, you probably never considered the effects of sour treats on your teeth. We all know that excessive sugar breaks down the enamel on our teeth, but as it turns out, sour treats such as sour Gummy Worms or Jolly Ranchers may be worse! Sour treats have more citric acid and other erosives in them than the sugary treats do. In contrast, chewing gum (which promotes production of saliva that helps build enamel) and drinking milk have the opposite effect, as they tend to build enamel. So if you're going to have a sour candy treat, follow it up with a glass of milk or chew some gum afterward!
Keep Smiling!  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Metal allergies can affect dental work

If you have experienced an allergic reaction to the metals in your jewelry, you may want to think twice about what your dentist puts in your mouth! Fairly inexpensive materials like nickel and chromium keep the price down on your dental work, but they can cause more pain and discomfort than they're worth.

Up to 16 percent of women and six percent of men are allergic to the metal used in costume jewelry. These same metals could cause allergic reactions in your mouth if they are used in your dental work. Metals used to make crowns, dentures, onlays and veneers can trigger mouth discomfort.
The most common metal allergy is to nickel, which is used in many dental fixtures. Patients may also experience allergic reactions to gold, chromium and molybdenum.

Before you go to the dentist, be aware of the warning signs of an allergic reaction. Here are a few clues you may have a dental allergy:
  • Swollen and red or purple gums
  • Shrinking or recessed gums
  • Painful or itchy gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Unpleasant smell or taste
If gum allergy symptoms do not go away within a couple of days, see your dentist. 

If it's not dealt with, over time your gums can get painful and gum tissue can pull away from the crown. If you catch it early enough, the dentist can help solve the problem by replacing the material and then your gum should come back," dentist Joseph Kravitz said.  If you check back in to your dentist's office, your dentist will assess whether you have a gum disease or gum allergy. The symptoms for both conditions can be strikingly similar.

If you do have a dental allergy, your dentist may recommend you have your restorations replaced. Ceramic and zirconia are two of the most biologically compatible materials available for dental patients.

"These types of crowns will make your gum tissue healthier. We have new materials the gum tissue just loves," Kravitz said.  Patients with dental allergies should notice an almost immediate change when they replace their restorations. According to Kravitz, allergy symptoms can go away in as little as one hour

Original post from our February 2008 newsletter

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who Owns Your Dental X-rays?

This is probably one of the most common dental questions asked. The answer is simple but frustrating to the patient, who believes that since he paid for the x-ray, it should, therefore, be his property. Not so!!
Dentists are required by law to keep all dental records, including diagnostics, treatment plans and a complete history of the work performed by he and his office staff. The x-rays are the property of the dentist, but the patient may request a copy at any time, which the dentist is obligated to provide (in many cases, for an additional fee.)
Essentially, what you are paying for when you have x-rays taken is for the processing and development, and then for the dentist to read and interpret them and render a diagnosis.
Hope this clears up the issue for anyone out there who may have had this on their mind!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Should I Consider A Permanent Retainer Or A Removable Retainer?

Getting your braces off is unfortunately not the end. Now you have to decide which type of retainer will work best for you, remember you will using this the rest of your life. There are two types of retainers to choose from you have the removable retainer or the permanent retainer. Knowing more information about each kind will be helpful in making your decision.

Removable Retainer- These are custom made to fit your mouth, made usually out of wires (older version) or clear plastic, they are worn after braces to keep the teeth in position.
  • Need to be worn day/night for about the first 3 months (except when eating and cleaning) After the 3 months they can be worn just at night.
  • When not worn they need to be kept in a small case so they don't break.
  • Retainers can be rinsed in the morning but should be washed daily.  You can soak them in denture cleaner then lightly sub them with your toothbrush or denture brush. * Do Not use hot water*
  • Keep retainer in a cool place do not leave them in a hot car, dishwasher etc.
  • Keep away from pets.
  • If your retainer needs to be replaced (cracked/worn out) Don't delay! Your teeth can move fairly quickly!
Permanent Retainer- These are retainers that are glued to the back of your teeth. They are considered permanent because you cant take them in or out on your own.
  • Stays in your mouth at all times.
  • Better long-term results.
  • Can slightly be seen by others.
  • Difficult to clean.
  • May bother your tongue.

Getting straight teeth is only half the battle; the other half is keeping them straight!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Difference Between Regular Braces And Invisalign

Everyone wants a beautiful smile right? It's understandable why you would consider braces, not only does straight teeth look better, they're healthier too! When teeth are properly aligned the are easier to clean and when your teeth are clean you're less likely to need major dental care.

While the results are the same, you need to stop and actually compare the types of straightening options that are available, knowing the pros and cons of each will help you determine which method is right for you.

Traditional Metal Braces - Most common type, they are made if high grade stainless steel. Metal brackets are adhered to the teeth with an adhesive and connected by wire. They require periodic tightening to gradually straighten your teeth and align the jaw as needed.
  • Pros:
    •  Least expensive
    • Colored bands to express yourself.
  • Cons:
    • Most noticeable
    • Pain and discomfort

Ceramic Braces - Made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Ligatures (tiny rubber bands) that hold the arch wire on the ceramic brackets are often clear, this looked good at first but these can stain.
  • Pros:
    • They blend in with your teeth
    • More comfortable
    • Do not usually break or come of teeth
  • Cons:
    • The clear bands around the bracket can stain
    • More expensive than traditional braces
    • Treatment can take longer, little bigger in size

Lingual Braces - Braces placed behind the teeth, therefore they are somewhat invisible. Orthodontists need spacial training to be able to treat patients with lingual braces, so not every orthodontist provides this service.
  • Pros:
    • No one can see them unless they look inside your mouth
  • Cons:
    • Tend to hurt the tongue
    • More expensive than traditional brace because treatment is specialized
    • Treatment can take longer

Invisalign - Great for people who do not have sever problems. Consist of strong plastic trays that are made just for you. They are invisible so no one will be able to tell your wearing them.
  Your orthodontist has only some control over your treatment. The treatment trays are computer-fabricated by Align Technologies.
  • Pros:
    • Invisible
    • Easier to clean
    • Do not irritate your mouth
    • Eat what you want (Remove when you eat)
  • Cons:
    • Can cost more than traditional braces
    • Some cases you may need traditional braces after invisalign treatment
    • Orthodontist only has some control over the treatment
    • Still have tooth pain (this is not a pain free treatment)
    • You may not be a candidate for invisalign

*Remember, your final choice is a combination of your preference and your orthodontist's technical expertise!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Is A Root Canal?

Has your dentist referred you to an endodontist to get a root canal(endodontic treatment)? Millions of teeth are saved each year with root canal treatment but most people don't know what it entails, they only know it has a reputation of being pain full.

A root canal is a treatment of the pulp of the tooth that is inflamed, infected or dead. There are many reasons why the tooth has became inflamed: deep tooth decay, faulty crown, chip/cracked tooth or even damage to the tooth.

Treatment Options Image 1

During the procedure the inflamed or infected area is removed and the inside of the tooth in carefully cleaned, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like substance called Gutta-percha. The tooth most likely will need a crown to protect it from fracturing in the future. Depending on the dentist some do the crown right away and some wait a brief period of time to make sure you are pain free before continuing on with the crown. After the restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Treatment Options Image 2

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Difference Between A Regular Cleaning And A Deep Cleaning

Have you ever been told you need a deep cleaning? If you are not in the dental field, you may not know the difference between a routine cleaning (Prophylaxis) and a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing).

Routine cleaning (Prophylaxis) - These cleanings are generally done every 6 months (If you are wearing braces your dentist might recommend coming back more frequently) to keep your teeth and oral tissues healthy by removing calculus, plaque and stains. this procedure is completed in one appointment.

Deep cleaning (Scaling and root planing)-This cleaning is longer in duration than a regular cleaning. Plaque and tarter on the surface of the teeth create the right environment for bacteria to thrive. Bacteria irritates the gums and can cause bleeding. If you notice your gums are bleeding while you are brushing or eating this is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. If you leave this untreated, gingivitis can create periodontal pockets below the gum line causing the bone structure to weaken. Deep cleaning or root planing smooths out the surface of the roots, removes bacteria and infected portions of the teeth. Tarter deposits and plaque under the gumline are also removed by scaling.

Part of good dental care is understanding dental terms!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tips To Avoiding "Sticker Shock" at the Dentist Office

It's no secret that the cost of medical care in this country is unbelievable, if not completely unrealistic, particularly for the uninsured.  Dentistry is no different.  The cost to maintain your healthy smile is high enough, but should you need restorative care you can expect to pay a high price for it in this market.  Even if you're lucky enough to be insured, your cost for just one visit can exceed your insurance benefit, leaving you to pay for the remainder of the procedure out of pocket.  Here are a few ways to avoid "sticker shock" at the dentist's office:

1. See your dentist every 6 months for a checkup.  Many people wait YEARS to see a dentist, opting to go only when they have a problem.  Good preventive care is the key to keeping your dental bills cheap.  Have that small cavity filled! It costs much more for a root canal down the line if you wait.

2. Discuss your treatment options with your dentist.  If you still feel the cost is too high, get a second opinion.  Another dentist may opt for a more conservative treatment, saving you money.

3. Whether you are insured or uninsured, look into the possibility of a good discount dental plan. Insurance benefits will only go so far...often only $1000-$1500 per year.  As I mentioned before, one can exceed that amount in a single visit to the dentist for a restorative procedure. Discount dental plans (Such as Savon) typically do not have a will continue to receive that discounted fee no matter how much work you need. 

For a better comparison between insurance and dental plans, visit our comparison zone!