Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Do you Grind Your Teeth? Know These Facts.

I suffer from bruxism.....I have for many years now, and I thought I'd do a little research and blog about it because it affects your body in so so many ways. First, you should know that it is an unconscious, involuntary thing. When you are unconsciously grinding your teeth (clenching while awake, clenching and grinding while you are asleep) you are putting up to ten times the force on your teeth and jaws than when you are chewing food! Many people don't even realize they're doing it, and consequently, suffer from unexplained problems such as jaw pain, muscle fatigue, headaches, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, TMJ and a variety of other conditions, aside from the fact that it can fracture, shorten and cause your teeth to loosen, erode and decay.

The long term effects of bruxism are distressing because it can actually change your physical appearance! It can cause bags under the eyes, enlargement of the muscles around the joints of the jaw and curling of the skin around the lips. There are devices (night orthotics) that dentists can make for you to wear when you're sleeping to prevent this damage from happening. If you suspect that you are having this problem, ask your dentist today about a diagnosis and a night orthotic device to help correct the problem before it does long term damage.

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Foods/Drinks That Can Satin Your Teeth

Want a pearly white smile?

 Then you should try to avoid these foods/drinks that will stain your teeth:
  • Berries - Due to the dark hues, berries can actually stain the teeth if they are eaten regularly.
  • Coffee/Tea - Contains acidic polyphenols called tannins that lead to staining and discoloring of the teeth.
  • Balsamic Vinegar - Not only is balsamic dark in color, but it's rather sticky and will latch onto teeth, which will lead to staining.
  • Curry - Curry can tint your teeth, due to the deep pigmentation.
Although these are just a few foods/drinks that can discolor your teeth, you should just keep in mind that anything that will stain your carpet will stain your teeth.




Monday, March 28, 2016

Tips For Making The First Visit At A Dental Center Easier


Tips For Making The First Visit At A Dental Center Easier:

1. Prepare for the paperwork: Prior to going to your first dental visit, gather all of the pertinent information that will need, such as Insurance or Coverage Plan information, medical history and a list of any and all medications that you are currently taking.

2. Do the paperwork ahead of time (if applicable): Some dental centers have their new patient information packets available for downloading on their websites. Prior to your first visit, check out their website and see if they have them available. If so, download them, fill them out and take them with you. This alone can save an extra 15 minutes in the office as well as give you more time to gather the essential information.

3. Be Early, Be On Time:  For your first visit, you always want to be there approx 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. This will allow the time for you to fill out paper and for them to ask any questions that they have.

4. Don't Freak Out Over The Treatment Plan: The treatment PLAN is just that.. A PLAN. It is not written in stone. Remember that dentist is not making this stuff up. What is on your treatment plan is a diagnosis from the doctor and plan of action that they would like to take. A treatment plan is developed with the goal of bring you to optimal dental health. However, again it is a plan. You have the choice as the patient to decide if you would like to proceed with the whole treatment plan, do 1/2 of it or none at all. What is done is your call.

I hope that these tips have helped. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Regular Cleaning vs Periodontal Maintenance

I often get calls from members asking why they are paying for more for a cleaning than they should be. Usually it turns out that the patient is having Periodontal Maintenance instead of a regular cleaning. Now, this doesn't mean that the dental center is just trying to get more money by classifying it as something else. This has to do with the treatment plan and the patient.

Periodontal Maintenance is required when you have had periodontal scaling, root planning, treatment or surgery. It is needed to maintain the health of the bones and gums.

There is a difference between a regular cleaning and periodontal maintenance. Here are some of the differences:

Regular Cleaning (Prophylaxis):
  1. Usually done 2-3 times per year on average
  2. Removes tartar, stains and soft plaque from the teeth
  3. Cleans above to slightly below gum line
  4. Flossing and fluoride are usually involved
Periodontal Maintenance:
  1. Usually done 3-4 times per year
  2. Follows a periodontal treatment or surgery
  3. Removes tartar, stains and plaque above and below the gum line.
  4. Cleans the whole tooth all the way to where the root, gum and bone meet.
  5. irrigates any inflamed pockets
  6. Smooth out rough areas of roots
  7. Monitor pocket depth


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A New Procedure For Gum Grafting

Did you know that one of ten people who wear braces develop receding gums?

The treatment that  used to be involved with treating receding gum lines was expensive and painful because it includes taking a piece of gum tissue from another place of the mouth and attaching it where the gum tissue has receded, so afterward the area may be sore and swell.

The new procedure is done by making a tiny pinhole above the gum line where the soft tissue is, then they use a specialized instrument that detaches the gum tissue away from the bone, once the tissue is loose they can drape the gum down over the receded area. This new procedure promotes faster treatment time and faster healing.

Although this procedure will still cost a pretty penny, you will only need one appointment. With a gum graft you usually need more than one operation.


Click here for the full article.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Home-Made Braces/ A New Trend in Technology

In an article published recently, the story of a New Jersey college student and his idea to make his own clear plastic braces is making a stir in the dental industry.  He did, in fact, create a model of his own teeth using a computer and a 3-D printer and then manufactured 12 sets of clear plastic straightening trays for a fraction of the cost of Name Brand braces. When I say fraction....I mean his total cost was about $60. The kicker?  It worked!

Now, I suppose the end result could've been disastrous. But, just look at the picture in this article and see for yourself!  He did an amazing job.  It made for a great success story and one that may encourage others to try similar tactics, although it should be stated that no one ( unless you are a trained professional) should try this at home!

Click here for the full article.  It's an interesting topic.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dental Hygiene for Men

Here are some of the risk factors for developing gum disease:

Being male: Men are more likely to suffer from gum disease than women.

Being African-American: Black men are more likely than white men to develop gum disease.

Lack of funds and insurance: People at the lowest socio-economic levels tend to have the most severe gum disease. This is largely because they don't have access to (or can't afford) regular dental care.

Age: As we get older, our gums gradually recede, exposing the roots of the teeth to plaque. We also produce less saliva, which plays an important role in rinsing plaque out of the mouth.

Genetics: If your parents lost teeth to gum disease, you are at greater risk.

Neglect: Not brushing and flossing regularly.

Poor diet: Sugary snacks and drinks encourage the growth of plaque, and crunchy snack foods can damage enamel and teeth.

Clenching, grinding teeth: Chronic teeth grinding can sometimes result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may also damage tooth enamel and wear teeth down. This kind of damage can lead to the need for a host of expensive dental work, including bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures.

Smoking: Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease. In addition, following periodontal treatment or any type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.


Original Post by btflbutterfly77 on November 5, 2009

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Dentist Hopping" Is An Expensive Practice

Dental Hopping (going from dentist to dentist) is a very common practice among patients. In a way it is understandable with the cost of dental care these days. I mean really, who doesn't like a good deal on a cleaning right? However, hopping from dentist to dentist to get the best special or deal is actually costing you more overall.

Think about it this way. Most people have a specific doctor that they go to for their general medical needs, (myself included). I have been going to my doctor since I was a teenager. Why is that? Well for me it is because first of all, he is a wonderful doctor and I trust him. Also he know me and my medical history because I have being going to him for so long. He knows every broken bone, every surgery, every cold or illness I have ever had, which medications work and which ones don't and which ones I am allergic too.. etc etc. So my question is.. why do most people apply the same concept to their dentist?

Everytime you change dentists you will pretty much go through the same process. You will have be inundated with paperwork, they will want to shoot full mouth x-rays, a comprehensive exam, possible perio evaluation and create a whole new treatment plan and that's before they even do the cleaning special that you chose them for. Sticking with one dentist will save you the time and money of going through every single time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Member Question: My dentist says I have a cavity and that I need a filling. My tooth doesn't hurt so why should I listen to him?

Question From Our Member:

A. Bassett of Fresno, California asks: 

My dentist says I have a cavity and that I need a filling.  My tooth doesn't hurt so why should I listen to him?  I think he may be trying to take advantage of me.


Savon’s Answer:

Most dentists will show you the x-rays and point out what they are seeing.  A cavity is caused by bacteria eating away at the enamel of the tooth.  Caught early enough, it can usually be fixed with a simple filling but if you ignore it, at some point it is going to start hurting.

Waiting often makes problem more difficult and more expensive to fix such as requiring a root canal and a crown.  Trust the x-rays and the professional opinion of the doctor, it appears that he is really trying to save you some future pain and expense.



(the content of this blog was originally posted in our March 2016 newsletter in the article "Here's Your Answer")

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tooth Pain May Not Always Be Dental Related

Did you know that toothaches can have a variety of causes and not all of them are actual dental issues?
You might find it interesting and informative to know some of these causes of tooth and jaw pain that are not related to the teeth!

1. Sinusitis and pressure in the nasal cavities and the air passages of the cheek bones can cause pain in the jawbone that may feel like a toothache.
2. Many people do not know that angina pain and some heart ailments can also cause jaw pain and/or tooth pain as well.
3. Occasionally, toothaches are caused by nerve ailments and neuralgia.
4. TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) can also cause chronic pain that is not related to a toothache.

It's never a bad idea to check with a doctor as well as a dentist in the event of unexplained tooth pain.

Keep Smiling

original post by walnutflower

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Managing Dental Costs When You're Uninsured

So MUCH has been said and written about the millions of Americans without health insurance, but often overlooked in these discussions is another vital medical statistic; more than 100 million Americans are without dental coverage.
For most people, a toothache that turns into an expensive procedure like a crown or implant can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. Even routine check-ups with x-rays and a cleaning can add up to hundreds of dollars. It has been estimated that over one third of Americans have not visited a dentist in the last 12 months.
The Affordable Healthcare Act was formally implemented beginning September of 2013, but includes emergency dental care for children only; adults are left to find their own coverage. Given the nature of insurance companies and the cost of premiums vs. the actual procedures covered, relief from dental bills is not likely to come soon. That leaves it up to consumers to find smart ways to reduce their dental care costs without sacrificing their oral health. So, we did some research on ways to cut back on dental related costs. 

  • Consider a good dental plan.  Better than insurance, some dental plans offer discounted fees with low premiums and no limit or "cap", no waiting periods on procedures, no exclusions and immediate coverage. Early on, the Obamacare website actually suggested  stand alone dental plans for adults!
  • Try having your dental care done at a Dental School Clinic.  Teaching facilities have amazingly skilled dentists and in most cases the cost is cheaper than a private practice facility. Not to mention they use the most state of the art equipment so that your experience is more comfortable.
  • Space out your treatments.  If you have extensive work to be done, most dentists will work according to a treatment plan, and a "pay as you go" strategy can go a long way toward helping the patient so those out of pocket expenses don't have to break the bank all at once! 
  • Disclosure-No Surprise Fees!   Make sure to always, ALWAYS get the cost for the treatment plan or procedure before you agree to have it done, or sign anything.  Many patients agree to procedures while they are in the chair and don't fully understand that there may be an additional cost...an exorbitant additional cost.  Keep yourself from sticker shock by asking first and discuss other options if you cannot afford the procedure.  
  • Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!  The key to saving on dental costs (just like having your car worked on) is to fix small problems before they become big ones.  Have your teeth cleaned twice a year and don't skip that oral exam. 

Here is a parting thought for those of you in the market for dental coverage.  PLEASE check the benefits carefully when considering dental insurance.  The premiums will always be more than the pay out...coverage is always limited and there will almost always be a waiting period for expensive procedures. They want to make sure they have your premiums firmly in hand before the payouts begin. It's the truth....do your homework carefully! A good dental plan is more effective at saving you money than an insurance company will ever be. 

Keep Smiling! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dental Problems Linked To Breast Cancer

Attention Women: Studies have shown that periodontal disease has been liked to breast cancer in women. This study was done in  October of 2010 in Huddinge, Sweden. This study consisted of 3,000 women between the ages of 30-40 years. More details on this study click here.

Bacteria that is found in periodontal disease, can effect the entire body's blood supply. This infection then sets off co-infections that an already weakened immune system has to fight, leaving it to suppressed (weak) to fight off cancer cells.

Periodontal Disease is also liked to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and many others.

It is very important that everyone takes care of their oral health. Brushing and flossing on a regular bases, also combined with regular dental cleanings.

Here are some signs of periodontal disease:
  1. Bad Breath
  2. Painful Chewing
  3. Sensitive Teeth
  4. Bleeding Gums