Monday, October 16, 2017

Bad Business Reviews, Formal Complaints and Social Media

There was an article on Yahoo some time ago about a dentist who was considering a lawsuit against an elderly man who posted a bad review about her on an online review forum. Seriously? Apparently she had him sign a few papers prior to treatment (while he was in pain and on medication). Included in the paperwork was a waiver stating that he would not report his experience or write any negative reviews about her following his treatment! He says that he had problems dealing with her office for almost a year after his treatment, and, exasperated, finally felt that he needed to share his experience. There was most certainly a better way. Also, I once had a client file a formal complaint with the Board of Dental Examiners against a dentist because it was cold in his office and he didn't have a blanket for her to cover up with. It was frivolous, thoughtless and completely unnecessary. Personally, in my 25 years of working in this industry, I have never heard of such a thing. The dentist ended up losing time and money because he had to attend continuing education classes and pay a fine for the infraction.  Nonsense! 

There are many ways to resolve issues with your dentist, whether they are staff related, price discrepancies or quality of care issues. The key is communication. I certainly would not advise anyone to file a complaint with the board because a receptionist was rude, or post it on any review forum, ever! Only as a last resort would I suggest filing a board complaint for anything less than malpractice. 

This would be my suggestion instead: Consider a well written letter; certified, registered mail. Clearly state the problem (keeping opinions out), and state what you would consider to be a fair resolution. Send it directly to the dentist, return receipt. Allow him a reasonable amount of time to respond...10 days or so. Believe me, he will be much more receptive to a resolution than his receptionist or office manager because it is his license that is on the line!  Nine times out of ten the complaint will be resolved when it is approached this way. This method works! 

In this age of social media, bad news travels fast.  Faster than the speed of light, it seems.  One careless complaint can ruin a reputation, a practice or even a person.  Always try to keep that in mind when a problem arises and opt for civil communication, instead.  

Keep Smiling! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

National Dental Hygiene Month

Did you know that National Dental Hygiene Month is recognized in October by dental providers all over the country?  National Dental Hygiene Month is sponsored by both the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program!

According to this year, the awareness is focusing on four routines that can help people maintain a healthy smile by flowing the #daily4: brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing.

  • Brush - Twice a day for two minutes with a soft bristled brush
  • Floss- Regularly
  • Rinse - With Mouthwash (avoid types that contain alcohol)
  • Chew - Sugarfree gum after meals for twenty plus minutes.
Along with the #Daily4, its very important to visit your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning and exam.

Food for thought:

Before you say "oh, you're just a hygienist!" keep in mind they do much more then just clean your teeth.
  • Review your medical history just in case your forgot to write something down.
  • Talk to you when they are cleaning your teeth to keep you calm and make you feel comfortable.
  • Preform oral cancer screenings, periodontal charting, decay assessments oral hygiene assessments, sealant placements, fluoride treatments and deal with any other overall health concerns.
  • Sterilize the operatory and dental instruments.
  • Have obtained a bachelor's degree in allied dental health, have to complete continuing education requirements and maintain current licenses. 
A simple "Thank You" will go a long way!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dental Insurance vs. Dental Plans - Do Your Homework!

Just in case you are undecided or, even if you are currently insured for dental, you may want to take a look at the facts about dental insurance over a good dental plan. We recently did a presentation on this subject for a group of people in a 55+ community. Many were not even aware that there was an option for ordinary dental insurance coverage. Most had no coverage at all. Here are some facts that you may want to consider if you are trying to decide which way to go.
First, let me say that insurance companies are NOT in the business of paying claims...that is, they will ALWAYS pay less in claims than they receive in premiums. This may account for the continually rising costs in premiums over recent years, yes? Add to that the number of aging americans (Baby Boomers) entering the market with both health and dental health issues daily and insurance fraud, which is an ongoing and highly practiced thing. It isn't any wonder that so many things are no longer covered. That said, there are some stark differences between insurance and dental plans as a whole.

Dental insurance policies will have:

A limit or a "cap" on the number of procedures you can have done in a given year, usually $1000 to $1500. Anything over that is usually full fee.
A waiting period for pre-existing conditions, sometimes up to a year!
Referral requirements for specialists
Higher premiums in comparison to dental plans.
Age limits

Typical Dental Plan coverage has:

No waiting period
No limit on procedures done in a given year
No claim forms to fill out
No exclusions
No age limits
No referral requirements
A set schedule of benefits
Lower yearly fee for coverage

If you are in the market for dental insurance, please check out your options before you commit to anything. Better yet, ask your dentist! He or she will likely tell you that a good dental plan is the way to go. We have many dentists referring patients to us, and many members of our dental plan that have been with us for 20 years. You can't be wrong with that many happy customers!

Keep Smiling =}

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Health Benefits of Veneers

Many people are opting for porcelain veneers to cover imperfections in their teeth because they are less expensive than dental implants, and require a much shorter treatment time than orthodontics, but did you know that aside from the obvious smile enhancing benefits there are some other good reasons to opt for veneers? They can be used to close gaps and adjust malformations in the teeth and improve the bite, therefore aiding in digestion. They can actually strengthen the teeth against chipping and abrasion. And, because of the high-gloss/glazed finish on the veneers, they are resistant to plaque, cutting down on gum disease and gingivitis! And we all know that healthy teeth and gums contribute to the overall health of our bodies!

Just thought I'd throw that out there for anyone who might be considering extensive cosmetic dental work. Explore the possibilities!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

No Toothbrush? What Should I DO?

It happens to all of us at some point in our life; forgetting to brush or bring a toothbrush with us as we are running out of the house because we are late, have an important meeting right after lunch, going on weekend get away or even dry camping!

Don't  Fret, there are many different ways you can brush your teeth without a toothbrush:

  • Eat crunchy veggies/fruits - These help scrape plaque from your teeth, removing odor causing bacteria.
  • Nibble on cheese - Cheese contains enzymes that help neutralize the bacteria that lead to bad breath.
  • Water - Rinse mouth with water, this helps wash away any food particles.
  • Chew gum - Yes, sugarless is the best but any gum will do. Gum helps looses stuck food particles in between teeth and helps produce saliva.
  •  Use paper towel - Wrap a piece of paper towel around your finger and using it as a brush.  
  • Find a twig - This is a perfect solution if your camping in the middle of the woods. Pick a flexible twig, peel the bark off and chew on one end until the fibers separate, turning the end into a little brush. 

*Keep in mind these are just temporary solutions until you have access to your toothbrush:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Dental Enamel-Once It's Gone, It's Gone.

Dental enamel, unlike bones, does not regenerate or "heal" once it is damaged. Dental enamel is formed during the original growth of the tooth underneath the gums. While there are many factors that can contribute to the loss of dental enamel, such as poor dental hygiene or certain hereditary conditions, there is good news. Researchers are actively seeking treatments and therapies that could change everything. Of course, proper hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are the best way to combat any kind of dental dilemma, but for dental enamel in particular, there are now certain treatments that can help slow the process of enamel degeneration that can be applied during your regular dental visits as part of your preventative maintenance regimen. 

For more information on such treatments, click HERE

Keep Smiling!

Friday, September 29, 2017

How To Survive The Weekend With A 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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Question From Our Member

Questions From Our Members

R. Allen of Tulsa, OK. asks: 

“An Orthodontist told me that I’m not a candidate for Invisalign braces but I’m not clear on why, can you shed some light on this for me?”

Savon’s Answer

While both treatments can straighten teeth Invisalign is not ideal for people with bridgework, back tooth bite issues, the need to rotate canines or premolars or the need to move teeth vertically.

There is also the issue of removability.  Since Invisalign braces are removable, it is important to make sure that you are wearing them at least 22 hours a day and they must be taken out when eating or drinking anything but water, a problem not associated with regular braces.

These are just a couple of reasons that you may not be a candidate for Invisalign but I suggest you reconnect with the Orthodontist and see if he or she can fully explain why the Invisalign system is not for you.

Original post on our October 2017 Newsletter

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bio-Teeth: Is It a Real Concept?

Move over dental implants, bridges and dentures!  The Bio-tooth is taking over!  Well, not yet, exactly.  But it's definitely getting closer.

Okay, so what, exactly, is a "bio-tooth" you ask?  It's probably exactly what you're imagining.  Of course, we're not talking "The Terminator" kind of stuff, you're not going to be part robot.  Basically, scientists have discovered a way to bio-engineer teeth from gum cells, meaning they have figured out how to grow a new tooth in place of a missing one, using your own gum cells. 

While they have had much success with mice in the lab, they have yet to completely test this on humans.  Research and testing continues, but imagine the breakthrough it will be!  We are not far from being able to re-grow our own teeth!  Amazing!

For the full details, get the entire article HERE!

As Always, Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Little Honey A Day May Stop Tooth Decay!

Manuka Honey, Have you ever heard of it? Good, me either!

Honey is sweet and comforting and many people don't even know about all the healing abilities honey has to offer. Honey offers incredible antiseptic, antioxidants and cleansing properties for our body and health.

Manuka Honey is made by bees that feed off of the Manuka bush in New Zealand. This type of honey not only fights infections and helps with tissue healing but it helps reduce the amount of inflammation and scarring. As a side note this honey helps with diarrhea, stomach ulcers and many other problems.

Here are some interesting facts about Manuka Honey:
  • Manuka Honey which has  potent antibacterial qualities, that works just as well as mouth wash.
  • Most honey consumed in the US is processed and will not have the same healing properties found in raw Manuka Honey.
  • Manuka Honey is also known as "Medihoney"

If you would like to learn more about Manuka Honey click here!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Are There Any Benefits to Brushing Without Toothpaste?

The answer may surprise you!  The fact is, we really don't need toothpaste!  Here's why.
Some toothpastes contain polishing compounds (abrasives), some contain undesirable chemicals (such as sodium lauryl sulfate, a key ingredient in soap...yuk!) fluoride (we've all heard about the controversy there).  Still others contain a healthy balance of all of that and a desensitizing agent as well. Then there's peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen etc. for flavoring.
Trust me, you can do just as well with a drop of peppermint essential oil for a fresh mouth. Or even a dab of baking soda.   
When you consider all the unnecessary additives in a tube of toothpaste, one might conclude that it's better to do without.... but the fact is it really doesn't matter what you use, only how often you brush. All you need is a good toothbrush. You can brush with plain water after a meal, then floss and effectively get the germs off of your teeth!

The more natural things you can use the better, including baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil.  They're easier on the checkbook, and on the smile!

Keep on smiling!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

5 Tips Good Oral Heath

Oh the things we do to keep our beautiful smiles bright and healthy. But are the things we're doing really helping? And is there anything we could be doing better? Well, yes.. There is! Here are a few things to help you amp up your oral care regimen, and some tips to keeping your smile healthy!

-There is a RIGHT way to brush! Your toothbrush should be at a 45 degree angle so it's pointing slightly up to the gum line. Gentle pressure with back and forth and side to side motions focusing on each individual tooth as well as the gums. Brushing should last a minimum of two minutes!

-Most dentists prefer electric toothbrushes to the standard ones. They believe that electric toothbrushes can prevent you from brushing too hard causing damage to the enamel of your teeth. They also believe electric toothbrushes are more thorough. Electric toothbrushes can go as fast as 40,000 strokes per second, which is physically impossible for a human to do.

-It doesn't matter which type of floss you purchase, as long as you are actually FLOSSING! Satin, waxed... It matters not. Your dentist will be happy enough knowing you actually do it. Also, they like to you floss twice a day, not just once. But, if you believe once a day is enough, make sure you do it at night before bed. Dentists say this is the best time because sleeping with food particles in your mouth allows plaque to build more rapidly and the decay process to advance more quickly.

Just brushing and flossing is not going to kill foul breath! Invest in a tongue scraper and use it every time you brush! This literally scrapes all the bad-breath-causing bacteria and build up from your tongue. Good bye morning breath!

Going Whiter? Do It Safely! Dentists prefer, in particular, Crest White Strips to the do-it-yourself at home gel kits. Crest White Strips are pre-measured and safe and they deliver the peroxide evenly. The gel kits also work but the results are commonly uneven and it can irritate your gums (unless you get a custom kit from your dentist). Also, getting a laser whitening treatment from a spa inside the mall is NOT the safest option. Unless you can determine that the person administering the procedure is a licensed dental professional, this would not be a safe idea. An untrained person can cause serious damage by simply not know what they are doing as well as by using products that have not yet been proven to be safe or effective.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Why Does My Dentist Need To Take X-Rays?

Dental x-rays are an important part of your 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 your dentist takes x-rays are:
·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?

Monday, September 11, 2017

What Could Be Causing Your Sensitive Teeth?

Did you ever drink something hot or cold and feel a sharp, shooting pain in one or more of your teeth? You probably have tooth sensitivity: potentially caused by a myriad of different problems. Here is a list of things that can cause sensitive teeth.
  • Receeding Gums
  • A Cracked Tooth
  • Teeth Grinding (Also known as Bruxism)
  • Whitening Products (Especially if overused.) Note: Some people have a natural sensitivity to whitening products, so it's common to have some sensitivity after use.
  • Gum Disease
  • Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard bristled toothbrush.
  • Foods that have a high acid content, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, soda....
There are a variety of remedies out there to try, such as:
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste (there is a wide variety available at the drugstore)
  • Sealants
  • Brushing with warm water or rinsing with warm salt water
  • Add foods rich in vitamin D to your diet.
The most effective remedy is the common sense approach.....limit your usage of harsh mouthwashes, use a soft bristled toothbrush and keep up with your routine dental cleanings!
As always, keep smiling!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Herbal Remedies for dental care!

For years people have gone the all-natural route instead of pharmaceutical medicines. Today many people turn to herbal remedies for many reasons. A couple being it is cheaper then the alternatives and you are not getting the chemicals found in traditional medicines.

For those of you that drink green tea, did you know it is good for fighting dental cavities by getting rid of bacteria? Apples also help keep bacteria away too. To ease that toothache you may have you can use clove oil, vinegar and also you can place an ice bag on your face wherever the pain is. Those things will help ease your pain until you can get into the dentist. Most people push aside the little parsley that comes on your dinner plate, but if you have somewhere to be after dinner and don’t have time to brush your teeth or any gum on hand eat the parsley and it will do the trick.

To whiten your teeth rub the white inside of an orange rind against your teeth and rinse after a few minutes or you can make a paste using a few strawberries, let it sit for a few minutes then rise with a little baking soda.

Those are just a few examples on how you can use herbal remedies that are all natural and healthy for you.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

No Dental Insurance? Here's How to Avoid Breaking the Bank.

Did you know that 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 is estimated that over one third of Americans have not visited a dentist in the last 12 months.  The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2013 includes emergency dental care for children only.  Adult consumers are left to find smart ways to reduce their costs without sacrificing their oral health.  Here are some ways to cut back on dental related costs:
  • Consider a good dental plan.  Dental plans generally 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! 
  • Eliminate Surprise Fees!   Make sure to always, ALWAYS get the cost for the treatment plan or procedure before you agree to have it done, or before you sign anything.  Many patients agree to procedures while they are in the chair and don't fully understand that there may be an additional 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 your homework carefully! A good dental plan is more effective at saving you money than an insurance company will ever be. 

Keep Smiling! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)

According to the Mayo Clinic this is a medical term  for on going burning of the mouth without an obvious cause. This discomfort your entire mouth. Burning mouth syndrome appears suddenly and can be sever as it can scald your mouth.

Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes BMS quite yet but its believed to be some form of neuropathic pain, meaning the fibers in the mouth are functioning abnormally and transmitting pain despite the fact that there is no painful stimulus.

BMS has several different patterns of recurrence, it may occur everyday, or come and go.

Symptoms of BMS may include:

  • Burning sensation though out entire mouth.
  • Dry mouth with increased thirst.
  • Taste changes - metallic tasting.
  • Loss of appetite. 

BMS can be painful and frustrating. With the help of your doctor and dentist they can usually find a treatment plan that is right for you. 

In the mean time you can try to relief buy avoiding any irritating substances like mouthwash, acid foods etc. Suck on ice chips (chewing is bad for your teeth). Brush your teeth with baking soda rather than toothpaste. 

* Remember these are just some suggestions until the professionals find the right treatment for you*

Friday, September 1, 2017

Is Milk Good For Your Teeth?

If you are am avid milk drinker like me, then this is a blog you definitely want to read. I got through 2 gallons of milk a week, and I mean I GO through it. I personally drink at least 2 gallons of milk a week. What can I say, I love milk. So I had to ask to the question, is it good for your teeth? Well, great news my fellow milk drinkers! IT IS!

It has been proven that dairy products such as milk and cheese actually reduce tooth decay. Milk contains proteins called caseins which will join together with the calcium and phosphorus to create a protective later on the surface of your teeth. (aka enamel). This helps prevent tooth decay by reducing the bacterial acids. Furthermore, the calcium and phosphorus also help strengthen and even repair the enamel on your teeth.

So, drink up my fellow milkaholics. It will help keep our smiles bright!

Oh yeah on a side note: The ADA has recommended not have milk and cookies because as we all know they sugary items such as cookies are bad for your teeth. However... there is still hope for us on that too. The it is recommended that you have the cookies THEN the milk. That will eliminate the sugar acids that plague your teeth.

As great as that sounds, milk and cookies always sounds better than cookies then milk or milk after cookies, and we all it know it taste better too!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dental Coverage and Dental Facilty, Two Very Different Things

In my experience in the dental coverage industry, I have come to realize that there is a common misconception that the dental center works for or is owned by the dental coverage company. With the changes in the dental coverage industry and the development of in-house plans by the dental centers or corporations that have a dental coverage and dental centers, I can see where the confusion can come in to play. However, in most cases this is not the case.

Dental centers are individual practices or corporate practices. Which means that they are either owned by the dentist or a group that owns the center and hires the dentist.

Dental coverage companies are separate companies such as an insurance company or dental plan that offers discounts on dental services at the dental center.

The connection between the two comes in the form of an agreement between the two entities. When it comes to dental insurance, the dentist agrees to accept the insurance at their office, treat patients that come in, collect the co-pay and bill the insurance company for the remainder. In return, the insurance company will send the dental center new patients and pay the remaining balance.

When it comes to dental plans, the dentist agrees to be a provider on the plan, treat patients and charge the pre-negotiated prices according to the fee schedule. In return, the dental plan becomes a marketing source for the dental center and send them new patients.

Either way, the dental coverage company does act as a liason between the patient and the dental center should the need arise for problem solving.

The Most Common Dental Procedures

People who go to the dentist regularly are probably familiar with the procedures on this list.  It differs now from what used to be the standard...say, 20 years ago.  But if you are one who hasn't been to the dentist in 20 years, well, you may be surprised by what you see listed here.  I have actually come across people who didn't know that some of these procedures existed!  (Let's not even mention the cost.)
Here goes:

1. Topping the list, which is as it should be, Cleanings. Children and adults visit the dentist more for cleanings and regular maintenance than any other reason.

2. Fillings and repairs to cracked or chipped teeth.  Everyone gets cavities -  well, eventually, so it stands to reason that this would be near the top of the list.

3. Root Canals.  This really is a common procedure but not one you would expect (unless you've let a cavity go for many years without a visit to the dentist)...I can't tell you how many people neglect their teeth and are shocked when they learn they need a root canal!

4. Crowns. Typically, these follow a root canal or in some instances, they will be used to strengthen a tooth that is weakened by fillings or chips.  Crowns have come a long way in the industry!  You can now have a crown made and placed in your mouth on the same day.  The process used to take weeks.!
There are also a variety of different types of crowns available these days as well.

4. Extractions.  Dentist's in today's world would much prefer to save a tooth than to extract it.  It is really a last resort type of thing.  They will make every effort (with all the technology we now have) to restore a tooth unless there is absolutely no hope for it.

5. Bridges.  These are done to fill gaps in your teeth where extractions or loss of teeth might have occured. They are anchored to existing teeth and can be done cosmetically to match color and size. When done right you cannot even tell that they aren't your own teeth!

6. Implants.  One of the newer items to the list of common procedures!  This is by far the best, but also most expensive way to replace a missing tooth.  Implants have been around for years but the procedure has been perfected over time and is now very widely used in the dental industry.  As with bridges and crowns, this type of restoration is also used in a cosmetic way, to do full mouth restorations.

7.  Bleaching/Whitening.  Many people are all about the look!  This is a procedure that can be done in the dental office with varying types of products, or it can be done at home.

Keep Smiling!  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Get To Know The Parts Of Your Teeth

Our teeth have play important roles; they allow us to chew our food and provide the shape to our mouth and face! With that being said, have you ever wondered what makes up a tooth? Now you will!

Tooth Enamel - This is a protective barrier that surrounds the visible part of the tooth. It's made up of strong minerals, such as calcium phosphate. *Fun Fact: Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body!

Dentin - This is found under the tooth enamel and cementum. Dentin is a bone like substance and makes up majority of the tooth structure.

Cementum - This is the coating that surrounds the roots of the teeth. Its similar to enamel but softer. Cementum assists with root stability by attaching to the fibers that anchor the tooth to the jawbone.

Roots - These are anchored into the jawbone allowing us to chew and bite our food.

Root and pulp canals - Located in the tooth is a hollow chamber called the root or pulp canal. This is the part of the tooth that is extremely sensitive and is responsible for providing blood flow and nutrients that are necessary to keeping the tooth alive. When this part of the tooth is damaged a root canal is necessary!

Image result for tooth anatomy

Friday, August 25, 2017

Question From Our Member - Difference Between A Canker Sore And A Cold Sore?

Questions From Our Members

E. Donaldson of Portland, Oregon asks: 

“What is the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore?”

Savon’s Answer

Let me preface this answer by saying that this is not medical advice and I am not a doctor.

1Cold Sores;  also called fever blisters are a common viral infection.  They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips.  These blisters are often grouped together in patches.  After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore.  Cold sores usually heal in two to four weeks without leaving a scar.

Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing.  They're caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) closely related to the one that causes genital herpes (HSV-2).  Both of these viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be spread by oral sex.  Cold sores are contagious even if you don't see the sores.

There's no cure for HSV infection, and the blisters may return.  Antiviral medications can help cold sores heal more quickly and may reduce how often they return.

2Canker Sores;  also called aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums.  Unlike cold sores, canker sores don't occur on the surface of your lips and they aren't contagious.  They can be painful, however, and can make eating and talking difficult.

Most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two.  Check with your doctor or dentist if you have unusually large or painful canker sores or canker sores that don't seem to heal.

1Where we got our information on Cold Sores   2Where we got our information on Canker Sores

Original post can be found on our September 2017 Newsletter!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Nitrous Oxide - Things You Never Knew!

I thought it might be fun to repost this, as a member of our Dental Plan called a few days ago looking for a doctor who would use Nitrous Oxide.  She said there don't seem to be many anymore (although there really are) and did I know that "overseas this stuff is used as a recreational drug?" I laughed and said that I DO and I actually blogged about it a couple of years ago.  So, here is that blog in it's entirety for you all to enjoy.  I found it informative and full of humor, and definitely worth posting again.
At some point, you may have been treated to a dose of Nitrous Oxide at the dentists office; you know, the gas that makes you loopy, leaves you feeling kind of drunk in the dentist chair so that you don't care what is happening?  This is a drug with many names and as it turns out, many uses.  Here are some fun (and some serious) facts about the drug we've come to know as laughing gas!
  • It is also known as: Happy Gas, NOS, N2O, Hippy Crack, Sweet Air and Inhalation Sedation!
  • It is in high demand in many circles in Europe as a recreational drug.  (Second only to marijuana, in fact.)  
  • It is both an Anesthetic and an Analgesic.  
  • It is used in Motor Racing to enhance engine capability.
  • It is used in Rocket Launching as a propellant.
  • It is a Greenhouse Gas, making it a major Air Pollutant.
Who knew?  Now, when you visit the dentist next you can give the dental assistant a lesson on the versatility of Nitrous Oxide!  Between giggles, that is.

Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Myths About Caviities

Cavities are no fun at all. No joke about that! However, there are a lot of myths out there about cavities. Let's see if we can play myth busters on a few of them.

MYTH: Only Sugar Can Cause Cavities:
FALSE:  Sorry mothers, I hate to take away your reason for you kid to have that candy car. Yes, sugar does cause cavities, but that is not the only culprit. If you want your kiddo to stay cavity free the you better steer them clear of bread and pasta too. The have starch, which is another cavity culprit.

MYTH: Extra Brushing Will Heal or Slow Down The Progression Of A Cavity
FALSE: Tooth enamel does not grow back. When you have a cavity, you need to get it filled. If you don't you will eventually need a root canal and/or a crown. Brushing will not heal it or slow it down. Now, on the positive side, brushing will reduce the risk of obtaining more cavities and it will also keep the cavity clean and reduce the risk of infection.

MYTH: If I Have A Cavity, I Would Feel It
FALSE: Well, mostly false. If you feel the cavity and are experiencing pain, then you are probably dealing with a serious cavity that is much more advanced. When a cavity is starting chance are really good that you will not be able to feel it. Which is all more the reason why regular dental checkups are so important.

So here are some we have busted. I am sure there are many more. Do you have any that you would like to know about? Comment on this blog and we will try to find out if it is Myth or Fact!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Got A Cavity? Get It Fixed Sooner Rather Than Later

I was in a networking meeting a couple weeks ago and giving the presentation was a hygienist from one the local dental centers who also a provider on the plan. He showed a very through presentation on the progression of a cavity.

A small cavity, when caught and fixed is not really a big deal. A simple filling and you are good to go. Relatively in expensive and easy to do. However, if that cavity is ignored, then it gets worse and that simple filling takes more time to fill, which usually means more drilling into your tooth. If that cavity is ignored even longer, then you are at risk of cracking a breaking the tooth as soon as you eat something that is hard and need a crown.

Eventually, an ignored cavity will get big to be able to fill and get down to the root. That's when you are in a lot pain, at risk for abscess or infection and will most likely need that dreaded root canal and a crown. We ALL know how expensive that can be.

Don't freak out just because you have a cavity. It is fixable as long as you do it soon. If you procrastinate then it will no only get worse. Timing is everything! Get your cavities fixed sooner rather than later!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

DYI Dental Dog Treats

Dental health is not only important for humans, its also important for our fur babies!

Are you tired of paying for those expensive dental treats from the store? Why not make your own?

Dental Treats for Dogs:

  • 3/12 Cups Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 tbls Food grade activated charcoal
  • 1/2 Cup of packed chopped parsley (or 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1/2 Cup packed chopped mint leaves (or 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1 Cup of chicken broth or water
  • 4 tbls coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Liquid Chlorophyll
  • 1 Egg
If you cannot find activated charcoal and liquid chlorophyll, or if you do not feel comfortable feeding these to your dog, you can omit these from the recipe without any issue.
Directions:Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl mix together brown rice flour and activated charcoal and set aside.  Using a food processor, mix together the parsley, mint leaves, chicken broth, coconut oil and liquid chlorophyll.  This does not need to be super fine, so a few spins will do the trick.
Now, add the egg to the dry mixture, and then slowly add the wet ingredients to the mixture while stirring slowly.  Mix the dough until it starts to ball up.  Your dough should be fairly dry to the touch, and not sticky when it's done.
Flour your work surface and kneed the dough a bit.  Then roll it out into 3/8 inch thickness (you can go thinner if you like).  Cut out your shapes and place them onto your cookie sheet.
Bake these treats 30 minutes, then flip them and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  After that, turn you oven off and let the treats sit inside.  This will help completely dry them out and give them that extra crunch we are looking for.  Once your oven is cooled, you can pull out the treats!
*There are many different  recipes online, I just selected one!
Dental Treats for Cats:
Unfortunately I was unable to find any homemade recipes for cat dental treats but according to Veterinary Oral Health Council the best cat treats for dental are: Feline Greenies - Feline Dental Treats and Purina Pro Plan Dental Crunch Cat Snacks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Is Your Dentist Prepared for a Chairside Emergency?

It isn't a common occurrence, necessarily.  But it does happen.  Medical emergencies in the dental chair can't always be prevented but the risks can be drastically reduced if the patient and the doctor are completely transparent and open with each other about illnesses, medication and health history. All dentists have at least some training for medical emergency treatment, however in addition he/she should have at least one staff member trained in CPR, and have an emergency plan in place which includes emergency phone numbers, a defibrillator, medications on hand and procedures to stop bleeding, etc. He should take your blood pressure reading and heart rate prior to treatment, and again after treatment. If administering general anesthesia, he should be anesthesia certified. Some states issue separate licenses for anesthesia. Always make sure he is certified, or that he has a certified anesthesiologist on staff!
That said, here are some helpful suggestions for the patient to remember when having a procedure done:

  • Disclose all medications that you take daily, even if it is just an aspirin or something over the counter. 
  • If you have ever had high blood pressure, let the dentist know!
  • If you suffer from acute anxiety, say so!  Many dentists cater to the anxious patient. Things can be done to help you with that. 
  • If you are pregnant, let him know!
  • If you have allergies to medications, let him know! 
  • If you have taken anything prior to your visit for relaxation....a sedative, an alcoholic beverage, marijuana....seriously, he needs this information. Many people will do this before a visit and not disclose it thinking it won't pose a problem. The dentist isn't going to judge you, but he is going to treat you and there is a serious liability factor involved, especially when it comes to anesthesia, so don't hold anything back!  

The medical history of the patient is the single most helpful thing for a dentist to have before treatment begins.  Your honesty is imperative.  He cannot effectively manage your treatment plan without this knowledge!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dental Life Hacks!

  • Use inexpensive foam hair rollers to help improve your grip on small your toothbrush!
  • Use clothes pins to prevent your toothbrush from touching dirty counters while travelling!
  • Need a toothbrush squeezer?  Use a large binder clip or a bobby pin!
  • Use a utensil holder to organize toothbrushes in a drawer!
  • Remove crayon from a wall using toothpaste!
  • Use a new toothbrush to remove the cornsilk from a ear of corn!
  • Toothpaste can be used to remove odors from hands, dishes, baby bottles and other items!
  • Use dental floss to cut cakes, cheese and other soft solid foods!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Make Your Dental Health a Priority!

If keeping up with your dental needs is a priority for you, or even if it is a new personal goal, stick with it!! In case you haven't noticed, even as the economy is improving,  the price of dentistry isn't getting any cheaper. If you have dental insurance or a dental plan, keep it! If you don't, now is the time to get it. It can help keep the rising cost of dental care down. It's more important than ever to have some type of coverage. Note: Dental plans are generally less expensive than insurance and tend to discount more procedures and products than traditional insurance. Below is a link to Savon Dental Plan. Let the facts speak for themselves! It's a very informative site and it doesn't cost you anything to learn!

How Can A Dentist Tell If You Have Health Problems?

Have you heard the saying the mouth is the window into ones overall health? That's right, your mouth is a tattletale ;)

When you get your dental examination the dentist isn't only looking at your teeth and gums. During dental examinations, dentists have been known to find evidence of many other problems such as heart or liver disease, diabetes, arthritis, HIV and many more.

So how can a dentist tell if you have underlying health problems?

  • Inflamed Gums and Loose Teeth - This can be a sign of heart disease. If you suffer from periodontists (gum disease) the bacteria in the gums can travel to the heart and contribute to coronary artery disease.  The bacteria could also increase the formation of clots from further plaques build up in the arteries that interferes with blood flow to the heart. 
  • Gum Disease, Bleeding Gums and Loose Teeth - These are all signs of diabetes. Diabetics have a slower time healing so any infection to the gums can contribute to heart disease or a stroke. 
  • Bleeding Gums, Dry mouth and Tooth Erosion - Dentist can spot a eating disorder with just one look at the mouth. The stomach acid from vomiting wears away the tooth enamel making teeth super sensitive. 
  • Rampant Caries, Dry Mouth and Lesions - These are signs of HIV. If not treated this can lead to infection of the soft tissue inside of the tooth (pulp) and the formation of an abscess.
Whether or not you have natural teeth or dentures, its very important to maintain good dental hygiene!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sugar is No Worse For My Teeth Than Other Foods, Right? Wrong!!!

Here's the skinny on your teeth and the sugar you eat.  I just used the word skinny while referring to sugar, oh my....
All of our lives we've been told to cut back on sugar, watch our intake of sugary foods, brush right away and never eat sugary foods at night before bed.  Turns out there's actually something to that advice that clearly many of us ignore, myself included.
When it comes to your teeth, remember this:  Sugar is sugar. Sucrose, fructose, lactose, etc. it is all sugar.  Whether it comes in the form of a candy bar or fruit, one is just as bad as the other with respect to your teeth.  Raisins, particularly, have a high level of sugar. Soda is the worst culprit of all.  You see, sugar feeds bacteria.  Sugars hide out in small nooks and crannies in your mouth and between your teeth and reek havoc on your tooth enamel over time.  Bacteria in turn causes acid in your mouth that eats away at the enamel. Most of us don't brush right after eating something sweet.  This allows time for all that bacteria to multiply and cause damage without our knowing it, until.... the dreaded cavity, or worse....a toothache strikes.

Always brush after a sweet snack or soda.  After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water first to wash away as much as you can, then brush.  You'll be glad you made the effort in the long run!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dentistry IS a science. It is also artistry. But, does this justify the high cost?

So often we will have someone call our office and they are absolutely shell shocked at the cost of a dental procedure or a treatment plan.  Let me start by saying that dentistry is rarely simple anymore. It is a science, yes, but it is also a fine art, and in many cases you get what you pay for. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is among the most costly. If you've ever seen a full mouth reconstruction done, you'll have great respect for the dentist/artist.  This is a craft that requires at least 8 years of schooling, constant continuing education and even further instruction and practice to be able to perfect these restorations and perform oral miracles.  Not to mention the high cost of the technical machines and tools needed.  If you understand that, you understand why the cost is so high.  But, if you are one of those people who visits the dentist every 10 or 20 years, there is no avoiding the shell shock factor, which is why I've linked this blog to an informative page.
I recently found a site that gives the average consumer an idea of what restorative dentistry costs.  It is broken down by procedure and it's probably the most informative, simple breakdown I have seen to date.  If you are considering cosmetic restoration or have many dental issues and are in need of a full-mouth makeover, look HERE  first.  I think you'll be glad you did.
The moral of the story here is to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings (for prevention, if nothing else) and stay informed. Don't become a shell shock victim!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Is The Amabrush?

While scrolling on social media last week, I saw a sponsored ad showing a new toothbrush called the Amabrush. My first initial reaction was "that's gross" and I kept on scrolling not paying any further attention to it.

Yesterday I came across an article about the Amabrush (the same toothbrush I saw on the ad last week) so I decided I would see what its all about!

The Amabrush is a newly developed toothbrush that can clean your teeth in 10 seconds. CRAZY!! Its whole purpose is to save its users time by cleaning all tooth surfaces simultaneously.

The device consists of a handpiece, single toothpaste capsule (comes in three varieties), a antibacterial silicone mouthpiece and charger. According to Kickstarter the whole set costs $91.31.

Like a regular toothbrush the silicone mouthpiece needs to be replaced every three months, at a cost of  $6.93 each. The toothpaste capsule lasts about one month, the replacement cost is $3.47 each.

The first adult version of the Amabrush is expected to be released in December 2017 and the company plans on making a smaller version for kids age 6+.

What are your thoughts on this new toothbrush? Would you try it?

Image result for amabrush

*Please note the Amabrush doesn't replace flossing or visiting your dentist for regular check ups!

For the full article click here!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dental Coupons Are Not Dental Coverage

Dental centers are offering specials everyday. There are many sites out there that offer coupons and other promotions to get drive patients into the dental office. However, I would caution you to using that as your primary dental coverage. I say that, because there are people out there that do. Every time they go to the dentist, they are looking for that coupon or promotion that will save them the most amount money possible. Sounds reasonable right? Well, again I caution you about doing that and here's why.

1.  A coupon or promotion is just that! It is not an open ended offer. It is a limited time special to drive you into that dentist office, who in turn is trying to retain you as a patient. The offer will end! Most of them are new patient special and you will only see that price on your first visit. So if you do return and you don't have coverage, you will be charged full price.

2. If you have exhausted the promotion at one dental office and you go to another one to use their special, you are starting over with as a new patient. Which means, new x-rays, new exam, new treatment plan, new diagnostics.

Ideally, you should think of your dentist as another general practitioner, although most people don't. When you go to your regular doctor for treatment, you usually stick with that doctor through the course of your treatment. It should be the same way with your dentist. The longer you stay with the your dentist the better your dental health would be.

Now back to the coverage. Regardless, YOU NEED DENTAL COVERAGE.. PERIOD.. The cost of dental care is high and is still increasing. You will wind up paying a lot of money out of pocket for your dental work.

So, although the specials and promos are nice, they are not adequate enough to cover you for the optimal dental health that you should have.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dentistry in Mexico-It's Your Decision

Given the current scenario regarding the safety of travel from the U.S. to Mexico, I thought I'd repost this blog from 2015.  I think it bears repeating.

"A recent article I read online started me thinking about this topic. Why would anyone want to risk their health and safety by visiting a doctor or dentist in a country where sanitation standards are questionable and there is no way to determine whether a doctor is reputable; or even competent? There would be no legal recourse for a mistake, no refund, no malpractice insurance."
The above excerpt was taken from a blog I published in February of 2008. With time, the economy over the last 10 years and many testimonials from people I've talked to while working in this industry, I must say that I have come to an understanding on this subject at least, if only marginally  I still stand firm on the safety issues of traveling to Mexico for either  medical or dental treatment....sanitation remains a concern except that I now know many of the dental offices there are actually staffed with American Dentists, and in fairness, their american training and work ethic are at or above the standard.  Some of these dentists live there and work, some commute and the overall benefit to the traveling patient is that they can get the treatment they need from a qualified professional at a cost that is way below the standard fees charged in the US. the doctors are not bound to the (sometimes ridiculous) regulations, exorbitant insurance rates and high operating costs that are the norm in the US, thus allowing them to perform dentistry and pass the savings along to the patient.

Now, that said, there are still risks involved, which poses the question,  "does the money saved really outweigh the risk?"  Many think that it does.  I for one, always the skeptic, will no longer slam the door on the possibility, but would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble opinion a good dental plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Savon Dental Plan, A Company 25 Years In The Making

I was 14 years old when my dad (Clay Parker) and my uncle (Gordon Parker) announced their idea for a new crazy business venture. They were going to start a dental coverage plan. For my uncle, this was a new opportunity in a field that was he was already working in as he was currently a sales representative for dental plan that had some really shady business practices. For my dad and our immediate family, it was a big change in lifestyle. All my life, (to that point), was spent with my dad and mom both working in the flooring industry; which was the trade industry for the Parker family that went a few generations back. To know that my days of picking up carpet scraps, laying pad and vinyl and prepping floors with my dad was coming to end was unfathomable at my young age. However, the career change was welcomed and my dad and uncle took it head on. Little did I know that 25 years later, this crazy business venture, now known as Savon Dental Plan, would be an integral part of life and something that I am more passionate about than anything else.

Growing up in the company, I have seen many people come and go. I have witnessed every up side and down side that we experienced. I got a front row to seat to the movement for "person to person" sales to more of the "digital and phone" sales. I have had the privilege of watching this company grow from the City of Phoenix, to the 23 States that we are in today. I have seen ideas succeed and and ideas fail.

As I look back on the last 25 years I can't help but smile as I go over the "remember whens". I guess that's the purpose of this blog, to let you see a side of Savon that most people never knew about, most of which no longer exists. What a better way to do that than to give you some fun facts about Savon from over the last 25 years:

Fun Facts About Savon:
1. We used to have a call center that was called the "Dog Pound"
2. We used to generate leads via computerized phone calls.
3. Most of the Parker family has worked at Savon at some point in time.
4. We used to have sales reps that signed people up at home.
5. Gordon Parker (our Late President) used to use the alias Tom Peters when signing someone up, so that they didn't know that it was the President of the company signing them up.
6. Gordon made everyone study a city map and gave us all tests before we were allowed to be an outside rep. (he didn't want us to get lost or be late because we couldn't find the place) **This was before GPS was available.
7. We used to have "member files" that took up a whole wall in our office. Anytime we talked to customer, we would have to pull their file. (now it is all computerized)
8. We used to have a scheduled "file audit" one a year, but usually it happened more when Clay couldn't find a file he needed.
9. Corilee Parker, our Director of Provider Relations, is the longest tenured employee at 25 years of service. (She was here from day 1 and is still here).
10. I designed our first website at age 17. (Our current website is designed and maintained by my Dad)

So there are some things that you never knew about the "behind the senses" of SDP. There is so many that I could add, but this blog would be never ending. Throughout the month, I may post more as they come to mind. 

We have said goodbye to some key people who helped make Savon Dental Plan what it is today. Gordon Parker, Que Jeter and Dan Gopen, just to name a few, have all since passes away over the years. Some others that have passed also contributed in many ways and all are are surely missed. May they continue to rest in peace. We think about them everyday and will never forget what they have done for this company.

Most importantly, this anniversary would never happen if it wasn't for our members. In a world to where the average customer stays with a company for 5-8 years and then moves on, we have a lot of members that have been with us for 10+, 15+, 20+ and yes, even ALL 25 YEARS! We appreciate everyone of you. Whether you were a member for 1 year, or have been a member for 25 years you are all important us and we thank you for your loyalty. Every once in while I get the privilege to talk to one of you and take the time to thank you for your membership.

As we start the next 25 years, I can't help but ponder the potential that we have for growth. I also can't help but worry about what the future brings. Even after 25 years, the dental plan industry is still the considered by some to be the "bad step child" of the dental coverage industry. When in essence we are anything but that. Our plan WILL save people more money that insurance or any other plan out there and I will not stop shouting it from the mountain tops until everybody knows it. Although our company has gone through many changes over the years, the foundation to which we were built on has not changed. Our mission has not changed. Our goal has not changed. We will continue to provide great dental coverage at an affordable price. We will continue to be there for our members to help them out however we can. Lastly, you will never have press 1 for english and 2 for customer service when calling in.

Thank you everyone for the last 25 years. I look forward to spending another 25 with all of you!

-Clayton Parker III
  Vice President
  Savon Dental Plan

Toothpaste Guide

For all the extras you'll find on a toothpaste label (foamers, binders, flavors) there are really only a few essential ingredients, says Daniel Mindiola, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Follow these steps to figure 'em out:

Step 1.) Find a cavity fighter - Fluoride is the only ingredient approved to fight cavities. You'll see it listed as sodium fluoride or stannous fluoride, and it helps enamel patch itself up before decay can lead to a cavity.

Step 2.) Ask yourself: Do I have sensitive teeth? If you do, you'll need a desensitizer too. Arginine bicarbonate plugs the exposed pores in your teeth for immediate relief.

Step 3.) Now ask: Am I happy with the color? If not, add a brighter to your fluoride. Common ingredients include stain removers such as sodium tripolyphosphate or hexametaphosphate and hydrate silica. Often bleach or hydrogen peroxided is listed.

If you want it all some whitening toothpastes are formulated for sensitive teeth and will splashed across the packaging and if you check the label, you should find some combination of the ingredients listed above!

Article from the July/August 2017 Red Book magazine

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Question from Our Member - What is Crown Lengthening And Why Do I Need It?

Questions From Our Members

T. Drakeman of San Diego, California asks: 

“My dentist informed me that I needed a crown lengthening.  What is it and why do it need it?  Why don't they just make the crown longer to start with?”

Savon’s Answer

The dental terminology for the procedure is “Clinical Crown Lengthening”.  This is a common surgical procedure and is usually performed by a periodontal surgeon who removes gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of a tooth.

Clinical Crown lengthening is done when a tooth needs to be repaired with either a filling or a crown and not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum to support either. This can happen if a tooth breaks off at the gum line or when a crown or filling falls out of a tooth and there is decay underneath.  To place a filling or crown they need to expose more of the tooth.  This is done by removing some gum tissue or bone.

If the tooth needs a crown, the dentist may put on a temporary crown, (this is where the patient may think that the crown was made too short). The temporary crown protects the tooth and makes surgery easier because the periodontist will be able to see how much soft tissue or bone to remove.

The area should heal in about three months. After it is healed, your dentist will prepare the tooth again and make the final crown.

Originally Posted on our July 2017 Newsletter!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

8 Dental Problems You Can Fix Yourself

Here are a few ways to treat some dental problems from home, until you can visit your dentist.

Sensitive Teeth:
Cause~ Exposed nerve root.
Treatment~ Lay off whiting treatments, brush teeth a little softer than normal.

Lost Tooth: 

Cause~ Sports.
treatment~ Rinse it with milk and push it back in right away, then bite down gently on a soft cloth or moistened tea bag to hold it in place. Then visit your dentist.

Burned Palate:

Cause~ Hot food.
Treatment~ Try using Kenalog in Orabase, an over-the-counter corticosteroid paste that creates a protective coating on the burn and speeds healing.

Burned Tongue:

Cause~ Hot drink or food.
Treatment~ Rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.

Jaw Soreness:

Cause~ Temporomandibular joint disorder.
Treatment~Try sleeping on your side or back with a supportive pillow, instead of facedown.

Canker Sore:

Cause~ Sugary foods/Citrus.
Treatment~ Apply vegetable oil to a cotton ball and hold it against the sore three or four times a day.

Lost Filling:
Cause~Popcorn, Peanuts, Carmel.
Treatment~You can use sugarless chewing gum (chew it first) or soft wax to caulk the hole and reduce the sensitivity until you can visit your dentist.

Gum Pain:

Cause~Gingivitis (gum disease), tobacco use.
Treatment~ You can ease the pain by swishing peppermint tea around your mouth.