Monday, July 30, 2018

Dental Anesthesia via Electric Current - The End of Needle Injections?

Iontophoresis – a technique of introducing medicinal compounds into the body through the skin by applying a local electric current.
Fact: It is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the population avoid the dentist or refuse to go because of a fear of needles.
Aside from the obvious “painless” aspect of this revolutionary treatment, there is a plethora of added benefits.
• Reducing pain also reduces fear. This would be especially beneficial to those who are needle phobic.
• There is a markedly lower risk of infection.
• Since the pain relieving drugs are administered by way of electrical current, the drugs are more readily absorbed, thereby possibly reducing the amount of the drug needed to do the procedure and bringing down costs.
• Once the word gets out, dentists may notice a rise in the number of patients they treat.
Of all the technology out there in the medical/dental field, this one seems to me to be the most important. There are so many other ways to use this technique, not just for dentistry.

Keep Smiling!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Dental Technology To Read Patient Stress Level

I don't really think I need to talk to much about the stress of going to the dentist. Hence the reason most people do not go unless they have to. Long waits in the waiting room, long waits in the opertory and just the stress of not know what is going to be need and if it will hurt or not.

Well, researchers at Columbia University are using new technology to help with that. They are designing a new dental center that is built to monitor and reduce patient stress as well as speed up the process of a dental visit.

It is designed around a bracelet that the patient is given when they check in. This bracelet is equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. Once activated, the center will be able to tell where in the office the patient is located, what procedure they are getting, any dental information on file, how long they have been waiting and measure the patients stress level by measuring heart rate and respirations. They will also be able to tell the real time stress level of the patient while the procedure is being performed.

This is one piece of technology that I personally am very interested in and, if proven to work, would love to see in every dental center across the nation. Especially if it speeds up the visit like they suggest.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why You Should 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!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Flossing Your Teeth - There Is A Right Way And A Wrong Way!

Anyone who has ever seen a dentist has heard (over and over, I'm sure) that flossing is just as important as brushing.  A habit most of us perform at least once a day, I'm confident that most of probably didn't know that there is a right and wrong way to do it!  One would think pulling string between your teeth would be pretty much fool-proof, but apparently it's not that simple...

Skipping the spaces- If you have gaps or spaces between any of your teeth, it's important to still floss between them to remove any food or bacteria from beneath the gums.  This includes the gums behind your back molars.

Forcing your floss in a tight spot-  If your teeth are tight together and the floss won't go, gently saw the floss back and forth while applying gentle, but firm pressure until it squeezes through.  Too much pressure or forcing the floss through can damage your gums and increase your risk of gingivitis.  

Using the same piece for the entire job-  Using the same string of floss for the entire session can spread bacteria to different areas of the mouth.  To ensure the removal of the plaque and bacteria and not its redistribution, it's best to use a fresh section of floss for every few teeth. 

Still, there isn't much to the flossing concept, but not doing these simple things could have some complicated and expensive consequences.

Here's to flossing, the right way!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dental Grills = Damage To Teeth

Dental grills are decorative covers often made of gold, silver and even diamonds. Generally grills snap over one or more teeth but some grills can be permanently mounted. Although grills bring "bling" to a smile, wearing them can be very damaging to your teeth.

People think that because grills are removable they are safe but that's not true says Dr. Matt Messina, consumer advisor to the American Dental Association.

Food and bacteria get trapped underneath and can cause gum infections, irritations and cavities and the longer it sits the worse the problems. 

Dr. Messina also says that the type of metal used is a key factor as well. Grills made from gold or platinum do okay with the body were grills made from non-precious metal can be troublesome because they can cause allergic reactions.

If you wear dental grills and start to experience redness, swelling and pain around the gums stop wearing your grill and see your dentist right away!

Click here for the full article!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Why You Should Always Research Your Doctor!

In a recent news article there was a story about a dentist in Texas who, allegedly, while under the influence of alcohol, botched a surgical procedure on a woman.  Lawsuits are pending. 

It is interesting to note that medical and dental professionals are not immune to substance abuse. 
This is incredibly disturbing when you think about how many people get treatment every day from dentists they know nothing about.  How many times have you picked a random doctor off of your insurance list?  I know I have done it, figuring that if my insurance lists them, they must be good enough.  They have a degree and a license to practice so it must be safe. And for some, it might be, but unfortunately, it is still an incredible risk to take.
Most people aren't even aware that you CAN research any doctor with a license.  Information such as where they went to school, when they graduated, complaints, infractions, etc. can be obtained by the general public. It's as simple as a search for your local dental or medical board. 
Such a simple step could have changed everything for that poor woman.

When it comes to your health, you can never be too careful!  Whatever you do, whether it be a dentist, a doctor or surgeon, even an anesthesiologist,  do your homework and ALWAYS KNOW who is working on you! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

You Don't Have To Go To The Specialist Your Dentist Referred You To

When a dental center refers you to a specialist, they tend to use the same specialists. There are many reasons why they do this. They may be friends with that specialist. They have a working relationship with that specialist. They could be collaborating with that specialist and referring both ways. None of which are bad. If you trust your dentist, then you should trust the specialist that they refer you too, as you know that your dentist has the best in mind for your dental health.

However, that does not mean that you required to go to that specialist. When you are referred out, you as patient has the option to go a specialist of your choosing. One of them main factors would be, if that specialist is not a provider on your coverage. Rarely does the referring dental center check that. They just make the referral. It is up to the patient to make sure that they are covered at that office.

Too many times we have heard about a patient that has had to pay much more than they should have because they were referred to specialist that is not in their coverage network.

Another thing, make sure you shop around. There are general dentists that can do some if not most of procedures that other dentist would refer you out to. For example, some dentists will refer you to a endodontist for a root canal on a back molar. I personally know dentist that will do that in their office and save you the cost of a specialist. So make sure you are doing your research.

If you are a Savon Dental Plan patient, we have that information on hand for you. If you are referred to specialist, call our customer service center before you do anything else. We have tools readily available to let you know if they are a provider on our plan, we have record of the dentists different abilities and can often send you for a second opinion to a dentist that would be more likely to perform the procedure there and save you a lot more money.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Spinach Teeth

If you're a spinach eater, you may have noticed that your teeth feel chalky after eating it (spinach teeth). This is a result of high quantities of Oxalic acid found in the leafy green.

Jennifer Moltoni - Administrative Coordinator at the Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine says "when you chew spinach, the calcium in your saliva combines with the oxalic acid, and then calcium oxalate crystals are created. It's those crystals that stick to your teeth and make it feel gritty."

If you have a thing with textures, you can boil or steam the spinach to help get rid of the calcium oxalate. Or you can squeeze lemon juice on top of fresh spinach to help dissolve the oxalic acid.

I thought this was very interesting! I don't eat a lot of spinach so I never noticed the chalky texture but when I do make spinach as a side dish for dinner, I always steam it. As I mentioned above, steaming helps get rid of the calcium oxalate, that's probably why I have never noticed the weird texture before!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Financing your Dental Treatment Plan

Ok, so you've just been to the dentist and found out that you need thousands of dollars of restorative work. You have what we commonly refer to as "sticker shock". You know that you don't have that kind of money just laying around......
Whether you are in need of restorative work or cosmetic dentistry, there are a variety of creative financing plans available to help. Dentistry is among the most expensive in healthcare, with costs rising even as the economy is failing. Here are some suggestions for those who are in need of major restorative work, but who cannot afford the out of pocket expense.
First of all, make sure you have good dental coverage (a good dental plan used in conjunction with your credit plan will go a long way toward lowering the costs, thereby making your money go farther.)
Here are some credit organizations to consider:
  • Care Credit Healthcare Plan is a financing company that is offered by GE Money Company. It offers financing for personal healthcare, i.e. dental, (cosmetic or restorative) vision care, surgical procedures, (and just FYI) there is financing available for pet care as well! This option does require that you qualify for a loan. Click here to read more....
  • Citi Health Card is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of flexible payment options. The have some no interest payment options, options that are for certain periods of time and a revolving card option with no minimum expense. According to their website, they have a quick approval process! If you have a need for an immediate procedure and are low on funds, this one may be the one to try.

    Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't give up! Many dental providers are now offering in-house financing options for people with no insurance, or who might need a little help with funding for an expensive treatment plan. Additionally, dental school clinics are a consideration, as they can perform most procedures at discounted fees and all work is done under supervised conditions.
Believe it or not, there is something out there for everyone in the way of affordable dental care! Don't be discouraged!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Causes Of Tooth Senstivity

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!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2017's Top Dental Discoveries

The more that technology advances, so does the dental research discoveries.

Here are some of the top dental discoveries found in 2017:
  1.  New Research discovers ways to eliminate needled for dental anesthetic.
  2. New discover could eliminate infections after root canals.
  3. New vaccine could mean the end of periodontists.
  4. A pill that could mean the end of dental fillings.
  5. New coating could make dental implants better than ever.
  6. E-cigarettes shown to be detrimental to oral health in new study.
  7. Green tea extract could help prevent cavities.
  8. New study shows that oral bacteria can "lasso" onto heart tissue.
 If you would like to read the studies here is where I found the information!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Gingivitis is Only the Beginning!

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. This is the initial stage of gum disease, and the easiest to treat. Gingivitis is due to a long term effect of plaque deposits. Plaque is a sticky material made up of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on the exposed parts of the tooth.

If Gingivitis progresses, it can lead to receding gums, loose teeth and loss of teeth.

Ways to reduce Gingivitis:

  • Have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis. 
  • Brush and floss everyday, along with using a mouth rinse.

Symptoms of Gingivitis include:

  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that are tender to touch
Call your dentist if you have these symptoms and get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as you can!

Keep Smiling!