Sunday, September 30, 2018

In House Dental Plans... Not As Good As They Sound.

There are a lot of dental centers that now offer their own dental plan. This is a good concept for the dental office, but what is the benefit for the patient?

By providing a plan for their patients, the dental office can help the patient save money on their treatment plan that is set by the dentist. The office will then discount based in their usual and customary rates (UCR). This may sound good for the patient, but when compared to Savon Dental Plan, the savings that patient receive are not always that good. Also, the coverage offered by that center in most cases does not extend past that office or corporation. If a patient is unhappy with the dentist or the center, then they will have to seek alternative coverage to go somewhere else.

Savon Dental Plan overcomes that to give an great advantage to the members. First, Savon bases it's fee schedule on the average usual and customary rates of dentists per area. Then reduces that fee to 50% off to come up with the Savon price. Savon Dental Plan providers are contracted to abide by the fee schedule for Savon members. (the fee schedule for your area is posted on their website) Second, Savon has multiple providers nationwide that are available to it's members. (which is also available on their website) This allows the customer to choose a dentist that they are happy with, and the freedom to change dentist if they desire without having to seek out alternative plans.

There is so much more that Savon Dental Plan offers. To see that and how Savon compares to other dental plans, click on "the comparison zone" page of their website at

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Oral Disease Affecting Athletes Performances?

According to University College London's Eastman Dental Institute, high levels of oral disease are found among Great Britain's (GB) elite athletes and is the leasing cause to poor on field performances.

This is the largest study of it's kind, more than 350 athletes from nine different GB sports teams participated in this study which included an oral health assessment checking for tooth decay, tooth erosion and gum disease. The athletes also had to fill out a questioner focusing on: sleeping, eating and self-confidence.

Results of the oral assessment: 49.1% of the athletes had untreated tooth decay, 77% had gingivitis, 30% reported having bleeding gums and only 1.1% had excellent oral health.

Results of the questioner: 32% of the athletes reported that these poor oral conditions negatively impact their sporting performance. 34.6%  inability to eat. 15.1%  relax and sleep 17.2%  smiling and self-confidence.

After the study Professor Ian Needleman made a few comments:
  • "Nutrition in sports is heavily reliant on frequent carbohydrate intake, which are known to increase inflammation in the body and gum tissues.
  •  "In sports where there is a lot of airflow, such as cycling and running, breathing hard can make the mouth dry so teeth lose the protective benefits of saliva and there is existing evidence of lower quality of saliva with intensive training. 
  • "Stress is also clearly a risk factor, with some athletes reporting vomiting before every race, as a result of ore-competition anxiety." 

     *Whether your an athlete or not, it's important to maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balances diet and visiting the dentist every 6 months for a routine check up*

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dental Charities - A Great Way To Give!

Although the economy has improved in the last 2 years, many people are still in need of financial assistance for dental expenses, and as I mentioned in my prior blog, a large number of them are millennials and senior citizens. Dental prices are among the highest in the medical field, and are rising. It is unfortunate that dental care gets shoved to the bottom of the priority list out of necessity... and struggling young families with children are the ones who need help the most.
There are some great charities out there for people in need of dental care! I did some research and compiled a small list. If you are among the many who need help, I hope this list will help. If you are among the few who are in a position to donate, please contact one of these charities! Dental health is linked to physical health, and children are most affected. Please give!
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation
  • Oral Health America (OHA)
  • Healthy Smiles Healthy Children
  • National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped

Click here for a link that lists a large number of wonderful dental charities.
Keep Smiling!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that gets blocked as it is pushing through the gum into your mouth. A common tooth to get impacted is the wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars usually begin to come in between the ages of 17 and 21. Most cases they may become impacted due to the lack of room in your mouth. They may come in sideways or be tilted in your jaw. 

You can have an impacted tooth and not even know, as some are painless. When an impacted wisdom tooth tries to come in it can become infected and swollen. Sometimes you even feel pain in nearby teeth, or in the ear on that side of your face. 

If untreated an impacted tooth can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. This infection can spread to the throat or into the neck. Impacted teeth also can get cavities, lead to tooth movement, decay or gum disease. It also can change the way your teeth come together.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Is Oral Cancer Common?

Oral Cancer strikes nearly 35,000 Americans each year. The good news is that early detection gives you a 90% chance of surviving oral cancer. This is part of why regular dental exams are crucial part of your preventive health care. Our team screens for oral cancer at each dental exam to ensure we catch any suspicious lesions early and to give you peace of mind. You can also look for abnormalities between visits. Lear to recognize the signs and symptoms here.

You can help lower your risk of developing oral cancer, improve treatment success rates and keep your mouth healthy by doing the following:
  • Avoid using tobacco products and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Always protect your lips with sun block (oral cancer can be outside the mouth too).
  • Make a dental appointment if a sore in your mouth lasts longer than two weeks.

 Information is from a flyer I received from my dental office: Dr. Ghasem Darian, Winning Smiles Dentistry.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bad Teeth & Social Stigma - The Ugly Truth

Dentistry is horribly expensive, and as a result, large percentages of people in every age group avoid going to the dentist due to the high cost alone.  It is unfortunate, but there is a certain stigma attached to those who have poor dentition or decayed teeth; placed there by a society that considers one's appearance to be a measurable factor in their character, ability and even their intelligence.  After all, a smile is the first thing that people notice when they first meet someone.

How is the person with the decayed teeth, gum disease or misaligned teeth perceived by society in general? The answer isn't pretty.  Many are thought of as poor, some unintelligent, even more are outcast as socially inferior.  Some are denied entry into social groups, some are denied jobs. In some groups one is considered to be less likely to be successful if they have poor teeth. This treatment, this stigma, can lead to lower self esteem, depression and worse, poverty. It drives them even further down the social/economic ladder. 

It is interesting to note that the age group hit hardest by this problem are the millennial's. Dentistry is a luxury they simply can't afford. Due to the social stigma of poor dentition, many can't find jobs. It is estimated that some 30% of millennial's have tooth decay or are in need of serious dental care.  This is the highest percentage of any other age group.  Millennial's are also less likely to have dental insurance.  Senior citizens are second only to the millennial's.  Another travesty with devastating consequences, as the rise in dental costs affects senior's health and well being even more than their social status.

It is also interesting to note that the United States is a country that places a high importance on the appearance of an individual, in terms of social status.  In other countries, such as England, Australia, Africa and even Japan, it is more widely accepted to have a less than perfect smile. It just isn't that important to them. 

We, as a society, need to stop judging the book by it's cover. American's are a tough group!  Chill out, people!  Not everyone can look like a celebrity.

Keep smiling! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Facts About Taste Buds

When your taking a bite of a big, juicy burger or sipping on a milkshake, you know one thing... It tastes good, right? Ever think about why that is? 

Your tongue and the roof of your mouth are covered in thousands of these tiny little buds. When you eat, your saliva helps break down food. Your taste buds send little messages to your brain which tell you all kinds of information like wheather or not the food tastes good, if it's hot, cold, sweet, sour, etc. 

Taste buds are most important because they are play the biggest part in enjoying different foods and flavors. As a child, you would have been more sensitive to different foods because your taste buds were not only on your tongue, but on the roof and the sides of your mouth. As an adult, you may notice certain foods you were unable to eat as a child, taste better. This is because your taste buds are more centered to your tongue area and are now less sensitive.

Here are some facts about your taste buds:

-Buds that taste bitterness are located at the back of the tongue. Sour taste buds are located on either side of the tongue, with salty/sweet buds on the tip. The center of the tongue does not have many taste buds.

-Taste is the weakest of the 5 senses

- Girls have more tastebuds than boys

-We have nearly 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Is One Type Of Floss Better Than Another?

We're often asked, "What's the best type of floss to use?" The truth is that the best type of floss to use is the one that gets used daily! Floss cleans away plaque and food particles that your toothbrush may miss. In fact, if you don't floss, you're missing 35% of the surface of your teeth! So as long as you're flossing daily, we recommend you choose the one that's most comfortable for you.

Here's a brief explanation of the two main types of floss:
  • Nylon (multifilament) floss is most common and comes in waxed, flavored, unflavored, and varying on thickness.
  • PTFE (monofilament) floss doesn't rip or tear, so some find it glides between the teeth better.
Information from a flyer I received from my dentist, Dr. Ghasem K. Darian - Winning Smiles Dentistry

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dentistry in Mexico-It's Your Decision

An 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  [admittedly 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. The drawbacks to these seemingly stellar benefits are the risks of complication, and to mention again, safety during travel.  When Mexico is hundreds of miles away and the patient needs further, immediate treatment, where do they go?  To a dentist in America who certainly will not fix the problem for free...and well, there you have it. 
All that said, there are 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, would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble and educated opinion a good Dental Plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's much safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Is A Dog's Mouth Clean?

We have all had a dog lick us at one point in time. Some think it is gross while others take it as a sign of affection and your dog is just kissing you. We all know dogs will pretty much lick ‘anything’ so I find it hard to believe their mouth could be sanitary.
I tried to google about it but I get mixed theories on the subject. Some say they are clean and can even heal a wound you have, while others say their mouths are not 'sanitary' due to the diseases or illnesses you can get from a dog bite. I would like to know what you think and any web-sites you might have that back up the theory dog’s mouth are indeed clean and we won't think ‘eeww’ when they lick all over our faces. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

How Missing Teeth Damage Your Health And Appearance

The consequences of missing permanent teeth go far beyond self-consciousness. Here are a few ways an unwanted gap may affect your mouth and face.

  • Teeth rely on each other to stay in position. A space in your smile is an invitation for surrounding teeth to shift and drift out of place.
  • Your teeth support your facial muscles. Without a full set of teeth, the muscles and skin may begin to sag, giving your cheeks a sunken look and making you appear much older than you are.
  • Missing teeth may make it more difficult to chew your food completely, practice proper oral hygiene, and may affect how you speak.
  • Your jawbone relies on stimulation from your teeth to remain stong and thick. When teeth are missing, the bone will weaken and deteriorate. Dental Implants are sepecially effective in promoting bone health.
 *Information is from a flyer from my dental office...Dr. Ghasem K. Darian - Winning Smiles Dentistry

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe? Another Side of the Argument...

This is an excellent question. I thought it might be interesting to stir the debate a little....after all, so much controversy surrounds the issue. In this day and age when everyone (medical professionals and the average patient alike) is so much more aware of the harmful toxins in the air we breathe and ingredients in our food and's nice to be able to have a choice about what goes into our body.
Here is a link to a very good article that has an interesting twist...a link to a youtube video that actually shows mercury vapor coming out of an extracted tooth that had an amalgam filling. This will knock your socks off! Watch and decide for yourself. It might just help you to make that ever-important decision...Amalgam or Composite?

Always remember to keep smiling!

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Suffer from Dry Mouth?

Well there is hope for you yet! 

Several people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. Most sufferers have found little to no relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching it.

New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweetners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. The xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.

There is a plethora of amazing over-the-counter products endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products to check out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.