Thursday, December 31, 2020

Why Do I Have Two Different Treatment Plans?


Questions From Our Members

E. DeLong of Queens, New York asks: 

“Why would one dentist tell me I need a crown and another dentist tell me I only need a filling?  It seems like someone is trying to sell me something that I don´t really need.”

Savon’s Answer

Dentistry, as is general medicine is called a practice.  The reason it´s called this is because it´s and on-going learning experience, hence… “practice.” The dentist is a person. just like you and me.  The only difference is their training.  The problem with the practice of dentistry is that the doctors practice what they have been taught in dental school.

The difference in the diagnosis from one dentist to another most likely can be attributed to what dental school they studied at.  East coast and west coast dental schools tend to teach a more aggressive style of diagnosing where midwest, southwest and southern dental schools teach a more conservative style.

I have found, for the most part, that the dentist has virtually no knowledge of your finances, insurance or dental plan.  They are simply telling you what they think you need and they leave the finances up to the office manager or treatment manager.

If you feel that you have been over diagnosed don´t hesitate to ask questions.  After all, it´s your mouth and your money.

Original Post is from our January 2021 Newsletter!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

You Still Need Dental Coverage Even if You Wear Dentures!

 We hear this time and time again in our office, "I have dentures now so I will no longer need your plan". As good as that may sound to you as a denture patient, the reality of it is quite the contrary. In fact, now that you are wearing dentures there may be more of a reason to have a good dental coverage. You see, getting dentures is not the end game for going to the dentist. It is the start of a different type of dental visit. The ADA recommends that you still get your check-up every year and also be checked for oral cancer and bone loss. Denture patients run a higher risk of it.

Having no dental coverage at all can lead to very costly dental bills, even if you have dentures. If they break, do not fit properly or even when you just need that twice yearly check-up, the bill can add up quickly and and a dental insurance policy may not provide the best coverage. Dental insurance is a costly waste of money for general dental patients and even more so for denture wearers. The waiting period alone to have anything done with your dentures is bad enough, but they they may offer very limited and minimal coverage for maintenance and repairs. For example, in general, insurance companies can make you wait up to 5 years to be eligible for replacement coverage. Statistically, most problems with dentures happen in the first 2 years. Those who have had dentures for 5 years or more are less likely to have any significant problems with them.

So that's where the dental plan becomes more valuable to a denture patient. Knowing the cost of a repair, re-alignment or replacement is essential. Not having to wait for treatment is the one thing that sets a good dental plan apart from an insurance plan.  With the immediate coverage, coverage on all pre-existing conditions and significant savings, you will always have the peace of mind that you are covered.

Keep Smiling!  

Friday, December 25, 2020

Ways Your Bad Breath Could Mean Bad Health

 Yuck, what is that smell? Could it be your breath? Checking your breath may not just save you from embarrassing social moments, but it may save your life. Recurring bad breath could be a sign of underlying medical conditions.

  • Electric Nose Technology: Detects lung cancer from bad breath- This is a cheaper alternative than doing a biopsy to detect lung cancer. The "electronic nose" detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breaths. All you would need is a simple breath test.
  • Breath tests can detect heart failure- By taking a breath test, Researchers can use "mass spectrometry" technology to analyze the sample for molecular and chemical compound signs of heart failure.
  • Fish Breath: Kidney Failure: The fishy breath occurs when kidney failure affects the respiratory system and makes it hard to breathe. This is because the damaged kidneys can no longer filter waste products from the blood and turn it into urine.
  • Sleep Conditions may cause sour mouth- Saliva decreases during sleep, which causes a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Excess Weight- A poor diet and lack of water can play a major role in bad breath. Try drinking large amounts of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, this will help keep your breath fresh.

If you notice your recurring bad breath please seek medical help!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Myth or Fact: Are Raisins Bad For Your Teeth?

The Short answer:  maybe not!  

A recent study conducted by USA Department of Food and Nutrition revealed that eating raisins might actually protect against cavities. According to researchers, raisins contain phytochemicals; plant antioxidants including oleanolic acids which help to stop the growth of bacteria that causes dental caries.  

It has long been thought that because raisins are sticky and sweet that they would cause cavities.  This is not the case!  Phytochemicals can prevent the bacteria that causes cavities as well as the bacteria that causes gingivitis, helping to prevent gum disease. 

So, go ahead and snack on a box of raisins now and then!  Just be sure to brush and floss afterward.  

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

An Apple A Day Won't Keep The Dentist Away!

 We all know the saying "An apple a day will keep the doctor away".

But your dentist may disagree! It's been revealed that apples are bad for your teeth, just like sweets and sugary drinks.

Truthfully, apples are a healthy choice when it comes to nutrients for your body. However, when it comes to your teeth, the amount of acid in an apple can give carbonated beverages a run for their money.

So, why are apples unhealthy for your teeth? According to a study, cross-breeding apples to come up with newer, more delicious apples has lead to a raised sugar content of 50%. The average apple contains roughly 4 teaspoons of sugar. So, between the high sugar content and the natural acid in apples, your teeth are getting a double dose of enamel erosion which can lead to tooth decay.

Maintaining a healthy mouth is very important. It's recommended you see your dentist every 6 months for regular check ups and cleanings.

Information found here.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Could Jaw Pain Be Caused By Stress And Anxiety?

 2020 has been a stressful year for everyone around the world. 

According to Tel Aviv University (TAU), located in Israel, there is has been a significant increase in orofacial and jaw pain since their first lockdown due to the novel coronavirus. 

Research results showed that women suffered from those symptoms more than men ranging in age 35-55 years old. Before the pandemic, about 17% of people had suffered from jaw-clenching during the day but that number has risen to 32% while teeth-grinding at night rose from 10% to 36%. 

If you are interested in more information about this research, you can find the article here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Should You Disinfect Your Toothbrush?

It is that time of year again, you know, when viruses abound in the form of head colds, flu, bronchitis, stomach viruses...your kids bring it home from school, it's prevalent in the workplace, grocery stores, etc. But this year, we have a new, stronger culprit to add to the usual season of germ infestation, in the form of COVID-19.  It's everywhere that the average flu bug is; and it's meaner. 

When we or someone around us is sick, we tend to reach for that can of Lysol spray or the bottle of bleach and disinfect everything from our doorknobs to our computer keyboards and even the telephone receiver!  But....what about our toothbrushes? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to that.  Research differs on the subject.  Some healthcare providers suggest that you boil your toothbrush or rinse it in a bleach solution and then with clear water, or even replace it.  Others will tell you that there is no need because you cannot reinfect yourself with the same virus over and over as your antibodies will prevent it.  Hmmmm.....not so sure I believe that. Not anymore.  But to be clear, I am no doctor! 

So, who to believe? Personally, I trust my own instincts. To prevent illness from spreading in my household or workplace I will disinfect everything you can imagine that may have have a hint of a virus.  Now, this is a personal thing and others may not feel that way but I prefer to err on the side of caution, and my "phobia" has served me pretty well over the years!  Follow your instincts.  If you think it will help to disinfect your toothbrush then do it, if for no other reason than your own piece of mind! 

Stay Healthy and Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Is My Dentist Supposed To Charge According To The Fee Schedule?

 Questions From Our Members

E. Hearing of Dallas, Texas asks: 

“Why does the fee schedule say the price of my crown is one thing, but the doctor charged me more?  Aren´t the doctors supposed to charge according to the schedule?”

Savon’s Answer

Yes, all Savon Preferred Providers are contracted to the Savon Fee Schedule.  Sometimes, especially with crown and bridge work, dental offices bundle the crown and the lab fees into one price, which would make your crown appear higher than what the fee schedule allows.

All of our fee schedules have sub codes (which appear as a letter a,b,c, or d) next to any procedure where the crown, bridge, denture, or partial have allowable lab fees that can be charged by the dentist.

These fees vary depending on what type of restoration you are having done.  We recommend that you verify with the dental office what type of crown, bridge, denture, partial, etc.  you are having done and what is the lab charges on top of that.

If for any reason the math still doesn´t add up, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care Team for assistance.

Original Post from our December 2020 Newsletter!