Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Growing Trend of Up-Selling in Dentistry

 You can't avoid the shell-shock reflex....imagine you've just been to the dentist and he said you need, what?  A half dozen crowns.. or maybe it was veneers....or even a full mouth restoration? $5000, $10,000....or eeek!  $35,000? Your head is spinning. You can't even think! Surely he was kidding, right? What now?


This is a growing problem in dentistry...it truly has become an art and as such, well, artists can command their price, right?  It is unfortunate but in today's market it is a reality.  One can visit 5 dentists and get 5 separate and varying opinions at various levels of expense. Why is that, you ask?  It's a legitimate question.  Let's touch on the obvious, although I hate to bring more negativity, but greed is a factor.  Then we can move to the less obvious, the things that most wouldn't think of;  The Dental Schools.  Frankly, some dental schools teach a more conservative curriculum than others and where he went to school makes a difference as to the quality and ummm..[ambition] of a dentists practice. Geographical location is yet another factor...it stands to reason that if you are in a more affluent area you will pay more for just about everything, right down to the cost of an ordinary hamburger.  Other factoring points are high overhead costs such as equipment, payroll and malpractice insurance. The thing is, however, all of that aside; it isn't like dentists are starving here...their median income is probably right around $120,000 per year. Now, I'm talking about general dentists.  I'm not even going to venture into the financial world of the specialists. That's another topic for another day.

So, the question here is:  What can you do if you suspect you've been over-diagnosed or upsold? The first thing is to not panic!  As long as you haven't signed a contract then your treatment plan is exactly that...a plan.  You can opt in or opt out, but before you make any decision you should get a second opinion.  Maybe even a third, just to find medium ground. Solicit your friends and family members for the name of their trusted dentist.  Get a good, solid recommendation. Talk it over with a professional consultant or someone whose opinion you trust. You can never research too much.

This is the best advice I can offer!  Forewarned is forearmed.

Keep smiling!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Flossing

We all know that flossing is time-consuming and isn't the easiest. However, If you follow these simple instructions by the American Dental Association you will be just fine!

  • Start with 18 inches of floss (waxed or un-waxed) wrap it around your middle fingers.
  • Grasp the floss tightly with your thumbs and forefingers and gently guide it between your teeth.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss up and down.
  • Repeat the entire process on all your teeth *even those molars!*
Make sure you use fresh floss as you move along the entire mouth!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ringing in the Ears - Is it TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction...the long name for TMJ, is a very real disorder with some specific characterizations.  TMJ affects the joints in the jaw bone close to the ears. One of the common symptoms is Tinnitus, or, ringing in the ears. Many people accept it as a natural aging process.  Consequently, it can go undiagnosed for years, resulting in hearing loss and permanent damage to the inner ear.  It is frequently misdiagnosed as another disease or disorder such as Meniere's Disease.  

TMJ is treatable and can be managed when detected early.  Don't delay!  Hearing loss and ringing in the ears are not always a result of aging!   

Visit your dentist to find out if this could be affecting you.  

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Do You Drink Red Wine?

 If you are a red wine drinker...listen up! 

Did you know that drinking red wine will dull your smile?

Dr. Uchenna Akosa, head of Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, the faculty practice of Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in New Brunswick, N.J. states "When you drink red wine,  you're encountering a triple threat to your teeth's whiteness: anthocyanins, which are the pigments in grapes that give red wine its color; tannins, which help bind the pigment to your teeth; and the acidity found in wine, which etches your enamel, making it more porous and it easier for the stain to stick."

Dr. Akosa has provided ways to protect your teeth from becoming stained:

  • Know when to brush: Brush 30 minutes before drinking red wine, not right after.
  • Avoid mixing wines: Do not drink white wine first due to the extra acidity.
  • Chew your food: Chewing helps saliva production. Eat cheese while drinking!
  • Dental visits: See your dentist for regular cleanings and exams.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Know Your Dentist...Do Your Research!

In a recent article, a dentist in Texas, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, botched a surgical procedure on a woman.  Lawsuits are pending. 

This is very disturbing when you think about how many people get treatment every day from doctors or 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 are not 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 for the general public.  It's as simple as a Google.com search for your local dental or medical board. Read the reviews.  Reviews tell a lot about the office and staff.

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 dentists, doctors or surgeons,  it's your responsibility to ALWAYS KNOW who is working on you!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Interesting Facts about Dentures!

 I came across a dental blog from the Oral Health Foundation. The author Stephen Loat discussed the top ten facts and tips regarding dentures. 

Here are the top ten facts:

  1. In a study across 19 countries researchers found that an average of 19% of the population wear some form of denture. That’s nearly one in five.
  2. There are two types of dentures: partial dentures and full dentures.
  3. A ‘partial’ denture fills in the spaces left by lost or missing teeth. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps or ‘precision attachments’.
  4. A ‘complete’ or ‘full’ denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.
  5. A complete or full denture can give support to your cheeks and lips. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person look older and they will find it harder to eat and speak properly.
  6. Dentures are ‘made to measure’ and designed to fit snuggly around the gums. Your dentist will take measurements and impressions of your mouth, then order your dentures from a dental technician.
  7. Dentures must be looked after properly. A lack of denture cleanliness can lead to poorer oral health, as well as general health problems.
  8. If dentures are not properly cleaned it can lead to ‘denture stomatitis’. This is caused by the build-up of a yeast or fungus called candida.
  9. Dentures should be cleaned daily using mechanical action i.e. brushing with a toothbrush or denture brush and an effective, non-abrasive denture cleanser.
  10. If you take care of your dentures, you should be able to use them for five-to-seven years before you need to replace them. "z
If you are interested, click here for the whole are article.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Is Teledentistry the New Wave of the Future?

 

Teledentistry is considered to be the dental form of telemedicine.

Teledentistry:  

  • ·         Offers live streaming for face-to-face visits with a dentist or practitioner
  • ·         Provides patients a secure patient portal to access data you share
  • ·         Offers secure messaging so they can start clinical conversations
  • ·         Offers live video consultations for visual evaluations and assessments
  • ·         Ability to pre-screen for dental visits and emergencies
  • ·         Check-ins
  • ·         Treatment planning
  • ·         Remote Triage

And many more options… 

It can also be used to transfer documents and information and consult with other providers in the industry.  It’s HIPAA compliant, mobile friendly and secure.  Who knew? 

Keep Smiling!


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery) is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This surgery is to help correct overbite, underbite, or misaligned teeth. This surgery can also improve facial appearance. Your Orthodontist will determine if you will need this surgery.

The procedure:
After about 1-2 years of orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist may recommend corrective jaw surgery. This procedure may take 1-3 hours to complete. Both your orthodontist and oral surgeon will be in the room for the procedure. This will take place at the hospital under anesthesia. You may have to stay overnight but usually released the next day.

Recovery:
After surgery you can expect pain, swelling, bruising, minor bleeding. You will be able to speak, drink, eat immediately because you will not have your jaws wired shut! Doctors will recommend blended food for 2 weeks and then gradually work to solid foods..

Cost:
Initial Orthodontic treatment (braces/retainer) usually cost around $2,000-$5,000. Corrective Jaw Surgery usually costs around $20,000 -$30,000. You may want to check to see if your insurance will cover this procedure.

*Many people go through this surgery just to change their facial appearance... Would you?

To read more, click here!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Connection Between Dehydration and Bad Breath

 Dehydration is a major cause of bad breath. When the body is dehydrated it doesn't produce enough saliva. Without enough saliva to clean away food particles, bacteria reproduces freely and causes the bad breathSaliva also neutralizes acids and prevents plaque from forming on the surface of your teeth. Consequently, adding plenty of water to your diet is a good start to having a healthy mouth. The current recommendation is to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, and remember that you can also get fluids through foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Keep Smiling!