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Friday, November 10, 2017

Why your routine dental cleaning is not routine

For many patients, the dental cleaning appointment may seem little more than a more complicated version of brushing your teeth.
However, this appoinment plays a crucial role in patient education and prevention of dental disease.
The appointment is called a dental prophylaxis, or prophy and it’s one of the most important steps in your dental care program.
Here are some of the elements that it may include, depending on your needs:
– Oral hygiene evaluation
– Tooth brushing and flossing instructions
– Scaling above the gum to remove plaque and tartar
– Debridement of tartar beneath the gum
– Polishing the teeth
– Periodontal charting
It’s important to remove plaque from the teeth as it ultimately forms a hard, rough sediment known as tartar or calculus, which must be removed by a dental professional to help prevent periodontal disease.
Polishing the teeth removes stains and creates a feeling of fresh breath and a clean mouth.
The hygienist or dentist may recommend a prophylaxis visit every two to six months.
Although insurance may only cover two prophies a year, recall frequency depends on many factors and should be based on individual needs.
These appointments can help you have much better dental health and could save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Your options if you have many missing or damaged teeth

People who have not followed adequate dental care for some years may have already lost most of their teeth and feel a little hopeless.
Sometimes they ask a dentist to remove the remaining teeth as they are often broken and have deep cavities.
It’s true that, sometimes, removal of the remaining teeth and replacing them with full dentures is the only option.
But more often there are other options available.
Some or all of the remaining teeth could be repaired and used in conjunction with a partial denture. While a full denture replaces all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw, a partial denture replaces some of the teeth.
If only a few weak teeth remain on the upper jaw, it might be preferable to have them extracted and a full upper denture made. Full upper dentures can be more secure than lower ones as the upper denture gets added stability from the palate and is not easily dislodged by the tongue.
If only a few teeth remain on the lower jaw, however, the dentist will usually aim to save them and use a partial denture if necessary.
Ideally, all teeth that can be saved should be saved but this is not always possible – often due to finances.
In such cases, having teeth removed and dentures may be the only option.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How braces can be made to look good

Orthodontic appliances such as braces can be used to help straighten out crooked and crowded teeth.
This is not just about looking better; it also helps improve your dental health.
How they look may determine how you feel about wearing them but, these days, braces can be as inconspicuous as you want.
Brackets the part of the braces that attaches to each tooth can sometimes be attached to the back of the tooth, making them less noticeable.
The brackets can be made in a wide range of different materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic.
They can also be designed to look appealing. For example, they may be clear or tooth-colored. There can also be shaped in a variety of ways like hearts and footballs or created in favorite colors.
You could even go for gold-plated braces or glow-in-the-dark retainers!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How dentures can replace your smile

If youve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile.
Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health.
Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. Youll also find it harder to eat and speak things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
There are various types of complete dentures.
A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patients mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed which may take several months.
An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. The dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patients jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
And even if you wear full dentures, its important to visit your dentist regularly to maintain your overall oral health and get early warning of serious issues such as oral cancer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Common questions about dental insurance

Understanding what’s covered by your dental insurance is an important part of making sure you get the best oral care possible.
Here are some common questions that arise when people want to understand their cover better.
– If treatment my dentist recommends is not covered by my insurance, does that mean it’s not necessary?
Some plans make exclusions such as sealants, pre-existing conditions, adult orthodontics, and specialist referrals. This depends on your dental plan and you should not let the level of cover determine whether you need treatment.
– My dental benefit will only pay for a large filling but my dentist recommends I get a crown. Which should I choose?
Some plans will only cover the least expensive solution but it may not be the best option for your needs. You should decide based on your health needs and not on your insurance cover.
– My dental plan says it will pay 100 percent for checkups and cleanings but the insurance company says I owe for part of the dentist’s charge. How can this be?
Some plans provide cover based on a “customary fee” for each procedure. So, if your dentist’s fee is higher, your benefit will be based on a percentage of the customary fee instead of your dentist’s fee. Although these limits are called “customary,” they may not accurately reflect the fees that dentists charge in your area.
– Will my plan cover the care my family will need?
If your employer offers more than one plan, check the exclusions and limitations of the coverage as well as looking at the general benefits. It’s a good idea to discuss your family’s likely needs with your dentist before choosing a plan.
The plan document should specify who is eligible for coverage under the plan.
Plans offered by the same provider or employer can vary according to the contracts involved so your dentist will not be able to answer specific questions about your benefit or predict what the coverage for a particular procedure will be.
If you have specific questions about coverage, talk to your plan provider.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Diabetes and your dental health: How your dentist can help

If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, its important that you let your dentist know so that they can give you the best care possible.
As more than 15 million Americans have diabetes, your dentist will be familiar with the issues and will give you the specialist care you need.
This is important because diabetes can lower your resistance to infection and slow the healing process.
Its important to tell your dentist:
– If you have been diagnosed with .diabetes
– If the disease is under control
– If there has been any other change in your medical history
– Names of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking
The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are:
– Tooth decay
– Periodontal (gum) disease
– Salivary gland dysfunction
– Fungal infections
– Infection and delayed healing
– Taste impairment
If you have regular dental checkups and keep your dentist informed about your status theyll be able to help you reduce and manage these risks.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Action steps to prevent gum disease

Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults but it can be prevented or reversed if you take the right steps.
Its caused by plaque a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums.
However, you can help avoid gum disease by caring properly for your teeth and having regular dental checkups. These are some steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
Brush your teeth well twice a day: This removes the film of bacteria from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing fluoride strengthen the teeth and help prevent decay.
Clean between your teeth every day: You need to remove the bacteria and food particles that a toothbrush can’t reach so you should clean between your teeth with floss or interdental cleaners every day. Your dentist will show you how to do this properly without injuring your gums.
Even if you already have early stage gum disease, it can often be reversed by daily brushing and flossing.
Eat a balanced diet: A good diet based on a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products will help your teeth. Its also a good idea to limit snacks between meals.
Visit your dentist regularly: To prevent gum disease, its important to have regular dental checkups and professional cleaning.
Taking the right steps will help you avoid gum disease and can even reverse it if you catch it in the early stages.