YOU’RE RETURNING TO WORK after your dental appointment with a numb lip, thanks to a filling! We know it can be annoying. A filling may not be welcome news, but they’re often an important part of your preventative care plan, and much preferable to the alternatives!
If you’re ever been tempted to postpone getting a filling, think about this:
Decay Leads To More Decay… Until It’s Stopped
When decay erodes part of your tooth, fillings help us seal off and cover the compromised area. We place fillings because once a tooth starts to get decay, it’s very likely the decay will progress.
A cavity indicates that the area is decay-prone, whether that’s due to chewing habits, cleaning habits, or the bacterial climate.
Cavities can create crevices in your mouth that trap plaque and food particles, encouraging further decay.
The tooth’s outer enamel layer is much stronger than the inner, dentin layer. If decay breaches the enamel, it can progress dramatically, leading to severe pain and permanent tooth damage.
Fillings Need To Be Maintained, And Sometimes Refreshed
Occasionally, we may recommend that you replace a filling. The materials used in fillings can break down and weaken over time, which can lead to further decay and damage. During a replacement, we make sure that there’s no decay under the filling, and that the area is not compromised.
Be Proactive In Your Dental Care
Don’t postpone getting a filling if it’s recommended. Protect your oral health by being proactive. Save time and money by fixing the problem while it’s still small.
Let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns about the care that we recommend for you and your family. We value our relationship with you and we want to be sure that you’re always comfortable and happy with your service.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT DENTAL INSURANCE? Here’s some information that will help you get the most out of your plan.
How Dental Insurance Differs From Medical Insurance
Regular medical insurance is designed to help with major, expensive illnesses and provides minimal help with preventative care. Dental insurance usually works the opposite way. It typically covers a large percentage of preventive care (such as your regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings).
You get the most out of your dental insurance when you take preventive measures. It’s also what’s best for your smile, of course!
Barbara Answers Some Commonly Asked Questions…
Insurance is a complex subject, so major props to Barbara, who takes care of it here in our office. We invited her to answer some questions that we knew you’d find helpful.
We Work With Many Different Insurance Companies
The most common insurance companies we participate with are Metlife, Aetna, Guardian, Cigna, DentaQuest Choice, and there are many more but they must be PPO plans. You can call our office and we can help you in figuring out if we participate with your plan. For patients that are out of network as long as their insurance is a PPO they may still have benefits provided. We also offer the option to apply for CareCredit which allows them to pay for treatment over the course of a year at 0% interest. To expedite the processing of insurance claims we submit them electronically, along with any supporting paperwork. We are usually able to get a response within two weeks.
We Accept PPO’s
Patients should be aware when signing up for insurance that we accept only PPO’s. When choosing a plan you want to make sure you have a high enough maximum to cover the treatment that may be needed. If there is a high option plan available we recommend going with those. Waiting periods in a dental plan may also cause an issue; for example if you know you need to have a major procedure done right away the plan may require you to wait for a specific amount of time before they allow coverage for it. Missing Tooth Clauses can also create a major problem for patients. Patients trying to replace teeth that have been missing prior to getting their new insurance will not be allowed coverage for that treatment if a Missing Tooth Clause is present. Patients wanting orthodontic coverage must make sure they fall within the insurance eligibility parameters. There are usually age limitations and patients need to be aware of those.
Let Us Know If You Have Other Questions
We’re here to help. If you’re considering an insurance policy, you can come to us with questions. And if you’re wondering how you can best put your existing insurance policy to work, talk to us!
OUR BODIES ARE ECOSYSTEMS where a change in one area affects other areas. This connection is becoming clearer as scientists continue examining the links between oral health and cardiovascular health. Recent studies suggest that taking care of your gums through great oral hygiene could cut your risk of a heart attack or stroke!
Important Links Between Gum Health And Heart Health
Inflammation caused by gum disease could contribute to an increased risk for heart problems. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and gums that are infected or bleeding provide easy access for bacteria to get into the bloodstream. Once inside, certain types of bacteria cause low-level inflammation of blood vessels without causing a full-blown blood infection. Because of this, treatment is very difficult once the bacteria have become established. The constant low-level inflammation can induce atherosclerosis–the hardening of arterial walls–and lead to blockages.
Mom Was Right—An Ounce of Prevention…
Beyond diet and exercise, it’s hard to know what to do to prevent heart disease. However, gum disease and tooth decay are completely preventable!
Brush twice daily for two minutes, gently massaging the gums.
Floss once daily.
Brush or rinse with water after eating or drinking.
Don’t miss your regular cleanings and check-ups with us.
As such studies continue, it’s likely more evidence will be found linking gum disease and heart disease. In the meantime, there are already enough reasons to take charge of your oral health! Establishing good dental hygiene habits now and sticking to them will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and a host of other problems.
Stay Healthy For The People You Love
We’re proud to assist you in your pursuit of comprehensive, lasting health. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit.
Thank you for allowing us to be your lifelong health partner. We appreciate you!
SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN’T RESIST! It’s SO cheesy and saucy—right out of the oven! You dive in and take your first bite…
Uh oh! Too soon! You’ve got “pizza burn!”
Pizza Isn’t The Only Culprit
You’ve probably burned your mouth before on coffee, soup, and other scorching hot foods. Soon afterward, you may have noticed that the roof of your mouth, and perhaps your tongue, is very tender. In some cases, you may even have blisters! Unfortunately, your mouth will probably hurt for a few days. However, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and irritation.
How To Soothe Your Mouth And Help It Heal
Applying or sucking on ice can relieve the stinging. Gargling cold water or eating ice cream are other options.
Drinking milk can coat the scorched area.
An over-the-counter pain reliever can help, if the pain is really distracting.
Avoid acidic, crunchy, and other hot foods, or even very salty and spicy dressings. This will stop the burn from getting irritated further.
Squeezing Vitamin E from a capsule over the wound can speed up healing. It will regenerate new tissue and heal the wound.
Maintain good oral hygiene while your mouth is burnt, keeping it as clean as possible to promote healing and prevent further infection. Warm saline rinses can also be helpful.
Resist touching the burned area. This may be difficult, but by touching the affected area, the lesion may become irritated further.
If It’s Not Feeling Better In A Few Days, Call Us
Pizza-type burns tend to heal within three to seven days. If soreness and blistering continue beyond a week, please call us! In the meantime, have fun enjoying that delicious, cheesy pizza—that is, once it’s cool!
WE KNOW SOME OF YOU DON’T LIKE TO FLOSS. You may be surprised to hear us say, “we understand!” Flossing each day can be difficult. Perhaps you have sensitive gums, your mouth is small, or you feel like floss wrapped around your fingers cuts off your circulation. There are lots of seemingly good reasons not to floss—and as you can imagine, we’ve heard them all.
However, today there are options that can help make flossing easier.
Many, Many Varieties Of Floss
Try ribbon-style floss instead of thread-style. Try waxed versus unwaxed. Try one that’s specially designed to glide easily. Try a different thickness, or a different flavor. The type of floss you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact you’re doing it!
Consider Tools Like Flossers And Flossing Sticks
After trying several of the various options suggested above, if no brand or particular type of floss seems to be doing the trick for you, look into other tools that are designed to help.
Flossers and floss sticks eliminate the need to wrap floss around your fingers. These tools can also make it easier to reach back teeth without having to stick your hands in your mouth. They can also help you more easily maneuver the floss for better coverage.
The are many different tools and many different brands available to try. And again, which tool you use isn’t nearly as important as the fact you’re doing it!
Never Underestimate The Value Of Flossing!
Flossing is an essential part of effective, daily oral hygiene care. Flossing helps guard against gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. In addition to the woes of gum disease, some studies suggest that gum health is linked to systemic health issues including diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Make Flossing A Daily Priority
If you have questions about how to make flossing easier, please visit with us. We want to help you be successful.
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