Dental Tips Blog

Jan
4

Will My Insurance Cover an FMR?

“FMR” is the term used to describe full mouth reconstruction or restoration. Your dentist or oral surgeon may plan out a series of treatments that make up one plan with the aim of rebuilding your smile as a whole.

It’s not necessarily an optional procedure. You get an FMR because your health and circumstances demand it. While many patients opt for a smile makeover to enhance their appearance, an FMR has very different goals.

Before you start planning your procedures, you want to know how much insurance will pick up.

What Insurance May Cover

If damage to your smile has resulted in:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Chronic pain

Then treatment is medically-necessary and urgent. Fortunately, this is the sort of treatment your insurance company should do well at covering. What is less certain is whether they will cover procedures that have purely cosmetic value.

What Should You Do?

Take the initiative to find out what your insurance benefits are. Don’t let those guidelines dictate the treatment you accept, however. Your dental office may be able to request an estimate of coverage for a procedure that isn’t clearly stated.

Visit your dentist for an examination to start planning your FMR. He or she will help you prioritize care so that the biggest issues are addressed first. Getting your mouth to a point where you can speak, smile, and eat comfortably is the first step. Later on, you can plan for other procedures to enhance the appearance of your smile and decide whether those are worth paying out-of-pocket for.

You may be surprised to learn how many treatments have overlapping medical and cosmetic benefits, making you eligible for insurance coverage. Ask your dentist for more information on planning an FMR.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Jan
4

What Happens When You Get a Dental Crown

Posted in Crowns

The famous gold teeth of dental lore are the forerunners to today’s sleek and comfortable dental caps. While dental crowns can still be made out of gold, most patients seek out restorations made from more life-like materials like porcelain.

But you’ve probably wondered more than once: how is a crown placed?

First of all, you visit your dentist to find out if a crown is even the best option for your tooth. He or she will help you decide on a material that best suits the needs of your smile.

Appointment #1

To get started, the tooth is numbed with anesthetic and reshaped so it will fit under a “cap.” Next, a series of impressions is taken to make a mold for the crown and to get an idea of how your teeth fit together when you bite. This ensures your restoration feels natural when you chew on it. Afterwards, your dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the exposed tooth.

The whole first appointment usually takes less than an hour. Within two weeks, the dental lab will have finished up your final crown and your dentist will call you in to have it placed.

Appointment #2

This appointment should be even shorter than the first. Your dentist will lift off the temporary crown, check the fit of the new one, and then cement it in place. Once it’s bonded, the fit will be checked and adjusted again.

You’ll leave with some instructions for special care in the early days of getting a crown. Make sure to ask your dentist for suggestions on making your crown last as long as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
River Ranch Dental
203 George Hopper Rd #100
Midlothian, TX 76065
(469) 672-4245

Jan
4

These Signs Could Mean That You Have Denture Stomatitis

Posted in Dentures

While this may be the first time you’re hearing about denture stomatitis, odds are good that you have heard of thrush before. A thrush infection can occur in anyone with a weakened immune system. But it is actually most common among denture wearers.

Thrush is an infection resulting from an excessive growth of a yeast called Candida albicans. This fungus is present in everyone’s mouths but it tends to take over when bacterial populations are out of balance or oral hygiene is poor…and often under dentures.

The warm moist space between your gums and a denture makes a prime place for this yeast to thrive in. So, if you wear one, here are some signs that you could have a classic case of thrush.

You…

  • Don’t remove your denture for daily cleaning
  • Don’t allow your mouth to “rest” or “breathe” each day
  • Notice redness under your denture
  • Have sore spots at the corners of your mouth
  • Have a denture that isn’t fitting right these days, and actually hurts a little

Use of an inhaler also ups your chances that denture discomfort is connected to thrush. It doesn’t take much for you dentist to diagnose denture-related stomatitis. A look at your gums and a few questions about your denture hygiene are usually all it takes, but a lab test can also confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for thrush may involve a prescription medication. But the best thing to do starting out is simply to stop wearing your denture so much. Red and angry gums are saying that they’ve had enough! Your dentist will review with you some instructions for keeping your denture clean and comfortable.

Contact your dentist if it seems that your denture could be contributing to a case of thrush.

Posted on behalf of:
Basin Dentistry
5016 Briarwood Ave
Midland, TX 79707
(462) 699-7334

Jan
4

Mouthwash and Your Kids – 4 Things Every Parent Should Know

Mouth rinse is a common find in most American households. Adults love it for the instant minty freshness and patients of all ages can benefit from the disease-fighting properties.

But is mouthwash safe for your kids to use? Here are four things to consider before letting your children start rinsing.

  1. Age Matters

Swallowing too much fluoride can permanently damage developing tooth enamel. Your child shouldn’t get sick from swallowing a small amount of fluoride-containing rinse, but their teeth could have cosmetic issues later on if this becomes an ongoing habit.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends kids don’t start rinsing until they’re at least six years old. This is when most kids are coordinated enough to spit out a mouthwash instead of swallowing it.

  1. Mouthwash Is Not A Substitute

A rinse can be a helpful additive to the brushing routine by removing leftover bits of debris and delivering extra fluoride. But keep in mind that it is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Make sure your kids are doing well with hygiene before you give them liberty to use a rinse.

  1. Buy A Rinse Designed For Kids

Colorful graphics on the bottle help get kids excited about their oral hygiene. Fun colors and tasty flavors also make it appealing. Child mouth rinses are alcohol-free, making them safer and more pleasant.

  1. No Unsupervised Rinsing

Keep track of what kind of rinse your child uses, how they use it, and how often. Put a bottle of mouthwash out of reach entirely if your child is still learning how to use it safely. Unsupervised, your child could swallow an unsafe amount of the product.

Consult your pediatric dentist before introducing a mouthwash to make sure your child is ready.

Posted on behalf of:
The Grove Family Dentistry
6200 Center St Suite I
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 350-8592

Jan
4

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Yes and no. That’s because gum disease falls under two major categories. One is reversible. The other is not.

Gingivitis

Gum inflammation usually starts in a superficial infection called gingivitis. When the gums around teeth get irritated by dental plaque, they turn red and a bit puffy. At this level, this beginning stage of gum disease is easily reversed by removing the plaque from the teeth. The swelling goes away when oral hygiene Improves.

Periodontitis

Take things a bit further, and the situation gets more complicated. Deeper layers of gum tissue are made up of ligaments that hold your teeth in place. When these are affected by inflammation, they can start breaking down in a condition called periodontitis. These tissues don’t grow back on their own.

To make things worse, the infection can travel yet farther into the bone surrounding tooth roots. The bone that disappears from gum disease doesn’t grow back on its own. As a result, teeth can eventually fall out. Chronic periodontitis has well-researched links to inflammation and infection in the body, being implicated in problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart disease

Get Rid Of Gum Disease

If you just have a mild case of gingivitis, that can go away simply by upping your oral hygiene efforts. But to stop periodontitis in its tracks and restore the damage done, you need to see a dental professional.

Don’t be suckered in by claims of herbs, oils, and other at-home remedies for treating gum disease. You’ll just be wasting time unless it’s treated at the source with tools and medications only a dentist can recommend.

Suspect your gums may be in danger? Contact a dentist near you to get a complete gum health evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

 

Jan
4

Could Full Mouth Implants Save You Money?

Posted in Dental Implants

Implants are notoriously expensive. Many insurances provide only limited coverage. Maybe your provider will partially cover them but provides complete coverage for a denture.

If you don’t feel your insurance will help out, you should still think about investing in getting full mouth implants instead of a denture.

How is this worth it?

Implants Meet Real Needs

Don’t be fooled into thinking that what your insurance covers is what your mouth needs. Dental implants do far more than just make a smile pretty. They also offer a very practical solution in terms of function.

Dental implants are meant to be permanent. No other restoration comes with that sort of security. It’s a pleasant surprise if a denture lasts more than five years.

Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. This makes cleaning them a lot simpler than cleaning a denture. You can live without the fear of something falling out and embarrassing you and easily eat the foods you love.

Implants are a one-time investment. Sit down and do the math. How much longer do you plan to live in need of functioning teeth? What will all those years add up to in terms of cost for maintaining smile? Adjusting dentures can be costly and they need replacement in a matter of years.

Bear in mind, too, that full mouth implants don’t mean getting an implant in every single place where you used to have a tooth. Rather, systems like Hybridge and implant-supported dentures could end up saving you thousands as you enjoy a strong smile for years to come. Discuss your options with your dentist to get an idea of what’s right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
ABQ Dentures
2010 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112
(505) 933-7794

Jan
4

Stay Far Away from DIY Cavity Remedies, Dental Experts Advise

Often motivated by fear or a lack of time, a few brave souls try treating and preventing tooth decay through at-home methods they discovered on the Internet.

If you’re one to take your dental health into your own hands, you are to be commended for your initiative. But a word of caution is in order as most DIY dental remedies come at a steeper price than what you’d pay in a dental office.

Preventing Decay With Diet

Certain dental health advocates point to virtually cavity-free civilizations that don’t eat sugar as a sign that the correct diet can eliminate the need for fillings.

Cavities start when tooth enamel is demineralized by acids. These acids do come from broken-down sugars we eat. But actual tooth decay is propagated by bacteria found in every single human’s mouth.

As of yet, no human has been successfully in totally killing off these cavity-causing germs. Starving the bacteria through a strict low-carb diet can certainly help. But it isn’t always practical to go to dieting extremes which may cost a lot of money and time and impact your family’s nutritional health.

What About Oil-Pulling?

There are no scientifically documented benefits that oil-pulling will reduce decay. If you find that you enjoy the practice, that’s fine, you’re probably not in harm’s way. Just don’t let the oil-pulling craze distract you from methods that are proven to work: brushing, flossing, and fluoride.

DIY Filling Kits

These kits only provide temporary relief and protection for your tooth but should never be used to forestall getting professional tooth restoration treatment such as a composite filling or a dental crown. The cavity can still spread, potentially reaching a point of abscess.

Talk with your local dentist to learn some practical steps you can take at home to prevent decay.

Posted on behalf of:
Preston Sherry Dental Associates
6134 Sherry Ln
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 691-7371

Jan
4

Is It a Good Idea to Brush Your Teeth Right After Eating?

A lot of people enjoy freshening up their smiles after lunch. Dentists recommend brushing at least two, if not, more times per day to help prevent cavities and tooth decay which can lead to the need for dental fillings, dental crowns and other tooth restorations. But you could be in a dangerous habit if you aren’t timing your brushing sessions correctly.

Germs, Germs . . .

Your mouth is loaded with all kinds of bacteria, good and bad. The bad germs feed on the foods you eat with sugar being their all-time favorite. The simpler the sugar, the better. So they really go to town on sweet drinks, desserts, and candy. These bacteria then produce high levels of an acidic waste product, especially when they’re actively converting sugar to fuel.

An Acidic Situation

Speaking of acid, your food itself probably contains more acid than you’re aware of. Sugar, fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar are acidic, and carbohydrates break down into more acidic sugars.

All of this acid activity means that the pH levels of your mouth drop into a dangerously low acid zone for some time after each meal.

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body but acids can erode enamel. Acid-producing germs in particular are responsible for wearing down enamel to the point of cavity formation.

When Should You Brush?

Brushing after meals is great for removing debris and odors and for reducing the amount of harmful bacterial. However, most dental experts urge caution and recommend waiting a half hour before brushing. This allows your body’s naturally-basic saliva to neutralize acids. Otherwise, brushing could just serve to spread acids around to other teeth. It also helps to rinse with water before you brush.

Shore up your enamel against acid attacks by getting plenty of fluoride. Your dentist has plenty of tips for protecting your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Atencio Family Dentistry
3773 Baker Ln #3
Reno, NV 89509
(775) 829-8684

Jan
4

4 Braces Alternatives to Suit Your Busy Lifestyle

Posted in Braces

You’d love to have a straighter smile, of course. You know that there are many health benefits to getting braces. But you also know that you just don’t have the time to care for full set of wires and brackets. Besides that, you’re looking at an average of two years of treatment.

Happily, you’ve got some other potential options to consider.

  1. Retainers

If your teeth don’t have far to go, the simple and cost-effective alternative is to just wear a retainer. Retainers are typically meant to hold teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. But with orthodontist approval, you may be able to just use a retainer on its own.

  1. Clear Aligners

Invisalign is probably the most well-known brand of clear dental aligners. Aligner trays are custom-fitted to hug each tooth and encourage teeth into straighter alignment. These nearly invisible trays are removable, making for convenient cleaning and eating. Treatment can last as long as braces, but that depends on how complicated your case is.

  1. Six Month Smiles

This is a faster version of braces that focuses on correcting just the teeth that show when you smile. Wearing Six Month Smiles or other types of “Fast Braces” may get you results in as soon as four months, but it usually takes six to eight. This procedure uses “clear” materials for low visibility.

  1. Veneers

As long as your tooth alignment issues don’t pose any health risks, you may be able to take the fast cosmetic route. A couple of well placed veneers can provide a false front that makes your teeth look wider, smoother, whiter, and more even. A single veneer is an instant fix that takes only two visits to complete.

Talk with your dentist to find out which orthodontic method is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

Jan
4

There’s More Than Meets the Eye in a Beautiful Smile

A perfectly straight white smile has become a symbol of successfully achieving the American dream. Gorgeous teeth are an indication of growing up with every access to dental care, great health, and beauty.

But if your teeth are less than stellar right now, why should you care? Focusing on how your smile looks could seem pretty pointless in view of everything else you have to worry about…right?

Consider, however, a few good reasons why you should consider improving the appearance of your teeth through cosmetic dental procedures.

  1. Your Teeth Will Be Healthier

This is the most important reason to enhance your teeth with a little cosmetic dental treatment. You wouldn’t try to cover up a serious mold problem in your home by hanging a few nice pictures. Likewise, you can’t patch on a pretty smile without addressing the core issues. A beautiful smile starts on the inside.

By pursuing cosmetic dentistry, your teeth will also experience the reinforcing benefits.

  1. You Will Look Younger

Virtually every society associates a loss of teeth with aging. A gap in the smile often denotes a lack of intelligence. Long or crooked teeth can indicate evil intent. While such stigmas aren’t true, a beautiful smile will bring your overall looks closer to the ideal of human health and vitality.

If you want to take years off your looks, investing in your smile is the longest-lasting way to do so.

  1. Your Smile Is Your Most Important Feature

Bright eyes, perfect hair, nice muscle tone, eyebrows-on-point – all of that goes out the window once someone notices that your smile is dull, stained, or uneven. Don’t underestimate the power of a sparkling grin!

Ask your dentist which cosmetic procedures could make the biggest impact on your life.

Posted on behalf of:
Enamel Dentistry
2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 717-5315

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