Dental Tips Blog

Sep
12

How to Avoid Outrageous Dental Costs

The costs for having your teeth professionally cleaned and having procedures done at the dentist vary. According to a Gallup poll, 35 percent of Americans have not seen a dentist in the last 12 months due to the cost of dental care. Some dental insurance companies cover the entire cost of a routine cleaning, but only cover a small fraction of higher-cost procedures. Many private insurances cover the majority of your routine cleaning, leaving a small out-of-pocket co-pay but offer no assistance towards further procedures.

Don’t let these realities scare you away from seeing your dentist – there are ways of alleviating the cost of dental care. Enough cannot be said about prevention. You are the number one source for quality oral health. The easiest way to prevent a large dental bill is to simply take care of your teeth at home. Responsible oral hygiene consists of regularly brushing and flossing to clean your teeth and prevent the build up of damaging plaque. It sounds simple, and it is!

Another component of alleviating the cost of dental care is to take care of small problems before they grow into big ones. The $100 you would have paid to have your cavity filled can easily become a $1200 root canal. Skip your $80 regular cleaning and you can face $2000 or more in treatment for gingivitis. Dr. Matthew Messina with the American Dental Association puts it perfectly when he says, “An abscess that lands you in the emergency room will set you back hundreds of dollars for the visit, and you’ll still have to go see a dentist because emergency rooms don’t handle dental work.” It is best to have minor issues taken care of before they become big, and expensive, ones.

Let’s face it, no one likes to receive any type of bill in the mail. But you have the ability to lessen your dental bill with or without good dental insurance. Practicing good oral hygiene at home, seeing your Marietta dentist regularly, and taking care of small dental problems when they arise will put you on the path to good oral health and more money in your pocket.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Sep
12

Oral Health – What To Do Between Dentist Visits

Preventive dental care is everything that you should be doing during the time between your visits to your Marietta dentist. These simple preventive measures can promote dental and gum health in just about anyone.

Brushing your teeth and flossing are two of the simplest forms of dental care and can be done by almost everyone. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning (preferably after your first meal) and once before bed. However, dentists do encourage everyone to brush after every meal for optimal oral health. Brushing removes the bits of food from your teeth that are left behind after eating. If left for an extended amount of time, the acids, sugars, and chemicals in foods can start the break down of enamel. Brushing also helps to clean the gum area as well as your tongue, preventing unwanted bad breath.

Flossing your teeth is equally important, if not more so. Flossing teeth removes the plaque that builds up around the teeth and the gum area. Plaque is defined as “the complex bacterial ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces between cleanings.” Plaque is what causes tooth decay, gingivitis, oral disease, and tooth loss. Flossing is the only proper way to remove damaging plaque, and many dentists consider flossing to be the #1 oral hygiene procedure.

A healthy diet is possibly the most under-considered type of preventive dental care. A diet that is low in sugar, carbonated sodas, and acidity is best for your overall health – especially your oral health. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth. We all have to eat, but healthy choices promote healthy teeth.

With these three habits, your teeth can be kept to optimal health between your dentist visits. Of course, it is very important to schedule (and keep!) your dentist visits twice a year. Your dentist and dental hygienist will clean your teeth thoroughly at your visit, but it’s up to you to keep them clean the rest of the time.

Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman

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Sep
12

Oral Cancer Screening

Posted in Oral Cancer

It has been estimated by the Oral Cancer Foundation that almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year (2013). Oral cancer can affect the mouth, tongue, throat, and the tonsils. While tobacco is the main cause of oral cancer, heavy alcohol use and exposure to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are also significant contributors. With the number of diagnoses increasing every year, it is important to discuss the benefits of oral cancer screening with your dentist.

Yearly exams by your Marietta dentist can increase the odds of early detection. The oral cancer screening is done in your dentist’s office and can be performed during your regular check-up. Your dentist will use a special device (such as ViziLite or VELscope) that will shine a light into your mouth. The light helps your dentist detect cancerous cells on your gums before they are visible to the human eye. Your dentist will be able to give you immediate results from this screening and will discuss all options should your screening reveal anything abnormal.

Many insurance providers offer coverage for oral cancer screening. You also have the option of using your health savings account or flex spending account to cover the costs. If your insurance does not cover oral cancer screening and you do you have an HAS or FSA, please speak with your dentist. Many screenings are available at an affordable price.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates

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Aug
9

Having a Tooth Extracted

Your dental care provider will always work with you to safe and restore your teeth to a healthy functioning condition, but sometimes teeth are decayed beyond repair, have severe gum disease or are impacted. In these cases, only one solution is available that can eliminate your pain and the area of infection, and that is having the tooth extracted.

Whether you are having one tooth removed or multiple teeth extracted, most procedures are fairly quick. More time is spent making sure you are comfortable through the use of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, or sedation services than are actually used to remove the infected tooth. Patients can rest assured that their dentist will take close care to make the visit as pleasant as possible.

Most extractions are very straightforward and easy to perform. In some cases where wisdom teeth are impacted, the removal of the tooth is a little more involved. For surgical removals such as these, most patients prefer to have a sleep dentistry appointment that uses sedation medication to help them “sleep” through the procedure.

After your tooth is extracted, your Marietta dentist will provide you with home care instructions that aid in the proper healing and recovery of your extraction site. Things like smoking or drinking through a straw should be avoided completely, as these habits will interfere with the healing or your extraction site and may lead to a condition known as dry socket. Dry sockets can be very uncomfortable. Let your dentist know if you experience any pain or swelling that does not subside within 1 or 2 days so that a medication can be placed in the extraction site. With proper care and maintenance, most patients feel back to normal within a few days.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental

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Aug
9

How Long Can You Wait to Fill a Cavity?

Posted in Fillings

Cavities come in all shapes and sizes. Some patients come to the dentist specifically for the treatment of pain associated with a cavity, while other people are unaware that any cavities exist until their diagnosed using x-rays or found during an exam. Dental decay can spread very quickly, eroding through the tooth enamel and into the inner portion of the tooth known as the dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and decays at a faster rate. Once decay has worked through the dentin, then the nerve of the tooth becomes infected with bacteria and causes abscesses, resulting in the need for root canal therapy.

It’s easy to choose to have a cavity repaired when the tooth hurts, or the decay causes visible signs that are aesthetically displeasing, such as black areas on the teeth. A large portion of small cavities have no symptoms at all, and won’t be seen in the mouth until the decay is so severe that the tooth risks being lost for good. Many patients ask how long these small cavities can wait before having the tooth restored.

While it may not be your first choice, the best step is to fill the cavity as soon as possible. Even if the tooth doesn’t hurt, decay can spread to adjacent teeth and destroy a tooth sooner than you would think. By treating cavities as early as possible, fillings are smaller and healthier tooth structure can be maintained. Treatment is faster, more affordable, and more comfortable for the patient when it is performed in the early stages of a cavity. See your Marietta dentist regularly to help prevent tooth decay and catch it before it becomes a problem later on.

Posted on behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Aug
8

Repairing Broken or Chipped Teeth

At some point in most people’s lives, they will experience a chipped or broken tooth.  Advancements in cosmetic dentistry have given dentists many options to repair the tooth so that it is both functional and attractive in appearance.  These options include bonding, crowns and veneers.  The option selected by your Marietta dentist will depend on the where and how badly the tooth is chipped or broken.

In bonding, your cosmetic dentist will use a tooth colored composite resin to replace the area of the tooth that is damaged.  Once the area is prepped, the composite resin is placed on the tooth and then shaped to mimic the area that was damaged.  Once the shape is correct and the color is matched, an ultraviolet light is applied to the area to harden the composite resin.  The results are usually excellent with the repairs still holding up after 10 years in some patients!

When a crown is necessary, your dentist will need to grind down the tooth and make an impression of the mouth.  A dental lab will then create a new tooth or “cap” using a variety of materials including metal, resin and ceramic.  The crown is then glued to the remaining part of the tooth that has been ground down.   Typically most crowns last 15 years, but many are still performing well 20 + years later.

In some cases veneers can be used to conceal small chips in front teeth.  Your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the tooth and make an impression of the tooth.  A dental lab will then use the impression to create a thin veneer, which is then further fitted to the tooth by your dentist.  Once installed, the veneer will provide years of service to the patient.

A dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry will recommend the best option to repair broken or missing teeth based on their experience as well as the patient’s needs.  Broken or chipped teeth are easily corrected in an economical manner, using bonding, crowns or veneers!

Aug
8

Dental Veneers

Posted in Veneers

Dental veneers are a great option available to improve the appearance of teeth that are uneven, broken, chipped, worn down, or badly stained or discolored.  Unlike caps, which cover the entire tooth veneers only are applied to the front surface of the tooth which is visible.  Made with either porcelain or a resin composite, the veneers are custom made in a dental lab for individual patients.  It is also possible to have multiple veneers installed at one time!

The process in getting dental veneers is easy with the first step being an initial consultation with a qualified Marietta dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry to determine if veneers are recommended.  During the exam, the dentist will recommend either porcelain or resin composite veneers based on their experience and the individual patient’s teeth.  Once it is determined if the patient is a viable candidate for veneers, a follow up appointment will be made, where the dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the tooth surface and make an impression of the tooth.

The tooth impression is then sent to a dental lab, which makes the veneer.  In most cases it usually takes the dental lab a couple of weeks to make the veneers.  A follow up appointment is made where the dentist will further prep the tooth to receive the veneer.  Often the dentist will perform a number of minor adjustments to the shape of the veneer to achieve a proper fit.  Once the fit is perfect and the tooth is prepped, the dentist will cement the veneer in place and that the bite of the veneer has not been impacted.

Once completed, the improvements to the appearance of the patient’s teeth are immediate!  Dental veneers are an affordable, painless and easy means to correct the appearance of teeth that are uneven, broken, chipped, worn down, or badly stained or discolored.

Posted on behalf of Gilreath Dental Associates

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