Dental Tips Blog

Sep
10

Do You Have a Plan for Using Up Your Dental Benefits This Year?

Posted in Dental Costs

It feels like 2019 just got here, but it will be over within a few months. Your dental benefits will likely reset with the start of a new calendar year.

Here are a few ways to make the most of the dental plan you’re already paying for.

Schedule a Dental Cleaning and Checkup

Is anyone in your family due for another cleaning or checkup this year? Get it out of the way as soon as possible. If you need treatment, you’ll still have time to schedule the procedure so that this year’s remaining dental benefits cover a portion of the cost.

You’ll also be glad to have your family’s dental treatment all caught up before the rush of holiday shopping!

Split Up Dental Treatment Between 2019 and 2020

You don’t have to put off extensive dental treatment just because your insurance won’t cover it all right now. You can still make the most of your benefits by getting some things done this year. Make plans to address the rest next year when your benefits reset.

Find Out What Extra Preventative Procedures Are Covered

Even if you don’t need urgent dental treatment this year you can still take advantage of your insurance benefits.

Contact your insurer directly or ask your dental office what other procedures are covered that you may not be aware of. For example, maybe you could use a new full set of x-rays. Get those while they’re 100% this year and you’ll be all caught up.

Maybe you qualify for an in-office fluoride treatment. Perhaps your kids qualify for preventative dental sealants.

Ask your local dental office for more ways to take advantage of your remaining dental benefits while they’re still available.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Sep
10

5 Ways You Can Afford a Full Mouth Restoration

You may need to completely rebuild your smile if:

  • It’s been damaged by cancer or trauma
  • Your teeth are worn down from teeth grinding
  • You are missing multiple teeth

But how can you afford all the treatment needed to restore the function, comfort, and beauty of your smile? There are at least five possible ways you can do so.

Contact Your Insurance Providers

Reach out to both your dental and medical insurance providers. You might be surprised to learn that some procedures not covered by dental insurance may be covered by your medical insurer.

Once you know what you’re covered for, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be expected to pay out of your own pocket.

Ask About Dental Financing Plans

Need a little financing help? Your local dental office can explain options like CareCredit or a convenient in-house payment plan.

Consider Treatment Alternatives

Your dentist can recommend cheaper treatment alternatives that will help your teeth function until you can afford the better procedures.

For example, you might wear a partial denture while you wait a year to save up for dental implants.

Budget to Boost Your Savings

Passing on a few luxuries for now so that you can put the money towards fixing your teeth is a worthwhile sacrifice. Sticking to a budget will help you save up faster.

Pick Up Extra Small Jobs

You might try your hand at online freelancing or offer to babysit your neighbor’s kids in order to earn a little cash to put towards your major smile restoration project.

Visit a dentist near you to find out what kind of treatment you need to restore your smile and easy ways to afford it.

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

Sep
10

5 Questions Older Adults Have About Their Oral Health

Posted in Teeth Whitening

The aging process brings along a host of bizarre and sometimes scary changes. Your dental health is no exception. Here are five questions you may ask as the years go by and the answers you’ll need.

Question #1: “Why are my teeth so sensitive?”

Gum recession, aged restorations, and thin tooth enamel can all contribute to more sensitive teeth. Lots of fluoride and a desensitizing toothpaste can provide you some relief. Avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks, as well.

Question #2: “How can I get whiter teeth?”

Teeth darken with age from stain and thinning enamel. Professional teeth whitening can help. You might get the best results, however, from masking your tooth color completely with veneers or crowns.

Question #3: “What can I do about dry mouth?”

Saliva productions slows down with age and taking certain medications can make the situation worse. Stay hydrated with water and chew on sugar-free mints or gum to stimulate as much natural saliva flow as possible.

Question #4: “Will I need a denture?”

Not everyone loses their teeth due to age. If you take good care of your teeth and gums, you may be able to avoid the need for a denture.

Question #5: “Is there any way to avoid the need for dental treatment?”

Visit your dentist for regular checkups. Frequent dental cleanings and routine x-rays will help you detect and treat problems before they have the chance to worsen. This will help you avoid the need for complicated and uncomfortable dental treatment in your later years.

Visit your local dentist to get the answers to other question you may have about aging and your dental health.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Sep
9

Why You Need a Crown Instead of a Filling

Posted in Crowns

Getting a dental crown typically involves more of an investment in time and money than getting a filling. Even so, there are some good reasons why covering a tooth may be better than getting a smaller restoration.

Crowns Provide Better Support

Every time you fill a tooth, it gets a little weaker. Fillings replace some tooth structure after a cavity strikes, but they don’t really make the tooth stronger. Crowns, on the other hand, are designed to reinforce the whole tooth from the outside.

If your tooth has already been weakened by multiple fillings, then getting one more isn’t necessarily the best idea. Your dentist may recommend a dental crown to help keep your tooth in one piece.

The Decay or Damage May Be Too Large for a Filling

A typical filling can sufficiently repair small holes in a tooth. But a tooth can’t hold up if it’s more filling than tooth.

Crowns are the better option if your tooth is missing a large piece or has an extremely large cavity.

Crowns Seal Out Decay

Dental fillings are supposed to create a tight seal with the enamel, but they can have some weak spots around the edges. Crown margins, or edges, are usually located below or just at the gum line where they have another layer of protection against tooth decay. As long as you carefully brush and floss your crown, you can avoid developing new decay underneath.

Crowns Prevent Sensitivity

A crown provides significant insulation against temperature changes. Teeth worn down by acids or erosion may have lost a lot of enamel. Crowns can protect those teeth from the elements better than fillings can.

Learn more about the benefits of crowns by talking with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Sep
9

What Kinds of Anesthesia/Sedation Are Available in the Dental Office?

Are you a nervous dental patient? Do you hate the idea of “drilling and filling?”

Dental anesthesia is your answer. The levels and types of anesthesia vary by practice. Additionally, what kind of anesthesia you need is determined by the procedure you’re having and the severity of your anxiety.

Here are some of the most common types of anesthesia and sedation options you’ll encounter in dentistry.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia refers to the injections that directly numb your teeth or gums. Some injections can make one whole side of your face go numb while others focus on just a small portion of your mouth.

Local anesthesia agents can include:

  • Lidocaine
  • Septocaine
  • Bupivacaine
  • Prilocaine
  • Mepivacaine

Light Dental Sedation

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a very light sedative. You inhale this gas in a controlled dose to help you relax. It is instantly reversible and has no lasting side-effects.

Moderate Dental Sedation

Most dentists can write a prescription for oral sedatives. You take the medication before treatment to help you relax in advance and doze your way through the procedure.

A similar and sometimes slightly stronger level of sedation can be achieved when administered through an IV. This is very common in lengthy procedures such as multiple wisdom tooth extractions.

General Anesthesia

Often referred to as hospital sleep sedation, this kind of sedation is the one that will make you completely unconscious. Most general dental practices aren’t equipped to provide general anesthesia. This kind is best suited to procedures like oral surgery so oral surgeons and dentists who work out of hospitals may be able to provide general anesthesia or have a licensed anesthetist that does.

Ask a dentist near you about sedation options available that can improve your next dental procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Sep
9

Pros and Cons of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Posted in Orthodontics

The hard work is far from over once your braces come off.

You may need to wear an aligner for some time after orthodontic treatment to ensure that your teeth stay in their new position. Otherwise, your teeth are apt to drift back into their old locations.

A permanent retainer is one treatment option that can prevent your time in braces from going to waste.

Permanent retainers are thin metal wires that are attached to the back of upper and/or lower front teeth. They have both benefits and disadvantages you should know about before getting one.

Pros of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Permanent retainers have significantly more advantages than disadvantages. These include:

  • Not visible to others
  • No risk of forgetting to put them in each day
  • No risk of misplacing your losing or damaging your retainer
  • Can be worn short-term or permanently
  • Easy for a dentist to remove
  • Harmless to tooth enamel
  • Preserves the investment of time and money you put into your orthodontic care 

Cons of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Since a permanent retainer is cemented to your teeth, there’s no way you as the patient can take it off. This is the main reason fixed or bonded retainers have some drawbacks.

You may have difficulty cleaning around the fixed wire. You’ll have to use a floss threader or water flosser to clean your teeth like you did with braces. Some people find that a permanent retainer makes their teeth hurt. Others suffer from heavy buildup of tartar around the wire.

The good news is that if a permanent retainer causes you trouble, your dentist can easily remove it. Ask your orthodontist which kind of retainer is best for your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118

Sep
9

Immediate Dental Implant After a Tooth Extraction—Is It Right for You?

Posted in Dental Implants

“Immediate” dental implants are tooth replacements that are placed on the same day as or within days of a tooth extraction.

The implant itself is a slender biocompatible rod that serves as a tooth root. It’s set into an opening that’s created within the jawbone. When a tooth is extracted, then most of that opening is already prepared and ready to receive the implant.

Why should you think about getting an implant to replace a tooth on the same day it’s pulled?

The Benefits of Immediate Implants

Getting an implant soon after extracting a tooth means fewer surgeries and less recovery time. If you need any bone grafting to create a stronger foundation for your implant, then it can usually be done right at the same time as your extraction.

Some immediate dental implants can even be restored with crowns on the same day they’re placed. This eliminates the need to wait for months between appointments with bulky and costly temporary restorations.

Immediate Implants Are Safe!

Proper preparation and careful planning can make an immediate implant procedure perfectly safe and successful. Your implant dentist will take x-rays and other scans of your jaw to make sure that you qualify before proceeding with treatment.

Before you have the extraction and surgery, the implant dentist will instruct you on promoting a healthy recovery to ensure that your immediate implant heals successfully.

Do you Qualify for Immediate Implants?

The best way to find out whether immediate implants (or any implant, for that matter) are right for you is to schedule a dental implant consultation. Contact a local implant dentist in your area to learn more about your options.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

Sep
9

How Long Should Your Denture Last You?

Posted in Dentures

Most dentures last, on average, five to ten years. It’s hard to say exactly how long your individual denture will last since there are many factors that influence how well the materials hold up or changes in your mouth that occur. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Your Own Oral Health

The health of your gums and jawbone can affect how long a particular denture fits you. If you have any conditions that weaken the bone in your jaw, then you may quickly find that your denture is too loose.

You may also need to make some early changes to your prosthesis if your gums become inflamed due to disease or poor hygiene.

Normal Wear and Tear

Dentures wear down just like natural teeth do. If you have a habit of grinding your dentures or using them to chew very hard foods, then you’ll likely find that they need attention within just a couple of years of getting them.

How Well You Care for Your Prosthesis

While it’s true that your denture can’t erode away from decay as teeth do, it can slowly disintegrate if you don’t take good care of it.

For example, letting your denture dry out can make it warp and cause permanent damage. Your denture can easily dry out if you don’t soak it in water or a denture solution at night.

Damage to Your Plate

Have you dropped your denture at all in the past year? Even a seemingly small accident can alter your bite and change the fit of your plate, warranting replacement.

Have your denture checked annually for cracks, wear, and signs of microbial buildup. Regular cleaning and repairs can help your denture to last as long as possible!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770) 926-0021

Sep
9

Deep Gum Cleaning—What You Need to Know

Posted in Gum Disease

Your dentist just told you that you need to have a “deep cleaning” and you’re terrified.

But the more you know about this kind of gum therapy, the less you’ll have to fear. Your dentist most likely prescribed the deep cleaning because your gums show signs of inflammation and infection.

Deep Cleanings Can Save Your Teeth

Gum tissue swells in response to the presence of plaque. As bacterial growth advances, the infection breaks down bone tissue around teeth. This creates pockets between the gums and tooth roots, where more germs collect.

A “deep cleaning” is when the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from the surfaces of your roots inside the pockets.

The purpose of deep cleanings is to provide a smooth base for the gum tissues to start healing and reattaching to. A deep cleaning is the first step to restoring the health of your gums.

Left untreated, gum disease can worsen to the point that teeth get loose and fall out.

Deep Cleanings Don’t Hurt

You’ll be numbed up for the cleaning procedure. Afterwards, your gums may feel a bit sore and your tooth roots might ache slightly from having the buildup removed. Overall, however, it’s not a traumatic experience.

How to Avoid Deep Cleanings

If you take measures to prevent gum disease beforehand, you can avoid the need for having such procedures. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to slow down the development of plaque bacteria that cause gum inflammation.

Ask your local dentist for a comprehensive gum health evaluation to learn more about your need for gum therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Sep
9

4 Affordable Cosmetic Dental Treatments

Does cosmetic dentistry sound like something that’s out of your reach? You might be surprised to learn just how affordable it can be.

Tooth Contouring

Your dentist can make subtle and gentle changes to the shape of your tooth enamel in a quick buffing and polishing procedure. Since tooth contouring doesn’t involve any dental materials, it’s extremely affordable. It’s a good way to make front teeth smoother and look more uniform in size.

Dental Bonding

Do you have any unsightly gaps or chips in your smile? A touch of filling material could be just enough to patch up the empty space. Bonding is very cost-effective and fast. You may not even need local anesthetic (numbing) to have your teeth bonded.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits

If you’re going to bleach your teeth, do it the right way the first time instead of spending hundreds on unsuccessful over-the-counter products. Professional take-home whitening kits are an effective and affordable.

Dental Crowns

Crowns aren’t always affordable as a mere cosmetic treatment. If, however, you need a dental crown as part of a restorative treatment, then your dental insurance may cover a porcelain cap that both repairs and enhances your tooth’s appearance.

How to Afford Cosmetic Dentistry

The key to affording cosmetic treatments is breaking up your procedures into manageable goals. You don’t have to do it all at once! Prioritize the procedure you want to have done first and put your funds toward that. After you’ve saved up a little more money, put it towards meeting your next milestone.

Ask your cosmetic dentist about a convenient payment plan that can make your next cosmetic dental procedure an affordable goal.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

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