Maximizing your dental insurance benefits

How much money is left unused in my dental insurance plan?

We get this question frequently from patients – especially in November and December. Often there isn’t much money left and if there is there is not much in the way of doctor availability to complete treatment need prior to the end of the calendar year. Obviously for patients who want to get the most from their dental benefits, that can be a frustrating prospect. Honestly, it is frustrating for us as well. Our team always strives to meet patient needs and scheduling is sometimes the biggest hurdle.

For this reason, we thought it would be great to bring it to your attention now. If you have benefits you would like to use for treatment before the end of the year, September and October are the ideal times to call us to get quotations and appointments . Once the holiday season is upon us, scheduling is complicated, lives are busier and money is tighter with the gift giving season on the horizon.

If your benefits are depleted for the year, we make a good effort to try to send out pre-certifications the last week in December. The pre-certification helps remind our patients of outstanding dental work and allows them to see how much help they will get from their insurer.


If you are in need of services and have questions about the benefits remaining on your dental insurance, give us a call and we’d be happy to help!  401-783-1530

Dental Health During Pregnancy

Taking care of your gums and teeth during pregnancy is an important thing to do to ensure the health of you and your new baby. The easiest way to maintain good dental health is to visit your dentist regularly, including while you are pregnant. During your checkup, simply inform your dentist and hygienist that you are pregnant and about any changes you may be having with your teeth and gums. While pregnant, it is not unusual to have dental and oral health issues that you’ve never experienced before. Some common dental problems during pregnancy include:

  • Bleeding gums. High levels of progesterone can make your gums swollen, red and sore. This inflammation is called gingivitis. Without treatment, gingivitis can become a serious gum disease called periodontitis.
  • Tooth decay. It is common to have more acid in your mouth during pregnancy. This extra acid can break down your tooth coating, called enamel. This makes you more likely to get cavities.
  • Lumps on swollen gums. These are tumors that form between teeth, but they are not cancer. These tumors may be caused by having too much plaque (sticky bacteria that forms on teeth). Pregnancy tumors usually go away on their own.
  • Periodontitis is a serious gum disease, and it if you’re experiencing it, treatment is essential to avoid complications for you and your baby. Some studies have linked periodontitis to premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and low birthweight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).

What can you do to prevent and treat these conditions?

  • Brush your teeth regularly. Brush for 2 minutes, using a toothbrush with soft bristles, twice a day. Make sure you use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss every day.  Floss at least once a day to clean in between your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing around the gum line are key to removing plaque and helping prevent periodontitis and tooth decay.
  • Rinse your mouth if you throw up. If you throw up, rinse your mouth with water to wash away the acid. If morning sickness makes you feel too sick to brush your teeth you can rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Have a dental checkup that includes an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning every 6 months. You also need a checkup during pregnancy, especially if you have any discomforts in your mouth.
  • Eat healthy foods. Eating foods packed with nutrients will help you and your growing baby get enough calcium, protein and vitamins. These nutrients will also help ensure your baby’s teeth grow healthy.
  • Limit sweets. Having too many sweet foods or drinks can lead to tooth decay. Instead of sweets, drink water and pick healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

 

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How to Be Cavity Free Next Time You See Your Dentist

If you think that you have healthy teeth, there are several strategies you can take to try and be sure. Cavities don’t just suddenly show up: they begin with a healthy tooth. The bacteria on your teeth, called plaque, digest sugar and produce acid. The acid from the bacteria or from carbonated drinks can dissolve the tooth and leave a hole in it.

How do we avoid tooth decay?

Here are some things to avoid (or do in moderation) and a few points to remember to have cavity-free teeth the next time you visit your dentist.

Eat or drink these sweets only in moderation, which means less than every day:

1. soda/pop
2. sugary drinks
3. coffee drinks with added syrups or mocha
4. sports drinks
5. chewing gum
6. breath mints & fresheners
7. cough drops
8. hard candy
9. sticky candy
10. Tums or other chewable antacids
11. chewable vitamin C
12. chewable aspirin

Additional Things to Remember:

1. Sugar and cavities go along together. Soda pop, gum, mints, cough drops, hard candy, and sticky candy can cause you severe cavities not only because they’re sweet but also because the sugar stays on your teeth for a long time.
2. Soda/pop is bad for your teeth too! Most of us love sodas, but soda is loaded with sugar and is extremely acidic. It can even dissolve your tooth enamel. Carbonated drinks aren’t just bad for your teeth; they’re also bad for your overall health.
3. Take time to brush and floss. Cavities happen when bacteria make acid that destroy your teeth. But if you brush and floss more often, you will have less bacteria on your teeth to make these harmful acids. Brush at least twice a day; even better, brush three or even four times a day. Floss once a day to get rid of bacteria on and between your teeth.
4. Use fluoride. You can prevent cavities by using fluoride. If you have severe tooth decay, use an extra supplement of fluoride.
5. People with dry mouth are prone to cavities. Saliva can fight against cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. People with Xerostomia, or dryness of the mouth, are more likely to get cavities. To prevent getting dry mouth, drink sips of water throughout the day and avoid sodas, candies, and other sweet, carbonated drinks.

All On 4 & Implants as a Tooth Replacement Option

Do you want to be done with perpetual dental work that never seems to resolve your issues? Are you frustrated with your current ill-fitting dentures? Do you want a faster, more permanent solution? All on 4 and/or implants may be an ideal tooth replacement solution for you. This technique allows the restoration of your smile with a permanent and natural solution. Smiling helps restore lives, relationships and jobs and we love seeing our patients smile!

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This procedure is a wonderful option for patients in several different situations including:

  • Patients who do not like their current dentures
  • Individuals who are looking for a more permanent dental solution
  • Those who are regularly finding they require dental work and are getting disheartened
  • People who are dissatisfied with their smiles
  • When individuals find themself having a difficult time chewing or eating and/or
  • Patients who are looking for a simple and fast solution

Approximately 35 million Americans are missing teeth or find themselves in one of these categories. It is possible to implement All on 4 and leave our office in a single day with a fixed implant-based denture that looks and feels like a full set of natural teeth. The ability to make this transformation in a single appointment is the most astounding and groundbreaking aspect of the procedure and we are so delighted to be able to offer it to you.

If you find yourself in a situation like so many others and want to replace your missing teeth, we invite you set up an appointment with one of our doctors. A consultation is an ideal place to start so you can learn more about the process. Our team of surgeons, restorative dentists and lab technicians are incredible at what they do and their collaboration makes this a possibility.

 

Missing teeth? All on 4 and/or implants may be an ideal tooth replacement solution for you. This service allows the restoration of your smile with a permanent and natural solution in as little as one day. Smiling helps restore lives, relationships and jobs and we love seeing our patients smile! If you find yourself in a situation like so many others and want to replace your missing teeth, we invite you set up an appointment with one of our doctors. A consultation is an ideal place to start so you can learn more about the process, but for preliminary information, you can read more here. Our team of surgeons, restorative dentists and lab technicians are incredible at what they do and their collaboration makes this a possibility. If you or someone you know is in a situation or has a need for this type of service, contact us for more information.

Dental Bleaching

For Memorial Day and the beginning of summertime, we offered a bleaching promotion for our in-house KӧR whitening system. All of the participants are thrilled with their results and we had the pleasure of interviewing one about the process. His words describe the ease of the process and demonstrate his pleasure with the outcome. “It’s good! I pretend I’m at the beach, and just lay back and I let them do their thing. It was not painful. Obviously, I cannot see what they’re doing, but when it is done, they clean you up and say ‘we’re done – take a look’ and show you the mirror. It’s awesome!” Take a peek at his amazing results and learn more about whitening on our website or at your next appointment.


 

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Ray was able to get a his smile an incredible 13 shades whiter – what a transformation!! We’ve included some before and after images of his smile below. These incredible results are possible because of the unique way the KӧR whitening system works. We invite you to explore more about the system here and to request a consultation today to learn more about the process and what it entails.