Tag: Dental

What Dental Insurance Covers

We hear a lot about the growing number of Americans who lack health insurance. Right now, the number is close to 50 million people. But did you know that twice that many Americans lack dental insurance plans. They are even rarer than medical plans! Some companies do not offer them. Other uncovered people may be unemployed or self-employed, and so they lack dental benefits. In addition, Medicare does not cover many dental services, so many seniors look for additional coverage.

However, some dental services are very expensive. Some people may even put off getting regular checkups or having small problems fixed because they are worried about the bill. When regular checkups, teeth cleaning, or routine fillings get neglected, then small problems can grow into large ones. It is important to figure out how you can afford dental care.

Dental Insurance Policies

A typical dental insurance policy will cover many routine services. You should be able to have checkups, teeth cleanings, and even normal fillings attended to by paying a small deductible or copay. If you need more expensive services like crowns or bridges, it will probably mean you have to be concerned about a yearly maximum which many policies have.

Be sure and check into the details of any policy you plan on buying to make sure you understand how it handles covered services, and how much you will have to pay if the services are covered. Also note the plan’s yearly maximum payout. And finally, take note of which services are not covered at all.

What services are not covered? The answer to that question depends upon the policy. But many dental policies do not cover cosmetic dentistry or orthodontic braces. If you are buying a policy to help you cover those expenses, be sure the policy you pick will help you.

Also note that some plans impose waiting periods on some covered services. For example, a dental plan may cover routine fillings right away, but force you to be insured for 12 months before crowns will be covered.

Many dental policies also have a network or dental providers. This means you will get the highest level of coverage if you stick to that network or participating providers. Sometimes you will get a better deal on uncovered services because of the network.

Dental Discount Plans vs. Dental Insurance

You may also explore another alternative to an actual dental insurance policy. A dental discount plan is not insurance, but does help members save money by giving them a network of providers who agree to charge lower prices to people who join the plans. They are typically much cheaper than policies, and there is usually no waiting period.

In addition if there are participating specialists on the plan, you may be able to find cheaper cosmetic or orthodontic services, even if they are not covered by your dental policy.

You can search the network. Your own dentists, or dentists in your area, may already participate. Sometimes buying an actual dental insurance policy is the right thing to do. But after you consider deductibles, copayments, monthly premiums, and yearly coverage limits, you may find that a discount dental plan works out just as well.



Source by Marilyn Katz

Supplemental Dental Insurance 101

Many people mistakenly assume that all their dental needs are covered by their health insurance plans. While many health insurance plans – most notably HMOs – may offer some dental coverage, most of your dental needs will not be covered by the normal health insurance plan. In fact, you may even find that a dental insurance plan only goes so far in covering your true dental costs. Supplemental dental insurance can help cover your out of pocket expenses, or lower your dental costs with participation in various dental plans.

Supplemental dental insurance is not meant to be your primary dental insurance. Rather, it's meant to help cover the costs associated with your dental needs which may not be covered by your primary health or dental coverage. There are several varieties of dental insurance supplement plans, but they fall under a few broad categories.

Dental Discount Plans

A dental discount plan is designed to lower dental costs by leveraging the large number of their members to negotiate lower prices for their members. Discount dental plans are not actually dental insurance, but they do lower your dental costs by passing the savings on to you. You save money by getting your dental care and service provided by their member dentists. When you pay, you present your dental discount plan member card, and are billed at the discounted price for members. A discount dental plan can cost as little as $ 5 per month per person covered.

Discounted Student Dental Plans

Because college students often lose dental and health coverage on their parents' dental plans when they reach 18, many colleges have opted to provide discounted student dental plans for their registered students. Typically, the discounted plans provide limited benefits such as cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, routine fillings and emergency dental treatment for pain relief. The services may be absolutely paid for by the supplementary dental insurance policy, or may involve a small co-payment. Costs for student supplemental dental insurance are generally low, from $ 125- $ 175 per student.

Dental Insurance Preferred Provider Network

One popular type of dental insurance plan is a preferred provider network. With a preferred provider plan, you can choose from any dentist who is a member of the network for your dental care – and switch dentists whenever you like. The dental insurance plan pays a fixed flat fee for any service provided, and you pay the rest. Cost is generally $ 15-20 per month.



Source by Mansi Aggarwal

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Dental Health Tips That You Should Know

Dental health starts with clean teeth, so you need to apply the right techniques in brushing and flossing. Moreover, you should avoid eating certain foods that trigger the build-up of cavities and cause tooth decay. Make sure you visit your dentist regularly for professional prophylaxis and expert tips that can help you achieve dental health.

Brushing Techniques and Advice

It is quite essential that you brush your teeth properly, for about two minutes. Do not rush when brushing, and make sure that you use the right equipment such as a soft bristled toothbrush. You may also consider using a battery-operated or electric toothbrush, particularly when you suffer from arthritis, sore fingers, or other health conditions that prevent you to brush efficiently.

Make it a point to practice the right techniques in brushing. You should brush your teeth with short and precise motions. Brush all surfaces of the teeth, particularly the surface that you use for chewing. Do not forget to brush your tongue, and avoid vivid scrubbing to prevent gum irritation or bleeding.

After brushing, keep your toothbrush clean by rinsing it with water. It is also ideal that you air dry the toothbrush before storing it in an upright position; by doing so, you will prevent the growth of bacteria, and ensure the good condition of your toothbrush. You should also determine the right time when you need to replace the toothbrush, which is usually every three months.

Flossing and Additional Dental Health Tips

Since you will not be able to reach tight and narrow spaces in between your teeth by using a toothbrush, you should consider flossing regularly. Use about 18 inches of dental floss, and wind it around your middle fingers on both hands. This will leave at least one inch left to floss your teeth. Floss one tooth at a time, and make sure that you rub the dental floss against all sides of each tooth.

You may also use a floss holder or a dental pick when you have difficulties in using regular floss in cleaning your teeth. Several dentists recommend the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash that can help minimize the build-up of tartar, plaque and bacteria between your teeth. A mouth rinse also reduces the risk of gum diseases, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Know When You Should Visit the Dentist

While regular brushing and flossing can help you achieve good dental health, you should also make it a point to visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can check the condition of your oral cavity, and you may seek treatment when you suffer from symptoms of dental health issues including the following:

– Swollen and red gums

– Bleeding gums, which is common after you floss or brush

– Gums that pull away from the teeth

– Changes in the alignment of your teeth

– Frequent sensitivity to cold and hot food or drinks

– Unusual taste or bad breath

When your dentist detects the early signs of oral health problems, you can obtain prompt treatment that can prevent serious dental issues. Moreover, you can ensure excellent dental health when you apply the proper techniques in caring for your teeth and gums.



Source by Jeff Molenda

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All About Dental Insurance

We all know that dental insurance has a very important role in today's society. Not many people know that unhealthy teeth can affect a person's overall health and can also lower self confidence. Nowadays due to many factors people find themselves in the situation of having to visit their dentist at least once a year. Sometimes taking proper care of your teeth necessities having to spend a lot of money on dental procedures that is why buying insurance is a lot wiser.

Now the first thing to do when buying dental insurance is to choose a dental plan. There are a variety of dental plans available from which you can choose one that will cover your needs. Basically there are three major categories of plans. The first one is the PPO plan which means you get to choose form a list of in network doctors and you have to pay a specific coinsurance amount of money (for example 30%) for each dental service. The second plan is the managed care or the DHMO plan. This means a certain dentist will be paid a flat fee and in return he will provide a certain type of treatment at no cost for you. This type of plan is also usually the least expensive. In the third category we have direct reimbursements or DR which means that you will be reimbursed the amount of money you spend for any type of dental service. This one is great because it gives you the ability to choose any dentist you like.

Here are some important questions that you need to ask and they will help you choose the best dental insurance:
• if you and your dentist get the choice of course of treatment
• can you choose the dentist yourself?
• Does the insurance cover emergencies, diagnosis and maintenance procedures? Also does it cover cleanings and x-rays?
• if there is an away from home emergency what is the protocol and what is the coverage?
• does it cover major dental care, dentures and implants?
• what is the percentage of the premium that goes to coverage and the percentage that goes to care?

If you do not have enough time to go and visit a dental insurer, then the best thing to do is to go online and search. You will get all the information you need without having to lift a finger or having to waste time going out. Not only you can get information faster but you can also find many websites that offer great discounts if you buy the insurance from their site.



Source by Angella Jones Brown

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What You Need to Know About Dental Bridges and Their Cost

As much as we do not like to think about it, our physical appearance influences the way we live and how people relate to us. You can have the prettiest eyes or perfect hair but nothing compares to having a great smile that not only single-handedly dazzles the people around you but also helps them create a positive impression of you that they'll always remember. But what if you can not even smile for fear that people will see the gaps between your teeth?

These days, gaps between your teeth are something that can be easily remedied, along with other common teeth problems like discoloration or misalignment and even teeth that are chipped, broken or worn down. A common solution people seek for gaps between their teeth are dental bridges, which usually come in three types: traditional, cantilever and Maryland bonded.

Dental bridges can restore your once-dazzling smile, as well as your ability to chew and speak. It also helps maintain the shape of your face, but more importantly, it helps distribute the force of your bite properly by replacing missing teeth andvents your remaining teeth from drifting out of position. Traditional bridges usually involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth with a pontic in between. They are the most common type of bridges people go for and are usually made from either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

Cantilever bridges on the other hand, are used when there are adjunct teeth only on one side of the missing tooth or teeth while Maryland bonded bridges are made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework, with metal wings on each side of the bridge bonded to your existing teeth. While people will usually have no problem choosing which type is best for them, the main concern they have is the cost of the dental bridges themselves and if they are able to afford them despite moderate finances or budget constraints.

To start, the cost of dental bridges will depend on what type of bridge is selected and where you want to get the procedure done. Bridges are usually priced by crown so a bridge of three crowns will cost about the same as three regular crowns. A traditional three-tooth bridge will cost around $ 3300 with the cost depending on what material your crowns are made of and how they are fabricated. There are also the lab fees to consider, which range between $ 100 to $ 300 at the most.

Some dentist office these days fabricate the crowns in their office using CAD / CAM technology which allows for same-day placement of your bridges, saving you an extra visit but it can also add to the costs so you will need to discuss all fees with your dentist before going ahead with the procedure. Some other factors that can influence the cost of dental bridges include the possibility of other procedures needing to be done like fillings or root canals and the coverage provided by your dental insurance, most of which cover a basic part of the procedure.

To be able to afford the treatment, you can check out online dental clinics, most of which are able to offer interest-free plans or extended payment options. You can also try checking out third-party financing companies who can help you work out a monthly payment scheme that fits your budget.



Source by Peter Roseberg

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Dental Bridges – Which Among The Different Types Is Right For You?

Hiding your smile because of the discomfort caused by your missing tooth? These days there are dental restoration processes that can make your smiles look flawless. Dental bridges are meant to correct dental issues such as tooth replacement. Virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, they offer both aesthetic and functional benefits.

The type of dental bridges applied by dental clinics depends on the unique requirements of the patient. Before choosing which type is best for you, your dentist will check the issue that the restoration process needs to address. Your comfort and convenience as well is considered.

Dental bridges are distinguished from each other through these two factors:

  • The dental issue they are meant to correct
  • The technology or method of application

The different types of dental bridges

First is the traditional dental bridge. This dental restoration uses two crowns which are placed on top of your adjacent teeth. Your dentist needs to reshape nearby teeth to make sure that there is sufficient space to attach the crowns.

Next is the cantilever bridge. As opposed to the traditional type, this uses a single crown to support the entire restoration. Usually this is not advisable to use on your back teeth as your molars have the most pressure when you bite. This bridge can easily collapse and it would just be a waste of money if it gets damaged. This bridge is still present as option for patients who want to preserve the original structure of their tooth. However, it is no longer recommended by most dentists.

Third is the bonded bridge. Minimal alteration of your surrounding teeth is involved here. But there are two small wings that will be attached to your adjacent teeth. To apply this type, your dentist has to create a durable bond for the restoration and micro-etch the two supporting teeth. Usually this is used to replace a single missing tooth. But in some cases, it can support up to three teeth.

Fourth is the removable bridge. While most bridges are permanently applied, this type can be removed just like dentures. Some special patients prefer this to address their oral health issues.

The last type is the implant bridge. This type is the most common alternative these days. With an abutment piece, dental implants are permanent and more durable. Your dentist will screw a titanium piece directly into your jawbone and this implant will secure a fabricated new tooth. This dental restoration process is much longer and not everyone who desires to have it qualifies to undergo this type of dental bridges.



Source by Karl P Borrows

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Mouth Breathing and Dental Health

Breathing is something that we do automatically to stay alive and so most of us do not think twice about it. It is perfectly natural to breathe through the mouth at certain terms such as when running or lifting heavy objects, however if breathing occurs through the mouth habitually then it can lead to many health problems. These problems can be particularly severe for children as mouth breathing can affect the long term development of the face and jaw.

So Why Breathe Through the Mouth?

Normal breathing is when we breathe through the nose with the mouth closed. The most obvious reason for someone to be a mouth breather is that they cannot get enough air through the nose. Common reasons for blocked nasal passages include:

  • Allergies – which can cause polyps or swelling of the nasal lining
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Respiratory infections – cold or flu

Signs that may indicate nasal breathing problems or airway obstruction are:

  • Snoring, sleep apnoea
  • Frequent upper airway infections
  • Sounding ‘stuffy’ during the day/night
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Effects on Teeth, Jaw and Posture

As mentioned before, mouth breathing can lead to many health problems, in particular dental health problems. When we breathe through the mouth, there is loss of saliva and dryness of the mouth and this can increase the risk of tooth decay and inflammation of the gums.

Also, mouth breathing can lead to alterations in the jaw and facial growth. The normal resting position of the tongue is up against the roof of the mouth to compensate the forces of the cheeks, however when a person breathes through the mouth, the tongue drops. This leads to the narrowing of the upper jaw and elongation of the lower jaw, resulting in the long, narrow face shape, typically known as ‘long face syndrome’. Due to the narrowing of the jaws, crowding of the teeth, overbite problems and malocclusion can be seen.

Adjustment in head posture is another effect that can result. Chronic mouth breathers tend to tilt the head backwards and lean the head forward in front of the shoulders to keep the airway open. This enables them to breathe better, however can have lead to long term problems of the neck and back.

Treatment

Treatment of mouth breathing depends upon the underlying cause. This requires a multidisciplinary approach where your dentist, GP, ear-nose-throat specialist (ENT) and sleep physician may be involved in determining the treatment needed. Treatment may include prescription of certain medicines, surgery and myofunctional therapy and breathing exercises.

Airway obstruction is a common cause of mouth breathing and sometimes a full assessment by an ENT is needed to decide the treatment of the obstruction. Often certain medicines can be prescribed to increase nasal airflow and reduce obstructions like swelling of the nasal lining and polyps. For more complicated blockages such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, surgery may be necessary to remove them.

Sometimes even after removal of the airway obstruction, mouth breathing is still present as it has become habitual. If this is the case, myofuntional therapy along with specific breathing and muscle exercises can help in establishing nasal breathing. Exercises that aim at strengthening the facial muscles along with specific oral appliances encourage nasal breathing and therefore can aid in the proper growth and facial development. This is imperative in young children as they are still in their growing stages.

Your Dentist Can Help

Mouth breathing is a serious problem that can impact on general and dental health. Our role as a dental practitioner is to identify and treat mouth breathing early, especially in children, and to refer to appropriate specialists if needed. The earlier we address this condition, the more likely we can reverse the effects. This means a healthier life, a more natural face and profile and a beautiful, healthy smile.



Source by Alana Ma

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The Causes of Common Dental Issues

As long as you can remember, you’ve heard the words “cavities” and “gum disease” many times. Chances are you’ve had at least one cavity and one bout of gingivitis (low-level gum disease) so far in your life time. These tend to be the most common dental issues patients are familiar with. As there is a lot that goes on in the mouth as well as a wide range of foods and drinks that enter it throughout the day, many other dental issues can also occur. Some of these you may or may not have experienced:

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Chronic Dry Mouth
  • Canker Sores
  • Tooth and Jaw Pain

Causes of Dental Issues

There are multiple causes of the aforementioned common dental issues. Many causes are things a patient can do something about. Below are the common dental health issue causes:

Poor dental health and hygiene. Poor dental health as the result of improper or sub-par at-home oral hygiene is the most common cause for the majority of common dental issues. The lack of flossing and inconsistency of teeth brushing can leave decaying food particles in the mouth which cause tooth decay and gum disease which can then lead to additional oral health problems such as bad breath, lost teeth and weakened jaw bones.

Trauma. Trauma to the teeth or gums as a result of an injury can damage and weaken protective tissue that can make one’s mouth more susceptible to tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, jaw injury and lost teeth. Most common accidents to the mouth involve the breaking, cracking, chipping or losing of teeth. Should any of these happen, patients are to go to the nearest dentist or ER room ASAP as prompt treatment is needed to save the teeth.

Underlying overall health conditions. Autoimmune diseases such as HIV and health conditions such as diabetes can put one at an increased risk of dental health issues by making one’s teeth and gums more vulnerable to infection and disease. These aforementioned conditions also lower the mouth’s ability to fight off disease and infection.

Underlying oral conditions. Tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath and canker sores can all be the results of tooth decay, gum disease or another oral infection. A sore jaw, dry mouth and chronic bad breath can be the result of TMJ, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching) or another dysfunction in the functioning of the mouth.

There are many different causes to common dental issues. Some of the causes can be more easily reduced or dealt with by the oral hygiene habits of the patient. Others are more outside of the patient’s control and will require the help of a trained dental professional.

Regular, routine dental checkups and cleanings at the dental office play an important part in the prevention, diagnosis and prompt treatment of common oral health conditions. Whether or not you feel any discomfort or notice anything abnormal in your mouth, it is highly recommended that one schedules an appointment with their dentist every six months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral exam.



Source by Anna Bird

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What Are Porcelain Dental Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers have been helpful in perking up the smile of an individual. A professional dentist would be able to do this with ease and dexterity. Fixing chipped or cracked teeth, cleaning the stubborn stains on the teeth, filling gaps in teeth, giving shape to shapeless teeth or misaligned teeth are some of the conditions when porcelain dental veneers are helpful.

These dental veneers are slim porcelain strips which gel well with your teeth and it gives both shape as well as color to the smile of a person. They look aesthetically beautiful veneers cover the frontal of the tooth. They are designed in such a manner that it blends with your smile perfectly. The dentist checks out the teeth surrounding this tooth, measurements are taken and then porcelain dental veneers are made in such a manner so as to achieve a normal and gorgeous smile.

It is useful in not only treating the prevalent dental problems but these veneers also provide security to the smile by preventing discoloration of chipping of the teeth in future. If proper care is taken, this could last for another fifteen years. Porcelain veneers are transparent ceramic and brittle material and they undergo various chemical processes, so that they become stronger and tough.

The normal process involved would involve visits at least twice to the dentist. The first visit would involve inspection of the tooth, making casts of the smile. Based on these casts, the porcelain veneers would have to be made so as to blend with your smile ensuring that any damage, discoloration is covered.
Once the impressions are done, the ceramic bond has been properly crafted; the dentist would call you for fitting these porcelain veneers. They are then polished so that you are able to smile naturally. These are the only two visits which you would have to make for fixing the porcelain dental veneers other than your routine follow up.

Porcelain dental veneers resemble enamel and the results are dramatic. They look natural and attractive as compared to metal crowns which become black after some time. Metal crowns are visible when you smile and you may not look good and feel good wearing them. Veneers are basically used in cosmetic dentistry since they lend an aesthetic feel. Even if you have get your fillings, bridges or crowns repaired, veneers can be properly blended with them.If you want an attractive smile, then you need to use porcelain dental veneers.



Source by Simon Mahoney

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Insight Into Dental Crowns

With the rise in the problems related to tooth decay, teeth care and replacement techniques have attracted the attention of many across the world. One such technique is the placement of dental crowns. Let us have a look into the details of having a tooth crown in this article.

What are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown denotes a cap that has the shape of a tooth. This is often placed on top of a tooth to regain the size, structure, strength, shape and appearance of the same. Crowns generally cover all visible portion of the tooth and are seen well above the line of the gums.

Types of Dental Crowns

There are basically 4 different categories of crowns used by dentists.

Metal Tooth Crowns: This type of crowns is made up of gold, nickel, chromium or palladium alloys. They are very durable and support the process of chewing. They prove to be resistant to the wear and tear that teeth generally undergo. The biggest disadvantage of this type of crown is the color of the crown that is very much visible when placed in position. If you want to have a crown for tooth that care located at the backside, then this type of crown would prove to be the right choice.

Porcelain-Metal Fused Tooth Crowns: This type of crown looks natural and can be rated next to the ceramic type if the natural aspect of the artificial teeth is considered. However, they are often subjected to chipping and breakage.

All-Resin Tooth Crown: This type is pretty cheap compared to the other types of crowns. However, they may not prove to be durable and are very much sooner to fractures.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tooth Crown: This type of crown is the best choice when the natural appearance is considered as the most important factor. However, they are not strong and are subjected to wear and tear. However, they prove to be a remarkable choice for those with metal allergies.

Should you opt for a Dental Crown?

o If you have a weak tooth that has been cleaned recently, you might want to resort to a dental crown in case where most of the tooth has cracked already and is likely to be subjected to breakage.
o If you have broken a part of your tooth accidentally, then a tooth crown can pacify your needs better.
o If any of your teeth has declined too and has been filled with fillers, you may need a tooth crown in case the filled section is very large and is subjected to breakage.
o To support a dental bridge that you have.
o To cover up severely discolored teeth
o To cover up the teeth that are out of shape
o To cover dental crowns implant if you have any!



Source by Lara Aemerinth Paige

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