If you don’t have dental insurance, it can be tempting to skip these regular visits. But neglecting preventive care can compromise your oral health, and prevent your dentist from spotting problems in their early stages.
And when small dental problems turn into bigger ones, the bills can get bigger, too. Avoiding regular checkups can result in periodontal disease, tooth loss, extractions and more.
Studies show that seeing your dentist regularly reduces your visits to your physician. Seeing your dentist regularly and maintaining your oral health helps your global health and reduces your cost of health care. This is particularly applicable to people with heart disease, diabetes and respiratory infections.
Finally, decayed and damaged teeth can affect your self-esteem and make you self-conscious. So even if you don’t have dental insurance, the cost of preventive care is worth every dime you spend, considering what you will save on your global and oral health over the years.
Bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, is when you clench or grind your teeth, that may cause harm. When teeth clenching or grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth become damaged and possibly other oral health issues may develop.
People may clench and grind their teeth without being aware of it during both the day and night. When it is sleep-related, bruxism is often the bigger problem because of the lack of control. While some of these symptoms are headaches or a sore jaw, they are masked by other factors such as too much stress, inability to relax, misalignment of the teeth, or even ones diet.
The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the precipitant in many cases. The clenching the teeth may be brought on by anxiety, stress or depression. Other symptoms may include ear aches, insomnia and/or sensitivity in the teeth. The clenching or grinding puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. The symptoms may develop into temporomandibular joint problems, commonly referred to as TMJ disorder.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, call us. An examination can rule out other disorders that may cause similar jaw pain or ear pain, including:
Ear disorders such as ear infections
Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
Our dentist can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth. If it is diagnosed as night grinding, you can be fitted with a mouth or night guard (a splint) to prevent further damage to your teeth and other issues mentioned above. The varying types of splints may prevent clenching and create a scenario where your mouth remains relaxed during sleep or during the day. There are many approaches to retard the clenching behavior, many of which are more successful to daytime clench and grinders verses night clenchers.
Given that grinding and clenching may not fall within any one medical discipline, it may take a combination of approaches to permanently solve the problem. However, a dentist would appear to have the leg up on the other disciplines, give the amount of training and experience dentists have with your oral health. Regardless, call the health care provider you are comfortable with to seek solutions to this potentially damaging oral health problem.
So you got a mailer coupon with the offer of $49.95 for a regular cleaning & $19.95 for an exam & x-ray. Is it a cheap gimmick? A lot of the time it is, it just depends on the practice. If it’s a mature practice you might want to question why they are giving away services. Is it a loss leader used to get you in and pressure you into other dental procedures?
If it’s a new practice, then providing discounted services is one of the few methods a new practice has to introduce itself to the surrounding community, no different than a new restaurant trying to showcase its menu. The genuine intent is to build a relationship by showcasing the practice.
Dental costs will vary widely, depending on the quality of the practice you see. With respect to continuing care (on your next 6 month visit), a teeth cleaning charge is going to range somewhere around $89, but it can be more if there’s a need to do a full mouth root scaling. Often dental insurance will cover some or all of this cost for a specific number of cleanings per year. The exam is $45 to $55 and the 4 basic bite wing x-rays are around $59 to $72. Depending on your insurance this might be covered anywhere from 60 to 100% after a small deductible is met. Periodic X-rays ($32 -$135) are needed to see if any problems are developing inside the teeth or around the jaw bone, and are generally required before cleaning the teeth of a new patient (which is why some practices offer coupons to defray the initial cost of a first visit). These are also often covered by dental insurance.
The main goal of professional teeth cleaning is to prevent gum disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss. Dental hygiene is imperative, and cleaning your teeth is the first step toward their long term preservation. In a standard cleaning, a dental hygienist (working under a dentist’s supervision) removes soft plaque and hard tartar (mineralized plaque that builds up on the teeth and can only be removed with professional instruments) from above and below the gum line on all the teeth. The process requires one office visit and usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Again, your goal is a healthy mouth which an integral part of your overall health. Oh, and by the way, just because you had your teeth cleaned professionally, the jobs not done. You have to do your part and brush and floss daily if you want to keep them. If you have additional questions, feel free to email or call our office. Our goal here is to create an informed and healthy patient.
Good oral hygiene is important for maintaining one’s overall health. If you believe this and you should, then there are 4 essential guidelines of preventative care to maintaining good oral health, all of which are endorsed by the American Dental Association:
1. Floss regularly and floss first- It is recommended that individuals floss on a regular basis after meals and before brushing their teeth. The reason to floss first is to dislodge any food particles trapped in between your teeth, which can be disposed of while brushing. The proper way to floss is to push the floss gently between your teeth to the gum to loosen debris your toothbrush cannot reach. Initially, you may experience some light bleeding but this should disappear once your gums get used to the flossing process.
2. Brushing your teeth- If you don’t have an electric toothbrush, good brushing by hand should take a minimum of 2 minutes and should involve brushing in a circular motion, which the electric toothbrush does for you. You work your way from one side of the mouth to the other, keeping in mind to pay attention to certain neglected areas such as the very back teeth and your tongue. Dentists recommend using soft bristle brushes and toothpaste that contain fluoride. The fluoride is important, because the rise in the consumption of bottled water has led to the population’s decline in fluoride intake.
3. Mouthwash- I am not sure how effective this is, but if you’re not going to brush twice a day, using a mouthwash that contains fluoride at least twice a day is a good preventative measure that kills the bacteria responsible for cavities and gum disease. Given recent research, you might want to choose a non-alcohol based rinse.
4. Your Dental visits- Maintaining your oral health requires regular dental visits at least every six months. You need to do this for early detection of potential global health problems that could develop into more serious issues and the hygienist can clean areas that might have been missed or that were resistant to the 3 steps above.
Finally,Finding a Dentist that is Right for You
Research shows that your dental care is an important aspect of your overall general health care. So you need to make sure you find a dentist that is right for you. This can be a difficult process. Look for someone who’s competent and you feel comfortable with, one you can have a collaborative relationship with. This is important because there are conditions and problems that were not discussed in this article that the dentist will need to pay attention to during your regular checkups. Hopefully after reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the basics for good oral health. I you have questions or concerns feel free to contact or call.
All during the month of December in our Chamblee office, X-rays are free with your teeth cleaning. That’s a savings of up to $125.00. So for $89.99, you get your teeth cleaned and x-ray’d. Get treated by a trained specialist to ensure the finest care possible. We want an opportunity to show you what quality dental care is truly about. You deserve the best in oral health care. Call today for an appointment: 770-455-6076. Mention prom code December2017/mas
Sure, regular cleanings with our office promotes good oral hygiene, but did you know these visits also screen for a multitude of diseases? Getting your teeth cleaned and having your doctor’s exam may not rank up there with an afternoon on the course or ditching work to enjoy a matinee, but it may be well worth it for your overall health.
4 really good reasons to see your dentist regularly:
It’s an opportunity to check for Oral Cancer. You may or may not realize that you’re screened for oral cancer during your regular dental cleaning but you are. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an American dies of oral cancer every hour of every day. It’s a sad proposition, especially when you consider that it is highly curable with early diagnosis.
Your gums are being checked for Gum Disease. Gum disease, or an infection in the gum tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place, is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. It can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early. Unfortunately, not receiving treatment will lead to a more serious and advanced state of gum disease. Regular cleanings and check-ups along with daily brushing and flossing are key defenses against gum disease.
Your overall health. Studies have linked heart attacks, diabetes detection and strokes to gum disease associated with poor oral hygiene. A trip to your dentist at least every 6 months and in some cases more often, could reduce your risk of other serious health issues.
Early detection of Dental Problems. We’ve already touched upon early detection of gum disease and oral cancer, but don’t overlook more basic dental problems. Cavities and broken fillings are easy to treat. Without regular check-ups, undetected problems can lead to more serious issues like root canals, gum surgery and tooth extraction. An ounce of prevention verses a pound of cure.
So you haven’t been keeping up with what current research has to say about caring for your teeth. That’s why check-ups allow our dentist to examine your mouth and keep you on the right path. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last check up and cleaning, call your dentist to schedule an appointment today. If we can be of any help or answer any questions please feel free to drop us a line.