Patient Newsletter: March Edition

Recare: Your Best Offense Possible

Taking proactive action is crucial when it comes to safeguarding against future calamities. This principle applies to various aspects of life, including your dental health. Neglecting regular checkups with your dentist or hygienist can lead to significant consequences down the line, both in terms of cost and inconvenience.

For instance, failing to get that check engine light looked at can result in expensive and time-consuming repairs when the car finally breaks down. Similarly, skipping regular pest control services can lead to infestations that require costly extermination services. Neglecting your dental recare appointments can also lead to painful and expensive procedures that could have been prevented.

Dental recare involves regular checkups and cleanings with a dentist or hygienist. These appointments allow a dental professional to assess your overall oral health, identify any existing problems, and catch new ones early on. Regular checkups can help detect any problems early, so that they can be treated before they become more serious and cause more damage to your teeth and gums. It can also help protect against more serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

In addition to the physical benefits of regular recare appointments, they also give you an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have about your oral health. Your dentist or hygienist can provide you with feedback on your brushing and flossing habits, as well as offer tips and advice to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

By being proactive with your dental health, you can avoid more serious and costly issues down the line. So, make sure to schedule regular dental recare appointments and stay on top of your oral health.

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February: The Month in Photos

Dollywood Referral Contest

This month, we’re giving away 2 tickets to Dollywood to the patient with the most referrals!

The main way to score points is through referrals, but there are multiple points of entry, so everyone can participate!

How to enter

  • -Refer a Friend – 10 entries
  • Leave a Google Review – 5 entries
  • Share Facebook post – 1 entry
Call your closest office for more information on how you can win. Good luck!

Your Biggest Dental Questions, Answered

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for overall well-being. Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent dental problems and ensure that any existing issues are promptly addressed. However, many people have questions about dental health, treatments, and procedures. To help answer some of these questions, we have compiled a list of the 10 biggest questions people commonly ask their dentists. Whether you’re curious about the best way to brush your teeth or wondering if a particular treatment is right for you,  we hope these questions and answers provide valuable insight and help you feel more confident about your dental care.

1. Does flossing really help? How often should I floss?

Yes, flossing is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene as it helps remove plaque and debris from between teeth and gums where a toothbrush cannot reach. You should floss at least once a day, preferably before brushing your teeth.

2. What toothbrush should I use? Are electric toothbrushes better than manual brushes?

Both manual and electric toothbrushes can effectively clean teeth, but electric toothbrushes may be more effective at removing plaque and reducing gum inflammation. The choice between the two depends on personal preference and dental needs, but it’s important to maintain a regular dental hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and visiting your dentist regularly.

3. What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that helps treat a tooth that is infected or damaged. During the procedure, the dentist or endodontist removes the infected or damaged tissue from inside the tooth, cleans and disinfects the area, and then fills and seals the space to prevent further infection. It is typically performed under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort, and most patients report little to no pain during or after the procedure.

4. Should I always brush immediately after a meal?

It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. This allows time for your saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth and for your tooth enamel to re-harden. Brushing too soon after a meal can actually damage your teeth.

5. Why does my breath (or my partner’s) always smell bad, especially in the morning?

Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a variety of factors including poor dental hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth, certain foods, and medical conditions. Eating pungent foods like garlic and onions, as well as consuming acidic beverages like coffee and alcohol before sleeping can cause bad morning breath, even after brushing and flossing. The smells from these foods get absorbed into the body and are released through breathing. Additionally, coffee and alcohol can dry out the mouth and promote the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

6. Why doesn’t insurance cover some procedures?

Dental insurance differs significantly from other forms of insurance, such as medical insurance, as it functions more as a discount on essential procedures than providing blanket coverage. Typically, dental insurance follows a 100-80-50 rule. This means that preventive care like cleanings and X-rays are covered at 100%, basic procedures such as filings, simple extractions, periodontal work, and emergency care for tooth pain are covered at 80%, and major work like crowns, bridges, dentures, and oral surgery are usually covered at 50%. This implies that patients would need to pay the remaining 20% for basic procedures and 50% for major procedures.

It’s essential to shift away from an “insurance-covers-all” mindset when considering your long-term oral health and happiness. While insurance may not typically cover procedures like whitening, which offer significant cosmetic benefits, our advice to patients is to invest in treatments that will make them healthier and happier, and use insurance as a boost towards achieving those goals. By focusing on the big picture and investing in the most effective treatments, patients can achieve optimal oral health and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life.

7. What can I do if I have a dry mouth?

The basic problem in dry mouth or xerostomia is a lack of saliva. This can be caused by disease, medications that decrease saliva as a side effect, but it’s also the natural result of aging. This decrease in saliva can lead to a number of severe dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth infections.

The best way to combat this problem is to use sugar free candy or gum and to drink plenty of water. Do not use sugared candy or soda, as they can lead to rapid dental decay in patients with dry mouths. Several over the counter products are also available that can help with some dry mouth symptoms. If you’re concerned that you may have xerostomia, contact your dentist to determine its cause and see what your options are.

8. What should I do about bleeding gums?

People often respond to bleeding gums with the wrong method of treatment. Usually, gums that bleed are a symptom of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. But often, people stop brushing as frequently and effectively because it may be painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. However, when gums are inflamed, brushing could help reduce the inflammation. More importantly, you should see your dentist to have a periodontal screening and recording performed in order to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue.

It is also worth noting that chronic dental pain and discomfort are obvious signs of a problem. Over-the-counter drugs may provide some temporary relief. These medications usually only mask the existence of a problem and should be taken on a temporary basis. It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible if your gums begin to bleed.

9. What’s the best way to whiten my teeth?

A bright, white smile can boost your confidence, but teeth can become discolored over time due to surface stains from coffee, wine, tobacco, and pigmented foods, or internal ones. You can treat surface stains with at-home whitening using trays or strips, or have professional, in-office whitening done with treatments like Zoom Whitening. For internal discoloration, composite bonding or veneers may provide a more permanent solution. Consult with your dentist to determine the best whitening option for you.

10. How often should I see my dentist?

Even for those who brush their teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss regularly, it is still important to get professional cleanings at least every six months. Your hygienist can remove built-up plaque and tartar in hard to reach spaces that even brushing and flossing can miss. Regular cleanings help prevent cavities and the onset of gum disease. It also means that regular cleanings are even more important for people who may be have less-than-deal ideal oral hygiene practices.

Don’t forget that if you have dental insurance, most plans cover two cleanings per year. Also, professionally cleaned teeth feel great, look better, and leave you with the satisfaction that you’ve done a good deed not only for your teeth but also for your overall health.

In Case You Missed It: Super Bowl Predictions

In this video, Lucky went to each office to ask our staff who they thought would win the Super Bowl!

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