Posts for: March, 2018
Whatever problems you may have with your teeth and gums, there are effective solutions in modern dentistry. But like other aspects of healthcare, dental treatment can be quite costly. For many it isn't what can be done but what they can afford to have done.
If you too have limited financial means, don't lose hope — there are effective ways to manage your dental care, especially with a little planning ahead.
The most important thing you can do to manage dental costs is to prevent disease through consistent oral hygiene — brushing and flossing — at least once a day. Removing bacterial plaque, a film of leftover food particles that can trigger infection, from your teeth will significantly lower your risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, two very common sources of dental care costs.
It's also important that you visit the dentist at least twice a year. Although it's an expense, it's worth budgeting because it could, along with daily hygiene, save you money in the future. During these visits we'll remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) from hard to reach places you might have missed. We'll also check for developing problems: the earlier they're detected the less the long-term impact on your finances.
We'll also evaluate your individual risk factors for dental disease. Some, like hereditary factors, we can't control. But others, like diet and lifestyle choices, we can alter to significantly lower your chance of disease.
With this risk factor profile, we can then put together an ongoing treatment strategy. Not only will this help prevent or at least reduce problems with your teeth and gums, it will help reduce costs in the long run.
Unfortunately, even with the best efforts we can't altogether rule out problems. We'll need to treat those that arise, and usually the sooner the better. Even so, we can usually take your financial situation into account, such as a less expensive temporary measure until you can afford a more permanent solution. We also have payment programs that can help you manage costs as well.
The important thing is not to delay regular dental checkups. The sooner you begin quality dental care the less of an impact any problems we find will pose to your dental health and your wallet.
If you would like more information on financial management for your dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cost-Saving Treatment Alternatives.”
Tooth sensitivity can be disheartening: you’re always on your guard with what you eat or drink, and perhaps you’ve even given up on favorite foods or beverages.
The most common cause for this painful sensitivity is dentin exposure caused by receding gums. Dentin contains tiny open structures called tubules that transmit changes in temperature or pressure to the nerves in the pulp, which in turn signal pain to the brain. The enamel that covers the dentin, along with the gum tissues, creates a barrier between the environment and dentin to prevent it from becoming over-stimulated.
Due to such causes as aggressive over-brushing or periodontal (gum) disease, the gum tissues can recede from the teeth. This exposes portions of the dentin not covered by enamel to the effects of hot or cold. The result is an over-stimulation of the dentin when encountering normal environmental conditions.
So, what can be done to relieve painful tooth sensitivity? Here are 3 ways to stop or minimize the symptoms.
Change your brushing habits. As mentioned, brushing too hard and/or too often can contribute to gum recession. The whole purpose of brushing (and flossing) is to remove bacterial plaque that’s built up on tooth surfaces; a gentle action with a soft brush is sufficient. Anything more than two brushings a day is usually too much — you should also avoid brushing just after consuming acidic foods or liquids to give saliva time to neutralize acid and restore minerals to the enamel.
Include fluoride in your dental care. Fluoride has been proven to strengthen enamel. Be sure, then, to use toothpastes and other hygiene products that contain fluoride. With severe sensitivity you may also benefit from a fluoride varnish applied by a dentist to your teeth that not only strengthens enamel but also provides a barrier to exposed dentin.
Seek treatment for dental disease. Tooth sensitivity is often linked to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Treating dental disease may include plaque removal, gum surgery to restore receded gums, a filling to remove decay or root canal therapy when the decay gets to the tooth pulp. These treatments could all have an effect on reducing or ending your tooth sensitivity.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatments for sensitive teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Sensitivity.”
Find out how clear aligners could give you the straight smile you’ve always wanted.
Are you an adult who is sick and tired of having a crooked smile? Do you wish that you felt confident every time you opened your mouth to smile or speak? Perhaps you think it’s too late to get that new and improved smile, but our Braintree, MA, dentists are here to tell you that it’s never too late to consider Invisalign.
We know that once you reach a certain age, the idea of sporting a mouth full of metal seems like a ridiculous option for getting a straighter smile. That’s why our Braintree general dentists offer Invisalign, which provide a clear orthodontic approach to improve common misalignments like crowding, gaps between teeth, overbites, and underbites.
Each aligner is made from clear, medical-grade plastic so they are nearly invisible when placed over your teeth. Each aligner must be custom made in order to provide you with the results you want. Before getting your aligners this means that we will need to take images of your mouth and use special computer software to help determine which teeth need to shift and how much they need to move in order to get your ideal smile.
From there, these specific tooth movements are mapped out and given to a special Invisalign dental lab, where they will make each individual aligner. Each aligner is designed to move teeth a specific amount, as determined by your individualized treatment plan.
In order to achieve the results you want does mean wearing your aligners as often as possible. While we know that it might be tempting to remove them, it’s important that you wear them anytime you aren’t eating, drinking (anything other than water), brushing, or flossing. Aim to wear your aligners for about 22 hours out of the day.
Aligners are usually worn for about two weeks at a time before being replaced with the next set of aligners in your treatment plan. The number of aligners each patient receives will depend on the severity of their dental issues. For example, someone who is only fixing minor crowding will have far fewer aligners than someone who has more moderate-to-severe gaps between teeth.
If you are a teen or adult in Braintree, MA, who is interested in getting Invisalign then it’s time you called our office to schedule a consultation with us. Let’s help you get the smile you know you deserve.