Why Dental Health is a Personal Investment

Dental Health is a Personal Investment

We all know the saying: “health is wealth” – it never gets old because we know it always rings true. Health is a treasured source of wealth because it spares you from many serious conditions and illnesses, as well as the accompanying costs that come from the required treatment. The same is also true in the case of dental health. Maintaining your dental health is an easy way to invest in your own health and well-being.

Perception Of The Self

So how is dental health a personal investment? Many scientific studies suggest that self-confidence, feeling of self-competence, and importance of body investment are essential influencers of self-reported dental health status and behavior. Dental health is a personal investment because it affects how you perceive yourself – it’s a part of feeling confident, competent, and happy.

Negative Effects Of Poor Dental Health

Poor dental hygiene can have adverse and far-reaching effects on your overall health, wellness, and happiness. First, poor dental health can affect your quality of life. Some people with poor dental health might also lose interest in social functions and even romantic relationships. For example, lack of oral hygiene leads to potential problems such as a severe case of bad breath or halitosis which may have serious negative effects on their romantic relationship with a significant other. Secondly, untreated tooth cavities and toothache can also reduce one’s productivity at work. For example, delaying a much-needed visit to the dentist can force someone to endure a serious pain unnecessarily.

Minimizing Risks

When we invest in our dental health, we minimize other health risks. For example, if left untreated, gum disease leads not only to the loss of teeth but also the development of more serious conditions like respiratory diseases. Bacteria build-up in the mouth can travel and spread in the lungs. Moreover, maintaining dental health also requires specific steps that also benefit the overall physical health. For example, avoiding smoking, making healthy food choices, and drinking lots of water are part of an optimal dental health regimen, and these steps are extremely beneficial to overall physical health and happiness.

In sum, maintaining dental health is a personal investment because it boosts self-esteem, prevents the negative effects of poor dental health to many aspects of our lives, and minimizes risks for the development of other diseases.

Is Prolonged Soreness After a Dental Filling Common?

Sore After Fillings

If our expert dentists find a cavity in a patient’s tooth, we work to treat the cavity as soon as possible. After all, rapid response can prevent the decay from spreading and causing further damage. Often, we repair cavity damage with a filling. Many ask if it is common to have prolonged soreness after a dental filling. Read on to learn about this common restorative procedure!

What Is a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings restore the function of your natural tooth after it has been damaged by decay. During the procedure, our first step is to remove the decay from your tooth and clean out the area. Then we fill the cavity with a special dental material to strengthen your natural tooth and to protect it against further damage and decay.

Are There Different Kinds of Dental Fillings?

There are multiple materials that can be utilized for dental fillings, such as gold, silver (amalgam), composite resin, and porcelain. During your consultation, our team will explore the pros and cons of the available materials to determine which is best for your smile, especially if you want a tooth-colored filling to match your natural teeth.

Does Getting a Dental Filling Hurt?

We use a local anesthetic when removing decay and repairing teeth with fillings so the actual procedure will only cause minor discomfort. After the procedure, it is possible you could experience some sensitivity when consuming very hot or cold foods and beverages. You may also feel some soreness when pressure is applied, such as when biting or chewing. This will usually go away after a few days. But occasionally, patients experience an allergic reaction to a filling or can have a loose or cracked filling that is causing prolonged discomfort. If you experience continued pain or an issue with your new filling, let our office know as soon as possible.

More Questions? We Have Answers!

Unfortunately, cavities won’t magically heal themselves. But dental fillings are an effective treatment to ease tooth pain and sensitivity from advanced decay. They fortify your tooth for proper chewing and speaking, and with modern-day techniques and materials, fillings can blend into your smile so no one will know you ever had a cavity. To ask our team any questions about dental fillings or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today.

Relaxation Options for Anxious Dental Patients

Anxious Dental Patient

A mother with two small children. She knows the value of dental treatment, and takes her children to the dentist regularly. Their teeth are healthy and clean, and so far have had no cavities.

But her teeth are another story entirely. She doesn’t know of the new relaxation options for anxious dental patients. When she was a child, dental techniques were not so gentle as they are today. She recalls the hour spent in the chair with horrible tastes in her mouth with no way to swallow or be comfortable. She remembers sitting in agony with no anesthetic while a cavity was being prepared and filled. She remembers the smell of the antiseptic and the feeling of being trapped in a chair.  And though her teeth desperately need a dental visit and she knows modern dentistry is better, she remains reluctant to go or even schedule the time.

If this sounds familiar, you’re dealing with the realities of dental anxiety…and help is available!

Behavior Modification

As with any form of anxiety, behavior modification can provide a source of relief. When you become aware of the connection between your mental state and physical tension you may find ways to relax.

Yoga can train you to focus your mind, breath, and muscles together. Those who practice yoga often have a calmer, more peaceful outlook on life.

Breathing: Many focused breathing guides can be found online. There are several basic ones that may work for you, here. Include visualization, such as breathing in a golden light representing peace, and exhaling or releasing any anxious feelings.

Bring a friend of family member with you to your appointment. Having someone who can provide a calming influence may make you feel better about your time in the chair.

Sedation and Anesthetic

Aside from behavior techniques that may provide relief to your dental anxiety, you should know that the dental office is more comfortable and provides a wider variety of options for pain and relaxation. There is no longer any reason to perform a treatment or extraction without an anesthetic or sedation. Even standard exams and cleanings can be done under a light sedation if necessary.

Local anesthetic numbs nerves in a small, immediate area. Fortunately, numbing gels and newer anesthetic techniques make getting numb not so uncomfortable!

Nitrous oxide sedation (“Laughing Gas”) provides fast, gentle relaxation that can be reversed 100% so that you can drive yourself home afterward.

Oral sedatives allow you to experience more of a dream-like state, where you are semi-conscious but unlikely to remember anything about the appointment.

Don’t Be Afraid of The Dentist Anymore!

If you are like the mother of two who is afraid to go to the dentist, it’s time to get the gentle dental care you need.

At Rushmore Dental, not only will you receive excellent dental care for long overdue issues, you’ll also have a comfortable exam with a gentle touch. Contact our Rushmore Dental office to schedule your appointment.

Four Things to Know About Porcelain and Composite Fillings

Porcelain Composite

When you’re faced with a choice of fillings, the chances are you want ones that will look natural in your mouth and also last for a long time.  At Rushmore Dental, you have a few choices available. We want you to have the information necessary to make the best decision for your health and your smile!

Here’s what you need to know:

Match Your Teeth

The older type of filling material, amalgam, is a blend of different metals. While this is an effective and strong material, it leaves your teeth looking grey. Even metal fillings like gold and silver can be very obvious in the teeth. With the (wrongful) stigma that goes along with obvious dental restorations, there’s no that wonder metal fillings often have the effect of making patients self-conscious, and hesitant about smiling. The good news is that both porcelain and composite fillings are great choices for fillings and they match your teeth! You’ll feel confident smiling and laughing!

Not All Cavities Are the Same!

Surface cavities can be repaired in a single visit under local anesthesia. For this type, one that is between your teeth or very small, a composite filling is the best choice.  Not only does it match your teeth, but it is installed with and bonds quickly to your tooth!

The repair for a deeper cavity may be more extensive. Depending on the structure of the tooth, Dr. Kelly may decide that a porcelain filling is better. If you have to choose one or the other to make up the majority of your tooth, porcelain is a better aesthetic and minimally-invasive choice.  Large porcelain fillings, however, are usually put in as an inlay or an only.  What this means is that an impression of the cavity area is taken, and a lab-made filling is designed to fill and/or cover the space. It requires more than one appointment and a temporary filling in between.

Choose for Tooth Size!

The larger the tooth, the more pressure it has to withstand while you are chewing hundreds of times during the day.  So, a smaller tooth, like one of your front teeth or canines, may have a cavity that is easily corrected with composite filling, the same size cavity in a bicuspid or molar may need the stability of a lab-designed porcelain inlay.

Cavities are nothing to wait on. They can cause sensitivity, infection, bad breath, and abscessed roots.  Food can get caught in them. They can spread to other surrounding teeth if not treated early on.

If you think you might have a cavity in one tooth, don’t delay: it’s time to call Rushmore Dental for a dental exam and X-ray.  Restoring your smile to health is one of our primary goals.

Three Times You Might Need A Filling – Even If Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt!

Do you need a filling

Have you ever been surprised on a visit to the dentist?  Sometimes, even if you’ve been having your six-month cleanings and keeping up with your dental hygiene, you still get a cavity.

They don’t necessarily hurt, but cavities need to be fixed as soon as they’re found, to prevent further destruction to your teeth! Here are three examples of cavities that you might not feel, but need to be treated…quickly!

The cavity in the top of your molar. Your molars, the teeth toward the back of your mouth, are meant to grind food. They are creased and creviced. You may notice that certain foods get caught in them: seeds from berries, bread, pieces of meat. When this happens, you might have a very slight cavity in the biting surface of the back tooth. The more food gets stuck, the worse the cavity will get since it’s very difficult to remove food debris from an uneven crevice.

The cavity between your teeth. If you don’t floss well or often, and especially if your teeth are close together, you may tend to cavities between them. Food gets caught there, breeding acids and breaking down enamel, leaving a food supply for the bacteria that cause plaque. The process eats away at teeth adjacent to it too, and works its way deeper into the dentin of your tooth. Since a toothbrush cannot get into that space to clean, it’s at a higher risk. Your cavity may start in one tooth, but the bacteria and decay will spread to the next tooth, leaving you with two cavities if you don’t have the first one filled.

The cavity on the back of your tooth. The back of your teeth is a hard spot to clean. You have to open your mouth wider than is comfortable and reach the toothbrush around, or stick both of your hands in to floss. This spot is prone to cavities and to inflammation in your gums.

Any of these cavities are likely to go unnoticed by the naked eye; you’ll only be able to see them with a set of dental x-rays.  In fact, if you can see a cavity or feel a cavity, it’s past time to have it restored!

Fillings and Restoration in Rapid City

Pain and sensitivity in a tooth or gum and persistent foul breath are indicators of a cavity. But by the time you’ve having these symptoms, the decay has probably gone through the outer layers and into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, making you prone to an abscess. At this point, the root is open to infection, and is likely to be very sensitive to heat, cold, and sweetness. It’s likely at this point that you will need more than a filling, like a root canal or crown.

Don’t put off your dental appointments or fillings! Even if you don’t feel pain from a cavity, it’s working its way through your tooth. Rushmore Dental can help you enjoy better dental health. Call today!

How to Know What Your Dental Insurance Covers

Dental Insurance

Has it been a while since you last saw a dentist? At Rushmore Dental, we’re committed to help our patients minimize the financial impact of their oral health care. We believe that you deserve to know what you need to pay for, when you’re required to pay for treatment, and how much your insurance plan really covers.

Your Treatment Plan

After your comprehensive exam and consultation, our North Vancouver dentist will discuss which types of treatment are recommended for your unique situation. In some cases, you’ll have a choice to choose between different options.

Together, we’ll create your customized treatment plan to outline:

Which procedures need to be completed

The number and length of appointments involved

The fees for each service

An estimate of what your insurance plan is expected to cover

As our treatment coordinator walks you through your care plan, you’ll have a chance to see exactly what fees are involved. Because Rushmore Dental works with various insurance companies, we can generally provide a close estimate of what your particular carrier is expected to pay in a given circumstance.

Is Your Insurance Accepted by Your Dentist?

When you call Rushmore Dental for the first time, or if you’ve recently changed dental insurances, our patient coordinators can let you know whether or not we take your particular type of coverage. In most cases, all dental insurance plans are welcome. There may be certain exclusions that don’t allow you to select the office where your benefits are active, so it’s always best to call us first.

When do You Pay?

How can you know when and how much you’re responsible for paying toward your dental treatment? Here are some of the most common situations when our patients may need to pay at the time of service, or following their procedure:

If a deductible is due. Deductibles are the flat dollar amount that must be paid prior to your insurance benefits being accessible. For instance, if you need $500 in treatment but have a $200 deductible, the $200 must be paid before the insurance claim is accepted by your carrier.

When there is a copay. Copays are the percentage or fixed amount that you need to pay at the time of your appointment. A common example is when a specific type of treatment is covered at a set percentage; you would pay the remaining balance at the time of service, and then the insurance claim would be filed.

When there are exclusions or the claim is rejected. Perhaps your insurance plan doesn’t take effect for 90 more days, won’t cover a particular procedure, or has rejected a claim for one reason or another. When this happens, the patient is responsible for the total fee for service.

Maximize Your Coverage

At Rushmore Dental, our Rapid City dentists understand that an unexpected dental expense isn’t something that anyone likes. That’s why we’re committed to helping you maximize your insurance coverage to limit any out of pocket expenses related to the care you need.

Ask us about payment plans when you call, or during your treatment plan consultation. Schedule your next appointment at Rushmore Dental today!

The Cost of Skipping Dental Care

A trip to the dentist may seem like a harmless thing to postpone. Schedules get busy and arranging to visit your family dentist can cost time and money, depending on the type of coverage you have. In the long run, however, the cost of skipping dental care and preventative check-ups and early treatments is greater than the cost of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. When more invasive treatments are needed, the side effects can be greater and the procedures and materials end up costing more.Cost of Skipping Dental Care

When good oral health habits are practiced at home, it can be easy to assume that professional dental care is not needed, especially when no symptoms of decay or other issues are present. Even for patients with healthy teeth, it is recommended to visit your family dentist once every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Dental hygienists are trained to use special tools to remove tartar from the teeth when plaque has hardened and can no longer be removed through brushing alone. Your family dentist has the expertise to identify other potential oral health issues early on, such as:

Early signs of decay and cavities

Signs of gum disease or infection such as bleeding or inflammation

Repairs needed to previous dental work such as fillings

Early signs of mouth or throat cancer

Other suspicious growths

Any concerns with the general condition of the bones in your face and jaw

Preventative and Restorative Care

Your family dentist can recommend preventative treatments such as fluoride and sealants. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the teeth and makes them more resistant to acid and decay. Dental sealants are gel coatings that are painted onto the chewing surface of the molars to protect the teeth from bacteria and food particles that can collect in the grooves of the teeth.

When tooth decay has already occurred, your family dentist can give you a filling by clearing the decay and filling the affected area with composite resin or amalgam. When a deep cavity is left untreated, the pulp pf the tooth can become infected. In this case, a root canal is needed to remove and fill the pulp of the tooth, sometimes requiring a post to be inserted to help support the filling.

The Cost of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

When a tooth is damaged beyond repair it must be extracted to prevent the spread of infection. To replace a damaged tooth, your dentist can insert a post into the jawbone and attached a prosthetic tooth. This is known as a tooth implant. Although you can live without a full set of teeth, it is important to note the implications associated with not having a missing tooth replaced. The impacts of missing a tooth or teeth include:

Cosmetic effects: The aesthetic of your smile will be affected by having a gap in the teeth, and you may feel self-conscious about your smile and overall appearance.

Gum disease: When the gum is left uncovered and unprotected it increases the chance of germs getting into the gums and spreading infection to neighboring teeth.

Bone loss: When the roots of a tooth are no longer embedded in the jawbone it leaves a gap that can cause the bone to weaken over time. The weakened bone structure can eventually affect neighboring teeth.

Difficulty eating: A missing tooth can cause discomfort when chewing and limit the foods you are able to eat and bite in to.

Overall health: In addition to potential limitations on eating healthy foods, reduced oral health is associated with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pre-term birth.

Speech problems: Missing teeth can affect the way you pronounce and articulate words.

If you don’t invest in the proper preventative care and treatment, you may ending up paying the price later on. If you are in the Rapid City area and are in need of a dental exam, book an appointment today. Your local dentist can advise on the many options for preventive care, restorative treatments, and high quality tooth replacement.

Survey: Many U.S. adults not aware of cavity prevention control

By Tony Edwards, DrBicuspid.com editor in chief

February 9, 2016 — Over 40% of more than 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed believe they have little or no control over whether they get a cavity, according to a new Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) survey released February 4.

In fact, only 57% of respondents even believe they have “significant control” over getting a cavity. Significant control is the combination of two categories on the survey: total control and a lot of control.

The survey also found that at least 40% of adults answered incorrectly to the following statements:

  • “The bacteria that cause tooth decay can be transmitted from a parent to a child.”
  • “The sugar in natural fruit juice can contribute to childhood cavities.”
  • “A parent should begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth.” In fact, 41% responded that parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth at 3 years.

“Only 43% of adults surveyed believe they have much control over whether they get a cavity,” stated Meg Booth, CDHP’s executive director, in a press release. “We need to remind families that they have more control than they realize, and prevention starts long before children enter school. We all need to give families the knowledge and tools that support the habits that will put children on a lifelong path of oral health.”

Survey results

The survey was conducted in December 2015 among more than 1,000 U.S. adults 18 years and older.

“We need to remind families that they have more control than they realize, and prevention starts long before children enter school.”— Meg Booth, CDHP executive director

When asked, “Which of the following is the most common chronic health condition affecting U.S. children and teens?” 8 out of 10 respondents stated obesity, with only 7% citing tooth decay. Diabetes also scored higher than tooth decay at 9%.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic health condition of childhood, and it is also two to three times more common than childhood asthma or obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The correct response rate fell to 4% among adults earning less than $35,000, the CDHP noted.

In addition, 9% also responded that the statement “Pregnant women should not receive a dental exam or get a cavity filled” is true, while 14% responded that it was true that those who “regularly brush with fluoride toothpaste don’t benefit from drinking fluoridated water.”

Matt Jacob, CDHP’s director of communications, told DrBicuspid.com there were some positives.

“There were a few silver linings to our survey,” Jacob said. “For example, it was encouraging to see that 86% of those surveyed felt that drinking fluoridated water is beneficial even for those who brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste.”

( Dr Tim’s take away: It’s an interesting result, you may agree or disagree with some of the information but the bottom line is parents need to take control of their families diets and brushing habits to prevent cavities.) thus this is a preventable disease with careful planning and consideration.

Ultimately, we’re all worried about our pocket books and this will decreasing the total costs to a family over time. Prevention is king for most of us.  There are cases were prevention is more difficult but not unattainable that I have seen over the years.)