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Understanding Why Dental Work Costs So Much And How You Can Lower Your Bill

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After a quick trip to the dentist you may be shocked to see your dental bill. Depending on how thorough your insurance coverage is, you may have to save up for more serious treatments like root canals and bridges, or you may have to work out a payment plan with your dental office. Before you start to resent your dentist for the cost of his or her work, you should take some time to consider the real cost of treatment.  What You Are Really Paying For  In the United States, dental patients are usually seen in clean, well-lit offices. They are worked on by highly trained professionals using quality equipment. All of this comes with a price tag, which can sometimes be quite surprising.  Education for dentists can cost as much or more than medical school. Your dentist most likely has at least two years of university classes, although it is more common for them to have a bachelor’s degree, followed by four years of dental school. This leads to an average of $241,000 in student debt.  When you go to your dentist’s office, you are not only seen by your dentist though. You may be seen by a hygienist, who has either a degree or technical certification costing between $30,000 and $45,000. A dental assistant may assist your dentist or hygienist, and they probably spent between $3000 and $9000 in training. Finally, there is usually a receptionist to help file your paperwork and lab technicians creating crowns, in-lays, and other dental prosthetics.  Besides the people who are working with you, there are costs to purchase working dental equipment and supplies, utilities, and office rental, which can add up quickly.  What You Get For Your Money While there is logic behind the high cost of dental care, you may still wonder what you are getting out of it. Would it be better to participate in dental tourism to a country where the cost of becoming a dentist and setting up an office is not as much as it is in the United States?  When you receive dental care in the United States, you receive care from professionals who are held to high standards by their state licensing boards. These standards include extensive training, the use of quality materials, and measures against the spread of infectious diseases. While you could get a similar standard of care for less in another country, it is not guaranteed, and you can not always know what your experience will be like when you go abroad.  All of this adds up to you having a greater peace of mind when you get your dental care done by a certified dentist in your state.  How Can You Reduce Your Costs?  Believe it or not, your dentist’s prices are not set in stone. While you may not walk out of the office with a free visit, there are ways that you can reduce your bill.  First, try negotiating for a better price. This is most effective when done before the procedure, and if you have quotes from other dentists in the area. While you are negotiating, you should ask for discounts for paying up front, or getting multiple procedures done at once.  Once you have negotiated an affordable price for your treatment, think of ways you can shave...

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5 Dental Problems Associated With Chemotherapy (And How To Deal With Them)

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re about to undergo chemotherapy for treatment of cancer, you should be aware of the possibility of side effects pertaining to your oral health. Some of the more common dental issues experienced during chemotherapy include mouth pain and inflammation, bleeding gums, dry mouth and infection. A change in taste sensation may also occur. How Chemotherapy Affects Oral Health Chemotherapy drugs are intended to kill cancer cells in the body. In doing so, the drugs may destroy other “healthy” cells, which makes the patient more susceptible to a host of complications. You may not have thought your cancer treatment could affect your oral health, but it’s not as uncommon as one might think. The following is a list of common issues that may affect your oral health as a result of chemotherapy, along with practical solutions for dealing with them: 1. Oral Pain and Inflammation Anti-cancer drugs may cause sore gums or dental pain in some patients. This discomfort may be worsened in patients with sensitive teeth. You might ask your dentist about using an anti-sensitivity toothpaste and mouthwash. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water may relieve the discomfort as well. Your dentist may suggest placing hot or cold compresses on your face to control oral pain. You might want to experiment with both to see which works best for you. Additionally, your dentist may prescribe fluoride treatments. 2. Bleeding Gums It’s not unusual to experience bleeding gums during or after chemotherapy. This may occur while brushing your teeth or while flossing. Do you know what causes bleeding gums when taking anti-cancer drugs? Some chemotherapy drugs interfere with the body’s natural blood clotting ability. This means you’re more susceptible to bruising and bleeding. Take these measures to reduce the risk: Don’t pick at your teeth with a dental instrument or toothpick. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid hard or crunchy foods during your chemotherapy. Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco 3. Dry Mouth Certain anti-cancer drugs may interfere with the production of saliva. If you experience temporary dry mouth during chemotherapy, consult your dentist. You can relieve dry mouth by using an over-the-counter oral rinse and toothpaste formulated for this purpose. The “artificial saliva” helps replenish moisture in the mouth. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Your dentist may also recommend sucking on sugarless hard candies. This may help stimulate the production of saliva. Dry mouth is often relieved several weeks after chemotherapy ends, when salivary glands return to a normal state. 4. Infection Chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, thereby making the patient more vulnerable to infection. Patients with poor oral health prior to beginning chemotherapy may have a higher risk for bacterial or fungal infection. If you experience a dental infection, your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse in additional to a course of antibiotics. If the infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungi, an anti-fungal mouthwash may be prescribed. If you wear dentures, it is essential to keep them immaculately clean and disinfected. Soaking them in a solution of vinegar and water will destroy germs. Alternately, you may soak your dentures in a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture. 5. Temporary Alteration in Taste Buds Chemotherapy may alter your sensation of taste. Typically, this is a temporary situation that...

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Use The Tooth Fairy To Help Improve Your Child’s Oral Hygiene

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Uncategorized |

The tooth fairy brings joy and delight to kids all over America and many other parts of the world. While most parents view it as merely a fun fantasy for children, the tooth fairy myth can be wrapped into a larger, more meaningful experience. Proper care of teeth can be a difficult task for children, but savvy parents can use the tooth fairy to help reinforce positive habits. Here are some things you can do: Create an appropriate back story While almost every child understands the tooth fairy brings rewards in exchange for baby teeth left under pillows, there is a lot of missing detail in the bigger story. Some parents have created impromptu, family-based traditions to fill in some of the gaps, but most children are never given reasons for why the tooth fairy goes about her nightly rounds. That provides you with a prime opportunity to create a fantastic back story full of detail. The richer you make the story behind the tooth fairy, the more your children will be enchanted with the wonder and mystery. Ultimately, this fascination can be channeled toward an increased enthusiasm for practicing good oral hygiene. Here are some questions you may want to answer as you craft your family’s tooth fairy tale: Who is the tooth fairy, and where did she come from? Why did the tooth fairy begin to provide rewards in return for teeth? What values are important to the tooth fairy? How does the tooth fairy go about her nightly duties? As you write, use descriptive language that evokes positive emotional responses in young children. Don’t worry if it isn’t a “perfect” story; a few plot holes here and there will not be noticeable. Also, resist the urge to make your home’s tooth fairy into an overly-moralizing, joyless creature that does not have your child’s interests at heart. While you want your tale to be powerful, kids are going to tune out a tooth fairy account that strikes them as authoritarian. Provide extra rewards for healthy teeth Ensuring healthy teeth in your kids is a big part of your home’s tooth fairy experience, so be sure that your children are rewarded more for surrendering healthy teeth than ones that have evidence of decay such as spots or fillings. If you are unsure as to what constitutes a healthy tooth, then spend some time with your family’s dentist or dental hygienist; ask them to provide a quick description of decayed teeth. Certainly don’t expect to become a dentist after a few minutes of conversation, but you can correctly identify big problems much of the time with a little training. When the tooth fairy rewards your child, be sure to include a written note describing the tooth fairy’s “reaction” to your child’s tooth. If it is a perfectly healthy tooth, use effusive praise and recognition. If it has a suspected spot of decay, then make mention of it, but never castigate the child or use any type of negative language. Much in the same way Santa Claus merely rewards less well-behaved children with fewer presents, then you should be sure to provide a small reward on behalf of the tooth fairy. Build an ongoing dialog The tooth fairy is traditionally considered an infrequent visitor to homes, but one of the...

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