Dentin hypersensitivity is common among those who frequently whiten their teeth. This condition causes heightened sensitivity in response to hot or cold beverages, eating sweets, and while brushing. Mild discomfort from whitening should be temporary and should last for no longer than 48 hours.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, read on to learn how to reduce discomfort and irritation after whitening your smile.
Why Whitening Products Increase Tooth Sensitivity
Regardless of brand or type, all whitening products contain some amount of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The amount varies between at-home and professional treatments, but any amount can cause either temporary or long-lasting sensitivity. Irritation can occur when the peroxide penetrates the tooth enamel to the soft layer of dentin where nerves are located. Other factors, such as the concentration of peroxide, ill-fitting trays, or not using products as prescribed, can affect the degree and duration of sensitivity.
Always Discuss Whitening Solutions With Your Dentist
Before beginning any whitening treatment, it’s essential to address any underlying dental issues that cause tooth sensitivity, such as gum disease or cavities. Most dental health problems are treatable, so beginning a tooth whitening treatment once these issues have been resolved is a simple solution.
Talk to your dentist and ask about tooth whitening for sensitive teeth. If your dentist recommends delaying whitening treatments until other issues are resolved, follow their instructions. Failing to do so can cause further damage to your teeth or increase sensitivity.
Professional Whitening Treatments
Professional whitening treatments are performed by a dentist and are typically the best option for those suffering from sensitive teeth. While professional whitening is the most expensive option, it allows a dentist to monitor the process and ensure your teeth remain safe throughout treatment. Professional whitening also utilizes gels and desensitizers to help reduce sensitivity while whitening your teeth. In-office whitening is the most effective at removing stains and is long-lasting when compared to at-home whitening options.
At-Home Whitening Kits
At-home teeth whitening options are the most cost-effective way to brighten your smile. Many of these options can easily irritate those already suffering from sensitive teeth and gums, primarily when not used as directed. At-home whitening methods can vary, and consumers have several different options easily found in drugstores. Whitening toothpaste, gels, strips, rinses, and over-the-counter whitening trays are all effective. When selecting the right method for your teeth, look for a product that is specially formulated to work with sensitive teeth if it has been an issue for you in the past.
Before Treatment: Preventing Whitening Sensitivity
Anyone about to undergo a professional whitening treatment is advised to build up a resistance to sensitivity by changing to a desensitizing toothpaste or gel. Doing so at least one week before the start of whitening treatments can prevent the sensation of temporary heightened sensitivity. Making this switch will not entirely prevent irritation, but it will reduce potential discomfort.
At-home whitening treatments are a safe way to reduce sensitivity. Dosage and treatment time can be adjusted by the patient in response to the onset of heightened sensitivity, minimizing discomfort while achieving results. When the teeth start to become sensitive, alter your treatment accordingly. Shortening the duration by 5-10 minutes can drastically reduce sensitivity.
After Treatment: Things To Avoid
After your treatment, tooth sensitivity will be at its highest. Use a prescribed toothpaste or gel specifically designed to cope with sensitivity. In most cases, this sensitivity will only last around 48 hours. After this time frame, you can switch back to your regular toothpaste.
Managing Pain and Discomfort After Whitening
Patients suffering from hypersensitivity, or patients who feel that the discomfort is extending beyond the expected 48 hours after treatment, should talk with their dentist. Whitening is possible for almost anyone, and Cherrywood Dental Associates is here to help you find a solution to whitening with sensitive teeth. Call us today to discuss your options.
Many adults avoid visiting the dentist regularly to avoid the high costs associated with treatments. Those with fixed or low income, and people with no dental insurance are the least likely to seek dental care. As our bodies age, we are more susceptible to cavities, gum disease, and expensive treatments like root canals, surgery, or dental implants, and taking great care of your teeth and gums is more important than ever.
So what is the average cost to anticipate for a visit to the dentist? Here are some things to take into consideration.
Every Dental Office Is Different
There are a few key factors that affect the cost of a visit to the dentist. One piece of helpful information is that the dental office dictates charges. Things like location can dictate the price of treatment. For example, if the dental practice is located in a larger metropolitan area in a city, the cost will be higher. The final price you pay for treatments and services will be impacted by things like more expensive real estate, the dentist’s reputation, and if the office is a private practice or is an office for the general public.
Keeping Out-of-Pocket Costs Down
Another critical factor to take into consideration when determining dental costs is the specialty of the dentist. Depending on the dentist’s expertise, this can be a more expensive service. If a provider targets a specific niche, this also allows the dentist to determine a higher price point for assistance. For example, a dentist who specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry will have the experience and skill-level to provide top-notch dental restorations. However, services can also be more costly than a dentist with a more general practice for the same treatment.
Dental insurance is one of the best ways to keep out-of-pocket costs down. If you are unable to obtain insurance, some dental offices offer payment plans and discount dental plans to lower your bill.
Average Costs of Treatments
A standard dental exam varies with whether it requires an x-ray or a more extensive cleaning than a patient who just had their teeth cleaned six months ago. Dentists will likely recommend additional treatments depending on the outcome of your exam. These can be exuberantly high and can sometimes deter the patient from continuing care.
Here are some general costs you can expect for routine treatments. These prices are on-average costs, and it’s essential to remember that dental care varies, as previously discussed.
Exams and Cleanings
A basic dental exam costs between $50-$250. Teeth cleanings typically cost between $75-$250. If you have dental insurance, these treatments are frequently covered under preventive care.
Depending on the type of filling, costs are typically between $50-$300. Tooth fillings can range in material and often include plastic, composite, resin, and porcelain. Associated costs vary depending on the material selected.
Whether you will need surgery and anesthesia or not, basic costs for tooth extractions cost between $50-$300.
Depending on the type of crown required and material used, you can expect for a dental crown to cost you between $350-$900.
Patients can expect to pay between $125-$250 per exposed tooth for root canal therapy.
Skipping The Dentist Won’t Save You Money
All patients need to realize that skipping the dentist won’t save you money. The most expensive cost of all is the cost of not seeing a dentist, and having minor issues go undetected and left untreated. If the damage to your tooth is too extensive, you risk tooth loss in addition to other related oral health issues.
If you’re concerned over the potential costs of visiting the dentist, let Cherrywood Dental Associates know when scheduling an appointment. We always strive to work with our patients to make dental treatments as pleasant and affordable as possible. Call us today with any questions on the pricing of services.
Tooth discoloration is said to happen if the color and appearance of the primary teeth change from anything but a bright shade of white. Just because your child’s teeth are going to fall out eventually doesn’t mean you should ever overlook any dental hygiene issues. If ignored, dental problems can bring about lifelong consequences.
Here are simple ways to treat tooth discoloration in toddlers, and what the discoloration may be trying to tell you.
What Tooth Discoloration Is Trying To Tell You
Tooth discoloration can be classified into two different categories:
Caused when food, beverages, or medications get absorbed into the tooth film, external discoloration is a protein film that forms on the surface of tooth enamel. These types of surface stains can typically be removed by brushing the teeth with a small amount of whitening toothpaste, which contains more scrubbing power than children’s toothpaste. A paste made of baking soda and water is also useful in removing plaque buildup that has been stained with food debris.
Internal discoloration can occur either directly or indirectly due to several internal factors that are affecting the overall health of a child. Dentine defects, enamel hypoplasia, metabolic disorder, systemic syndrome, and other health factors can all cause tooth discoloration. Stains caused by internal factors are not easily removed by brushing alone.
Common Factors To Consider
If your toddler’s teeth appear yellow or dull in color, it’s most likely due to the teeth not being cleaned thoroughly, resulting in a buildup of plaque. The most common causes of tooth discoloration in toddlers are:
Not brushing a child’s teeth adequately will result in plaque formation. Plaque forms as a result of bacterial action on food debris, which can lead to discoloration in teeth. Your child’s teeth should be brushed every day, twice per day, as soon as their first tooth erupts. Babies and young children can get cavities too, just like adults, so always check your child’s teeth for signs of enamel erosion.
Dental caries, or cavities, are caused due to the activity of bacteria that feeds off food debris that is not properly cleaned off the surfaces of the teeth. Discoloration due to dental decay ranges from yellow to black as a result of inadequate brushing.
White patches or streaks on the teeth can be a common sign of fluorosis. Fluorosis is caused when there is too much fluoride in a child’s mouth either due to:
- A child’s drinking water contains excessive amounts of fluoride
- The toothpaste a child is using contains too much fluoride for their age
At-Home Treatment Options
Treatment of tooth discoloration in toddlers relies on the reasons behind the issue. If the cause is due to external factors, such as food debris and beverages that are dark in color and staining the tooth enamel, standard tooth color can be regained by:
Better Brushing – Brushing a toddler’s teeth with an adult toothbrush and a small amount of adult toothpaste can alleviate stubborn stains. Always brush softly as hard brushing can damage gum tissue.
Baking Soda and Water – A paste of baking soda and water can be used to brush away surface stains.
Monitoring – Always watch for the accumulation of stains on the surface of a child’s teeth to help prevent plaque buildup and avoid future cavities.
Bleaching – Certain bleaching methods can be used by a dentist to remove stubborn stains for both children and adults.
Pumice Mixture – Used by a dentist, this method removes the stain and bacteria from the teeth. Pumice powder is exclusively formulated to use on teeth and is far different from a pumice stone. Never attempt to clean teeth with any type of pumice yourself.
Prevention Is Key
Teeth discoloration that occurs due to internal factors cannot be prevented but can be treated, and the normal color of the teeth can be regained. On the other hand, tooth discoloration due to external factors can be entirely prevented with proper cleaning habits and routine visits to your child’s dentist. If you are concerned over tooth discoloration in your toddler’s smile, call Cherrywood Dental Associates today!
Your child’s first teeth begin to show by the time your little one turns six months old. While these new teeth tend to pop up bright and white, toddler teeth can appear dull or dingy. If your child’s teeth are looking more yellow or orange, it’s likely due to them not being cleaned thoroughly, which results in a buildup of plaque.
Teeth stains aren’t necessarily an indication of tooth decay, but letting plaque accumulate on the teeth can cause gum disease – even in kids! Here are the top six reasons why your toddler’s teeth may look yellow, and what to do about it.
Your child’s teeth should be brushed every day, twice per day, as soon as their first tooth erupts. Cleaning baby teeth is necessary because as soon as the first tooth erupts, bacteria begin working to form plaque. Babies and toddlers can get cavities too, just like adults, so always check your child’s teeth for signs of enamel erosion.
To correct any discoloration that is unable to be removed at home by incorporating better brushing techniques, your dentist can perform a professional treatment. Additionally, your dentist can then determine the underlying cause of the discoloration to prevent it from returning.
Early Tooth Decay
Poor dental hygiene habits can lead to plaque buildup and yellowing of the teeth. Parents should wipe their baby’s gums with a soft cloth and brush their child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth comes in to establish healthy habits. Following a good oral care routine for your toddler will help to teach them about brushing and flossing from an early age to avoid early onset of tooth decay.
Prolonged use of antibiotics and antihistamines are known contributors to stained teeth in toddlers. Antibiotics cause tooth calcification that leads to teeth appearing gray or yellow. Certain supplements such as liquid iron or even iron in a multivitamin can also darken baby teeth. Some medications can prevent the normal production levels of saliva, which can also lead to an increase in plaque buildup and yellowing. Lastly, a child whose mother took certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline, during pregnancy may also be more susceptible to tooth discoloration.
Trauma to a tooth from an injury that reaches the gums can turn a tooth into a permanent grey color. A single dark tooth could be the result of bleeding within the tooth due to dental trauma. Your dentist will be able to determine if a tooth injury occurred by examining the tooth for any signs of trauma.
Illness or Infection
More severe illnesses, such as recurring infections, jaundice, or heart disease, can change the color of teeth. Blood or liver diseases can stain the teeth over a long period as well. If an illness is the cause of your child’s tooth discoloration, speak with your pediatrician and your dentist to find a solution.
Excessive intake of fluoride ingredients found in tap water or toothpaste can frequently cause brown spots or white streaks on the surface of a child’s teeth. If you’re finding that your child’s teeth are sensitive to fluoride use, switch to a different toothpaste with a lower fluoride percentage or an all-natural toothpaste that does not contain fluoride.
Early dental appointments will help to tackle any issues with the formation of your child’s teeth in addition to any discoloration issues you may face. Early intervention also promotes good oral health and healthy adult teeth in the future. Call Cherrywood Dental Associates today if you’re concerned over the color of your toddler’s teeth.
When you come down with a common cold, head congestion, inflammation, or a sinus infection, your upper teeth can be put under pressure, which often translates to tooth pain. Your maxillary sinuses are very close neighbors to your top teeth. In certain areas, only a sliver of tissue separates the upper tooth roots from the bottom of the sinus cavity. Allergies, colds, congestion, and infections can all cause irritation to your sinus tissues, which can have a direct impact on your teeth.
Can you spot the difference between a common cold and a cavity?
How Colds Can Cause Tooth Pain
After contracting an illness, congestion can put pressure on your upper teeth, which can sometimes translate to tooth pain. Your sinuses can also cause your lower teeth to ache as a result of your teeth being forced into a slightly “off” position from clenching or grinding.
Sinus pain typically manifests itself as a dull, continuous pain while the discomfort from an abscessed tooth increases in intensity. If you touch an abscessed tooth, you will likely feel a sharp jolt of pain. In acute cases, swollen sinus tissue can physically move the teeth slightly, changing your bite. The reverse scenario can also transpire if an infection surrounding an abscessed tooth travels to the sinus cavity.
Your body has several sinus cavities, and pain can emanate from any or all of them at once. If you have an infection in more than one sinus cavity, you may have additional pain behind the nose and eyes. As previously mentioned, it is possible to suffer simultaneously from an abscessed tooth and a sinus infection, so always listen to what your body is telling you.
Other Illness That Cause Tooth pain
There are a few oral conditions that can cause what feels like a toothache but can be something a bit more complicated. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to contact your dentist for a consultation.
- Angina. A form of chest pain that occurs when not enough blood can reach the heart. Angina is not an actual condition, but rather a symptom of coronary artery disease and can irritate the teeth and jaw.
- Ear Infections. Pain in the chest or ears can be a sign of an ear infection. The closeness of the ear to the jaw can cause you to feel pain in your teeth if you do have an ear infection and can be treated by a doctor.
Finding Relief (And When To See a Doctor)
If you’re experiencing tooth pain and discomfort, these tips may help you to find temporary relief of your symptoms if they are due to the common cold or a sinus infection:
- Take a mild decongestant
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Rinse your sinuses with a saline nasal spray or neti pot
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or gargle saltwater for throat pain
If Your Cold Goes Away But Your Tooth Pain Does Not…
If your sinus or tooth pain does not subside and is lasting longer than a week, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor right away for an examination. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you an antibiotic to help combat any lingering infections.
If your congestion subsides, but your tooth pain is still present, schedule an appointment with your dentist. A tooth abscess may be the cause of your discomfort, and tooth decay should be treated as soon as possible to save the tooth. Cherrywood Dental Associates is here to help you feel your best by keeping your smile as healthy as possible, so call us today with any questions regarding tooth pain and discomfort.
Not only is it safe to go to the dentist while pregnant – you should! Untreated tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns can be harmful to both you and your growing baby. Regular trips to the dentist are recommended, whether you are pregnant or not. For many, a routine check-up every six months is best; however, your circumstances will dictate how frequently you should schedule exams. When dealing with changing hormone levels, your oral health is at a higher risk.
Common Dental Issues During Pregnancy
Your dentist will likely recommend making several appointments throughout your pregnancy to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. At these critical appointments, your dentist can also recommend adjustments to your oral care routine or carry out any necessary treatments.
The most common dental issues women experience during pregnancy include:
- Gum Tumors
- Enamel Erosion
Radiation From X-Rays
One of the most common concerns women have while visiting the dentist while pregnant is if they will be exposed to radiation from X-rays. Modern dental X-rays use extremely low doses of radiation, and a single dose is not typically high enough to cause any adverse effects in the development of the fetus. Your dentist will ensure that your baby is shielded from any radiation by using a lead apron and thyroid guard.
While X-rays are considered perfectly safe during pregnancy, your dentist may still recommend avoiding them during the first trimester if you’re only having a routine check-up.
Anesthetic Can Be Used Safely
Anesthetic can still be utilized safely to help you relax and numb your mouth while pregnant. It’s essential that you inform your dentist about your pregnancy so they can choose subtable anesthetics and set appropriate levels.
Anesthetic containing felypressin should be avoided during pregnancy due to how the chemical constricts blood vessels. Ask your dental practitioner about any questions or concerns you have regarding the type of anesthetic they’re using.
Root Canals Can Be Performed at Any Stage
If tooth decay reaches the inside of your tooth where the nerve endings are, this can be extremely painful. Root canal treatment can stop the pain by removing the infected tissue and restoring the tooth with a natural-looking dental crown. If you are faced with a dental emergency, a root canal can be safely performed at any stage of pregnancy and shouldn’t be delayed.
Teeth Whitening and Other Cosmetic Treatments
In-office teeth whitening treatments can be performed while you are pregnant; however, your dentist may recommend waiting until after the birth for most non-emergency dental treatments. Teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry treatments should be avoided during the third trimester in particular, as you may be uncomfortable in lying still for long periods.
Avoiding Dental Emergencies While Pregnant
Following a good oral hygiene routine makes it less likely that you will need to correct dental issues during pregnancy. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, you should also attempt to avoid acting on unhealthy cravings and visit your dentist for your bi-annual exams.
You should also avoid brushing your teeth immediately after experiencing morning sickness. Brushing too soon can cause damage to the surface enamel on your teeth due to acidic levels. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait to brush your teeth for 30 minutes.
If you’re planning to become pregnant, it’s recommended to visit your dentist. Taking care of any outstanding dental issues, such as impacted wisdom teeth or a more extensive dental procedure, will help to reduce the risk of complications. Contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today to schedule your next prenatal dental exam!
Many adults incorporate mouthwash into their oral hygiene routine to help freshen breath and keep cavities at bay. Not only does mouthwash help your mouth to feel clean and invigorated, but it can also assist with the buildup of plaque that you may have missed while brushing or flossing.
Mouthwash provides excellent benefits when used regularly, which may leave you wondering if your child should also be using mouthwash after brushing. Before introducing a new product, here are a few things to consider.
Cosmetic Vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash
There are two general categories of mouthwashes available:
Cosmetic mouthwash helps to give your mouth a clean, pleasant taste while reducing bad breath. Cosmetic mouthwash will effectively treat the symptoms of bad breath; however, the underlying cause of the issue will not be effectively treated, and the bad breath will return.
Therapeutic mouthwash helps to treat tooth decay, prevents gingivitis, and reduces plaque buildup. Therapeutic mouthwash may not effectively freshen your breath as well as a cosmetic mouthwash will; however, it is effective at treating the underlying cause of bad breath.
What About Fluoride?
Mouthwash with fluoride is specifically designed to reduce tooth decay from developing on the tooth enamel, which makes your teeth more resistant to cavities. Fluoridated mouthwash will not remove plaque, and it should not be considered a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth. Protecting your teeth from harmful acids that eat away at the tooth enamel is the primary function of fluoride.
Benefits of Mouthwash
Because mouthwash isn’t a must-use for every child, check in with your child’s dentist before using it. Kids should always be supervised when first introducing a mouthwash to ensure they do not accidentally swallow it. Typical benefits that mouthwash can provide are:
- Boosted effects of brushing and flossing
- Can give kids fresher breath
- Provides extra cavity protection for kids over the age of six
- Can loosen bits of food that often get stuck in brackets for children wearing braces
- Can reach areas that may have been missed during brushing or flossing
Choosing The Right Mouthwash For Children
There are a number of excellent mouthwash options specifically designed for children. These products are typically alcohol-free and feature popular children’s cartoons and fun flavors that kids love. From bubblegum to grape, unique flavor combinations help to encourage kids to use the product routinely. Mouthwash for kids should be therapeutic and help to prevent cavities with fluoride as an essential ingredient. As a general rule, mouthwash should not be used by children under the age of six. However, in certain instances, your child’s dentist may prescribe a mouthwash for a child under the recommended age in individual cases.
Always Look For the ADA Seal of Approval
The American Dental Association tests the effectiveness and safety of oral products. To attain the ADA seal of approval, a product must prove to be safe and effective. We always suggest that you look for the ADA seal of approval prior to purchasing a product. Looking for the ADA seal will help you find a mouthwash that has been rigorously tested and approved by a legitimate association that advocates for oral health.
Remember: A Mouthwash Can’t Replace Great Oral Care Habits
Mouthwash is an extremely helpful tool to encourage your child to learn proper oral hygiene habits to keep their teeth and gums in great shape. Always remember that mouthwash cannot and should not replace great oral care habits including brushing and flossing. If you would like more information on what type of mouthwash your child should be using, ask Cherrywood Dental Associates for a personal recommendation at your child’s next exam.
Many patients have anxiety over having their mouth numbed as part of a dental procedure. Numbness is defined as a lack of sensation. This type of anesthesia is achieved in dentistry by placing an anesthetic medication near a cluster of nerves, which affect the synapses and blocks many sensations, including pain.
While you may be grateful for not feeling any pain or discomfort during your treatment, you will likely want any anesthesia to wear off as quickly as possible after your procedure is finished. Use these helpful tricks to make Novocaine wear off as soon as possible.
What Is Novocaine?
Novocaine is a brand of procaine. This local anesthetic drug is frequently used to numb a specific part of the body. Unlike general anesthesia, local anesthetics don’t make you lose consciousness. Your dentist may use Novocaine or another brand of anesthesia during the following minor procedures to perform a treatment with minimal to no pain:
- A filling for a tooth cavity
- Wisdom tooth removal
- Other minor dental procedures
- Minor skin procedures, including mole or wart removal
- Certain types of eye surgery, such as cataract removal
- A biopsy (when a sample of tissue is removed from a part of your body for examination under a microscope)
Tricks To Make Novocaine Wear Off Faster
In most situations, the anesthesia your dentist uses will numb the tooth for 1 to 2 hours. The following 3 to 5 hours may leave your lips, face, and tongue numb, which can be frustrating if you’re attempting to return to normal activities immediately following your appointment. Have patience when it comes to letting the feeling and sensation in your mouth return. While the numbness will naturally wear away with time, these at-home remedies may help speed up the process.
Massage Your Skin
If no swelling is present, apply a warm compress to help increase blood flow to the affected area. In addition to using a warm compress, try massaging your lips to warm them, and increase blood flow. Avoid touching the treatment area directly, and always wash your hands before and after massaging your lips, mouth, and face.
Ask your dentist if it’s safe to participate in physical activity following your dental procedure. Taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, or even a few minutes of jumping jacks will aid in naturally reducing numbness. Being active stimulates blood flow in the body, which helps to carry the anesthesia away from the injection site. The encouraging movement will enable your body to break down and metabolize the Novocaine that was used during your treatment.
Take a Nap
While taking a nap is the opposite of being active, falling asleep can help to get your mind off of the fact that some regions of your mouth and face are numb. Sit back, relax, and allow the numbing sensation to pass until the anesthetic wears off peacefully.
Ask For Another Injection
Some dental practices use medicine that can reverse the effects of general anesthesia. While this will mean another injection, a second reversal injection can also help to make the numbness dissipate twice as fast as just waiting it out. A reversal injection typically costs $25-$75, and most insurance companies will not cover the injection because it is not medically necessary.
Since different types of dental procedures require different amounts of anesthesia, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long your mouth will stay numb after a procedure. Factors that come into play as to how long the numbing sensation will last, such as your height, weight, and how fast your body can metabolize the anesthesia. Where in your mouth you needed work done also comes into play as the bottom jaw is a large nerve block that controls sensations to more areas of your face.
Have patience in allowing the anesthesia to fully wear off before eating a big meal or giving a big presentation at work. You should soon be feeling like yourself in no time. If you have any concerns regarding prolonged numbness, contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today.
As you prepare to kiss the year goodbye, don’t forget to take advantage of your valuable dental insurance benefits before they expire on December 31st. As the end of the year approaches and your annual health benefits come to an end, don’t leave money on the table with your dental health insurance benefits.
If you’ve been putting off the idea of visiting the dentist, here are a few reasons why you should use your remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire.
Check Your Annual Dental Insurance Maximums
Your dental insurance plan gives you a maximum for what can be spent on your annual dental care. This amount varies between insurance companies, and averages around $1,000 per person, per year. These maximums are typically reset at the end of the year. Any unused benefits will be forfeited and will not roll over to the next year.
Maximize Any Out-of-Pocket Deductibles
The amount of money that you are required to pay out-of-pocket before your benefits begin to take effect is commonly referred to as a deductible. Varying between insurance companies, your deductible is outlined in the details of your plan. Deductibles can be higher if your preferred dentist is outside of your network. When your dental insurance renews in January, you will be required to pay your deductible again before you can begin taking advantage of your benefits.
Use Premiums You’ve Already Paid For
Many people who pay for their dental benefits monthly do not fully exercise their ability to use them. If you are paying for dental benefits each month out of your paycheck, you should ensure that you are taking full advantage of your investment. Not using benefits you have already paid for allows for the insurance company to take your money without having to pay anything to your dentist in return.
Watch For Fee Increases
It is common for insurance rates to increase to accommodate the cost of living or increased material costs each year. Before this year’s dental benefits come to an end, remember to use any remaining benefits you may have. An increase in fees can also raise your copay amount, which can make the same treatment cheaper in December than in January.
Address Any Outstanding Dental Issues
By delaying treatment of a decaying tooth or other dental issues, you may be allowing for a more extensive and more expensive treatment to be necessary in the future. What may have started as a small cavity can quickly turn into a root canal or tooth extraction down the road. Taking care of any outstanding dental issues now will save you both time and money in the future.
Commonly Covered Treatments
Dental insurance plans will commonly cover what is considered preventative care. This coverage often includes two professional cleanings and exams per calendar year. Professional teeth cleanings performed by a trained dental hygienist every six months are considered routine care, in addition to exams performed by a dentist. Most standard dental insurance policies will also cover a certain percentage of a restoration treatment based on the predetermined maximum of your specific plan, including:
- Preventative care, such as bi-annual cleanings, exams, and x-rays
- Basic procedures, including fillings, root canals, and extractions
- Fluoride treatments for children
- Some major procedures, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, and implants
Making The Most of Your Insurance or FSA
Whether you’re paying for dental care through a benefits plan or using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), your current plans will most likely run out on December 31st. Don’t let your hard-earned dollars go to waste, and take advantage of any benefits before they expire for the year.
Prevention is always better than treatments when it comes to your oral health and your pocketbook. Most insurance plans typically pay for 100% of the cost of a preventative appointment. If you have not had your teeth cleaned and examined for a first or second time this year, now is a good time to schedule an appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates. End-of-year dates are booking up quickly, so call us today to schedule your final cleaning of 2019.
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Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist
Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...