Silver vs. White Today, there are basically two types of filling materials; silver amalgam and tooth-colored composite. Silver amalgam fillings have been around a long time and are extremely durable. Technique sensitivity is low so if the field you’re working in is difficult to dry or isolate this is the material of choice. The enamel is also different on primary (baby) teeth than permanent teeth, therefore, bonding material does not bond as well to the enamel on primary teeth. This makes silver amalgam the best material for primary teeth as well. Cost may also be an issue. Silver amalgams are typically lower in cost than a tooth colored filling and require no bond to the enamel. Tooth-colored composite material is great. It looks and feels just like the enamel. Cosmetically, it’s the material of choice. Strength wise the bond to your tooth’s enamel makes it second to none. There’s less microleakage than silver amalgams and this is what causes decay under old fillings. The drawback is, the tooth-colored composite is highly technique sensitive and excellent isolation is needed to make the bonding process work correctly. Any contamination could reduce the strength of the bond, and all the advantages it has to prevent microleakage. Both silver and amalgam and tooth-colored composite materials are excellent. They each have their advantages and limitations. To learn more please contact Dr. Dunn and his staff at (952)448-4204.
A Drive To Stay Alive Through good oral health, you can reduce the effects of heart disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Inflammation in the mouth (known as gingivitis and more severe periodontitis) can fuel these debilitating and often fatal diseases. Good oral hygiene is a must! Brush at least twice a day, floss, at least twice a day, and visit your dentist at least once every six months. Learn the proper techniques of brushing and flossing. If you are not brushing and flossing with the right technique you could minimize the benefits greatly. In addition, choosing the right mouth rinse is necessary in order to be effective. If you are a new patient without insurance we will offer free x-rays and exam with your cleaning. And, for all new patients with or without insurance, we will offer a 20% rebate on all out of pocket expenses for 90 days! Come visit us at Valley Dental Care where our concern is your comfort and our tradition is trusted!
The Wide World of Insurance We are accepting more types of insurance plans than at any time in our history of history. We now take over 300 insurance plans. Many of these plans are broken up into types of reimbursement. Premier plans are usually the most expensive for the employer/employee but pay out the best reimbursement. PPO plans are usually less expensive for employer/employee but pay out at a discounted reimbursement to providers. DMO plans are capitation plans that are the cheapest for employer/employee and reimburse the providers the least. The quality of dentists and dental work is relevant to a provider’s reimbursement. The quality of materials and the “whole” experience will oftentimes depend on provider reimbursement. With premier plans, you can expect to find a better variety of dentists as well as higher quality materials and services. PPO plans will offer fewer choices of dentists, and reduced quality of materials and services. DMO plans will typically offer the least variety of dentists, lowest quality of materials, and services. In essence, you get what you and your employer pay for… So when it comes time to selecting a dental plan for you and your family to keep this in mind. You can still get quality materials and services with lesser plans (PPO & DMO) but they’ll often leave you paying out of pocket. Premier plans, on the other hand, leave you painless, ha ha, I mean paying less. Hopefully the above helps in understanding the confusing world of insurance. If you ever question whether we accept your insurance here at Valley Dental Care, we most likely do. We welcome you to call anytime with questions. — Upcoming will be highlights from this year’s annual dental convention taking place the last week of April.
Alternatives to Dental Implants We have talked about implants and getting the best retention results using 3-D radiography, but most patients cannot afford implants. Therefore, other options include a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture. The above options aren’t necessarily an ideal form of treatment, but they’re definitely a more affordable alternative. A fixed bridge would be anchored by two or more existing teeth depending upon many missing teeth are being replaced. Once the bridge is cemented in place it is not removable. This has the ability to reproduce your natural teeth. To be anchored to the existing teeth, preparations have to be made on the anchor teeth, removing two millimeters or more of existing tooth structure. Flossing under the bridge once cemented in place will require floss threaders. Floss threaders have a loop on one end to thread the floss in and a stiff end to work under the bridge. Pull the stiff end through and the floss will follow. The cost of a fixed bridge is usually around a $1000/tooth involved, so one missing tooth and two anchor teeth would be $3000. Two missing teeth and two anchor teeth would be $4000 vs. $4000 and $8000 for implants. Insurance usually covers a percentage of a bridge but not an implant. In retrospect, implants are more like natural teeth. With implants, no floss threaders are needed and no tooth preparation necessary. Bridges are close to natural teeth and are usually covered by insurance. Another option is a removable partial denture. Replacing a single tooth would require no tooth preparation. This removable appliance is called a flipper, requiring retention of the existing teeth and soft tissue structures such as the palate. A partial denture replacing multiple teeth would require slight tooth alterations to the anchor teeth. Metal framework and clasps are required to hold the denture in place for optimum retention. Partial dentures are usually around $2000 no matter how many teeth you are replacing and flippers are usually around $1000. The downside to a removable partial denture is that it may be difficult to get used to. Most patients get accustomed to wearing partial dentures, few do not. Again, insurance usually covers a percentage of the cost. Hopefully, someday insurance will cover a larger portion of the cost of implants, the ideal treatment.
Oral Hygiene for Kids Enforcing good oral hygiene habits early in a child’s life is essential for his overall well-being. According to a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cavities in children between the ages of two and five has escalated by 15 percent. Proper oral hygiene habits in kids must start as early as the child begins to bottle feed. This is when babies are prone to tooth decay resulting from liquids, such as sweetened milk. While baby teeth should be cleaned using a washcloth, young babies should eventually have their teeth and tongues brushed using soft brushes on a regular schedule. It is important for parents to teach children the proper way to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, to take them for regular dental check-ups, and to serve food that will maintain optimal health. Kids should eat foods that will strengthen their teeth, such as milk, cheese, and vegetables.
Implants in Dentistry Implants are used for several treatments. They include but are not limited to, single tooth replacement, abutments for an expanded bridge with multiple missing teeth, and with full dentures to improve retention. Technology in radiography has made this a very specialized procedure. We now have 3D digital radiography so implants can be placed in a more favorable and safe location. These machines are very expensive so you have to do a lot of implants to afford it. An example would be a specialized practice, like an oral surgeon, that can utilize the 3D technology daily. Once the favorable and safe location is decided, the size of the implant is also established. The oral surgeon can now place the implant for the best possible outcome. After four months, the bone has grown into the implant to ensure retention. This is when I can start restoring teeth, whether it be a simple tooth, expanded bridge, or full denture. All these restorative procedures to the implants can be completed in our office. Not all patients are candidates for implants. These patients may need bone grafting or have to go without implants to restore teeth with the best possible alternatives. If you have any questions regarding implants, please feel free to contact Dr. John Dunn at 952-448-4204.