4/2/2018 8:09:12 PM |
The connections between oral diseases and systemic diseases are broadly accepted by both dental and medical personnel. Seven of the ten leading causes of death as reported by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) can be connected to the inflammation and/or bacteria in the oral cavity. These diseases are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease (bronchitis, emphysema, asthma), stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia. The primary oral conditions contributing to these connections are periodontal disease and pathogens, endodontic abscesses and cariogenic bacteria (cavity causing bacteria). A recent medical journal published a landmark study that supports a cause and effect relationship between periodontal pathogens and arterial disease. High-risk bacteria present in periodontal disease are now considered a contributory cause of atherosclerotic vascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke. These high-risk periodontal bacteria aid in increasing the porosity of the lining of the arteries contributing to plaque formation within them. When the plaque accumulation grows larger, the artery narrows and/or closes or the lining may even burst. This slows and/or stops blood flow within the artery causing heart attack and stroke. You may begin to understand the seriousness of this condition.
What can you do to prevent/control this health hazard? Reduce the inflammation in your body. Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Concerning your oral health, brush and floss daily to remove the bacteria that cause periodontal disease and cavities. See your dentist and hygienist to make sure there is nothing you are missing and treat those things that need treating for proper health. And systemically, return to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate foods that contain omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and any sugar containing processed foods. Because these foods also cause systemic inflammation…
As always, thank you for referring your family and friends and if there are any questions, call the office!
David Spring DMD, MAGD
10/20/2017 7:10:42 PM |
- “As little as 15 minutes of exercise each day has been shown to decrease risk of breast and colon cancer by up to 40%.” Says Dr. Greg Well. A five year review of 7,000 research papers by The American Institute for Cancer Research found that poor food choices and lack of exercise had an impact on cancer incidence. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that 65% to 80% of cancers could be prevented by lifestyle decisions.
- “Sitting is the new smoking.” Physiologists are now seeing that sitting all day has negative implications on breathing, core strength, lymphatic drainage and blood pressure.
- “The most powerful way to reduce your inflammatory factors is to lose excess weight,” reports Walter Willett, PhD, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health. Inflammatory factors are a leading cause of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome to mention a few.
- Seven out of ten Americans are overweight. There are a number healthy eating plans to follow that would allow us to lose weight and reduce our risk to acute and chronic disease.
- Studies have shown that an inactive lifestyle is associated with a higher risk of depressive symptoms. Chronic depression has been linked to heart disease and, over a lifetime, cognitive decline.
- A review of 900 papers over 50 years has provided strong evidence of the benefit of physical activity on your brain. A regular physical activity habit appears to be best over your entire life. Physical activity supports increased cognitive functioning, deductive reasoning and reaction time. Dr. John Ratey MD in his book ‘Spark’ has promoted physical activity as being able to promote BDNF – Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor. He wrote that BDNF acted like Miracle Gro in your brain.
- As people get older their immune systems get cluttered from fighting a lifetime of infections. An overcrowded immune system increases the risk of infection. Exercise declutters and makes space in an older immune system. The sad thing is that only 10% of the people over 65 years of age exercise.
- Poor breathing habits engrain poor habitual physical postures and in the long-term cause of chronic back pain. Incorporating core exercise and resistance training is an ideal way to strengthen your posture.
- Regular exercise trains your nervous system to be less reactive to stress: reducing oxidative stress, blood pressure swings and immunosuppression. Having a successful stress management strategy can be very helpful. It has been shown that a single session of exercise can improve one’s mood and decrease anxiety.
- In Dr. Henry Lodge’s book ‘Younger Next Year”, the author wrote that adults lose 1% of their muscle mass every year after the age of 30. Resistance training is the most effective tool for maintaining muscle mass. Testosterone patches and creams don’t hold a candle to good, old fashioned weight lifting.
So, exercise and make good food choices like your life depends on it………because it does!
This article was adapted from ’10 Powerful Reason to Get Fit in 2017′ by Uche Odiatu, DMD
Visit my website http://www.drdavidspring.com for more information on oral health.
6/6/2017 4:51:59 PM |
Summary: New research suggests that it is essential for older adults to receive adequate dental care, as well as the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care.
Maintaining good oral health may help older adults prevent a variety of health problems and disabilities. However, the effect of tooth loss on physical or cognitive health and well-being is unknown.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers explored this connection. To do so, they examined information from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) project.
In their study, the research team examined information from more than 60,000 community-dwelling people aged 65 and older who did not meet the Japanese criteria for needing long-term care.
The participants were given questionnaires to complete. They answered a number of questions, including providing information about:
- How many teeth they had
- Their medical and mental health history
- How many falls they had over the last year
- Whether they smoked or drank alcohol
- Their body weight
- How well they were able to perform common activities of daily life
The researchers learned older adults who have significant tooth loss are less functional when compared with people who lose fewer teeth.
The research team suggested that it is essential that older adults receive the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care practices, and that they receive adequate dental care.
Yukihiro Sato, Jun Aida, Katsunori Kondo, Toru Tsuboya, Richard G. Watt, Tatsuo Yamamoto, Shihoko Koyama, Yusuke Matsuyama, Ken Osaka. Tooth Loss and Decline in Functional Capacity: A Prospective Cohort Study from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14324 September 13, 2016
As always, a healthy mouth is important for a healthy life.
Dr. David Spring
5/3/2017 5:39:28 PM |
“A smile is a light in the window of the soul indicating that the heart is at home.” Unknown.
The author is right. A smile can express the feeling of your heart. A smile lets others know who you are and how you feel without saying a word. A smile expresses your caring, confidence and joy.
But it can be embarrassing when the appearance of your teeth holds back your smile and yourself. Perhaps a ‘fix’ has been attempted with disappointing results. Maybe time has worn down what had been a youthful appearance. Whatever the problem, we have the expertise to fix it.
Our difference in restoring your smile is in taking the time to know you and what you desire. We completely diagnose the problems that made it so. Together, we create a plan and design a result that is right for you. When you are finished, you will have a smile that not only looks great but feels good and functions well for many years. You will have made a difference that changes your life.
9/30/2016 7:53:49 PM |
There are many misconceptions surrounding root canal (endodontic) treatment and whether patients experience root canal pain. The Dr. David Spring wants you to have accurate information. As always, when considering any medical procedure, you should get as much information as you can about all of your options. Dr. Spring can answer many of your questions, and if you still have concerns, it is often wise to seek a second opinion.
Myth #1—Root canal treatment is painful.
Truth—Root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it.
The perception of root canals being painful began decades ago but with modern technologies and anesthetics, root canal treatment today is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, a recent survey showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had root canal treatment.
Most patients see their dentist when they have a severe toothache. The toothache can be caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. Root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain you feel.
Myth #2—Root canal treatment causes illness.
The myth: Patients searching the Internet for information on root canals may find sites claiming that teeth receiving root canal (endodontic) treatment contribute to the occurrence of illness and disease in the body. This false claim is based on long-debunked and poorly designed research performed nearly a century ago by Dr. Weston A. Price, at a time before medicine understood the causes of many diseases.
In the 1920s, Dr. Price advocated tooth extraction—the most traumatic dental procedure—over endodontic treatment. This resulted in a frightening era of tooth extraction both for treatment of systemic disease and as a prophylactic measure against future illness.
The truth: There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. Now, the opposite is true. Recent research indicates that a chronic infection from an infected tooth should be treated even if there is no pain or swelling to prevent that infection from spreading to other parts of the body. A root canal is a safe and effective procedure. When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.
- The presence of bacteria on teeth and in the mouth has been an accepted fact for many years. But the presence of bacteria does not constitute “infection” and is not necessarily a threat to a person’s health. Bacteria are present in the mouth and teeth at all times, even in teeth that have never had a cavity or other trauma. Research shows that the healthy immune system takes care of bacteria in a matter of minutes.
- Tooth extraction is a traumatic procedure and is known to cause a significantly higher incidence of bacteria entering the bloodstream; endodontic treatment confined to the root canal system produces much less trauma and a much lower incidence and magnitude of bacteria entering the blood stream.
- There is no adequate replacement for the natural tooth – it should be saved whenever possible. Root canal treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost effective way to treat infected teeth because it is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of an implant. In most cases, endodontic treatment allows patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.
But what about Dr. Price? This is a good example of how the Internet can give new life to long-dispelled theories. Believe it or not, the misinformation about roots canals that is found on the Internet is still based on Dr. Price’s century-old, discredited research. Dr. Price’s research techniques were criticized at the time they were published, and by the early 1930s, a number of well-designed studies using more modern research techniques discredited his findings. In 1951, the Journal of the American Dental Association took the extraordinary step of publishing a special edition reviewing the scientific literature and shifted the standard of practice back to endodontic treatment for teeth with non-vital pulp in instances where the tooth could be saved. The JADA reviewed Dr. Price’s research techniques from the 1920s and noted that they lacked many aspects of modern scientific research, including absence of proper control groups and induction of excessive doses of bacteria.
As recently as 2013, research published in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, found that patients with multiple endodontic treatments had a 45 percent reduced risk of cancer.
Myth #3—A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (pulling the tooth).
Truth—Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is the very best option.
Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth. An artificial tooth can sometimes cause you to avoid certain foods. Keeping your own teeth is important so that you can continue to enjoy the wide variety of foods necessary to maintain the proper nutrient balance in your diet. If your dentist recommends extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.
Endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant.
Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate. Many root canal-treated teeth last a lifetime.
Placement of a bridge or an implant will require significantly more time in treatment and may result in further procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Millions of healthy endodontically treated teeth serve patients all over the world, years and years after treatment. Those healthy teeth are helping patients chew efficiently, maintain the natural appearance of their smiles and enhance their enjoyment of life. Through endodontic treatment, endodontists and dentists worldwide enable patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.
If you have any questions, please the office and we will be happy to answer them..
David Spring DMD, MAGD
8/17/2016 4:45:55 PM |
THIRD-PARTY PAYMENT FOR DENTAL CARE
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in so-called “managed dental health care” in which insurance groups make contracts with local companies to provide dental care for specified fees and with numerous regulations and stipulations for patients. Your employer may purchase dental benefits for you using a managed care program.
Other than paying for dentistry yourself without any involvement with insurance companies, there are several payment concepts currently popular:
Indemnity dental “insurance” plans
(These organizations offer standard dental treatment at near normal fees with a choice of practitioners.)
These groups are the original managed care organizations in dentistry. Many dental patients have had these plans for decades. They provide payment to dentists at fee levels that generally allow quality oral services to be provided. One of the only disadvantages to some of these plans is the high administrative-cost charged to you and your employer. Thus, you receive less dentistry than the funds your employer pays into the benefit company. Nevertheless, these indemnity “fee for service,” freedom of practitioner choice, dental “insurance” plans have provided adequate dental services for Americans for decades.
Direct reimbursement plans
An excellent and slowly growing form of payment called Direct Reimbursement (DR) can be obtained by your employer, in which you have complete freedom of choice about practitioners and the quality level or type of service you want, without major overhead costs to your employer. We will be pleased to provide information on DR if you want it for your employer.
Americans enjoy freedom in nearly all areas of their lives. I think you want to choose your health practitioner based on your own criteria, and you want the very best preventive-care practitioners and treatment you can get. I doubt if you can trust profit-motivated companies to select your practitioners, dictate their fees, or limit their services. Only three of the five methods for payment described on this sheet preserve “freedom of choice” dentistry (indemnity dental “insurance” plans, referral networks, and direct reimbursement).
A growing form of managed care are the so-called “referral networks.” Dentists join a commercial firm, such as 1-800-DENTIST. These groups recruit dentists and can give patients knowledge of the qualifications of the dentist. These dentists provide services at somewhat lower fees.
HMO (health maintenance organizations)
(These organizations offer minimal dentistry at low fees by specified practitioners.)
Perhaps the greatest current threat to quality dental care in the U.S. are the currently available, underfunded dental HMOs. A dental benefit company (HMO) makes a contract with your employer to provide “overall” dental care for you at very low fee levels. Capitation payments to dentists from many dental HMOs will not even provide the total of 2 dental “cleanings” (scaling and polishing) per year. The dentist receives a few dollars per patient per month, whether the patient is treated or not. Obviously for financial reasons, the dentist would rather not see the patient, and certainly would rather not do any expensive treatment, almost all of which must be donated to the patient by the dentist. Generally in dental HMOs, the dentist can only survive financially by not treating the patients. Who profits from dental HMOs? Certainly not the patient or dentist. You guessed it, the HMO owners! As in some PPOs, if you elect to join a dental HMO, you have a group of preferred providers who participate in the plan for various reasons.
There are a few large dental HMOs with historical evidence of relatively acceptable levels of dental care. However, these are exceptions to the previous statements. Your dentist can easily tell you if the dental HMO plan you are considering provides adequate funding for dental services.
PPO (professional provider organizations)
(These organizations offer partial payment for dental treatment at reduced fees as provided by specified practitioners. Also known as preferred providers.)
A dental benefit company (PPO) contracts with your employer to provide some financial benefits for dental care for you. The dentists who participate in the PPO plan agree to treat you for reduced fees. They are called “preferred providers.” Most dentists belong to at least some PPOs. Often, the participating dentists are younger dentists, or a few mature dentists who have various reasons for their participation. Many dentists do not participate in PPOs because the reduced fees often limit the dentists’ ability to provide services at their usual level. Dental benefit companies administering PPOs are in “business” for profit. The profits go to the PPO owners. With the myriad new innovations in dentistry, it is impossible for updated practitioners to provide high level, standard-of-care services on a continuing basis to you at reduced fee levels. Be careful! If you elect to join one of these plans, you can expect only maintenance level care from some of them and use of the cheapest materials and labs available. Usually these plans don’t include elective services such as implants, esthetic dentistry, orthodontics, and other treatment. These plans vary enormously in the benefits they pay and quality of oral care the participating practitioners can provide.
Thank you for your support. We look forward to serving you with high quality, moderate cost, freedom of choice dental services.
David Spring DMD, MAGD, LLSR
7/27/2016 6:13:15 PM |
Many employers and insurance plans are directing, and even driving, those with traditional insurance into what they consider their more “cost effective” network plans.
On paper and first appearances, these plans and offerings may even look more cost effective to you the consumer and end user. What a paper contract can’t show you is the quality of service you receive or actually don’t receive for your insurance premium dollars. Dentistry and all health care is a service, not a product that can be mass produced or manufactured under a variety of circumstances. Dentistry in particular is a service that requires a high level of skill, knowledge, and experience in addition to varied pieces of equipment and technology. Along with all these items, the most important requirement is a genuine care for the patient’s well being and pride in their work.
When an insurance company, whose sole purpose to exist is for monetary profit, devises a better way to do business, it simply means they have found a better way for the insurance company to profit. Regardless of what is said or implied about “cost containment, service utilization, etc….” the bottom line remains their interest in their profits. To do this they have to charge you more premium dollars, which they readily do almost yearly, and pay the providers (hospitals and doctors) less.
The Network dental plans have been the latest venture in “cost containment” for the insurance carriers in which dentists and more frequently franchise clinics are contracted to provide a service (cleaning, filling, extraction, etc.) for a specified fee. The fee is always reduced from what the dentist would normally need to charge. In exchange for this consideration of a reduced fee, the dentist or doctor is placed on a “network list” of which employers will encourage to send their employees. The intention is to transfer a “production model” where mass production drives down the per-unit cost and apply this to healthcare and dentistry! The insurance companies focused on profit think this model works but patients and doctors have found the hard way that patients needs and well being don’t have much in common with widgets.
The reality has become unsettling at best, if not even detrimental. Corporate owned Dental clinics with production oriented staff and inexperienced doctors have become the norm, but the patient satisfaction and quality of care has suffered. Young doctors aren’t being given the chance to develop a doctor-patient relationship, but are placed in an environment that is monetary based and production driven despite the patient’s best interest or needs. Not only does the patient’s care and ultimately health suffer, but the profession is becoming indifferent to being truly able to deliver quality healthcare and pushed always closer to a clock punching mentality.
Whether we like to admit it or not, Doctors are susceptible to human error as are patients. When the pride and value in our workmanship and knowledge become minimized and the inability to establish a caring relationship with our patients is overrun by contractual obligations to produce “x” goods in “y” amount of time, the susceptibility to err will certainly rise and the quality of the dental work and patient experience will decline.
To be sure, doctors, nurses, and hospitals must profit to maintain and ensure their future. What network and many traditional insurance plans don’t allow for is the check and balance, and reward system, of an unencumbered doctor/patient relationship. Healthcare has become so subconsciously, but intentionally, driven by insurance benefits, that if insurance plans deny or exclude a procedure it is perceived, and even communicated by some unscrupulous carriers, that it isn’t really needed by those whom insurance is suppose to be providing benefits in the first place. The profitable alternative, for an insurance company, will always be to deny and discourage rather than to actually provide a benefit. Think about it. Is a clerk or medical evaluator, on the other end of a phone line, possibly a thousand miles away, have the patients best interest at heart, let alone the ability to truly assess their needs, or have they been straddled with a “bottom line” by the same widget driven industry?
My intention and our allegiance rests with our patients. We understand that insurance benefits are a tangible work related compensation that must be utilized when available. The network plans that we have been approached with, do not have you, the patient’s, best interest at heart, nor do they allow us to provide the quality of care and service to our patients that we desire and you deserve. Dentistry more than any other healthcare doesn’t lend itself to “healing and restoration” amidst an environment of hurry and shortcuts. Dentistry, and restorations done poorly and hurriedly do often hurt, and won’t last as long as they could, or even jeopardize sound teeth.
For your better well-being and benefit,
This is from Ted M. Reese, DDS
2/2/2016 5:56:51 PM |
As another year draws to a close, many people think about the resolutions they want to make for the coming year. If you are a smoker, you already know the reasons you should quit – yellow teeth, bad breath, and health risks. Unfortunately, saying you want to quit and actually quitting are two different things. To make your resolution turn into reality, you need a plan. Here are some tips for creating a New Year’s Resolution Plan to quit smoking and whiten your teeth:
- Give yourself a good reason: When push comes to shove, many smokers resort to their old unhealthy habit because they don’t have a good enough reason to stay on the road to quitting. Think about your health, your wallet, your family, or even how nice it would be to sit indoors and spend time with your loved ones instead of standing outside smoking in a cold garage.
- Get motivated: It is important to acknowledge that it is never too late to quit. Even if you have quit before, it is worth the effort to try again, no matter how long you have smoked.
- Address both parts of your addiction: People become addicted to smoking both physically for the nicotine and psychologically as a habit. Your doctor may be able to prescribe patches or medication which can help with the physical side. Ask about side effects and determine whether this approach is right for your physical and mental condition.
- The psychological side: The American Lung Association offers a Freedom From Smoking® group clinic which features a step-by-step in-person or online plan for quitting smoking. Eight sessions help smokers gain control over their behavior. Participants work on the process and problems of quitting, both individually and as part of the group.
- Alternative methods: Some people also find success with gum or hypnosis as methods to wean themselves from their nicotine dependency.
HelpGuide.org, a non-profit guide to mental health and well-being, offers a handy acronym to get you going – START.
S = set a date.
T = tell others.
A = anticipate and plan for challenges.
R = remove cigarettes.
T = talk to your doctor.
Once you have stopped smoking, you will begin to feel the health benefits almost immediately. If all those years of smoking have given your teeth a noticeably dingy appearance, you might want to consider professional teeth whitening to help you feel even better about your achievement. Our practice utilizes dental whitening products from Life-Like Cosmetic Solutions. We offer in-office professional teeth whitening, and send you home with an in-home whitening kit to complement our work and extend the benefits even longer.
Contact our dental office with any questions you have about dental care, smoking cessation, diet, cosmetic dentistry, oral hygiene, or dental teeth whitening. We hope you consider discussing the benefits of teeth whitening as part of your New Year’s Resolution Plan.
Call us at 570-675-7796 for more information and check out our website http://www.drdavidspring.com.
Dr. David Spring
12/2/2015 8:37:29 PM |
By Sarah Lorge Butler for CBS MoneyWatch.com
Back in April I wrote about a person near and dear to me — yes, my husband — who needed two new crowns for $3,442. I published his experience in a post, Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? Dentists howled in protest at the provocative headline, though most agreed with the content of the story.
Patients howled too, about the high cost of dental work, and the feeling that they’ve encountered dentists who don’t have their best interests at heart. Here’s a typical letter: “My wife saw a dentist who quoted her $750. Then halfway through the job, when she was numb and had a big hole in her mouth, he told her he misquoted the price and it was going to be $1,500. She could not exactly argue.” (This may be a case of not thoroughly treatment planning the procedure and/or not letting the patient know of possible complications leading to more involved work beforehand.) Another reader wrote of going to two different dentists and getting two completely different opinions about what his mouth needs and when it needs it. Who do you trust?
I heard from people who work in dental labs that charge the dentists $125 for a high-end crown, so why the tenfold markup? (I don’t know of any high end crown work for $125 unless it’s done in China.) One dentist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offered to do my husband’s work for him for $1,395, or 40% of what he was quoted by his guy. All we would have to do was get him from Pennsylvania to Grand Rapids. (We passed.) Another dentist criticized my “gummy smile.” Others wrote of the hours of pro bono work they do and how that’s never noticed. (Doesn’t really address the question.)
Two dentists, Dr. M. in upstate New York and Dr. W. near Indianapolis, agreed to be interviewed. They spoke to me at length about why fees are what they are. Here’s what I learned about why dental work is so expensive.
Dental care is not a commodity. It’s not laundry detergent or breakfast cereal or wireless minutes. Dentistry is a professional service that’s both art and a science. Yes, there are excellent dentists and not-so-great dentists. Often, you get what you pay for. Yet even great dentists have bad days. “I consider myself an awesome dentist,” Dr. W. told me. “And I’ve had failures.”
Overhead costs are huge. Anywhere from 60% to 80% of what a patient pays goes toward the expense of running a modern dental practice. Dentists pay for rent or mortgage payments on their office space, payroll for hygienists, office managers and receptionists, health insurance, taxes, supplies, business insurance and technology — just to name a few. “A lot of people would be surprised to know how tight the profit margins are,” Dr. W. says. And many dentists are still paying student loans from dental school.
Labs differ in the quality of the products they produce. We all want our dentists to be using high-quality labs for things like crowns and dentures. Should we have to ask about the labs? No. We should trust our dentists to select a good one. “In my view, you always want to use a good lab,” Dr. M. said, “because if the crown breaks, I’m the one stuck redoing the thing for another hour and a half for free. It’s important to make sure I’m putting good stuff in people’s mouths, because the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a redo. It doesn’t make me look good, the patients get angry, insurance doesn’t cover it, and it’s a waste of time. You want to do a good job.” (A high quality lab will make the dentist and the patient look great. An average or poor lab will make the dentist and patient look average or worse.) Dr. M. has invested in a $100,000 machine that lets him make the crowns himself and cement them in one visit. He says patients love it and it allows him to control the process and do a better job.
Insurance isn’t really insurance. Dental insurance, the dentists told me, is nothing like health insurance or auto insurance. It’s a maintenance plan that will cover cleanings and x-rays, maybe half the cost of a crown. It will not protect you if you need a lot of work done. The maximum annual benefits, $1,000 to $1,500, haven’t changed in the 45 years since dental insurance became available. “It’s a minor cost assistance, and there’s a widening divide between patients’ expectations of their dental insurance coverage and the actual coverage that’s provided,” says Dr. W. Dental insurance drives docs nuts and they wish they didn’t have to use it. “The number one most complicated aspect of running a dental office, bar none, is dealing with dental insurance. You wouldn’t believe how long it takes to get through to a rep, make sure the patient does have benefits, calculate a copay,” says Dr. M. And of the largest insurance plans in Pennsylvania discount most dentists’ fees by 45% to 65%. If you’re paying out of pocket, ask for a discount. (You might discover the dentist is giving you one already.)
Dentists wish patients would value their teeth more. Teeth are a crucial part of health and appearance. Untreated gum disease, for instance, is linked to heart disease. (Would you choose a cardiologist based on price?) “With time, you will come to realize that shopping price is a minor concern when it comes to your health,” says Dr. W. “Any minor cost differences amortized out over a lifetime will become insignificant. You will get the best results and have the most long-term satisfaction getting care from someone you trust.” So if you’re convinced dentists are worth their fees, how do you find a good one? The dentists had some suggestions:
Ask your primary care physician which dentist she uses. Ask your lawyer. Ask your boss. In other words, ask professional people whom they trust with their mouths.
Ask a dental specialist, like an endodontist. One specialist wrote to tell me, “The best way to find a good dentist is to find a specialist who sees everyone’s patients on a referral basis. He or she will know who is good and who isn’t. Trust me, as a specialist, I know who is doing what, because I see their work every day.”
If a dentist doesn’t take insurance, because he or she doesn’t need to, that will be a pretty good dentist. Those pros can book you for longer, and they don’t have to work under the constraints of insurance companies. Be prepared to pay higher fees.
Look and look some more. Interview dentists, if they’ll let you. Take the view that your teeth are a lifetime investment.
Bold and italicized text was added by Dr. Spring
If you have any questions, call us @570-675-7796 or visit our website http://www.drdavidspring.com.
Have a Great Day!
Dr. David Spring
11/20/2015 4:10:51 PM |
Happy Thanksgiving from Dr. Spring and his staff! With all the holidays coming up soon, there are sure to be plenty of photo opportunities with family and friends. Here are a few Thanksgiving dental care tips to keep your teeth looking their best:
• Watch the sticky stuff: Yes, the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes, the pecan pie, and the icing on the rolls are all delicious, but these treats can stick to your teeth longer and give bacteria a nice place to call home. If you are eating these items, wait about thirty minutes after the big meal and then floss and brush, or at least rinse your mouth with water.
• Balance your food intake: Don’t load up on just the carbs. Make sure your plate has some protein, veggies and fruit to keep those sugars from building up in your mouth.
• Remember that your teeth are not a tool: After Thanksgiving we sometimes get calls from patients who have broken a tooth by trying to crack a nut, or who bit down on something that was way too hard. Your teeth are delicate and hard to replace, so let the nutcracker and other tools do the job for you.
• Limit the snacking: Don’t just sit there eating snacks and watching football; get outside and play a game – just make sure to wear mouthguards if it’s a tackle game! In addition to the main meal, we tend to participate in “grazing” on Thanksgiving. We taste, snack, sample, and have “just a bite.” You may not think anything of it, but those extra acids can damage your teeth. Keep yourself busy in other ways and wait until dinner to eat, but if you must snack make sure to drink plenty of water, too.
• Watch the kids: You might have managed to get your children and their teeth safely through Halloween, but keep up your vigilance when it comes to Thanksgiving as well. There are so many sweet temptations, and you don’t want them to slip into bad habits when they are still young.
Set up the holiday dental care appointments for your children today, and give yourself the gift of white teeth, too. Make an appointment for a professional teeth whitening session and we’ll help you get a nice, white smile for all those holiday photos and selfies. We offer Zoom! professional teeth whitening, and send you home with an in-home whitening kit to complement our work and extend the benefits even longer. You’ll be surprised at how quickly Life-Like’s (the at-home whitening product we use) teeth whitening products can brighten your teeth and restore your smile.
Contact our dental office with any questions you have about Thanksgiving and dental care, diet, cosmetic dentistry, oral hygiene, or dental teeth whitening. We hope you consider discussing the benefits of teeth whitening with our dental professional, and wish your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
From Dr. Spring, Melanie, Laura and Sarah