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Investing in your Oral Health

As we get older, a lot of time and energy is spent thinking about investing. Whether it is in the stock market, in a home or in a business, people want to put their money to work for them and get a return.

In some situations, investing refers to the practice of regular maintenance to prevent larger problems in the long run. For example, it is important to make sure your car gets regular oil changes and tire rotations to help keep it running smoothly. Your mechanic may also run some diagnostic reports to let you know if something is starting to fail or not working properly. It’s often annoying to spend the time and money on these maintenance appointments however if you don’t do it, you know there will be more costly problems that could happen down the road.

Healthcare, including dentistry, is similar to taking care of your car. Regular, preventative appointments are encouraged to keep your body healthy and identify anything that is not working as it should. For example, a Dermatologist will tell you it is important to have your skin checked regularly to make sure it is healthy and to also identify any areas that could be cancerous. If something does appear cancerous, then you are hopefully catching it early and taking care of it before it spreads.

In dentistry, this means having cleanings and exams twice a year, in addition to periodic x-rays to help identify any concerns that aren’t visible to the naked eye. This way if a tooth has a cavity and needs a filling, the goal is to identify it early and take care of it before it becomes so large that it needs a crown, root canal, or worse—needs to be extracted.

So the next time you put off your regular dental appointment, we urge you to reconsider. You need to think of it as making an investment in your oral health. And if the dentist recommends treatment, before you reject it because of the cost, take the time to ask questions about what could happen if you do nothing. Often when you realize the dental work that may be needed down the road (and the expense), you may be more willing to make that investment now.

Straighter, healthier teeth and confident smile with Invisalign® treatment options

Don’t let Dental Insurance dictate your Oral Health

“I only want to do what my dental insurance covers”. That is a phrase we hear often from patients who don’t want to have any out-of-pocket cost at their dental visit. Unfortunately, many don’t understand that this may prevent them from taking the best care of their teeth.

In reality, most dental insurance companies have not increased their benefits to their patients since the 1970’s. So the $1,000 annual maximum that they may pay for you today is the same as it was back in the 1970’s. The cost for dental services have increased, however, so you are getting less dental care paid for by your insurance today than you did 40+ years ago.

Similarly, their willingness to accept and pay for new technology also lags severely behind. For example, technological advances in laser treatment can make a substantial difference in improving your periodontal (gum) health and reducing bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t yet recognize these benefits and refuse to pay for them. Even fluoride, which most insurance companies will allow for children, most likely won’t be covered as an adult. They know it can help improve your oral health so why decide you no longer need it after age 14? As a result, the patient that doesn’t want to pay any extra out-of-pocket cost at their visit is allowing their insurance company to dictate their oral health. Again, this is the same company that refuses to acknowledge that dental costs have increased and technologies have improved over the past 40+ years.

We do our best to help educate our patients about how dental insurance works. Our office prides itself on offering comprehensive dental care for all of our patients and this includes informing you of all treatment that needs to be done. Just as you would expect your primary care doctor to tell you everything that may be going on with your body, it is our responsibility to tell you everything that is going on with your oral health.  This also includes everything you can do to help prevent further issues from occurring, such as laser assisted perio therapy, regular fluoride treatments or laser bacterial reduction which most likely are not covered by your insurance.

We believe strongly in our technology and will always recommend treatment that can help improve your oral health. We encourage you to ask us questions about how it works, why it is important, and how it can make an impact on your life.