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Texas Wisdom Blog

October 4, 2012

Dental Implant vs. Bridge INFOGRAPHIC

Dr. Chilcoat @ 12:39 pm

 

Dental Implant vs. Bridge infographic

Dental Implant vs. Bridge

If you are facing the reality of a missing tooth, you are not alone.  The biggest question people face when deciding how to restore a missing tooth involves the decision about exactly HOW to do it.  We’ve put together some important information about the comparison of a dental implant vs bridge for replacing a missing tooth.

This Infographic is a good starting point when beginning your research into the options available to you.  It is not all-inclusive, and does not take into consideration every variable that would be used to determine an individual’s recommended course of action.

A dental implant will work best for patients in many situations, however there are dental situations in which a dental implant would not be the best treatment option.

When deciding for yourself whether to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant or a bridge, consider the pro’s and con’s of each option.  For information on the cost of dental implants, visit our website.

Whatever your final decision may be, make sure that you research your options, consider not only cost, but cost effectiveness over time, as well as the likely longevity of the solution you choose.  Consider dental aesthetics and cosmetic concerns along with functional concerns.

If you decide that dental implants are right for you, please consider visiting us for more information on how to get started on the road to restoring your missing tooth (or teeth).

If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it with your friends or followers using the toolbar below.

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September 27, 2012

How To Know If You’ve Chosen The Right Oral Surgeon

Dr. Chilcoat @ 2:09 pm

Years ago, and I mean quite a few years ago, if you received a referral to an oral surgeon from your dentist, you just called the specialist up and scheduled an appointment.  You didn’t have much of a choice about where you went.  You only had to go see him once or twice and that was the end of it.

It’s Not The “Good Ol’ Days” Anymore

This transaction style Raise your expectations for healthcare providersmethodology created an environment where oral surgeons didn’t have to work very hard to create happy patients.  Expectations were low and people didn’t feel like they had a choice.  Let’s face it, everybody hates going to an oral surgeon anyway.  Most every oral surgeon with a license is competent and does a good job, clinically.  After all, oral surgeons, like any medical professionals are trained to be competent surgeons.  As is the fact with many referral driven specialty practices, oral surgeons did not instinctively recognize that providing a positive customer experience for their patients was critically important.   Before I create a controversy by writing that oral surgeons don’t care about or are not good at patient service, I would like to say that there are many who have always provided the highest level of patient service and have always created a friendly, comfortable environment for their patients.  Patient service is just not something that comes naturally to some people, and in a referral driven environment, the focus has not always been on maximizing the patient’s positive experience.

Our Oral Surgery TeamWait!  I’m Not Bashing Oral Surgeon’s Patient Service!

I’m not bashing specialty providers’ patient service skills in this article.  In fact, I want to point out that over the past decade or so, a gigantic shift has taken place in dental medicine, especially where specialists are concerned.  Surgeons and specialists have really gotten into the driver’s seat when it comes to patient service and experience.  How did they finally wake up, you ask?

Patients (consumers) like you have made that happen.

 

As competition in the marketplace has increased and information has become more readily available on the internet, patients themselves have created a shift in the level of patient service that they demand from any provider of care, even a specialist!

How Do YOU Pick a Specialist?

Customer Service Counts!

There are a number of things that motivate people to choose one specialist over another (yes, people now have options).  Many people are motivated to choose a particular doctor based on the way that they are treated by the staff when they call to make an inquiry. In other words, customer service counts!  Health care consumers have demanded to be treated well by their providers.  People want to go where they are most comfortable, listened to, understood and where the doctor and the staff take a personal interest in them both as a person and as a patient.

Google It!

Patients no longer blindly follow the referrals of their primary doctors.  The internet provides a great way to research their own condition, find alternative specialists and provide more options to choose a specialist that they feel will meet their needs.  Reasons a patient may choose one specialist over another include whether or not their insurance plan is accepted, how close the office is to their home or place of business, and whether or not they like the business office receptionist when they call.   The office environment, friendliness of the staff and whether or not the office seems organized and efficient are all contributing factors in the decision making process for patients looking for a specialist.

The availability of information on the internet is a huge driving factor for patients when choosing a specialist.  Most people now use the internet to find information they need about products or services.  Medical and dental services are shopped for online more than through any other source.  So what are people looking for when they ‘shop’ for an oral surgeon online?

  • Research on their condition
  • Researching their treatment options
  • Comparing prices
  • Assessing value
  • Judging patient service and atmosphere

 

Is Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants Right For You?

We understand that DFW is a big place, full of many oral surgeons.  There are over 100 of them right here in DFW.  You have choices, and we want you to make the one that is right for you.  We don’t think that our practice is right for everybody.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to choosing an oral surgeon.  Here is how we stand out from the crowd:

We take care of people. We work hard to understand just how to meet you where you are coming from, and will take cues from you when interacting with you.  Are you a very busy person?  You might not want to beat around the bush when it comes to planning your needed treatment… the fewer appointments the better.  Are you very conscientious?  Maybe you want to research your condition and treatment options very thoroughly, ask a lot of questions and get multiple specialist’s opinions before moving ahead.

Are you extremely cost-conscious?  We love it when people ask us about prices!  Aside from being confident in our clinical and surgical expertise, we are not full of ourselves when it comes to money.  The bottom line is that we believe in providing excellent surgical care in a warm and friendly environment and at a price that is reasonable and fair.We treat you the way you want to be treated

Our fees are carefully structured at the low end of the average for our area.  In fact, we make it a point to keep our fees on the low end of normal.  We think everybody should be able to afford exceptional patient care and surgical results.  We offer creative ways to fit surgery fees into your budget so you can afford the care you need.

Are you afraid of the dentist and need someone to provide extra emotional support for you?  Our team is trained to get to know you and to treat you the way YOU want to be treated.  They don’t treat you the way THEY would want to be treated.

We work with you primary care dentist to ensure that your treatment plans are well communicated, well thought out and we strive to keep everybody on the same page where your care is concerned.  We take a straightforward and down to Earth approach, making sure that we are striving toward YOUR goals and needs, not our own.  We won’t try to “sell” you something you don’t want or don’t need.

One Final Word of Advice

Don’t pick your oral surgeon just because he is in your network!  Pick a surgeon who understands you, wants to get to know you and who is ready and willing to meet your needs according to YOUR goals and desires, not the other way around.

 

 

 

 

September 17, 2012

We Just Got An I-Pad for Patient Education!

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:47 pm

Everybody has an I-Pad.  I know we are behind the times in getting one for use in the office.  The I-Pad has significantly changed the way that we are able to educate our patients on topics such as impacted wisdom teeth or dental implants.  We can even use the I-Pad to simulate cosmetic surgery or treatment results on a patient’s own photographs. Possibly even better than that?  We  can watch our favorite shows at lunch time, too!

Why So Slow to Conform?

An I-Pad is a pretty sophisticated little piece of technology.  We’ve tossed around the idea of how to integrate the use of one in our Dallas dental implants practice.  A lot of negatives surfaced.  What it it breaks?  What if we lose it?  Who will be in charge of an I-Pad in the office? Will it really have anything valuable to offer our patients if we get one?  If we have something cool, like an I-Pad in our office, will re really ever get any work done?  Maybe, maybe not.

Our I-pad

Lindsey and Our Office I-Pad

The Big Leap

Well, we decided to take the leap.  You see, we are planning an open house event at the office.  There are plans and preparations taking place.  We were thinking about what we can do a little differently.  “Imagine how easy it will be to take before and after photos”, I said.  “We have a camera for that”, he said.  “There’s a really cool app we can get that demonstrates how dental implants work”.  No response.  “It’s free….”  Still nothing.  “You can take it home in the evenings if you want”.  Those were the magic words.

Now We Have This Cool Gadget

So , now we have this cool gadget which we can use to help us explain all kinds of things to our patients.  Why are impacted teeth a potential problem?  What happens if you leave a toothless space alone for too long?  How does a dental implant work, anyway?  These are all things we can walk through with our patients with the most incredible visual aid possible.  The point is, we have made the leap into the Apple-verse and now our patient education resources are limitless!  Yay! The next time you come in to see us, ask us and we’ll show you what this baby can do!

Until We See You For a Personal Demonstration of Our Cool Gadget…

We put together a little video which shows the dental implant transformation, step by step.  Enjoy!

3 Step Dental Implant: Your New Tooth a 30 second video 🙂

August 20, 2012

Tooth Replacement For Everyday People

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:19 am

Why You Should Not Dismiss Implant Dentistry As Too Expensive

cartoon of man landed on moonUnless you’ve been living on the Moon, you’ve probably heard the hype about dental implants for tooth replacement.  The dental world has been proclaiming the glories and triumphs of multiple tooth replacement using implant dentistry for several years now.  Just because everybody is talking about it now, doesn’t mean that implant dentistry is a new science.  In fact, tooth replacement with dental implants has been a successful treatment option since the 1960’s.  Even our ancient ancestors have dabbled in tooth replacement using pieces of ivory and shells, as far back as the Ancient Egyptians. What has changed in the practice of implant dentistry recently is that it has become a much more successful and financially accessible option for patients who desire to replace missing teeth.

Teeth have a tendency to wear out, become decayed, infected and eventually lost.  Even those of us with excellent oral hygiene will most likely lose a tooth at some point.

Missing teeth are an important concern for a number of reasons:

1)      Missing teeth are unattractive

2)      Missing teeth perpetuate bone loss in the jaw

3)      Remaining teeth are stressed unnaturally in the absence of missing teeth, contributing to even more tooth loss

4)      Missing teeth interfere with speech and the ability to chew our food.

For these reasons, dentists and dental professionals strive to educate their patients about their options regarding tooth replacement.

Dental Implants Vs. Bridge

man with 3 stairways

Choosing the Best Option for You

A hot topic of debate among patients and dentists is centered on choosing the best option for tooth replacement. Dental implants have a long history of being a highly specialized, technologically engineered treatment option.  In the recent past, dental implants have been a very expensive tooth replacement option.  This is due to the fact that materials, hardware, planning and technique contribute to the cost of the procedure.  Patients and dentists must weigh the options between dental implants vs. bridge or denture.

Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on a dental implant vs. bridge:

1)      Dental Implants are the closest we have come to mimicking the anatomy and functionality of a natural tooth

2)      Dental implants are ideal for patients who are missing teeth which are surrounded by undamaged or unrestored teeth.  Replacing a tooth with a bridge requires that the adjacent teeth be ground down and crowned.  While a reliable treatment option, the adjacent teeth are compromised and more susceptible to future damage.

3)      Replacing a tooth with a dental implant is 97% successful over almost 50 years of research.  A dental bridge will last 5-15 years before requiring replacement or extension due to damage and potential loss of the adjacent teeth.

4)      Implant dentistry is one of the most reliable, predictable and effective options for tooth replacement, the gold standard in the dental profession.

What About The Cost of A Dental Implants Procedure?

Dental implant professionals have recognized that the high cost of dental implants can be a detractor for many patients.  In recent years, the cost of materials and hardware has become less prohibitive.  While dental implants do often cost more than a dental bridge, it is important to consider these facts when weighing your options:

1)      Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth, while a dental bridge or removable partial denture provides temporary solutions which must be replaced every 5-15 years.

2)      Dental implants are now covered by a growing number of dental insurance companies

3)      Many implant dentists have been able to control their costs and streamline their treatments to support a reduction in overall fees, making a dental implant more comparable in cost to a dental bridge.

4)      Dental implants are more durable and stronger than other forms of prosthetics.

5)      Dental implants help maintain important jaw bone structure and prevent excess bone loss in areas of missing teeth.  Other forms of prosthetics cannot accomplish this.

Additionally, many implant providers are offering interest free financing and other financial options to help patients take advantage of the number one tooth replacement option available today.  Dr. Robert Weinstein of Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants has heard the call to action by patients.  Dr. Weinstein offers uncomplicated dental implants for a lower fee.  For more information on low cost dental implants, click on the link.

For more information on dental implants, select one of these entries:

Multiple Tooth Replacement

The History of Dental Implants

Replacing Missing Teeth

Affordable Dental Implants

Advancements in Implant Dentistry

 

 

 

August 16, 2012

All About Dental Bone Grafting- It’s Not As Scary As You Think

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:49 pm

The term “bone graft” sounds really scary, I know this, and I feel for you.  I’m going to share a little information about bone grafting anyway.  I’m going to try to show you that dental bone grafting is a very good thing that helps make all kinds of other beautiful dental related things possible. Let’s focus on the positive when it comes to replacing bone for dental reasons.  Here we go!

Little, Medium and Big Dental Bone Grafts

In the instance of a missing tooth or many missing teeth, a few things can happen.  First of all, it’s important to understand that your jaw bone is what holds your teeth in place.  The roots of your teeth are surrounded by bone and attached by some other anatomical structures that we don’t really want to worry about today. If you are missing a tooth, you definitely want to replace it with something, usually a dental implant or a bridge. Once a tooth is removed, the bone doesn’t have anything to support anymore.  Over time, it begins to slowly erode until it creates a hollow or a basin shaped divot in the jaw bone.  If you try to place a bridge or a dental implant in a spot where the natural bone and gum tissue level is much lower than the surrounding areas, it’s going to look kind of funny.  A tooth in an area where the bone level is very low is going to make you look really “long in the tooth” (nobody wants that)! For Cutting Edge Grafting Techniques, Click Here

The Little Bone Graft

In the case of a lost tooth, there are a couple of ways to ensure that you will not lose excess bone dental implant with bone graft height and width.  Ideally, your dentist or oral surgeon will remove the damaged tooth and preserve the bone in the area using a simple bone grafting procedure.  In this procedure, demineralized, sterile human bone granules, (which look like coarse sand), are packed into the tooth socket immediately after tooth extraction.  The granules are covered with a protective collagen membrane and a couple stitches are used to close the tooth socket.  This procedure is simple and usually does not add to your recovery time.  Over the next several weeks, your own bone will fill the tooth socket and preserve the bone height long enough for you to have the area restored.  If you replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, the bone level will remain indefinitely.  If you replace the missing tooth with a bridge, you will lose some of the bone level over time.

Medium Bone Grafts

If the tooth, or teeth were removed years ago, there is likely some bone loss hindering the restoration of the area. A slightly more involved bone graft may be needed.  In this case, the area of the missing tooth is opened with a small incision, the bone surface is prepared and demineralized bone graft granules are used to build the area up.  Many surgeons prefer to use a little bit of the patient’s own bone in this procedure in order to ensure the best results possible.  If your own bone is used, your surgeon will take it from another area of the jaw bone, usually near the wisdom tooth area.  He will not remove a large piece of bone, rather he will shave off tiny granules and combine them with the demineralized bone.  Again, the graft is protected with a special membrane and sutures are used to close it up tight.  Over the next several months, the bone graft will heal and integrate with the surrounding bone tissue, successfully building up the width and height of the area so a nice restoration can be made. This type of graft can be used for one or multiple areas of missing teeth.

Big Bone Graft

Illustration of a sinus lift graft

Sinus Lift Graft

Patients who have been missing many teeth for a very long time have often experienced advanced bone loss which prevents adequate restoration of the teeth.  In denture wearers, the lower jaw bone often recedes so severely that their dentures no longer fit properly.  The jaw bone in cases of advanced bone loss can be as thin as a pencil in some patients.  These patients can no longer wear a denture successfully and do not have enough bone to place dental implants.  Extensive bone grafting is necessary in order to restore the missing teeth as well as restore quality of life.  In a procedure like this, a combination of demineralized, sterile human bone and the patient’s own bone is used to build up the jaw bone, creating enough width and height to accommodate dental implants.  The patient’s bone is supplied by another part of the jaw, hip or tibia in the form of a small block.  This block is anchored in place in the recipient site using specialized bone screws and sometimes plates.  Bone granules are used to enhance the graft.  The entire site is protected with a membrane, closed tightly with sutures and left to heal for a period of months before dental implants can be placed in the new bone. The upper jaw has challenges of it’s own.  Patients missing upper molar teeth often experience extensive bone loss which causes the maxillary sinuses to become involved.  The maxillary sinus is a hollow cavity which sits just above the molars in the upper jaw.  When these teeth have been lost, the maxillary sinus often begins to dip down lower and lower.  Combined with bone loss from the missing teeth, patient’s can end up with just an eggshell of bone between their gums and maxillary sinus.  You cannot place implants into a hollow cavity, so bone grafting is performed in order to raise the floor of the sinus and increase the depth and width of the bone in this area.  This procedure is often referred to as “sinus lift”. In the sinus lift, an incision is made in the gum tissue and a small window is created into the maxillary sinus cavity.  Very carefully, the sinus membrane lining the sinus wall is detached and lifted.  Demineralized, sterile human bone and the patient’s own bone is combined and packed into the new space between the sinus membrane and the bone of the sinus floor.  Once the desired thickness is achieved, a special collagen membrane is placed to protect the new bone and the window and gum tissue is closed with sutures.  The width of the bone can also be augmented at this time in order to create space for dental implants.  A graft like this will need at least 4 months to heal before dental implants can be placed in the new bone.

Dental Bone Grafting Makes New Teeth Possible

Although bone grafting is a surgical procedure which can sometimes be rather extensive, it plays a very important role in making new teeth possible.  In the not so distant past, patients without adequate bone height or width for tooth replacement with dental implants were simply told they couldn’t have implants.  These people didn’t want to wear dentures or go toothless forever.  The art and science of implant dentistry has brought us these highly specialized and successful techniques in order to restore what was lost and make it possible to have a beautiful smile.  Bone graft surgery is temporary, but being able to eat, laugh, talk and smile lasts a lifetime!

For more information about dental bone grafting, read on

We provide live chat to answer your bone grafting questions or to schedule a free consultation with your Dallas oral surgeon at Texas Wisdom Teeth, click here.

August 7, 2012

Oral Cancer Facts

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:38 pm

 

oral cancer information

Oral Cancer Information

 

Oral Cancer is Deadly

Over 8,000 people die annually from oral and pharyngeal cancer.  As the deadliest form of head and neck cancer, it is important to know the facts and risk factors associated with this form of cancer.

Most people think that oral cancer only affects people who smoke or use chewing tobacco.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  In recent years, much of what we believed about risk factors for oral cancer has been shown to be only a part of the big picture.

HPV-Connection

One important factor to consider is that the same virus which has been shown to cause cervical cancer, the HPV-16 (human papilloma virus), also causes oral cancer.  In fact, oral cancer is showing up in patients who are younger and younger than the over 40 high risk age group previously defined.

While traditional lifestyle choices and risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and environmental risks are still considered high risk factors, younger patients with no known lifestyle risks are being diagnosed with this disease.

Early Detection Saves Lives

Oral cancer is so serious because it is often not detected until it has progressed to an advanced stage.  Late detection of oral cancer carries with it a 57% 5-year mortality rate.  When detected in the very early stages, the chances of survival increase dramatically.

In recent years, the early detection of oral cancer and precancerous lesions in the mouth, pharynx and oral tissues has been improved dramatically through the integration of specialized examination tools.  Your dentist will perform a visual and tactile oral cancer screening in addition to using one of these tools in order to ensure that you are protected.

Shining a Light on Oral Cancer

The Velscope light is one such tool which utilizes technology which is very similar to that which detects precancerous and cancerous cervical lesions.  A specialized light is used to illuminate oral tissue during examination.  Normal tissue appears green and possible abnormal tissue appears darkened.  This new method of early detection has made it possible to prevent abnormal tissue from developing into cancer.

The Best Way to Prevent Oral Cancer?

See your dentist regularly.  Have an oral cancer screening performed annually.  Do not ignore warning signs.

July 31, 2012

Olympic Athletes Need Dental Care Too!

Dr. Chilcoat @ 10:15 am
 

Olympic Village London 2012

The London Summer Olympics are on everybody’s mind right now, and we are all cheering on Team USA as they work to bring home the gold.  So much planning and preparation go into creating the Olympic Village and all the venues and amenities which we are accustomed to seeing when we watch the games on TV.  With the city of London Hosting over 18,000 Olympic Athletes and officials within Olympic Village this summer, keeping them all housed and fed is a huge undertaking.  One thing you might not have thought about is what happens to the athletes if they become ill, have a toothache or other health problem?

The healthcare of Olympic Athletes is not something I’ve thought of before.  I found out that the City of London built a state of the art multi-specialty clinic to take care of all the health, dental and eye care needs of the Olympians while they are staying at Olympic Village.  The £23 million facility will provide healthcare free of charge to the Olympic athletes and officials.  The center is open 24 hours a day and expects to take care of 200 people per day.

In addition to expected sports injuries and urgent care, the clinic is providing free dental care and vision care to athletes.  “We would complete and finish a root canal for someone who might not be able to get it in their own country,” said Wendy Turner, one of the dentists who works in the clinic. “There will be competitors who haven’t had much access to dental care. It is an opportunity for them to get it sorted out.”

With a small city of 18,000 athletes, coaches and officials housed in Olympic Village, it is easy to see how complex it can be to orchestrate accommodations, meals and even healthcare for these world-class athletes. It looks like London has it all figured out, having thought of every last detail to ensure comfort and hospitality for their guests from around the world.

July 24, 2012

The History of Dental Implants

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:26 am

history of dental implants

The History of Dental Implants

With all of the interest in dental implants these days, it’s easy to think that implants are something new or even experimental.  Nothing could be farther than the truth, however.  Dental implants may be one of the oldest concepts in dental history.  Modern day research begins in 1951 with Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, an orthopedic surgeon.  Dr. Branemark was the first to discover that titanium is the only biocompatible metal which bone actually interacts with.  The very first titanium “roots” were implanted into the jaw of a human patient by Dr. Branemark in 1965.

The very first dental implants discovered were engineered by the ancient Mayans and belonged to a young woman about 600 B.C. who was missing 3 lower anterior teeth.  The ancients crafted false teeth from pieces of shell and inserted them into the sockets of the missing teeth.  Ancient Egyptians also practiced advanced dentistry and implanted similar prostheses bonded with gold wire into the jaws of pharaohs.   Even the Romans had their own version of permanent replacement of missing teeth.

The history of modern implant dentistry has evolved over recent decades with the first major advancement beyond the use of titanium in 1981 when German scientists, Dr.’s Schroeder and Ledermann showed that titanium plasma spray coatings improved osseointegration (the process of the bone tissue healing to the surface of the implant).  By the mid 1980’s Dr Stig Hanssen advanced the preservation of crestal bone with microtexture.

By the 1990’s dental implants had become an extremely successful and predictable method of tooth replacement.  Success rates became higher than 90% and implantologists began looking for ways to reduce the 6 month inactive healing period between implant placement and implant loading.  In the late 1990’s Nobel Biocare introduced the “All- on- Four” system which allowed for three benefits: the use of only four implants to replace a full arch, reduction in the necessity for extensive bone grafting and reduced inactive healing time.  This technique became extremely popular and is still used today.  In 2011, Thommen Medical introduced the first measurable advancement in early osseointegration with their Inicell application system.  The Thommen system utilizes a hydrophilic liquid to coat the implant just prior to insertion.  The solution draws blood cells toward the surface of the implant and has been shown to increase the rate of early osseointegration within the first 4 weeks of healing.

Today, dental implants are the most predictable and successful form of permanent tooth replacement available.  Enjoying a 97% success rate for over 40 years, patients can have confidence that their dental implants have come a long way from the ancient Mayans.

 

July 16, 2012

Wisdom Teeth Removal- A Rite of Passage?

Dr. Chilcoat @ 12:26 pm

Wisdom teeth removal, a rite of passage for teensWisdom teeth removal has become a rite of passage for American teenagers.  Even the name “wisdom teeth” has connotations of the coming of age.  Wisdom teeth, clinically known as third molars, have been bestowed this moniker based on the age at which they first begin to appear.  The teenage years between ages 13 and 21, historically called the “Age of Wisdom”, is the period during which the third molars begin to erupt into the dental arch.

A dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe the removal of wisdom teeth and impacted wisdom teeth based on signs and symptoms of trouble.  The human jaw typically cannot accommodate this third set of molars and as they attempt to grow into the small space, they become malpositioned and impacted.  In the case that wisdom teeth come in normally, they are often positioned so far back in the jaw that they are difficult to keep clean.  Erupted wisdom teeth which are situated very far back in the jaw are more susceptible to decay and gum disease.  Gum disease around the third molars inevitably spreads to the second molars and sometimes even further forward.  In the interest of preventive dentistry and to prevent serious problems with periodontal recession and gum disease, dentists often recommend the removal of erupted wisdom teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth are routinely removed due to malposition of the teeth, damage or potential damage to the second molars, infection, cyst formation and other pathology often associated with impacted third molars.  Orthodontists in particular often prescribe removal of the wisdom teeth in order to prevent orthodontic relapse due to the pressure of erupting wisdom teeth on the other teeth in the jaw.

Parents across the country scramble to the oral surgeon’s office as the end of summer draws nearer in order to have their Busy summer scheduleschild’s wisdom teeth extracted before their retainers stop fitting.  Motivated by the looming possibility of repeat orthodontic therapy, and the chronic infections often associated with wisdom teeth, parents schedule surgery for their child. The challenge is often in balancing the cost of wisdom teeth extraction with their teenager’s busy summer schedules and even busier school year schedules.

Somewhere between vacation, band camp, football practice and cheer clinics lies just few days of Redbox rentals, ice cream and X-Box that every teenager dreads.  The stories and warnings from friends are fanciful and exaggerated, working each other up into a tizzy over this, the first surgery of many of their lives.  Truthfully, more than 90% of them will come through with flying colors, easily transitioning back into their normal routine within a few days.  While complications are unusual, about 10% may experience prolonged discomfort, swelling, mild bruising or even the dreaded dry socket.  Symptoms of all of these, of course, are easily relieved in the office with a post- operative visit with the oral surgeon.

The poor, unappreciated parents have the toughest role in wisdom teeth removal.  Consider the orchestration of events that a parent must pull off in order to indulge their child in this bittersweet rite of passage.  Schedules and activities must be coordinated.  If soccer practice is to be missed, then a signed, certified and notarized letter from the surgeon and the U.S. Surgeon General is often required in order to excuse the recovering patient from physical exertion during recovery.  Other children in the household must be taken into consideration, as extracurricular activities do not stop for brother’s oral surgery.  Special food must be purchased and prepared, and a day or two of work will often be missed.

Then there is the expense.  Surgery of any kind is expensive.  Most families have health insurance, but fewer and fewer have dental insurance these days.  The families who do have dental insurance have seen their out of pocket expenses increase in recent years.  How does a family without dental insurance save money on the extraction of wisdom teeth?  There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, but I would like to tell you about our solution in particular.

Dr. Robert A. Weinstein, a Dallas oral surgeon, has devised a plan to help alleviate this burden for parents.  He is an “in-network” provider for most PPO dental plans.  As such, patients often pay only about 20% of the total cost of surgery.

No insurance? A flat rate special fee for surgery and anesthesia may be the answer for you.  Depending on your diagnosis, going the cash payment route with this option can save you about 50% of the cost of full fee oral surgery.  Dr. Weinstein has decided not to charge people more when they do not have insurance.  Instead, he analyzed the “in network” fees from the top PPO plans fee schedules, and created a lower flat fee for the uninsured based on the “in network” fees associated with popular dental plans.  The only catch?  Services are paid for when rendered.  The benefits?  No surprises regarding fees or coverage.  There are no claims to file and no bills coming in 3 months because insurance didn’t pay a portion of the bill.  See our listing on Dallas Dental Implants and Wisdom Teeth for more information.

As summer winds down to a close and that busy school year inches closer with every degree the temperature rises, there is one thing that parents can do to make it all easier to deal with.  Schedule the summer wisdom teeth removal now and take advantage of the summer special on flat fee wisdom teeth removal.  (Includes post-operative ice cream and a sports/band/cheer excuse letter).

 

Have a wonderful summer!

June 20, 2012

Top 5 Kitchen Cabinet Dental Remedies

Dr. Chilcoat @ 9:56 am

dental healthMost people understand that good personal oral hygiene is critical to dental health.  Daily dental care and regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are key components of a healthy mouth.  People have been finding effective and natural ways to relieve dental pain and clean their teeth since history began.  The ancient people of India used twigs of the neem tree to clean their teeth.  The neem tree has antiseptic qualities which were very effective for oral hygiene.  Other ancient forms of dental hygiene tools included porcupine quills, animal hair and primitive toothpicks.  Ancient Greeks kept special slaves to clean their teeth.  The first toothbrush was used in 15th century China and was made from boar hair and a bamboo stick.

There are quite a few dental home remedies that originated in the period of history before the dental profession came to prominence, and some of those remedies can be useful even today.

 

 

Top 5 Dental Home Remedies

  1. For relief of inflammation of the gums surrounding an impacted wisdom tooth or other soft tissue inflammation, use saline soaks.  Mix ¾ teaspoon of table salt in 16 ounces of very warm water.  Dissolve the salt completely in the solution.  Take a mouthful of the solution and hold it over the affected area until it cools, spit and repeat for at least 20 minutes.  This home remedy can help relieve the pain of impacted wisdom teeth and other dental pain temporarily, until you can see a dentist or oral surgeon.
  2. For temporary relief from a toothache, try applying a few drops of clove oil to the affected tooth.  Cloclove oil for toothacheve oil will help temporarily numb the pain in a localized area.  For tooth aches and severe tooth decay, see a dentist right away.
  3. Mouth ulcers and cold sores inside the mouth are very painful. Applying a small amount of alum directly to the ulcer can help relieve the pain associated with mouth ulcers.  Alum is a pickling salt commonly used in preparation of pickled vegetables.  Use only a tiny amount, and if mouth ulcers persist be sure to see your doctor or oral surgeon for professional help.
  4. Home teeth whitening can be accomplished using baking soda, just like your mother always told you.  Baking soda is an acid neutralizer and a mild abrasive which gently removes stains and buildup on your teeth.  Baking soda is considered one of the safest home remedies for tooth whitening, and can be sprinkled directly on your toothpaste, or used alone up to twice a month.
  5. Even people who practice excellent oral hygiene can get bad breath from time to time.  If you’ve had a particularly strong meal containing strong cheeses, garlic or onions, try chewing on clove, fennel or anise seeds to help freshen breath.  You can also chew on a piece fresh parsley to freshen breath after a strong meal.  Of course, brushing after a meal like this will also go a long way toward reducing bad breath after a meal.

 

 

 

Dangerous Home Remedies

Some commonly practiced dental home remedies can be extremely harmful to your teetnever place an aspirin on a painful toothh and oral health.  All of the above mentioned home remedies should be used in moderation to prevent problems associated with overuse.  Here are a few  old wive’s tales regarding dental remedies which you should avoid:

  1. Never place an aspirin directly on a tooth or gum tissue. Aspirin is an acid, and direct application of aspirin to your soft tissues can cause severe ulceration of the tissue and increase pain.
  2. Overuse of toothache gels can also cause soft tissue ulceration and pain.
  3. Never rub whiskey on a teething baby’s gums.  Children should not consume alcohol in any amount, and whiskey has no numbing effect on the gums of a teething baby. Try a frozen teething ring instead.
  4. Beware of using Colloidal Silver for oral health.  Consuming high amounts silver, which is absorbed into the body, causes silver toxicity as well as severe discoloration of the skin, called argyria, in which the skin turns bluish-gray.

The important thing to remember about dental home remedies is that anything in excess can be dangerous to your health.  Remember to use any home remedy in moderation and never overuse any preparation.  Home remedies for dental pain are intended for temporary relief.  If your problems persist, be sure to seek treatment from a qualified dental professional right away.

 

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Charles Chilcoat, DDS Dallas TX Dentist (972) 960-1111 care@texaswisdom.com