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Texas Wisdom Blog

April 26, 2012

Floss or Die? Well… Maybe.

Dr. Chilcoat @ 9:52 am

Can a dirty mouth really cause your demise? Some dental experts think it can. Many of us consider our dental health as secondary to our overall health.  When faced with tough financial times, people often avoid needed dental care.  Some of us aren’t very good about keeping our teeth and gums clean at home, either.

While no death certificates have been written out with “rotten teeth” as the cause of death, bad oral hygiene and procrastination when it comes to seeing a dentist can actually lead to some very serious health problems.  Of course, missing a dental appointment or infrequent flossing isn’t going to kill you. Harmful bacteria associated with gum disease and tooth decay can contribute to some serious health conditions you may not be aware of.

Most of us are aware that poor dental hygiene leads to tooth decay, periodontal disease, bad breath and eventually tooth loss. Gum disease and tooth loss is such a serious problem that hundreds of thousands of people undergo a dental implant procedure to replace missing teeth every year.  With a dentist or a dental specialist on almost every city street, it should be easy for people to practice preventive maintenance and avoid serious and expensive problems which require gum surgery or a dental implant procedure.

Most of us are not aware that poor dental hygiene can cause more serious problems than tooth loss. High levels of the dangerous bacteria that cause periodontal (gum) disease can also contribute to or cause atherosclerosis (blockage of carotid artery), heart disease, respiratory problems and diabetes. While missing a dental appointment or not flossing regularly is not going to cause you to have a heart attack, allowing dental problems to go untreated can contribute to serious health problems.  This handy infographic explains it all.
Floss or Die Infographic
Via: YourLocalSecurity.com

 

Lesson Learned:  Brushing your teeth every day and seeing your dentist for preventive treatment every six months will keep your mouth healthy.  Added bonus:  Maybe, just maybe good oral health habits will save your life!

April 4, 2012

Old Time Dentistry: A Little Walk Through Time

Dr. Chilcoat @ 3:06 pm
 

dental history, tooth replacement

Ancient Bridgework secured with brass bands

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Dentistry sure has come a long way since the dark ages!  Back in about 300 B.C. ancient dentists were building dental bridges to replace missing teeth and holding them in place with brass bands.  These days, modern dentistry allows us to replace missing teeth with a simple dental implant procedure.

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dental fear

Dark Ages Dentist

The Dark Ages of Dentistry must be where people’s overwhelming fear of the dentist originates.  In this depiction of a dentist extracting a patient’s tooth, we can see that the patient is clearly in distress.  Keep in mind that back then, there was no novocaine, no laughing gas, no anesthesia of any type to alleviate dental pain.  Patient’s will occasionally tell us stories of having a tooth extracted in their past.  “He had his knee up on my chest”, they say.

In all my years’ experience in oral surgery and dental extractions, I have never seen a dentist remove a tooth in that manner.  The patient’s telling us these stories must have seen this picture!  Dentists in the 1700’s recommended using “soot” to clean teeth.

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Dental humor

Laughing Gas

With the invention of nitrous oxide sedation, “laughing gas”, we could finally have dental procedures and tooth extractions without pain.  It didn’t take long for doctors to realize that you had to mix the nitrous oxide with oxygen to prevent serious complications with your patient!  Some patients loved laughing gas so much that they wrote popular songs about it.  Nitrous oxide was invented in 1794 by Thomas Beddoes and James Watt.  It began being used for dentistry in 1844.

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Fix my teeth

He fixed his teeth, alright!

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.Dentists and dental products have been popular in advertising for as long as advertising    has existed.  The gentleman in this advertisement for Dr. Shiffman looks really happy to have a big, gaping hole where his tooth use to be.  I guess this dentist didn’t know about implant dentistry!  Dental implants in one form or another have been found throughout ancient history.  Ancient Egyptian mummies have actually been found with functioning dental implants in their jawbones!

March 26, 2012

Advancements in Implant Dentistry

Dr. Chilcoat @ 3:00 pm

Advancements in Dental Implant Technology

While dental implants have been used for permanent tooth replacement with great predictability since the 1960’s, innovations and scientific advances in dental implant technology continue to make them the single most successful and long-lasting treatment option for missing teeth.

Patients who are educating themselves on what dental implants are and how they work should be concerned with some very important facts about dental implantology.  It is a good idea to understand some basic clinical information when considering dental implant surgery.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a medical grade titanium post which is implanted into the jawbone in order to replace one or more missing teeth.  The implant itself is about the size and shape of a natural tooth root.  An attachment, called an abutment, extends above the gum tissue in order for a cosmetic dentist to build a dental implant crown upon the implant.

How do Dental Implants Work?

implant dentistry of dallas

Dental Implant Surface (Thommen Medical)

Once inserted, a dental implant must heal within the bone through a process called osseointegration. This process involves the direct functional and structural connection of bone to the dental implant surface.  In other words, osseointegration makes the dental implant tight in the jaw bone.   A dental implant cannot be utilized for function (loaded) until osseointegration has occurred.  To do otherwise increases the risk of dental implant failure significantly.  Since the success of a dental implant depends heavily on osseointegration, it makes sense that it is desirable to have this bone healing occur as quickly as possible.

Innovations in Osseointegration of Dental Implants

Since the 1960’s, dental implant technology has undergone some very important innovations.  Perhaps the most important technological advance in implant dentistry has been the use of the sandblasted/acid-etched titanium surface.  The process of etching the surface of an implant essentially “roughs it up” on a microscopic level.  This rough surface increases the surface area of the dental implant itself, giving it more points of contact with the surrounding bone.  Sandblasted and acid-etched dental implant surfaces have long been considered the “gold-standard” for promotion of osseointegration.  Since the adoption of this surface, the success rate for dental implants has increased to over 97%.  Thommen Medical’s dental implant system utilizes a technology that takes osseointegration one step further. The 2009 introduction of the Inicell ® dental implant surface conditioner has been shown to speed up the process of bone healing following dental implant placement.  The Inicell® conditioner contains hydroxide ions (OH-), which increase the surface energy of the dental implant and promotes faster absorption of proteins on the dental implant surface.  The surface of the implant becomes hydrophilic (water-attracting) .

A hydrophilic dental implant surface draws liquid toward it, rather than repelling liquid.  When a conditioned dental implant is inserted into the bone, blood will be drawn to it, completely covering the surface of the implant and creating a protein “film” on the complete surface of the implant.  When blood supply around the implant is increased, a more beneficial blood clot forms, which provides the matrix for healing and new bone growth.  The Inicell® conditioner on the sand blasted/acid etched dental implant surface gives the bone a head start on healing.

What are the Benefits of Thommen Inicell® Dental Implants?

what is the dental Implant success rate

Bone healing with Inicell

Some very important things happen with predictable consistency when Inicell conditioner is used on a dental implant.

  • Continued increase in stability during the first 8 weeks following placement
  • Higher implant stability during the early healing phase
  • Higher bone-to-implant contact in the early healing phase of 2-4 weeks as well as with immediate placement protocols.
  • 40% increase in bone to implant contact
  • Earlier “loading” of a dental implant (sometimes as early as 3 weeks)

Dr. Robert Weinstein uses Thommen Medical’s Inicell Dental Implants almost exclusively in his practice, and has used them for the past 10 years with 97% success.  When considering implant dentistry for tooth replacement, it is important to consider many factors.  Researching the dental implant system used by your surgeon is a good idea. The implant system used should be a part of your decision making process, along with a surgeon interview/consultation, fee research, and understanding all of your treatment options.  Your dental health is important, becoming an informed patient will help you make the best decisions about your dental care.

For more information of Thommen Medical, click here. For more information about dental implants, click here.

Contact Us to schedule a consultation.

February 27, 2012

The Cost of Dental Implants: What One Doctor Has Done to Make Implant Dentistry More Affordable

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:48 am

The cost of extensive dental care is sometimes more painful than a toothache!  A recent Consumer Reports survey of 50,000 of it’s readers concluded that the cost of dental procedures and fear of pain during dental treatment were the top two reasons that people avoid the dentist and oral surgeon.

Dental Implants Dallas, affordable dental implants

While many people fear dental work, a very small percentage of patients actually ever experience discomfort during a dental procedure.

The report also concluded that people who put off needed dental procedures were far less satisfied with the outcome than people who accepted treatment when it was needed.  The report also found that while many people fear experiencing pain during dental treatment, less than 6% of people actually reported experiencing discomfort during extensive treatments such as a Tooth Extraction.

The primary reason people avoid the dentist is the cost of treatment, especially treatment which is extensive in nature.  Insurance companies are covering less and less needed treatment and employers often do not offer comprehensive dental plans to their employees.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008 report states that out of pocket expenses for dental care exceeded 22% of all health care related expenses.

Complex dental treatment, especially full mouth restorations and tooth replacement (dental implants) require a great deal of planning, preparation, expensive materials and intricate work, all factors which contribute to the cost of dental treatment.

The Catch 22 situation that arises when needed dental care is postponed or not done at all involves the continued deterioration of dental health, which in turn, results in the need for even more extensive and expensive dental care.

Dr. Weinstein recognizes the challenges that face families and patients regarding the cost of oral surgery procedures.  In an effort to provide the best options for treatment and make oral surgery more accessible and budget friendly, he has teamed up with local dentists in order to reduce the cost of some of the most expensive procedures.

Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement.  In the recent past, patients would often opt to leave a gap where their tooth once was in order to save the cost of replacing it.  Through teaming up with cosmetic and restorative dentists in DFW, Dr. Weinstein has made dental implants affordable and more accessible for his patients.

Dental Implant Regular Cost Dental Implant Package Pricing
Implant  $2000 Implant $1565
Implant Abutment $475 Implant Abutment $0 (Included)
Implant Crown  $1500 Implant Crown $700
$3975 $2265

The complete cost of a dental implant with the crown is now just $2265.  This fee is almost half the traditional cost of a dental implant.  These lower fees are made possible through negotiation and agreement with our lab, vendors and dentists who are all integral to the dental implant process.  This lower fee means big savings for dental patients who might otherwise avoid treatment.

Reducing the cost of dental implants is just one of the ways Texas Wisdom teeth and Dental Implants is working to make dental care more affordable for you and your family.  By providing professional oral surgery and implant dentistry at a great value, Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants is committed to the concerns of our patients.

For more information, and to schedule your initial consultation, Contact Us today.

Dr. Weinstein offers package pricing on full mouth treatment with dental implants at significant savings as well.  Be sure to call today for more information about this great new way to save on the cost of dental implants.

December 20, 2011

Wisdom Teeth- To Remove or Not to Remove

Dr. Chilcoat @ 3:53 pm

evidence_based_third_molar_surgery

Click this Link for more information about wisdom teeth and how your Oral Surgeon

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

decides whether your wisdom teeth need to be removed or not.

Many patients ask us about the importance of removing wisdom teeth which are not causing them pain.  Asymptomatic third molars are not the same thing as disease-free third molars.  Wisdom teeth which are not causing active pain, swelling, infection or other symptoms are described as “asymptomatic”, meaning there are no symptoms.  The term asymptomatic third molars does not indicate that there is no disease, just no symptoms.  Research and studies beginning almost fifty years ago have been one of the most valuable sources of information regarding the potential for disease in third molars, the frequency of problematic conditions, and demonstrates the linking of third molars to conditions such as periodontal disease, cysts and tumors and bone infection (osteomylitis).

Click on the link above to download the AAOMS Whitepaper titled “Advocacy White Paper on Evidence Based Third Molar Surgery” to find out more about how your oral surgeon decides whether your wisdom teeth should be left in place or removed.

For more information about your wisdom teeth, options and planning for surgery, contact us.

November 8, 2011

Smiles for Life Foundation

Dr. Chilcoat @ 2:58 pm

Our Participation in the Smiles for Life Foundation

Dr. Robert Weinstein and his team at Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants is proud to be a member of the Crown Council, a prestigious alliance of leading-edge dentists around the world.  The Crown Council and it’s members are committed to promoting oral health, fighting oral cancer and serving their community.  [1]

It is important to Dr. Weinstein and his team to support their community through volunteerism, medical missions and charitable giving.  One of the ways in which we do this is through our support of the Crown Council’s charitable arm, the Smiles for Life Foundation.  Smiles for Life has donated over $30 Million to hundreds of children’s charities since 1998.  100% of donations collected go to children’s charities.

Some of the Children’s charities that participate in the Smiles for Life Foundation are:

Children’s Miracle

Network

Children of Romania

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

CURE (In Cambodia)

Smile for Hope

Kids Cancer Care Foundation

How We Contribute

Traditionally, Crown Council member offices engage in a promotional event held annually from March through June, during which member offices offer professional teeth whitening at a deeply discounted price.  100% of the proceeds from this event go to charity.

Crown Council

Crown Council

As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Weinstein does not offer teeth whitening in his practice.  He had to get creative about how he could participate in this worthwhile cause that has changed many lives.  One of the most popular treatments offered in Dr. Weinstein’s oral surgery practice is dental implants to replace missing teeth.  The simple idea occurred that Dr. Weinstein would contribute a portion of the consultation fee for a dental implant to the Smiles for Life Foundation.  He decided to do this all year long, rather than from March through June every year. We expect to raise over $1200 for Smiles for Life in the coming year.  We hope to exceed that estimation each and every year.

When you see Dr. Robert A. Weinstein for a dental implant consultation, you are supporting children’s charities at home and worldwide.

Thanks to all of our wonderful patients for helping us make a difference in the lives of children in need.


[1] www.crowncouncil.com

June 21, 2011

How to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance Plan: 7 Tips for Saving Money

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:43 am

How to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance Plan: 7 Tips for Saving Money

By Dena Rathbun

You pay fordental insurance it every month, but most patients are not sure exactly how their dental insurance plans work.  As a result, many patients can overpay for treatment, delay needed treatment or even avoid having covered treatment performed because they aren’t sure their dental insurance will cover the cost.

Understand Your Plan

Dental insurance is a tool to help patients with the costs involved in maintaining good dental health. It is important to understand the provisions and limitations of your individual dental plan. Reading through the plan documents can be boring and time consuming, but you should definitely do it before using your plan benefits.  It is the responsibility of the patient, not the insurance company or the dentist office to pay for services rendered.  If you understand your plan and how it works, you will be far less likely to end up with claim denials and unexpected        dental bills. 

Stay “In-Network”

Most PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) have provisions for fee reductions when a patient has services rendered by a participating network provider.  The participating providers have agreed to an itemized fee schedule which provides for fee reductions of the total price of treatment even BEFORE any insurance plan payments are made. Dental implants may not be a treatment which is payable by your plan, but the network dentist or oral surgeon has most likely agreed to a reduction in the regular fee, which you are entitled to. Most covered services have fee reductions from 10-35% off the regular fee when you stay “in-network”. Some DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organizations) plans do not pay claims for any services performed by a non-network provider.  Make sure you know what your obligations are regarding choosing a provider and getting a proper referral if necessary.

Read Your EOB

An Explanation of Benefits statement is provided to both the dentist and the patient every time a claim is paid or denied.  Make sure to read it, understand it and compare it to your itemized receipt for services provided by the dentist. Make sure the plan has paid your claim correctly.  If any charges were unpaid or denied, find out why.  Don’t pay for services not paid by your insurance without first calling the insurance company and finding out why the payment was denied and what you can do to get it paid.

Ask for a “Pre-Determination” of Benefits

Most dental work is not an emergency.  There is usually some time in between when the treatment is recommended by the dentist and when the treatment is actually performed.  Ask your in-network dental provider to send a “pre-determination” of benefits to your insurance company before proceeding with treatment.  The insurance company will process the estimate just as it would an actual claim for services.  The difference is,  instead of sending a payment, the insurance company will send a statement showing exactly what they would have paid on an actual claim.  This is the best way to get the most detailed information possible before having an extensive treatment.

Know the Limits

Almost all insurance companies have an annual maximum.  An annual maximum is the total maximum amount your policy will pay per year.  Know what your limit is.  If you have had other dental work done in a calendar year, contact your insurance company to find out how much is still payable on your behalf BEFORE you have extensive treatment.  If a claim is filed by your dentist and not paid because you have reached your annual maximum, you will be responsible for the payment of the difference.  Do not try to beat the system by having extensive work done in multiple offices at the same time.  Your insurance company is very good at not over-paying on an annual maximum.

In addition to an annual maximums, most insurance companies limit the number of office visits, dental cleanings and x-rays which are covered annually.  Visits to specialists are usually billed differently than visits to your regular dentist.  Visits to specialists are also covered differently than visits to your regular dentist.  Know and understand how your plan manages these limitations.

Plan Multi-Stage Treatment Accordingly

If you know that you are planning extensive treatment, you can plan the stages of the treatment to maximize your insurance plan payments.  If possible, plan the stages in such a way that your annual maximum renews itself in between stages.  This will allow for insurance payment of your second stage of treatment.  In addition, your unused annual maximum does not carry over. If you need dental work performed and you have not used all of your benefit for the year, try to do it before it expires.  This will give you a fresh annual maximum when the policy year renews itself, leaving available funds for payment of other needed dental work.

Go for Your Exams and Cleanings Religiously!

The least expensive way to maintain good oral health is to go to your dentist at least twice a year for an exam and cleaning.  These services are usually covered 100% by your PPO plan.  When you do this routinely, you will find that problems are detected early and require less costly treatment to repair.  The best way to spend less on extensive dental work is to not need extensive dental work.  Always practice good personal oral hygiene and follow your dentist’s instructions for maintaining oral health, reversing gum disease and cavity prevention.

Dr. Robert Weinsteinis an “in-network” oral surgeon for most PPO and DHMO dental plans.  We offer the full spectrum of oral and facial surgical services including wisdom teeth removal, dental implants, bone grafting, jaw surgery and cosmetic facial surgery.  In addition to providing “in-network” fees for our insured patients, we also offer special rates for the uninsured.  For more information on your individual insurance policy, visit your plan website.  For information on the average cost of specific treatments, visit http://www.costhelper.com/cost/health/health-personal-care.html and select the appropriate procedure listed under “Dentistry”.

For information on how to use your dental benefits in our office, contact us or go to our website.

May 3, 2011

Dental Implants for Le$$/ What is the Catch?

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:20 am

Dental Implants for Le$$? What is the Catch?

Here’s a question we’ve been hearing quite often lately. How can Dr. Weinstein offer dental implants for so much less than I’ve been quoted by other offices? By paying less, I must be giving up something important such as implant success, the surgeon’s level of expertise or the quality of the dental implant, right?

Don’t Compromise Experience and a Superior Product!

Dental implants, quality product with superior success

Thommen Medical SPI dental implants

As a high volume dental implant surgeon, Dr. Weinstein is in a unique position to provide his patients with the same high quality, successful dental implant hardware system that he has used for the last 10 years with incredible success. The only difference is the cost. With over 30 years experience in placing dental implants, Dr. Weinstein has researched and used many of today’s popular dental implant systems, often serving on a team who evaluated the systems before their release in the U.S. Dental implants have a success rate of about 97% over 47 years of research. Dr Weinstein has used the Thommen SPI Dental Implant for almost 10 years. Thommen Medical is a Swiss company headquartered in Waldenburg, Switzerland. “I have noticed that I have actually had an increase in my success rate for dental implants since using the Thommen system”, says Dr. Weinstein.

All dental implant systems function in the same basic manner

  • The implant is placed into the bone without trauma to the bone
  • The implant itself is made of a material which will not be rejected by the body and is inert such as titanium.
  • The implant is given an afunctional healing period of 2-4 months after initial placement before applying a functional load on the implant.

For more information on the Thommen Medical SPI dental implant system, click here.

With Dental Implants, you can eat,laugh,talk and smile again with confidence!

A Simple Premise:

Dr. Weinstein offers dental implants for a lower fee than many dental implant specialists because he feels that the best treatment options with the highest success rates should not be priced out of reach for the average patient. When dental implants are easier to afford, patients are more likely to make decisions about their oral health that will be successful long term, provide the most desired results and have the greatest impact on their quality of life.

No more band-aids! You can afford to have your teeth fixed once and for all.

Our fees for dental implants do not include a substantial markup. We charge just what we need to cover our costs and make a modest profit. Dr. Weinstein believes in dental implants as the gold standard for tooth replacement and wants every patient to have access to this great treatment option. The bottom line is that our patients do not compromise quality of care, procedure success or appearance for cost. In fact, most of our patients find that they receive a superior level of patient service, compassion and personal attention from our team. The only thing affected by our lower fee is the income for the practice.

Do Your Research, Check Around, then Give Us a Call!

For more information on Dr. Weinstein, the Thommen Medical Dental Implant System and our Practice philosophy, visit our website. It is important to be an informed patient. Understanding dental implants and all your options empowers you to make the best decisions about your oral health. We have included information on our website to assist you in arming yourself with knowledge. Click here to go to texaswisdom.com now.

Regain your confidence, your quality of life and your SMILE!

Call to schedule your consultation appointment TODAY! 972-960-1111

February 25, 2011

Dental Implants: Why They’re Worth It

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:31 am

This is a great article which details the improvements in quality of life for two people. This article was found on the AARP Magazine website. Click this link for a straightforward, sugar-free take on how dental implants

Dental Implants Dallas

Find out if Dental Implants are Right for You!

can change your life.

http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-01-2011/the_bionic_mouth.print.html

February 4, 2011

Closed Friday

Dr. Chilcoat @ 9:30 am

Our office will be closed again on Friday, due to Dallas’ own version of a blizzard! Thank you for your patience and understanding. We are looking forward to opening for normal office hours on Monday.

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14856 Preston Rd., Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75254 USA
Charles Chilcoat, DDS Dallas TX Dentist (972) 960-1111 care@texaswisdom.com