Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dental Insurance Limitations

    When I began my dental career 34 years ago, the maximum benefit for a dental insurance policy was $1000 per year. The fee in our office for a dental crown was $225. So, a patient could get 2 professional examinations and cleanings per year, covered at 100%, and still have the benefits remaining to cover 6 dental crowns covered at 50%.
    In the beginning of 2013, the fee for a crown was $1055. The amazing fact is that the usual insurance maximum benefit is still only $1000! If a patient receives their two examinations and cleanings, their remaining benefit would cover 1 crown, if covered at 50%.
Any amount that is covered is a huge benefit, and it means that much less has to come out of your pocket directly. However, it is clear that dental insurance has become quite limited. While we work hard to maximize your benefits, our goal is to recommend and provide the best available treatment for each patient independent of whatever insurance limitations there may be.
If you ever have any questions about what the benefits or limitations of your own insurance may be, or you would like some help in choosing a new type of insurance, please feel free to call us with any questions. We will do our best to help you find the coverage which best suits yours and families needs.

For more answers to any dental questions you may have, visit us at

Lawrence R. Brown, DDS

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When Can My Child Bleach Their Teeth?

    More frequently than ever before, dentists and dental professionals are confronted with questions regarding teeth bleaching for children and young adults. While there may not be a clear cut answer, our goal is to help educate the parents and the patients of their options when it comes to bleaching their teeth.
    The first concern of many parents is whether or not teeth bleaching effects the strength of the tooth in any way. The active ingredients for bleaching in the United States are typically carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, and neither will weaken the enamel or increase the risk of cavities. However, improper use or too high of concentrations can lead to tooth sensitivity and irritation of the gums. This can be very difficult to predict, but to reduce the risk of these situations; we always recommend consulting with a dental professional before beginning any type of bleaching regiment.
    In younger patients, the nerve of the tooth is larger and more susceptible to sensitivity. The nerve, or pulp chamber, typically remains enlarged during the teenage years and gradually shrinks as we age. There is no evidence that shows irreversible long-term damage to the pulp chamber when proper bleaching techniques are used, but teenagers have the highest risk of developing sensitivity during and after use of teeth bleaching products.
    So how do you know when or if it is OK for your kid to start using over-the-counter or doctor prescribed teeth bleaching products? It is always a good idea to check with your dentist first. They can help with the decision using x-rays and/or knowing the particular person’s clinical history. Based on the individual circumstances and knowing the desired results, a personalized plan and timeline can be developed that will reduce the likelihood of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation for the patient.

For more information on teeth bleaching, visit us at  

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.
(513) 860-3660

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When Should I Begin Taking My Kids to the Dentist?

    New and expecting parents often inquire about what age their children should begin seeing the dentist. In a perfect world, we would begin seeing children for visits after their first teeth begin erupting. Our hope is to become the ‘dental home’ at an early age and start developing a sense of familiarity. However, at such a young age it is difficult to gain compliance from patients.  We more frequently recommend their first visit around the age of 2-3 or when all of their primary (baby) teeth have erupted.
    There are a number of different goals we have for a child’s first dental visit. On top of the typical dental exam where we check the teeth and surrounding tissues, our goal is to educate the parents on how they can help maintain good oral health with their children. Among other things, we will discuss how much fluoride they need, what habits may lead to cavities, and how you can assist each day in cleaning their teeth.
    It is important to remember that each child develops at a different rate and the eruption timing of teeth are the same way. For most, the lower central incisors appear within 6-10 months, followed shortly by the upper central incisors. The final primary (baby) teeth to erupt are typically the upper second molars anywhere from 25-33 months. During the time the teeth are coming in, your child may experience sore or tender gums. You can rub their gums with clean wet gauze or even your finger. A chilled teething ring can also work, but you definitely do not want to dip it in sugar, syrup or other foods. If your child still remains uncomfortable, we recommend consulting your pediatrician.

    For more information of children’s dental health, check out our website at or call us at 513-860-3660.

Lee T. Brown, DDS   
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.
(513) 860-3660

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Should You go to the Dentist if You're Pregnant?

            There are many women out there today that are not receiving timely dental care because some dentists are hesitant to treat pregnant patients. However, dental treatment is typically beneficial and there is now a shift towards continuing routine dental care during pregnancy.

            You obviously want to make all the right decisions during your pregnancy, and it is normal to question what dental services should be performed when you’re expecting. Dr. Howard Minkoff, the chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, believes that dental X-rays, antibiotics, and local anesthesia are not contraindicated in treatment of pregnant patients. And since 2006, a few state dental organizations have issued guidelines saying that dental care is safe and effective at any stage of pregnancy. This includes diagnostic X-rays, cavity restorations, and root canals.

            When pregnant, the risk for gingivitis (gum inflammation) is typically a litter higher. If this is left unchecked, the gum disease can lead to dental infections and even tooth loss. Just as importantly, there is evidence that a mother with active tooth decay can spread the cavity causing bacteria to her child and perpetuate poor oral health.

            Finally, we worry that dental pain may cause pregnant women to self-medicate incorrectly. While physicians recommend acetaminophen over ibuprofen for pain control, an overdose of acetaminophen can negatively affect the liver and endanger the fetus.

            As the shift towards more routine dental care during pregnancy continues, we understand that patients may still continue to have concerns. When in doubt, or if you have a history of other conditions, we always encourage you to consult your physician. But we believe that maintaining a healthy mouth will help aid in a safe pregnancy for you and your family.


For more questions and answers about your dental concerns, check our FAQ section at               


Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc

(513) 860-3660