Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Limitations of Dental Insurance

            When I began my dental career over 34 years ago, the maximum benefit for a dental insurance policy was at $1000 per year. The fee at that time for a dental crown was $225. This means an individual could get two professional examinations and cleanings per year, covered at 100%, and still have the remaining benefits to cover 6 dental crowns covered at 50% if you needed.
            In the beginning of 2014, the fee for a crown was over $1100. The amazing fact is that the average insurance maximum benefit is still only $1000! If a patient receives their two examinations and cleanings, their remaining benefit would cover only one crown, if covered at 50%.
Any amount that is covered is a definitely a huge benefit, and it means that much less has to come directly out of your pocket. However, it is clear that dental insurance has become much more limited. While we work hard to maximize your benefits if treatment is needed, our goal is to recommend and provide the best available treatment for each patient independent of any insurance limitations.
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 information, visit www.brownandkupper.com/questions.php.
Lawrence R. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

How Important is it that I Floss?

            It is common knowledge that everyone should brush their teeth in order to maintain good oral health. For whatever reason, flossing your teeth daily does not hold the same level of importance with the every person. But by flossing just once a day, you can decrease your risk of gum disease, improve your overall health, and increase the odds of achieving and maintaining good oral health.

            A toothbrush and toothpaste can clean the most of the tooth’s surface area, but only flossing can clean in between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss will help to remove debris, plaque and bacteria that remain on the teeth and gums. Not only does its reduce the risk of tooth decay, but removal of this additional debris can also aid in controlling bad breath.

            Flossing should only take you between two and three minutes to complete and should be done at least once daily. Ideally I would recommend flossing right before bed, but any way you can incorporate it into your daily routine should work. The idea is to find a time that is convenient for you so you won’t forget.

            There are a wide variety of flosses available, and for the most part they do a similar job in removing debris and plaque. Wide floss (dental tape) works really well in cleaning large spaces and under bridges, while waxed floss works well between tight contacts. The pre-threaded flossers or floss holders can help when flossing someone else’s teeth or if you have difficulty reaching any spots in your own mouth.  And if you have children, they should begin flossing as soon as they two or more teeth that touch.

            While water picks are a good adjunct to help clean the teeth, they are not effective enough to replace flossing. They help to remove food from difficult areas and around braces, but they do not remove the plaque that remains in between the teeth. When in doubt regarding what type of floss to use in your particular case, be sure to contact your dentist or dental hygienist.

If you have any more questions about flossing or gum disease, visit us at www.brownandkupper.com for more answers.

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

At What Age do I Begin Taking My Kids to the Dentist?

            New or 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. Unfortunately, very few would be willing to cooperate at that age. Our hope is to become their ‘dental home’ at an early age and start developing a sense of familiarity and a positive relationship. 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 your 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 for their children. Among other things, we will discuss how much fluoride they need, what kinds of toothpaste to use, 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 may vary. 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 usually 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 www.brownandkupper.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.