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Posts for: October, 2014

By Beckman Dentistry
October 23, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dentures   Dental Hygiene  

oral health Today, dentures are designed to be comfortable and functional, offering an appearance that is very close to your natural teeth. Dentures can improve your smile and facial appearance, as well as re-establish your ability to chew and speak. In addition, it provides support for your facial muscles, which helps prevent facial drooping, to greatly enhance your smile and appearance. There is a denture for everyone’s lifestyle.

Dental Hygiene

It is very important to practice proper dental hygiene when wearing dentures. Additionally, it is best to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water when handling your denture, just in case you accidently drop it. Brush your denture with a denture brush daily to remove food deposits and plaque, which can also keep your denture from becoming permanently stained. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, as it can damage your dentures. When purchasing a cleanser for your dentures, keep an eye out for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

Begin With Soft Foods

Upon initial wear, dentures may cause eating and speaking to be difficult. Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces. Chew on both sides of your mouth to keep even pressure on the denture and avoid sticky or hard foods, including gum.

Remove Dentures Every Night

Each night, before bed, remember to take your dentures out. You can place them in a glass of water or a glass filled with a denture cleaner for better protection. By removing your dentures every night, you allow your gum tissue beneath the dentures a chance to rest.

Handle with Care

As stated previously, fill your sink with water or place a folded towel in it when handling your dentures. By doing this, you can protect your dentures if they were to fall in the sink. Be careful of cleaning solutions if your dentures have metal attachments because the solutions might cause the metal to tarnish. Most importantly, don’t soak your dentures in hot water.

Know What Not to Bite Into

While it is important to begin eating soft foods while you get used to your dentures, it is also important to know what not to chew. Remember this: Do not use your dentures for anything other than chewing and speaking. Don’t bite your nails. Don’t bite a thread, fishing line or even ice. Protect your dentures and only use them for speaking and chewing—it will help in the long run.
If you are missing multiple teeth, or even all of your teeth, contact our Prairie Village dentist today to see if dentures are an appropriate solution to restoring your smile. At Ziegenhorn Dentistry, we can work with you to tailor a custom-made denture in Prairie Village to fit your lifestyle, as well as a self-care plan that will ensure optimal use of your dentures.

By Beckman Dentistry
October 20, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental insurance  

Most of us think of insurance as a means to protect us and our families from unforeseen loss. While that’s the general definition, some insurance plans — like dental — don’t quite work that way.

The typical dental plan actually works more like a discount coupon for dental services. Most are part of an employer-based benefit package and usually “fee-for-service”: the insurance company pays for part or sometimes the entire bill after your dental visit based on a fee schedule laid out in the policy.

A plan’s benefits depend on what the insurer offers to cover and what level of coverage your employer (or you) are willing to pay for. Typically, the more items covered under the policy, the higher the premium. Any deductibles (the amount you must pay out of pocket before receiving any plan benefits) can also affect the premium — the lower the deductible, the higher the premium.

The benefits may also be limited due to what a patient’s dentist charges for services. Most insurers pay benefits based on what they determine to be the “usual, customary and reasonable” (UCR) fee for a particular service. The dentist’s fees are most often higher, however, resulting in the patient paying a higher percentage of the bill.

Still, a dental plan can work to your financial advantage, especially if it’s employer-based with premiums paid by your employer. It may not be advantageous, however, if you’re paying the premiums. For example, a person without insurance might spend on average $200 a year for basic dental care (mostly preventative — checkups and cleanings), while a person with insurance may have those expenses covered, but are paying yearly premiums of $500 or more for the plan.

You should also consider one other factor: our first priority as dentists is to pursue the best course of treatment for your particular dental needs, which may not always align with what your policy covers. At the same time, we understand the limitations you may be under with your plan — we work in this world every day. We’ll certainly assist you in navigating the insurance waters to achieve the best care for what you can afford.

If you would like more information on dental insurance and other financial arrangements, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Insurance 101.”

By Beckman Dentistry
October 20, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

What if you had orthodontic treatments to enhance your smile — and nobody knew about it until it was all done?

That (almost) happened to British singer, cover girl and television personality Cheryl Cole. Since her big break in 2002, on the British reality show Popstars: The Rivals, Cole has had a successful music career, taken turns judging both the British and American versions of The X Factor, and graced the covers of fashion magazines like Elle and Harpers Bazaar.

And somewhere along the way, Cole wore an orthodontic appliance. It very nearly went undetected… until a colleague spilled the beans. That’s when Cole was forced to divulge her secret: For a period of time, she had been wearing clear aligners on her teeth. Until her frenemy’s revelation, only a few people knew — but when you compare the before-and-after pictures, the difference in her smile is clear.

So what exactly are clear aligners? Essentially, they consist of a series of thin plastic trays that are worn over the teeth for 22 hours each day. The trays are custom-made from a computerized model of an individual’s mouth. Each tray is designed to move the teeth a small amount, and each is worn for two weeks before moving on to the next in the series. When the whole series is complete, the teeth will have shifted into their new (and better aligned) positions.

Besides being virtually unnoticeable, aligners are easy to remove. This makes it easy to keep the teeth clean — and can come in handy for important occasions (like cover-photo shoots and acceptance speeches). But don’t remove them too frequently, or they won’t work as planned. If that’s a possibility (with teens, for example), aligners are available with “compliance indicators” to ensure they’re being worn as often as they should be. They can also be made with special tabs to hold a place for teeth that haven’t fully erupted (come in) yet — another feature that’s handy for teens.

So if you need orthodontic work but prefer to stay “under the radar,” ask us whether clear aligners could be right for you. Cheryl Cole did… and the results gave her something more to smile about.

If you would like more information on clear aligners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Clear Orthodontic Aligners” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”