Smiles in the Sun Conference

Smiles for LifeOur entire team attended a conference in Long Boat Key, Florida titled “Smiles in the Sun” from April 13th to April 16th. The conference was incredible and jam packed with the newest technologies and products. We are all excited to implement some of the new products and services that improve our results and make dental visits more pleasant for you, our patients.

The Numbee

One such product is The Numbee, a needleless anesthetic that is great for people of all ages, especially children. It allows us to numb the tooth without injecting into the tissue. The anesthetic is soaked in between the tooth and the gum tissue using a plastic tip to deliver the anesthetic.

Denta Light

Another is the Denta Light oral cancer screening system. Denta Light is a handheld wand that uses a fluorescent light to detect abnormal cells in the mouth. Abnormal cells reflect a color change under this light. This will allow us to do a cancer exam at every cleaning and exam visit.

These are just a couple of the technologies we are implementing. Our entire team continues to improve our knowledge and skills to better serve you!

Bright Smile

Invisalign Braces

Do you want Straight teeth without wearing traditional braces that include brackets and wires?

If so, Invisalign may be for  you!

Since invisalign came on the market in 1997 over two million people have taken advantage of this opportunity. Due to the nature of the invisalign aligners being clear and custom form fitting to the teeth, very few people will even notice that they are being worn.

The aligners can be removed to eat and for cleaning the teeth, but ideally should be worn for 20-22 hours a day.  Very little if any difference in speech is noted and if so only temporarily.

Typically invisalign is faster than traditional orthodontics and for many can take as little as 6 to 18 months depending on the amount of movement needed.  The difference is the treatment cycles.  Invisalign aligners are replaced with new ones every two weeks while traditional braces are adjusted every 4-6 weeks.

Invisalign is an option for many people, but not for severe cases of crowded teeth.  However, if you are interested in knowing your options, complimentary consultations are typically available.

Dental Health Insurance

American Heart Health Month

February is American Heart Health Month, and we want to help build awareness of how important it is to maintain the health of your heart. We use this time to address the fact that heart disease remains the number one killer of both women and men in the United States.

There are many risk factors such as getting older or having a family history of heart disease, but it is also known that there is a direct correlation between heart health and gum disease. Leaving “gum disease” untreated can cause serious heart problems. When gums bleed or are swollen, it is a sign of gum disease and should be evaluated. Bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, attach to blood vessels, and may also trigger clot formation. To combat your risk factors, it helps to know your numbers.

At Smiles for Life, we recommend our patients have their blood pressure taken at each dental appointment, so they know this critical number. Blood pressure is the silent killer that leads to strokes and heart attacks. Since so many people see their dentist more often than their physician, it only makes sense to provide this number at their dental appointments so they can have access to this early warning sign. It could save a life!

Our team will help you prevent and treat gingivitis and periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, by doing a complete evaluation and making a treatment plan customized to you. Contact Smiles for Life today to schedule your next appointment or a free consultation.

Simplifying Toothpaste…

Over the counter dental care has come a long way.  It can be overwhelming to know which kind of toothpaste is going to work the best for your needs.  From tarter control to whitening to sensitivity, below are some points that will help you be an informed consumer.

Sensitivity May Be Caused By Additives

There are many over the counter toothpastes that have whitening or tarter control additives in them.  Several kinds of toothpaste that help with sensitivity also include tarter control and whitening additives.  Did you know that whitening and tarter control toothpastes can cause sensitivity?  If you cringe every time you take a sip of hot coffee or eat ice cream, try sticking to sensitive toothpastes that leave out the other additives.  Once you switch to a toothpaste that is strictly a formula to combat sensitivity, your sensitive teeth should respond after about two weeks of daily use.

What’s The Deal With Whitening and Tarter Additives?

It has been our experience that whitening toothpastes don’t work well.  Since they are known to cause sensitivity, why risk it when whitening toothpaste could affect how much you enjoy your favorite foods.  Need I mention ice cream again?

If you’re concerned about tarter control, the toothpastes that offer that do have a solvent chemical added that actually dissolves calcium deposits.  These toothpastes work great for people that don’t have sensitivity issues and they do reduce the amount of tarter build up.

Still Feeling Sensitive?

Please call us for an appointment. You may have a cavity or need a prescription toothpaste. Prescription toothpaste is a great option because it has more flouride in it than regular toothpaste and it can reduce the amount of cavities you get. Contrary to what you might be thinking, prescription toothpaste is actually quite inexpensive and can last anywhere from 3-5 months depending on the size you purchase. Please call us to schedule an appointment to see if prescription toothpaste is right for you.

If you aren’t experiencing sensitivity to your teeth, but you are experiencing dry mouth be sure to let your dentist know because this prescription toothpaste can counteract the damage a dry mouth can cause to teeth.  Dry mouth is a concern that’s important to get on top of as it can cause expensive dental problems such as increased decay and gum disease.

Dental Insurance – Things to Consider

Dental insurance is like a never-ending maze that often leaves you feeling confused and uncertain about the benefits it actually provides.

One benefit we offer our patients is that we’ll always take time to help answer your dental insurance questions. We will do our best to be your advocate and help you maximize your benefits. Ultimately, what the insurance will or will not cover is based on the contract YOU have with your insurance company. Since we are only the provider of services, we cannot control what your insurance will or will not pay.

Things to Consider

If you are considering changing your dental insurance, here are a few things to consider:

  • Are routine cleanings, exams and x-rays covered and at what percent?
  • Is there a pre-existing condition clause?
  • Is there a waiting period for procedures such as crowns and bridges?
  • What services will you use?
  • Is your provider in-network?
  • How long will you have the plan?
  • Is there a premium cost for you?
  • If you need work done, how much does it cost with and without insurance and how does that compare to your premium costs?

If you have questions about your insurance and what is covered, please let us know or contact your benefits administrator.