Below are some of the frequently asked questions:
Why are my teeth sensitive?
Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.
What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?
Great teeth and gum care start at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis. By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and Oral Hygiene protocol for Home Care will prevent the Periodontal Disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’. The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear. They include:
- Bad Breath
- Gum Recession
- Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
- Tooth Pain
- Tooth Loss
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Through a series of Periodontal Cleanings, Root Planing & Scaling, Laser Therapy and Local Antibiotics, this condition can be controlled. Periodontal Surgery is only necessary for severe cases.
What is the Difference Between a White Filling and a Silver Filling?
Silver Fillings known as Amalgam have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy, it was the best restoration for fillings. The metal expands and contracts with the heat and cold placed in the mouth. This allowed for little bacteria to enter a tooth once filled; keeping the tooth healthy and strong.
White Fillings, also known as composites are often made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay. Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.
How Can I Improve My Smile?
There are several ways in today’s Dental World to enhance your smile. Certain procedures include:
- Tooth Whitening
- Porcelain Veneers
- Porcelain Crowns
We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For an exact consultation, please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.
What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth Whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Over the years, flouride is has been added to the whitening product. This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.
Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.
The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly. Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect. Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!
What is Bonding?
Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color. The immediate results are amazing. Within a few hours, you will have a great smile! Bonding like Tooth Whitening may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. . This entire procedure can take as few as two visits. Veneers change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth. This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile. Many times, patients ask for Porcelain Veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!
What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth. It will change the size, shape and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits.
What is a Dental Implant?
A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the Dental Implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
- Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
- Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
- Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
- Dental Implants replace the need for a Removable Full or Partial Denture.
- Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing. A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.
Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?
With major advancements in Dentistry and Dental Implants, most people are candidates for Dental Implants. There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.
What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
The average Dental Implant Procedure takes 3 - 4 visits. The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the Implant.
The next visit is to place the Implant. A local anesthesia is applied to the area. (Any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist). The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant. The implant is placed into the jaw bone. The area will then be covered with sutures. The procedure is usually completed with minor pain.
You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the Porcelain Crown to place over the Implant.
How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
Fees from Dental Implants vary from dentist to dentist. Always schedule an Implant Consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.
How long does a Dental Implant last?
With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, A Dental Implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.
Does your office offer financing for services provided?
Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile today!
- Care Credit
For more information call our office at (209)-369-2696.
What are dental Insurance benefits and limitations ?
It’s not possible to have good healthy life without caring for your oral health. There are many dental insurances and each one has different plans. It’s hard to understand insurance coverage and benefits.
Some plans covers a major portion of your dental bill and some only a small fraction. Dental insurance benefits are good for patients because they help pay for needed treatment
It is important to know that each contract will specify what types of procedures are considered benefits. And what are the exclusions. Even if a procedure is medically and dentally necessary, it may be excluded from your contract.This does not mean that you do not need the procedure. It simply means that your plan will Not consider the procedure for payment. For example, cosmetic procedures and implants are often excluded from a dental plan
If your employer has selected your dental insurance plan.It is a benefit provided to help their employees pay for routine dental treatment. The employer usually buys a plan based on the amount of the benefit and how much the premium costs. Most benefit plans are only designed to cover a portion of the total cost and patient pays the balance
With most insurance the dentists on their list have agreed to a contract with the benefit plan and will usually follow their fees. These contracts have restrictions and requirements. If you choose a in network dentist, you typically will pay less toward your dental care than if you choose a out of network dentist.
Some services are covered 100% and you pay zero, but with most of the basic and major procedures you pay some co-payment. Many carriers refer to their allowed payments asUCR, which stands for usual, customary and reasonable. UCR is actually a listing of payments for all covered procedures by insurance company. This listing is related to the cost of the premiums and where you are located in your city and state.Different plans have disffernt coverage and benefits according to the monthly premium you pay.
Insurances have their own UCR fees and dentist in your area have their own UCR fees. Some insurances plans pay only 100% of their fees not the dentist fees and you pay the difference between the dentist fees and the insurance fees.
100% insurance coverage is usually what the insurance carrier allows as payment toward the procedure, not what your dentist or other dentists in your area may actually charge. For example, say your dentist charges $80 UCR fees for an examination (not counting x-rays and cleaning.) Your carrier may allow $60 as the 100% payment for that examination according to insurance UCR fees, leaving $20 for you to pay.Usually there is always a portion that is not covered by your benefit plan.Even a plan that doesn’t cover a large portion of the cost of needed dentistry pays something. Any amount covered reduces what you have to pay out of pocket. So, it helps.
Maximums limits what a carrier has to cover or pay each year.
Your dentist’s responsibility is to prescribe what is best for you, sometimes the insurance will not cover that benefit and will only allow for the least expensive treatment. For example, your dentist may recommend a crown, with your insurance only offering a benefit towards a filling. In this case you will be responsible for the remaining balance after the insurance payments or denial.
Your plan contract specifies how many of certain types of procedures it will consider annually. It limits the number of x-rays, cleanings and gum treatments it will cover and it also has limitations on how many times visits or treatments are covered in a 12 or 6 months period.
Because your insurance coverage is between you, your employer and the insurance carrier, your dentist does not have the power to make your plan pay. If your insurance doesn’t pay, you are responsible for the total cost of treatment.If have questions regarding insurance offered by your employer, you could contact your HR department. All copayments are due at the time of service. We will bill your insurance after services are performed.
Traditional, fee-for-service, insurance benefits are determined by a "usual and customary" formulation created by your insurance carrier. Insurance will pay according to their own rules. They will pay each service according to their fee schedule and according to the plan rules and limitations set by them. You will need to contact your insurance carrier directly to answer any specific question .We try to check each patients eligibility and benefits over the telephone and according to your insurance it’s not a guarantee of payment . You are responsible for any unpaid balance .You will need to contact your insurance carrier directly to answer any specific question
All accounts with a balance owing are billed monthly. If get a statement and have questions regarding the charges you can call our office at (209) 369-2696.
We bill insurance carriers as a courtesy to our patients. However, the patient is financially responsible for all balances due .It’s the patient responsibility to know their benefits and limitations and call their insurance regarding coverage and benefits .Your are responsible financially for any services and claims not paid or rejected by your insurance for any reason, You will need to contact your insurance carrier directly to answer any question.
The Human Recourses department of employee Benefits Coordinator at your place of work may be able to help.
Some insurance have waiting periods for some major procedures, and the insurance plan will not pay till the waiting period is met.
Question you can ask your insurance carrier:
What percentage does my insurance pay? What are my co payments for exam/x-ray cleaning .fillings ,and major works.
What is my yearly maximum? Deductibles?
Are there any waiting periods for services? Or any other limitations?
Mary Ali,D.D.S,Inc,located at 525 s fairmont ave,suite H,lodi,ca.
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