The Dental Care Gap

Aug 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Sep 11th, 2017

When they find themselves in severe pain, uninsured individuals tend to wind up in local emergency rooms. If their pain is caused by a broken bone or a ruptured appendix, they’ll receive the care they need immediately. On the other hand, if their pain is the result of rotting teeth and dental abscesses, they’ll receive little care. They may be given a pill for the pain or an antibiotic to fight the infection, but that’s it.

These individuals will then be sent home and forced to seek out their own dental care. Often, this means painstakingly saving money for months, taking loans they won’t be able to pay back, or waiting for an annual free clinic to come to town. As they postpone the care they cannot afford, these individuals are forced to live in agony for weeks, and even months, at a time. In addition, this wait can allow dental problems to worsen and can pose serious health risks.

Many people out there believe it is immoral to allow the poor to live in agony simply because they cannot afford dental procedures. Dental insurance should be provided for everyone who cannot realistically afford it on their own.

At The Dental Center, we’re committed to supporting increases in affordable dental insurance, but are still waiting for members of the government to step up to the plate. Instead, we’re taking action everyday to help uninsured individuals get the dental care they need. Through his work with the Dental OPTIONS program, Dr. Gilmer is actively improving the lives of the neediest members of his community.

 

 

7 Oral Health Concerns for Those Over 50

Aug 4th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Oral Health Concerns

When they say “age is all in your head,” they’re probably right. But then, your teeth ARE in your head — so you likely can’t escape having to pay a little more attention to them after the age of 50. Although some oral health concerns are seen as common as we age, if you adopt a proactive mindset and educate yourself, these concerns do not have to be common for you. Anticipating and recognizing changes in your mouth can help you be on top of your health in this area — so let’s take a look at the main ones you have to watch out for.

Dry Mouth:

The most common oral health concern you’re likely to experience as you age is dry mouth. In the medical world, dry mouth goes by the name xerostomia, and can be brought on by a number of contributing factors, including the over-consumption of drying beverages like coffee and alcohol, as well as the frequent consumption of salty foods. Another big offender is the medication we take over a lifetime to treat various illness. And the list isn’t a short one – there are at least 400 medications that can contribute to xerostomia, including medications for high blood pressure and depression. We have been able to help many patients find relief and prevent them from greater harm.

Ill-fitting Dentures: 

First off, it’s important to note that the need for dentures is not a must as we age. Today, healthier living and better access to dental care has reduced the percentage of seniors wearing dentures to 27% from nearly 50% just a few decades ago. That said, should dentures be a part of your life, or that of a loved one, wearing properly-fitting dentures is critical. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a denture reline. Give us a call at (614) 414-0111 and we can see if that will help. Dentures that cause pain or shift in the mouth tend to alter a person’s eating habits, which can lead to nutrition deficits if healthy, but hard-to-chew, foods are avoided. Ill-fitting dentures can also cause thrush.

Physical Obstacles to Good Oral Care: 

As we age, we sometimes find ourselves having to contend with physical ailments that limit our desire to maintain good oral care. Arthritis, vision loss, or injuries are a few of the most common. To combat these concerns, using a floss pick to get between teeth can be helpful, and the regular use of oral rinses can assist in dislodging difficult-to-remove food debris, while adding to the overall health of one’s mouth and gum tissue. Here’s how to choose the best mouth rinse for your needs!

Naturally Receding Gums: 

The old expression “long in the tooth” isn’t just a quaint idiom about how one accumulates wisdom with age – it also refers to how our teeth appear to “lengthen” as we age. In other words, it’s a fancy way of saying our gums are receding. While some degree of gum recession is indeed natural as we get up in years, this predisposes us to cavities along the root structure of the tooth where enamel doesn’t exist. So, as one ages, flossing, brushing and rinses are more important than ever.

Gum Disease: 

Natural gum recession is one thing, and a part of “growing up,” if you will. Gum disease, however, is preventable. So, if it’s been longer than six months since you’ve seen us, please do give us a call at (614) 414-0111. Each of the above items in this list can contribute to gum disease, and good oral care can prevent it. Failing to do so can lead to a need for dentures at its most extreme, and pain and swollen gums at its least. We’d prefer you experience neither concern!

Tooth Loss: 

If a tooth is lost due to trauma or decay, and not replaced with an implant or other prosthetic, it can have serious complications for the health of the jawbone. Teeth can shift out of place and fall out, and bone tissue can be resorbed back into the body. Not a good thing.

Loss of Insurance Coverage:

Retirees without dental coverage can sometimes cover the expense of dental care on their own; sometimes they cannot. But a lack of funds to take care of one’s teeth can be devastating to the health of our mouths, and our overall health. So we need to plan for two things: a care routine that allows us to take care of our teeth as much as humanly possible and some sort of financial backup plan for when problems do arise.We help dozens of patients a week to discover what the plan that best fits their needs!

Common Causes Of Tooth Pain

Dec 3rd, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Do you have a toothache you just can’t shake? These are the most common causes of tooth pain, and what you can do about them.

Severe tooth pain can throw a wrench in your entire day. Now imagine the pain persists well into your week and before you know it, you’re suffering from a throbbing, swollen mouth. Dental insurance and company plans cover most causes for dental aches and pains. Don’t let something as simple as tooth pain stop you from comfortably living your life. Here are the 4 most common causes of tooth pain and what can be done to save your mouth.

Tooth Decay
When it comes to tooth aches, tooth decay is usually the main culprit. The buildup of plaque and harmful bacteria can dissolve the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities and sensitivity. Take action against the pain and call your dentist to see what they recommend.

Gum Disease
Periodontitis and gingivitis are the two main types of gum disease. Gum disease can be a serious dental issue that may cause a lot of pain. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen or tender gums, gum detachment, sensitive or bleeding teeth, as well as tooth aches. The ache stems from the pockets formed by the gums detaching from the teeth and filling with bacteria. In mild cases of gum disease, daily brushing, antibiotics, and thorough daily flossing may be enough to clean the infected pockets.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If your wisdom teeth have become impacted, this means they cannot fully erupt from the gums due to blockage by other teeth or improper growth. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth have grown in sideways and may affect your nerves if taken out. This can lead to intense pain, inability to open the mouth, and inflammation. The pain associated with impacted wisdom teeth may subside on its own, or with antibiotics, however it’s in your best interest to have the wisdom teeth removed to avoid future infections.

Damage To The Teeth
If you have chipped a tooth, this damage may be the source of the tooth ache. Broken or damaged crowns, fillings, or chips in the teeth can easily be fixed by making an appointment with your dentist.

Are you suffering from tooth pain that just won’t go away? Don’t go on suffering when there are easy solutions to rid your mouth of pain. With dental insurance and company plans available, call and schedule an appointment with Easton Dentist’s today at (614) 414-0111

What is Scaling and Root Planing and Why Doesn’t my Insurance Consider it a Normal Tooth Cleaning?

Oct 20th, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Is your mouth in need of a thorough deep clean? Root planing and scaling can give your mouth a total turnaround and help fight against gum disease, but some hesitate to make the appointment due to dental insurance woes. Does insurance consider these procedures as a standard teeth cleaning? We’re looking at what scaling and root planing can do for you, and what your insurance has to say about it.

What is Scaling?

Sometimes referred to as “deep cleaning”, dental scaling is the process of removing harmful tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth. Left untreated, tartar and plaque buildup can attribute to gum disease. During the process of scaling, your dentist will either use a hand-held instrument, or an ultrasonic one. With a hand held instrument your dentist will identify severe tartar buildup and manually scale, or remove, plaque off of your teeth.

When using an ultrasonic instrument your dentist again will identify tartar buildup and chip it off through vibrations. The removed tartar is then washed away with water. When it comes to a nonsurgical treatment for gum disease, scaling is the way to go.

What is Root Planing?

Often combined with scaling, root planing is the act of treating gum disease. When gum disease gets severe, inflammation will cause the gum to separate from the root surface. This creates what is known as a periodontal pocket, a hard to clean area where bacteria begins to form. When your dentist performs a root planing he will remove calculus and dental plaque from the root surfaces.

Why Doesn’t my Insurance Consider These Options a Standard Tooth Cleaning?

Deep cleanings can be pricey, and dental insurance doesn’t always cover it. Some insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost, but this is not always the case. Dental insurance companies may consider this different from a standard cleaning due to the process involved. This is because unlike other cleaning procedures for your teeth, dental scaling and root planing involve cleaning below the gum line.

For more information on dental insurance, company plans, dental scaling, and root planing, schedule an appointment with Easton Dentist. Call (614) 414-0111 and schedule an appointment today.

New To Dental Insurance? Here’s How It Works

May 18th, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Are you just now entering the complicated world of dental insurance? If so, the process can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to understand. At the Dental Center we’re happy to help you through the complicated process of your insurance plan. Dental insurance can be summed up in these 3 easy points:

1. How do you get dental insurance? Dental insurance is provided either by your place of full-time employment, or bought independently by you. There are three main types of dental insurance: indemnity (which allows you to choose any dentist you prefer who accepts your specific coverage), PPO or Preferred Provide Network, or DHMO “Dental Health Managed Organizations” wherein you will be assigned a specific in-network dentist and insurance package.

2. What does it do? Dental insurance provides you access to basic and major dental care and covers a wide variety of services, such as fillings, root canals, fillings, cleanings, and extraction. When purchasing dental insurance on your own, you are likely not going to be covered for cosmetic dental surgery such as tooth whitening.

3. Try and find a preferred provider accepted by your dental provider. Each dental office is going to have a network of preferred providers, or insurance companies, that they like to work with. Our dental practice has over 160 dental carriers to ensure you can work with your most comfortable choice.

Getting approved for dental insurance is relatively easy. Much like other insurance plans, some dental services (such as a root canal) may be subject to deductible and co-pays, so be sure to go through your insurance agreement with a fine tooth comb before you decide which company you’d like to work with.

At the Easton Dental Center we’re happy to provide company plans to fit any budget, we also work with over 160 dental insurance carriers to ensure you can work comfortably with The Dental Center and your trusted insurance agency. If you don’t have dental insurance we are more than happy to offer you flexible payment plans. Please contact us for personalized payment plans or information about insurance and to learn more about our services.

Dental Insurance Providers and Plan Ranges

Apr 15th, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Do you have Dental Insurance? If not, you likely know the stress involved with keeping your own personal dental health, as well as your family’s, in check. Those working part time, low-income jobs, those who are self-employed, or have no company plan should be interested to know that there are still great dental opportunities for them when it comes to premium dental insurance. For others who aren’t sure of what they’re looking for in a Dental Insurance Provider, here are some great options in the Ohio area.

What is an Indemnity Plan?
This means that your carrier will pay for your dental services after getting the bill. You will pay your dentist up front for any work done, but will be reimbursed by your insurance provider.

What is a Managed-Care plan?
In Ohio, many dentists within this network have agreed to a negotiated rate. Many see this as a more cost effective way to manage your dental insurance.

Anthem Dental Insurance
Anthem currently offers three different plan choices, with the ability to enroll yourself or your whole family into the programs. There is no waiting period for preventative or diagnostic services, and best of all you can still stay with your current dentist or choose from Anthem’s network of professionals for a lower rate. Choices come in the Dental Blue Basic package, including basic coverage and routine checkups. Dental Blue Essential package includes basic services, as well as specialty services such as root canals or denture work. Finally, the Dental blue Essential 200 offers basic dental work, specialty services, and offers you a larger choice of dentists available in the network.

United Health One
United Health One offers dental insurance that won’t be out of your price range. They have a healthy selection of dentists available, meaning you may not even have to switch from your current dental provider.

DenteMax
This dental insurance company offers over 216,000 dentists nationwide, and agrees to charge their clients a lower fee than normal for talented professionals.

Nationwide Dental Plans
Nationwide offers a comprehensive list of plans, from basic to voluntary, covering large or small groups, families, and annual benefits. Their plans come in Basic, Diagnostic and Preventative, Major, or Orthodontia. Nationwide also offers oral cancer screening, maternity care, dental implants, and a carryover program for unused benefits.

Dental Insurance Plans Ohio
If you’re still not sure what will work best for you, Ohio has five different types of insurance plans available at Dentalinsurance.com, including discount dental plans, managed-care plans, indemnity plans, and more. Simply visit the website and enter your postal code to see what plans are available to you.

Your financial situation should never prevent you from getting the oral care that you need. There are options available to you in dental emergencies, such as allowing University Dental School students to work on you, or by contacting your city’s health department regarding free or low cost dental clinics for low-income families.

To discuss your dental insurance company plans contact Easton Dentist at (614) 414-0111.

Choosing The Right Dental Plan For You

Mar 22nd, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Here are some useful tips for choosing the right dental plan for you:

1. If you presently have a regular dental provider, ask her/him for a recommendation. If you possess a favorite dentist you’d love to keep visiting, check with that dental professional about what plans she/he belongs to. Dental professionals also are great resources to learn what plans you should avoid.

2. Select a dental insurer that has experience and great reputation. If you are unfamiliar with a certain dental insurance provider, call the Better Business Bureau in your area or additional consumer protection agency.

3. Coverage Comparison. Compare all plans you are considering within these areas:

Yearly maximum: It’s the maximum quantity the plan pays for services within a given year for coverage (adult). $1,000 is standard for the majority of plans, although some might provide less and some might provide more.

Deductible: It’s the quantity you’ll pay prior to the benefits of the plan kicking in. Usually, the deductible resets every year.

What is covered, and at which level: Many dental plans categorize dental procedures in 1 of 3 categories: preventive and diagnostic, major restorative, and basic restorative, and assign a payment percentage for all categories. However, plans may vary as far as what category a service is thought to be: for example, root canals, might be within the basic restorative services classification of one plan, and within the major restorative services classification of an additional one. The difference within the quantity paid by the plan might be several hundred dollars. Prior to purchasing a dental insurance plan, think about which services you’ve needed in the past as one way of predicting which kinds of services you’ll require in the future.

Coverage for kids: The ACA (Affordable Care Act) involves coverage for kid’s dental care.

What isn’t covered: Some kinds of services aren’t covered whatsoever – for example, corrective orthodontics often isn’t covered within individual dental plans. A few procedures, like teeth whitening, might be excluded. Waiting periods might be imposed for a few services. Once again, prior to purchasing a dental insurance plan, think about which services you’ve needed in the past as one method of predicting which kinds of services you’ll require in the future.

4. Review networks. A few dental plans will require that you to obtain all services from a dentist inside their network. Many plans permit you to visit any dentist you want, yet there’ll be advantages if you visit a dentist participating in the plan’s network. Therefore, if you already possess a regular dentist, see if she/he is a network provider for the plan you are considering. Plus, if you do not have a dentist, search the plan’s provider network to see how many network providers are within your locality.

To discuss your dental insurance company plans contact Easton Dentist at (614) 414-0111.

What To Do If You Don’t Have Dental Insurance

Mar 19th, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

As you grow older, your teeth become more prone to fracture and possess a greater risk for decay. Over a period of time, old fillings will weaken the teeth. This is not the best time to put your health on hold.

Yet, many people in their fifties and sixties do not have a dental provider either because they are self-employed, have retired or work part-time. Medicare does not cover the majority of dental care, like fillings, cleanings, dentures, tooth extractions, dental plates or additional dental devices; Part A just pays for specific dental services you might get while hospitalized.

The ACA (Affordable Care Act) will make dental insurance for kids amongst the required ten critical health benefits, yet there isn’t any dental insurance requirement for those over 18 years of age.

Though all of this sounds bad for the uninsured, you’ll still have some choices for obtaining great dental care at an affordable price:

1. Search for a dentist that has a payment plan. Most dentists provide a payment arrangement which will replace insurance. You’ll pay a yearly fee, typically over time, without any financing and interest.

If it’s not possible to locate a dentist in your area that has an affordable-payment plan, look for pro-bono services.

2. Look for events providing low-cost or free dentistry at America’s Dentists Care Foundation, Dentistry From the Heart, or upon your state’s dental association site.

3. Visit a dental school. National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research states that dental schools provide reduced cost, good quality dental treatment. Many have clinics in which students get experience treating patients as licensed, knowledgeable dentists supervise their work. You will locate a listing of accredited dental programs upon the American Dental Association site.

To discuss your dental insurance company plans contact Easton Dentist at (614) 414-0111.