Are Dental Procedure Costs on the Rise? 

Sep 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Over the last several years, the cost of dental care has been increasing at a faster rate than most healthcare services. With such rapid developments made to dental procedures, technology, and education, the average American cannot afford many of the treatments that are often recommended by dentists. Although most Americans are insured with some form of healthcare, the expense of a dentist visit often outweighs those benefits, especially during the more demanding procedures, such as root canals and tooth extractions. As a result of this abrupt increase in the cost of dental care, research has shown that only 36% of Americans actually go to the dentist on an annual basis. Unfortunately, when cost is the only thing standing in the way of proper dental care, we are either forced to pay the expenses out of pocket or skip the recommended treatment overall. This in turn, can lead to further health complications down the road. 

With such an increase in dental bills, many of us find ourselves wondering why a trip to the dentist is so expensive. Professional dentistry requires extensive knowledge and advanced technology in order to deliver the highest quality of treatment. Studies show that 80% of what a patient pays after their dental procedure goes toward the expense of running an up-to-date dental practice. Considering the cost of office space, payroll of certified staff, health and business insurance, taxes, supplies, and updated technology, it’s no wonder why dental visits are costly. The quality of products that are manufactured in dental labs are also on the rise, resulting in a much higher demand in order to afford reliable crowns, dentures, and other dental products that are being placed inside patients’ mouths.  

Dental Fillings 

Dental fillings have come an extremely long way over the last 150 years. Dental filling advancements that might affect the higher treatment costs, include the variety of updated bonding techniques. Now, we have the option of treating our cavities with dental fillings that blend with the actual color of the tooth, making it more aesthetically pleasing to the patient. Tooth composites are also being produced to be a stronger, more translucent material. While a traditional, silver amalgam filling can cost as little as $50, there are some porcelain fillings that can cost almost $4,500. With so many options to choose from, the price of treating tooth decay will most likely continue to increase. 

Tooth Extractions 

Sometimes, dental procedures require surgical and non-surgical extractions to fix the issues that can’t be treated. While the cost of tooth extractions depend on the difficulty and length of the treatment, the actual procedure usually involves administering anesthesia. Furthermore, the latest anesthesia technology is expensive, and even the most basic forms can get pricey. Depending on the severity, the average tooth removal can cost anywhere from $75 to $700 per tooth. 

Root Canals and Crowns 

Dental procedures, such as crown placements, normally follow a root canal, turning the treatment into a couple weeks worth of dental visits. The cost of a crown is usually tied to the type of material that it’s made of. Dental labs are making the material more durable so that there are less chances of the crown cracking later down the road. The improvements made in the material of dental crowns make the overall costs range from $300-$700. That’s not to mention that the root canal procedure can cost a couple hundred dollars as well. 

Running a Dental Office 

With the rise in modernized dental procedures and technology, running a dental office as a professional can cost a small fortune. A small dental office serving roughly 1500 patients per year can cost several hundred thousand dollars per year to operate.  

Studies have recently shown that more and more people continue to skip the dentist office all together because of the unpleasant bill that comes along with the visit. However, it’s important to remember that the high costs are associated with giving the patient the best quality of care and satisfaction. Dental care is an essential part of living a healthy life, thus why such extensive measures have been taken to make all dental procedures as reliable as possible. 

 

Does Teeth Whitening Damage Teeth?

Sep 3rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 3rd, 2018

There is a common misconception that teeth are supposed to be as white as a sheet of paper. The reality is that tooth enamel can be a number of different shades that actually produce an off-white, almost yellowish color. Over time, the natural color of our teeth can start to become darker. Whether that change is from genetics, aging, or from the use of certain medicines, there are multiple factors that can create an unwanted appearance of dark yellow looking teeth or pesky stains. Teeth whitening is a procedure that uses safe chemical treatment to brighten the tooth and change its natural exterior to appear white. There are a handful of ways that you can achieve this look, including the use of abrasive toothpastes and over the counter whitening agents. In most cases, professional bleaching tends to be more beneficial and longer lasting.

What Whitening Can Manage: Discoloration happens to even the healthiest of teeth, but there are ways to reverse it. Having your teeth professionally bleached may help conserve your overall oral condition by removing unhealthy stains almost immediately. Discoloration from coffee, tea, and pigmented foods can sometimes lead to other oral issues, such as tooth decay and enamel breakdown. Having your teeth whitened every now and then might be a positive step toward managing such stains. The process is fast and easy, making it more appealing for those who are looking for quick fix.

The mental effect that teeth whitening has on patients can also help promote healthier habits. Having a brighter looking smile may boost confidence levels, resulting in higher determination to want to take care of your teeth. Being proud of the color of your teeth might just be the ticket to necessary cleaning and maintenance. Keep in mind that before committing to a bleaching treatment or any other kind of whitening procedure, you should consult with your dentist to be sure that it is the right practice for you. What it Cannot Manage: Another common misjudgment that some patients make is assuming that teeth whitening can replace the daily practice of personal oral hygiene. Whitening is certainly not a substitute for healthy habits such as routine cleanings, brushing, flossing or the avoidance of certain food and drink. That’s not to mention that even whitening doesn’t last forever. It takes appropriate maintenance and upkeep in order to hold those sparkling results for longer than a few months. The only way that you can ensure long-term whitening is by following the basic oral health guidelines. Avoiding smoking, coffee, tea, wine, and other acidic food and drink to help prevent staining and darkening. By taking good care of your teeth at all times, you may not need another treatment for another 12 months.

Again, it is important to consult with your dentist to confirm that your oral history won’t affect the results of teeth whitening. For example, those who suffer from tooth decay and receding gums might be extremely sensitive to the treatment, causing unnecessary nerve and gum pain. Also, whitening will not cure cavities or tooth decay. In fact, it’s highly recommended that all cavities and areas of decay are treated beforehand. Bleaching veneers or teeth that have porcelain or ceramic crowns can also result in an unsuccessful process.

It’s crucial to understand that while teeth whitening can be very useful toward improving the brightness of your smile, it can also cause some unwanted symptoms if used incorrectly. That’s why the guidance of a professional can help you reap the full benefits of teeth whitening in the safest way possible. It’s no secret that creating a whiter smile can be a favorable change to your overall health. If you are struggling with tough stains on your teeth or discoloration, it might be worth your time to learn more about how teeth whitening can help manage your teeth!

What Dental Careers Are Available, Outside of Being a Dentist 

Aug 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Dental careers are often desired because of their patient interaction, well-paid salary and work-life balance. There is substantially high demand for dental professionals that don’t involve the extensive education of becoming a dentist or related doctor. Positions, such as dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental lab technicians, and administrative assistants are also great ways to make a living in the dental field. With flexible hours and lower educational costs than dentists, the accredited training programs for such positions might be worth your time.   

Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are considered one of the 25 fastest-growing occupations in the United States, providing a variety of tasks that help support the dental team on a daily basis. The responsibilities of a dental assistant often range from taking patient x-rays and sterilizing equipment, to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. In some cases, dental assistants are also trained to take impressions of patients’ teeth for braces and retainers. Although the tasks of a dental assistant range from office to office, they often have many different opportunities for gainful employment and career advancement. Becoming a dental assistant is a great way to get into the dental care field without the expense of obtaining a degree. However, most states require the completion of an accredited program of one to two years in order to receive the proper credentials. Dental assistants, on average, tend to make about $37,000 a year as a mid-level career.  

Dental Lab Technician  

Becoming a dental laboratory technician is another great way to work with a dental team without a degree. Dental lab technicians help produce dental and orthodontic products, such as bridges, retainers, braces, crowns, dentures and more. While there are many courses that can help prepare you for the responsibilities that come with being a lab technician, most of the training can be done on the job. Although the salary depends on the practice, the average dental lab technician makes about $35,000-$37,000 a year. 

Dental Hygienist

A Dental Hygienist spends the majority of their day working directly with the patients under the supervision of a dentist. Averaging a salary of $74,000, Dental Hygienist are professionals with experience in cleaning tooth deposits, removing tough stains, and examining patients for signs of disease. Dental Hygienists are also trained in administering local anesthetics and providing preventative education for long term dental care. Dental Hygienists must acquire an Associate’s Degree to be considered for the role in a dental practice.  

Administration

Every healthcare office requires administrative support in order to operate smoothly. Someone with a friendly face to greet patients, answer phones, and schedule appointments is the ideal candidate to create a welcoming atmosphere and outstanding patient care. The demand for Administrative Assistants, Front Desk Coordinators, and Office Managers is extremely high with no education needed to pursue. The average income for an administrative role on the dental care team typically ranges from $30,000-$40,000 a year.  

 On a doctorate level, becoming a general dentist isn’t the only line of professional that is available. Orthodontists, Periodontists, and Oral Surgeons name a few who specialize in dental health and help improve the quality of life for thousands of patients.  

Orthodontist

Orthodontists are specialists who help with the alignment and positioning of the teeth. After a long journey of education and schooling, Orthodontists are constantly staying up-to-date with the most advanced straightening techniques and appliances. If becoming an Orthodontist is a career that interests you, it requires up to 12 years of schooling and advanced specialty education. Although the road to becoming an Orthodontist is a long one, this dental career is projected to grow faster than moth careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of Orthodontists is predicted to see a growth of 21% by 2020.

Oral Surgeons

Oral surgeons, also known as Maxillofacial Surgeons, specialize in reconstructing the teeth, jaw, and facial bones, that can’t otherwise be treated through orthodontics. They often perform surgery and other procedures on the oral regions to treat diseases, injuries, and defects. The steps to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon include a four-year education, four years of dental school, and the completion of a hospital-based residency program.

Periodontist

A Periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the care of inflammation and disease of gums, the alveolar bone, and the periodontal ligament. To become a periodontist, one has to complete dental school and obtain a postdoctoral certificate, which often takes more than three years to receive.  

The dental field has many different careers that are available. Depending on the degree of education in which you prefer, every dental position has the advantage of helping patients achieve healthier smiles.
 

 

What Makes Invisalign Superior To Traditional Braces?

Aug 3rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 3rd, 2018

Traditional braces have been around since the early 1800’s. Of course, the technology used today to create straighter smiles is significantly more effective than those that were used back then. With the advancements that have been made to teeth correction, it’s no doubt that braces have come a long way. Now, with the option of Invisalign, it’s easy to get confused on which treatment is the right one for you. Invisalign is a custom-made alternative to braces. The aligners are made up of clear trays that are almost invisible. While both traditional braces and Invisalign have its perks and downfalls, Invisalign seems to take the cake in most cases.

Invisalign Require Less Treatment Time. Traditional braces involve a chain of metal brackets that are generally worn for 2-3 years depending on the patient. Because each treatment plan is unique to its own, some cases are more severe and can drag out even longer! Invisalign has a shorter treatment time with an average of 10-20 months.

Invisalign Require Less Adjustments. Braces are high maintenance. A long with the long list of directions that you’ll receive on the day of application, you’ll also realize that every 4-6 weeks require tightening and readjusting by your orthodontist. During these follow-up visits, your orthodontist will check for pokey wires and unwanted shifting to make sure that everything is moving the way it should be. This can get hard to manage with a busy schedule to coordinate with. Not only does Invisalign require less follow-up appointments, but the check-ups also last half as long as those with braces.

Invisalign is More Comfortable. Besides the slight discomfort after changing into a new set of trays, Invisalign is pain free throughout the entire treatment. Without the poking of wires and the feeling of scratchiness against your cheek, you won’t even realize they are there. That is not to mention that you won’t have to deal with the tugging and pulling of adjustments every six weeks.

Invisalign Boosts Self-Esteem. Invisalign is virtually invisible, hence why it got its name! This is great for those who don’t like the look of brackets or who are trying to avoid the extra attention to their teeth. The aligners are made with clear plastic that is custom fit, making it more appealing to its porcelain cousin.

Invisalign Is Great for Athletes. Playing contact sports can get tricky when you have a mouthful. Braces need a special kind of mouth guard that is often bulky and uncomfortable. Invisalign makes it easier to find a smaller guard to keep your teeth in tact so that you can enjoy all of your favorite activities!

Invisalign Is Easy To Maintain. Invisalign trays have very simple directions to help keep them bacteria-free. Instead of carefully brushing around each individual bracket, all you have to do is gently scrub your aligners with a toothbrush each night for easy maintenance. Consistent cleaning of your aligners, proper brushing and flossing is all you need to keep them fresh. It is also important to keep in mind the liquids that are consumed when trays are being worn. Juices and coffee can easily stain the plastic, making it much harder to clean.

Invisalign is Food Friendly. Who likes being told they can’t eat popcorn, pretzels, and all the other chewy, sticky, crunchy food? With Invisalign, you no longer have to worry about damaging your braces from eating your favorite snacks. Simply remove your trays prior to each meal and replace them after a good brushing. It is highly recommended that Invisalign trays are worn for at least 20 hours a day for the best results. As long as you don’t keep them out for too long during the day, removing them while eating is completely harmless.

Effects of Soda on Your Teeth

Jul 23rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 23rd, 2018

Ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different.

You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:

 

1. Sugar

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.

 

2. Acid

Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.

 

3. Colors

Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining. If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

 

Alternatives!

Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about some sparkling water or plain water infused with fresh fruit?

When you do drink soda, make sure to rinse with water afterwards. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!

What to Expect When Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Jul 9th, 2018
Easton Dentists Sep 4th, 2018

Wisdom teeth removal has become common in the dental field. It is mostly a preventive surgical procedure as wisdom teeth have been known to cause problems if left unremoved. Most people have their wisdom teeth removed as teenagers or young adults. If you need your wisdom teeth removed, go to the dental center and consult with an oral maxillofacial surgeon. After the procedure, you will need to rest up and give yourself time to recover. Below are what to expect during and after a wisdom teeth removal procedure.

1. Local Anesthetic

During the procedure, the dentist will need to use a local anesthetic. You won’t be conscious for the surgery. Have a friend drive you to the dental center as you won’t be able to drive yourself back home.

2. Recovery Time

After the procedure, the area swelling up is a natural reaction. The swelling will subside after 24 hours. Place a cold compact on the swollen area and keep your head up to control the swelling.

3. Rest Up

You will need a decent amount of time to recover from a wisdom teeth removal procedure. The Columbus dentist will give you a subscription for pain medication. Ensure you also rest up to speed up the healing process.

4. Soft Foods

For you to recover fast, make sure you stick to soft foods. Avoid eating anything that will aggregate the healing area. The foods you eat should not be too hot as this will slow down the healing process. Stick to warm soup dishes and foods that do not require chewing.

5. Brushing your Teeth

Even though keeping your mouth clean is good practice, refrain from brushing your teeth as this might undo your stitches. You should not even use mouthwash. You can use gauze to wipe your mouth, making sure not to make contact with the stitches.

Conclusion

Wisdom teeth removal is a preventive procedure that is recommended for everyone. In case your wisdom teeth cause damage to your jaws or other teeth, make an appointment at the dentist center and have them removed.

Root Canal Therapy: Nipping The Pain In The Bud

Jul 4th, 2018
Easton Dentists Sep 4th, 2018

Nothing comes close in terms of pain than a good old fashioned toothache. And while most of us devour pain killers -and sometimes even morphine- to lull the pain to sleep, a toothache always comes back, stronger, more unbearable than ever before. However, treating the root cause of the problem -and I mean that literally- is a surefire way to get rid of the pain for good, and that’s where root canal procedures come in. You may have heard about it before in passing, but what really is this miracle called root canal treatment after all.

Also known as endodontic therapy, root canal treatment is a dental procedure for eliminating infections from inside the tooth so as to prevent future infection. So, why root canal you may ask? Well, the pulp -the part of a tooth containing nerve tissue and blood vessels- is also referred to as the root canal.

A Few Fact About Root Canal Therapy

* The primary purpose of root canal therapy is to end the pain for good! Which is why it is used to eliminate the nerves located in the pulp -root canals- of the tooth. For your own information, nerves being the source of all bodily sensations, removing them has the obvious effect of making your gums and teeth insensitive to pain.

* Make no mistake about it, it’s a relatively painful pain relieving treatment. However, the flip-side to that is it’s a once off procedure that leaves you with a pain free root canal.

The stages in the dental procedure are pretty straightforward perhaps even a toddler can do better than a regular Columbus Dentist at The Dental Center.

It all starts with the cleaning of the root canal while your under anesthesia. The root canal is decontaminated and filled with dental cement, after which a crown is added to reinforce the brittle and fragile tooth.

 

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Jun 9th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 9th, 2018

There’s nothing better on a hot summer’s day than a scoop of nice, cold ice cream. That is, unless you suffer from sensitive teeth. If you do, eating cold foods like ice cream can cause you a lot of pain. There are many causes of sensitive teeth. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the most common ones.

1. Brushing your teeth too hard

It may come as a surprise that you could be brushing your teeth too intensely. After all, we tend to think that the harder we brush, the cleaner our teeth. In actuality, however, brushing your teeth too hard can wear away the protective layers of your teeth. Over time, this will expose the tiny hollow tubes that lead to your dental nerves. Once this happens, you’ll likely experience sensitivity to extreme temperatures as well as acidic and sticky foods. Luckily, switching to a softer tooth brush and treating your teeth more gently can go a long way toward preventing increased sensitivity.

2. Grinding your teeth

Grinding your teeth causes sensitivity similarly to how brushing your teeth too hard causes sensitivity: you wear away the protective layers of your teeth until your nerves are easily triggered. If you suspect you grind your teeth, you should see a dentist right away. A mouth guard can help to prevent further damage.

3. Receding Gums

If your gums are receding, the sensitive roots of your teeth with be exposed. As a result, you’ll experience severe sensitivity. Receding gums can be caused by gum disease and grow more common with age. If you believe your gums are receding, you should see your dentist right away. He or she will develop a treatment plan to cure your gum disease and may also perform a procedure to seal your teeth.

If you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, be sure to mention it to your dentist. There may be fairly simple steps you can take to decrease your current sensitivity and to prevent further sensitivity in the future.

Don’t Overdo the Sports Drinks

Jun 9th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 9th, 2018

As the summer heats up, you may find that you’re tempted to load up on sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade. These beverages taste great, but they shouldn’t be your go-to drink. In fact, if you’re not engaged in the strenuous physical activity for which these drinks were designed, you should avoid them entirely.

In addition to the fact that sports drinks often contain a lot of sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients, they tend to be very acidic. The acid in these beverages can destroy the enamel on your teeth. In fact, just five consecutive days of drinking these acidic beverages can negatively affect your enamel.

As acid destroys your enamel, it makes your teeth more vulnerable to bacteria. As a result, you may experience increased tooth staining, decay, and hypersensitivity. The best way to avoid these dental issues is to do whatever you can to protect your enamel.

If you are set on drinking sports drinks, you should be sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking them. Doing so will rinse some of the acid away from your teeth before it can do much damage. In addition, you should brush your teeth about an hour after drinking these beverages. It’s best not to brush your teeth immediately after drinking something acidic because the enamel on your teeth will be in a weakened state and could be brushed away.

We know a nice, cold sports drink is tempting on a hot day, but it’s best not to make a habit of drinking these beverages. Instead, try to primarily drink water.

If you believe your teeth have been damaged by excessive consumption of acidic beverages, give us a call today. We will examine your teeth and give you pointers for reversing damage if possible and preventing damage in the future. We hope you have a great, tooth-healthy summer!

What to Do When You Crack a Tooth

May 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists May 21st, 2018

Ouch!

Chomp on something your tooth didn’t like? Or get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck?

If you think you may have a cracked tooth, or if you’re holding a piece of your tooth in your
hand, follow these steps!

1. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at 614-414-0111. Let us know about your emergency and we will make our best effort to see you right away! We always try to hold some appointments open for these occasions.

2. If there are tooth fragments that have fallen out, preserve them in a clean container with a moist solution (cold mik, water, saliva), and bring them in to your appointment.

3. Apply a cold pack to your jaw to lessen any pain and swelling.

4. If bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad or a moist tea bag until bleeding stops.

It is also possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it.

If you have any pain when biting down, or when eating something hot or cold, it’s best to get it checked out.

In order to prevent further damage to the tooth or an infection, it’s very important to correct a cracked tooth immediately. Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable. Let us help right away!