Updated: Jan 4
Many people feel having their teeth cleaned and checked is “just a cleaning”; that is far from the truth. Everyone should have their teeth cleaned and checked no longer than every 6 months and many need to have this care more often.
It is during these visits that we remove plaque and calculus that can cause periodontal (gum) disease as well as tooth and bone loss. We also check for dental issues so that they can be discovered and treated at their earliest stages as well as perform an oral cancer examination. Oral cancer is on the rise and can be a very aggressive cancer, but it is treatable if diagnosed early.
Good oral health has been proven to be directly connected with your overall health. There have been links discovered with oral health and heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. We strive to give our patients the finest care, and the best way to do that is to see everyone on a regular basis. It is recommended that people with periodontal (gum) disease, pregnant women, those with diabetes, and some other health conditions have their teeth cleaned three or four times a year and no one should go much more than six months between visits. And, yes, even those with full dentures should be examined at least once a year. This allows us to check the fit and function of your dentures as well as check the tissues of the mouth. We also like to clean and check implants every six months to a year as well. KNOW YOUR DENTAL INSURANCE BENEFITS!
We are seeing many recent changes in dental insurance coverage. Many dental plans are lowering yearly maximums, excluding more procedures, and paying less. In many cases, you may now be paying more for your premiums and deductible than the benefits you are receiving. It is always wise to know your benefits and to use them to their fullest. If you have any questions about a new insurance plan, give Paula a call at our office so we can help you make the best dental insurance decision. As always, we diagnose dental conditions based on maintaining optimal dental health. We do not diagnose treatment based on your insurance benefits.
Important things to know about your insurance are:
1. Deductible amount (the amount per year you pay out of pocket before your insurance pays for any services) 2. Yearly Maximun (the most money that the dental insurance company pays within 1 full year)
3. Premiums (the amount you pay per month for your dental insurance) 4. Coverage levels for various procedures (some plans may pay less percentage toward certain categories of treatment (examples: Preventive/Diagnostic, Basic, Major) USE YOUR BENEFITS EACH YEAR! Not fully utilizing your benefits is like throwing money away! We will always help you to better understand your benefits, but please take the time to review any documentation sent to you by your carrier.
Some insurance carriers allow a third dental cleaning option for persons who have had two cleanings during the current benefit period and who: 1) have diabetes 2) cancer treatments (chemo and radiation) 3) are in third trimester of pregnancy 4) autoimmune disease. Benefits will be expanded for members who have any of these conditions and document this with your insurance carrier.