Savvy Strategies to Cut the Cost of Dental Care

Everybody wants a beautiful smile or event just to be free from common dental issues. The problem is regular dental care often creates a huge dent on the finances, particularly for those who do not have dental insurance.

If you’re committed to good oral health but you find regular trips to the dentist too big a burden for your budget, don’t worry. You can still get dental treatments without spending too much money. Dental professionals say there are strategies you can try to reduce the cost of dental care or to make it easier to accommodate in your tight budget, and they are the following:

  • Stay informed about health drives in your community.  Oftentimes, health missions conducted by non-profit organizations include basic professional dental care, such as oral prophylaxis, filling, and even tooth extraction. All these special services will not cost you, but make sure you get to the venue early because a lot of people also look forward to these special events.
  • Check your community health centers. Many of these cover low-cost dental care; they usually just cover basic dental services but for oral health, these are usually all you need.
  • Get free dental care from university dental schools. While “greenhorns” will treat you, the dental treatments they provide are supervised by dental experts so you don’t have to worry about your safety. You can get as much as 40 percent discount for dental treatments.
  • Check top e-commerce sites for deals on dental treatments. Some sites are known to include discounted dental treatments in their line-up of offerings. A lot of dental clinics these days are partnering with e-commerce sites to market their services effectively and they are offering everything from teeth whitening deals to orthodontic braces for a much lower price.
  • Consider dental savings plans. You just need to pay an annual fee of $80 to $200 in order to access a large network of dental clinics that offer up to 50 percent discount for those who are members of these dental savings plans
  • Consider dental HMOs as well. These are available in huge urban locations and they only charge $200 to $300 a year for their services, which include oral prophylaxis (twice a year), fillings, root canals and crowns.
  • Have a consultation at your local dental office and inquire which insurance policies you have can cover dental treatments. You may be surprised to know that you already have the means to pay for professional dental services.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you especially if you have concerns about the cost of dental care. We are ready to help in any way we can so contact us today!

5 Health Problems Your Dentist Can Predict

You probably think your dentist focuses solely on your oral health, but whenever he inspects your mouth, he’s actually looking after your overall health. The reality is that the condition of your mouth is one of the most reliable indicators of your actual well-being.

Numerous studies have proven that many dental problems are directly linked to serious health woes. They are often manifestations of abnormalities in your system, or they serve as tell-tale signs that you are at high risk of developing serious medical problems. For example, cavities or signs of tooth decay do not only indicate poor oral hygiene practice; they also indicate your unhealthy consumption of sugary or starchy foods that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, yellowish, brittle teeth can indicate malnutrition (common among people who are always dieting) and being prone to kidney disease.

When you have a dental appointment, a good dentist doesn’t just see the condition of your mouth. Listed below are the five health problems your dentist can predict just from your check-up.

Cardiovascular disease

Whenever your dentist spots new cavities on your teeth, he knows right away that you’ve been eating too many snacks with trans fatty acids. Through trans fatty acids do not really cause cavities, they are, however, always present with ingredients such as fermentable carbs that do lead to cavities. High amounts of trans fatty acids and fermentable carbs are known to lead to heart disease.

Diabetes

Cavities are also indicators of unhealthy eating habits that cause diabetes to flare up. Frequent consumption of sugary drinks and foods tends to create calcular deposits that can lead to tooth decay, and at the same time, raise blood glucose, which is dangerous for people who are genetically prone to developing diabetes.

Cancer

Your dentist knows if you’re a smoker or drinker – the color of your teeth and gums are dead giveaways, along with other factors. If you have these unhealthy habits, your dentist can actually tell how seriously they’ve affected your health and how susceptible you are to developing cancer by the condition of your mouth.

Obesity

The dental situation that indicates susceptibility to heart disease and diabetes applies to obesity as well.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Studies have already established the link between dementia problems such as Alzheimer’s and loss of teeth. Dentists these days don’t rule out the possibility of people with periodontal disease developing Alzheimer’s.

If you want a dentist who will not only look after your oral health but your overall well-being as well, our dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, is the man for the job. Contact us today and set up your first appointment!

The Importance of Senior Dental Health Care

Some elderly people view dental problems as a consequence of aging. But the truth is that oral health is important, whatever your age is.

Senior Dental Health CareIf you are a senior or someone who cares for one, you need to be aware of a few alarming statistics. For one, more than 30% of older adults have cavities which are left untreated. About 25% of seniors have a periodontal disease which has been associated with a few chronic health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Finally, around 30% of the elderly lose their teeth due to different factors.
 

Why is senior dental health care important?

The most important reason why the elderly should pay careful attention to their dental health is because they do not need to lose their teeth while they age.

On top of that, the human mouth changes over time. And if you do not pay close attention to this and your overall dental health, you could face serious consequences related to your health.

As you age, you can become vulnerable to different dental problems brought about by different factors. For example, some medications have been known to cause dry mouth as a side effect. Low levels of saliva can make you vulnerable to bacteria and other microorganisms which can cause issues like gum disease and cavities.

Also, a person’s diet can also negatively impact one’s health. For example, if you consume too many hard and sticky treats, starchy foods, and drinks and foods that dry your mouth, you risk facing problems like difficulty in chewing your food as well as having a dull sense of taste.

Other problems associated with poor oral health in seniors include pneumonia, heart disease, and oral health.

Fortunately, seniors can improve their oral health and keep these aforementioned problems at bay through good oral hygiene.

Ideally, elderly people should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

If you are wearing dentures, remember to clean these once a day and remove from your mouth for at least four hours.

Drink lots of water as this can help keep tooth decay at bay. And if you have not stopped smoking, consider kicking this habit from your life.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today.

The Connection Between Healthy Teeth and a Healthy Body

Healthy Teeth and a Healthy BodyThe Connection Between Healthy Teeth and a Healthy Body

Why do you take care of your teeth?

Some people will say they take good care of their teeth because they want a bright, confident smile. Others will say that they want to avoid dental problems like cavities and tooth loss.

Rarely will you hear people say that they take care of their teeth because they want to be healthy.

What exactly is the correlation between your oral and overall health?

According to Dr. Aaron Nicholas, a dentist in Burtonsville, many people are not aware of the fact that many medical problems can be attributed, to some degree, to mouth infections. Left untreated, these mouth infections can lead to diseases in other body parts.

Take gum disease, for example. Many studies indicate that this oral health problem is connected to chronic illnesses like heart disease, lung infections and problems related to diabetes and pregnancy.

But why do some people (medical and dental practitioners, included) choose to think of oral and overall health as two distinct concepts?

Some experts believe that there is no acceptable reason to view dental and overall health as two different concepts. But the sad fact is that dental coverage from government-sponsored insurance programs think otherwise, as evidenced by the reduced dental benefits for adults.

Some insurance companies do not cover dental care and patients rarely purchase dental insurance. It also does not help that some people are turned off by what they perceive is a steep price tag for dental coverage.

How dental care impacts your overall health 

But various initiatives from around the country show that putting an emphasis on dental care does have a positive impact on overall health.

For example, the University of Pennsylvania collaborated with a dental insurance firm to integrate medical and dental insurance. Later on, it was revealed that making dental examinations accessible reduced annual medical care costs by as much as 40 percent for patients with diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, hospital admissions for patients with type 2 diabetes dropped by 40 percent.

In order to change the perception of dental health as a separate concept from overall health, there are a few key things that need to happen.

First, medical practitioners must move away from the old tradition of keeping dental and physical health separate.

Second, insurance companies must pave the way toward making dental care accessible to a broader number of people.

Third, people must recognize and understand the importance of dental health in one’s overall health. Healthy teeth and a healthy body can bring happiness to your life.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today to further discuss how to have healthy teeth and a healthy body. .

What To Do If You Have A Cracked Tooth

Cracked ToothWhat To Do If You Have A Cracked Tooth

Bad dental habits, such as chewing on ice and using the teeth as tools, can result in cracked teeth. The crack can cause great discomfort, especially when there’s a damaged nerve or blood vessel. Cracked teeth become quite sensitive to changes in temperature and they can hurt a lot as well.

Is a Cracked Tooth an Emergency?

If your tooth is always hurting or if it has broken due to a crack, the best thing to do is to head straight to the dentist’s office to have it treated. However, an appointment with the dentist is not always easy to make, so you need to carry out first aid prior to your visit to the clinic. A Laurel, MD dentist recommends the following:

  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
  • If there’s any bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply it the bleeding area for 10 minutes. Make sure you put pressure on the gauze to stop the bleeding. If this doesn’t work, replace the gauze with a tea bag.
  • Use a cold compress on your broken tooth to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if the compress doesn’t diminish the pain.
  • If you can’t go to the dentist anytime soon, it will help to apply temporary dental cement to cover the part of the tooth that’s been chipped off. Dental cement can be purchased from a drugstore and it comes with instructions on how to prepare and use it.

When you do finally meet with the dentist, the following treatments may be used for your cracked tooth:

Filling

Cracks on teeth get treated like cavities in order to prevent further damage.

Root canal

This may be necessary if the pulp (meaning the nerve and other tissue) is damaged. The root canal procedure will get rid of the pulp to prevent infection and pain. A root canal is also a must if the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts.

Crown 

Like a filling, a crown will prevent the crack from getting worse. A crown is applied to teeth that have split into two or have broken deep enough to expose the nerve.

Polish

A simple polish is all a dentist normally does if the crack is just on the surface of the tooth, or the enamel. Polishing will get rid of unevenness on the tooth’s surface.

Extraction

Extraction is for broken or split teeth with roots that can no longer be saved.

A cracked tooth requires the immediate attention of a dental professional so don’t delay in setting up an appointment for treatment with your local Laurel, MD dentist

 

Oral Health Facts | All About Oral Health

Oral Health Facts Oral Health Facts | All About Oral Health the Moment You Go “Ah!”

People always say that if the eyes are the windows to your soul, then the mouth is the window to your body. A Columbia, MD dentist completely agrees with this and claims that he automatically knows what’s up with your oral health the instant you say “Ah!” No blood test, no biopsy – he just automatically knows.

So what is revealed to his discerning eye the moment you open your mouth? He’s listed oral health facts that you should know:

You flossed – But Only Before Your Appointment With Him, and Never Anytime Before That.

First of all, if there’s plaque and/or tartar, you clearly have not been flossing. Secondly, gums will look damaged if you floss right before the appointment – they become damaged because you wanted to make up for the months that you didn’t bother flossing, in a single go.

You Loved Your Binky or You Thumb-Sucked as a Kid.

According to the Columbia, MD dentist, the alignment of your teeth and your bite are tell-tale signs. Also, when he asks you to say certain words and you have an obvious lisp, this reinforces the conclusion right away.

You’re a Nervous Person Who Has the Tendency to Bite Your Nails.

Dentists don’t have to look at your chewed-up nails to detect this habit. Nail-biting causes wears and tears on teeth; patients who bite their nails often usually have front teeth that are completely leveled off because of the contact between the top and bottom teeth when you’re nibbling at your nails.

You’re Expecting a Little One 

Increased progesterone production during a woman’s pregnancy raises the risk of gingivitis. Some pregnant women develop dark red lumps on their gums, known as pregnancy tumors. There’s no need to worry about these tumors if you have them because they’re always benign and they go away after pregnancy. So, even if you’re not yet showing, your dentist will see these tumors and instantly know that you have a little one in the oven.

You’re Sick.

Another fact is that a different smell in your breath always indicates something and dentists know which smell is for diabetes, nasal drip, bronchitis, tonsil stone, and others.

You’re Suffering from Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa.

People who have eating disorders, according to dentists, are very easy to identify due to the poor condition of their teeth. People with bulimia tend to exhibit a very distinct pattern of tooth wear – the erosion is concentrated on the tongue-side of the front teeth. Plus, it’s easy enough to see other signs that point to an eating disorder.

You Have Sinusitis.

The last of our oral health facts is if you’re complaining of severe jaw pains, swollen gums and toothaches, but there’s nothing wrong with your teeth when your dentist inspects your mouth, the problem is usually a sinus infection.

So don’t even think that you can fool your dentist by providing the best answers when asked because the state of your mouth will tell the truth. Dentists are not out to judge — they’re completely focused on restoring the good health of your mouth. As such, when they ask you how you go about oral care and other things, don’t hesitate to present the truth because you’ll be helping them help you the best they can.

 

How to Choose the Right Children’s Dentist

Children's DentistHow to Choose the Right Children’s Dentist

One of the responsibilities that parents face when it comes to ensuring their children’s overall health is taking the little ones to dentist for regular examinations and treatments (if necessary). It’s vital to teach children about proper dental hygiene habits early on so that they can learn how to take good care of their teeth and gums throughout their lives. With good oral health, children can speak and eat properly, they can flash brilliant smiles, and they feel greater confidence.

You will need to look for a good children’s dentist for the first time when your first child’s teeth have erupted or when you move to a new location. In either situation, deciding on a particular dental professional can be challenging because your child’s oral health is at stake.

Your best first step would be to ask people you know for their recommendations — relatives, friends, or acquaintances can point you to a children’s dentist that they like. Alternatively, you can search for dentists by zip code using the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s website, or with the search tool offered by the American Dental Association.

Once you’ve made a shortlist of children’s dentists that you would like to see, the only way to find out which one is perfect for your needs is to pay them all a visit and to evaluate and compare your experience with their services.

A Laurel, MD dentist recommends asking yourself the following questions so you can determine which dentist is best for your child:

Was the dental office comfortable, welcoming and properly set up to accommodate children?

Compared to regular dental offices, one that caters to children should have special provisions (like toys, books, music, games, TV shows or furniture) to keep the little patients engaged or distracted from procedures.

Did the dentist demonstrate care, patience and positive encouragement when interacting with your child?

The dentist must be especially compassionate, patient and knowledgeable in working with children to be effective in treating them.

Does the dentist answer your questions and provide plenty of information about your child’s dental condition and development, preventive measures for dental issues, and proper hygiene habits to observe at home?

Parents appreciate being told vital information that can help their child achieve better dental health.

Were the dentist and their staff friendly and helpful?

It’s essential for patients to feel that they are warmly attended to by the staff during each visit.

Was the staff able to explain how the office manages emergencies?

Parents want to be assured that their dentist will be able to provide the required care in the event of an emergency, especially during odd hours.

Was the visit a positive experience for your child?

Finally, it’s an important indicator that you’ve found the right dentist when your child feels comfortable during his visits and likes the dentist and staff.

If you are looking for a children’s dentist in Silver Spring, contact the friendly professionals are Nicholas Dental Care today!

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Teeth WhiteningIs Teeth Whitening Safe?

Is teeth whitening safe? Whether you are planning to use an over-the-counter product or considering an in-office treatment administered by your local dentist, it is crucial to learn about the safety of teeth whitening treatments.

It is also a good idea to gather a fair amount of knowledge on what causes dental stains over time and how different whitening products work.

Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel gives your smile the white color you are familiar with. As you grow older, the enamel wears away and reveals the darker tissue of your teeth.

But apart from this, your teeth can become stained due to a variety of reasons. These include the use of tobacco products or consumption of dark liquids like soda and coffee. Other reasons you may see tooth stains can stem from tooth trauma, some types of medications, and bruxism or teeth grinding.

Whitening Options 

There are different teeth whitening options you can choose from. Professional in-office teeth whitening treatment, professionally supplied whitening kits, on-the-go whitening and over-the-counter treatments. The method of these treatments can be further classified into two types. The first type of product works by bleaching which removes both deep and surface stains. The other type of treatment, known as non-bleaching, uses chemical action to eliminate surface stains.

Now on to the initial question: Is teeth whitening safe?

A decade of research indicates that teeth whitening is safe. Many of the products available to the general public as well as the treatments administered by dental professionals have been deemed safe and have undergone rigorous trial and testing.

However, it is crucial to choose products that have been clinically proven and it is essential to first consult your local dentist and follow the instructions closely.

Teeth Whitening Sensitivity 

A few years ago, many patients reported increased sensitivity following an in-office treatment. This can be attributed to higher bleach concentrations. Today, the products used for this treatment have a lower amount of bleach concentration. Sensitivity may still occur but often lasts only up to 48 hours.

Overall, almost anyone can have his or her teeth whitened. However, there are some people who may be discouraged from undergoing teeth whitening. These include pregnant and breastfeeding women, and patients with dental issues like gum disease, sensitive teeth, cavities, tooth-colored crowns and dental works which can’t be bleached.
Additionally, before undergoing a treatment or using a product, it is crucial that you first consult your dentist. Your Burtonsville dentist is the best person to recommend which treatment or product best suits the condition of your teeth.

The Five Most Common Restorative Dentistry Procedures

Restorative DentistryThe Five Most Common Restorative Dentistry Procedures

Cavities, chipped, cracked, and lost teeth — all these issues already have quick and (relatively) affordable solutions in the form of restorative dentistry. With the different procedures available for this branch of dentistry, your teeth can look and feel like they used to. Also, if you wish to take things to the next level, restorative dentistry is often a good prelude to cosmetic dentistry procedures, which can really enhance your smile and improve your oral structure.

If you have any of the aforementioned dental woes, the following are the most common restorative dentistry procedures to consider.

Dental fillings

These are applied to teeth that have been treated for cavities. Dental fillings are made of a hard plastic material that bonds to the tooth. They are designed to cover the holes or seal cracks in your teeth. Dental fillings restore stability to your teeth and prevent further damage and pain. There are four kinds of fillings typically used by dentists: gold, amalgam, ceramic and tooth-colored composites. Among these four types of fillings, the last two options are the most aesthetically appealing; they can even be used for chipped or worn front teeth.

Air abrasion and Micro Dentistry

This procedure uses air abrasion technology to get rid of small cavities without removing healthy tooth enamel. After abrasion, white fillings are applied to teeth to restore appearance of your teeth.

Dental Bridge

This is a device anchored to neighboring teeth (usually molars) as a replacement for a lost tooth. A dental bridge is typically needed when a tooth is beyond the filling stage and requires extraction. A bridge is usually made of high quality materials such as porcelain.  A bridge will prevent teeth from shifting out of place over time due to the space created by a lost tooth. It can also help preserve gum and bone — this is an advantage should you one day decide to get dental implants.

Dental Crowns

These cover damaged, chipped, cracked or broken teeth. They are cemented in place to cover teeth at and above the gum line. Crowns are created to match the natural color of teeth.

Dentures

These are perhaps what many are very familiar with because they are the most conventional replacements for lost teeth. They can be made to replace a complete set of teeth; they are removable, making cleaning easy. However, dentures need to be changed, usually in three to five years, because wearing them constantly tends to alter the size of the gums and bone; they become loose and will therefore need to be replaced with better-fitting new ones.

If you are looking for more information about restorative dentistry, contact your local Laurel area dentist at Nicholas Dental Care today!

 

Broken Teeth | What Should You Do?

Broken TeethHow to Care for Broken Teeth  – A Laurel, MD Dentist Provides Tips

A broken tooth is always unfortunate but all you really can do is to prevent the dental situation from getting worse. Typically, a broken tooth is caused by an accident, an assault, untreated dental decay, biting or chewing unusually hard food (such as an un-popped corn kernel), teeth grinding, and a root canal therapy that didn’t conclude with the placement of a crown yet.

To prevent a broken tooth from getting damaged further, a Laurel, MD dentist has rounded up some great tips on how to care for a broken tooth below.

Pay Close Attention To Food Temperature

For superficial cracks in the enamel or craze lines, the best thing to do is to be careful with food temperature. Extremely hot and ice-cold food may lead to a real and bigger crack. You have the option to have the dentist look at it as soon as possible and be provided night guard veneers, but this really isn’t a very serious concern that demands an immediate trip to the dentist; you can wait until your scheduled check-up.

Be Aware of Sharp Edges

Chips on the edge of the broken teeth, also known as enamel fractures, can create really sharp teeth edges that can nick the tongue and lips. These need immediate dental attention so that composite resin filling or veneers can be applied. These solutions, according to a Laurel, MD dentist, will not only get rid of the sharp edge but also restore the nice appearance of teeth.

Schedule a Dental Appointment As Soon As Possible

Enamel and dentin fractures or fractures on teeth with lighter or darker components can feel like nothing for some, and sensitive for others. It’s best to make an appointment with the dentist right away so a filling can be applied to prevent infection and even the death of the teeth’s nerves. Before the appointment, make sure to rinse the broken tooth or teeth with warm water and avoid eating anything hard.

Consider if it’s a Dental Emergency

Fractured teeth with dark and red components known as enamel dentin and pulp fractures are medical emergencies. It’s imperative to see the dentist within 24 hours because of the pain and complications. This type of broken tooth requires a root canal and filling. While waiting for the appointment, avoid exposing teeth to extreme temperatures and stick to a soft or liquid diet.

Avoid Infections

Horizontal and vertical tooth root fractures are not visible, but they are very painful and can lead to infection and swelling. Care for the broken tooth or teeth by sticking to a soft diet and taking Tylenol. This situation requires urgent dental attention.

Care is basically the same for all types of broken teeth, so remembering what to do can be quite simple. If you break a tooth, you should implement the tips provided here and pay your Burtonsville dentist a visit as soon as possible if you’re unsettled about the dental issue.