tooth next to medical kit - illustration

Don’t Let Your Teeth Land You In The ER

Now more than ever, it’s not just a good idea to visit your dentist regularly, it’s a necessity.

An increasing number of people are visiting the emergency room for dental issues, often for problems that have become severe because they put off basic dental care.  Not only is this harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your wallet. From a recent Courier-Journal article on rising ER visits for dental problems:

“By law, ERs have to see patients even if they can’t pay. But although they often provide little more than painkillers and antibiotics to dental patients, the visits cost more than three times as much as a routine dental visit, averaging $749 if the patient isn’t hospitalized — and costing the U.S. health care system $1.6 billion a year.”

Making Dental Care Affordable and Convenient

About 40% of U.S. adults (18+) have not visited the dentist in the past year. And though dental cavities are the number one most common chronic disease for children and teens (ages 6 – 19), around 18% of kids’ cavities are going untreated. Why is this happening?

Two common barriers that we often hear are that dental care is expensive, and that visits are inconvenient. We can help with that!

With 36 dental offices throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana, we likely have an office near where you live or work. And while there are many factors that contribute to the cost of care, there are three ways we’re trying to keep visits affordable for patients.

  1. We accept most major insurance plans. We are also happy to check with your insurance provider to provide payment estimates for treatments! Call us to see if we accept your insurance.
  2. We accept Care Credit. CareCredit is a credit card designated for health, dental and wellness expenses.
  3. We offer a comprehensive dental plan. Under the plan, there are no yearly maximums, no deductibles, and no waiting periods.

Save yourself and your family from extra trips to the ER.

Many dental issues that start out small can become complex and more expensive to deal with if you avoid regular dental care. Your oral health is closely tied to your overall health, and helping you achieve your optimal health and well-being is our primary goal.

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Photo of a smiling, dark-haired female dentist

The 3 Best Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Want to make the most of your next visit to your family dentist? Try asking these three questions to maximize your time spent in the dental chair.

1. What is my overall oral health situation?

This question is about getting a broad view of your oral health. Knowing whether you’re generally doing pretty well or are not in the best shape can help you to make more informed decisions about treatments. It can also provide insight on other areas of your health or lifestyle – nutrition or exercise, for example – that are contributing to, and being affected by, your oral health.

2. What will improve my oral health?

Be on the lookout when you ask this question for both steps that you can take your own, as well as treatments that your dentist or hygienist can offer. Your dentist can help you figure out if a specific kind of toothpaste is better for you, whether you’re brushing correctly, or whether a new product you’ve seen is worth a try. When you’re talking about treatments, your dentist can offer advice on what is most needed, what can be done at another time, and whether there are any alternatives.

3. Is there anything my family doctor needs to know about?

Your oral health is closely linked to your overall health. Sometimes, your dentist may be first to spot symptoms that can indicate health issues your family physician or general practitioner (GP) needs to know about. Asking this question helps to ensure that relevant information is shared with all the right people.

BONUS: Be prepared.

Ok, this isn’t a question, but being as prepared as you can is also important to getting the best possible dental care. If you’re experiencing any kind of problem in your mouth, like a sore jaw or sore gums, or notice anything unusual, such as a lump or irritation, be sure to speak up about it. Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, your dentist will be able to tell if it’s something that needs to be monitored or addressed.

Feeling ready for your next visit? We hope so! If you don’t have one scheduled, just call us or click below to get one set.

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X-Ray of impacted wisdom tooth with text: Wisdom toot, not that wise

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called Wisdom Teeth?

If you get your wisdom teeth out, don’t worry! The dentist won’t be removing your good sense. The name for your third molars, a.k.a. your wisdom teeth, comes from when they show up in your mouth. Wisdom teeth typically appear around age 17 to 25, right about the time people become adults and begin to gain some – you guessed it! – wisdom. Wisdom teeth have been called that for hundreds of years, replacing an even earlier (and clunkier) name, teeth of wisdom.

The pesky thing about wisdom teeth? 9 out of 10 of people have at least one impacted. This happens when the tooth cannot grow in fully, often because of a lack of space. If impacted teeth are left in the mouth, they can harm the teeth next to them, become infected, or attract bacteria due to the difficulty of cleaning them well. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that you have wisdom teeth evaluated early on in their growth, when you’re a young adult. Best bet? Talk to your family dentist about it.

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Of course you could get lucky… Not everyone has wisdom teeth! One estimate says that about 35% of the population is born without them.

 

 

photo of tired looking woman at work, eyes closed

Not Sleeping Well? Two Ways Your Dentist Can Help

Do you often feel like you don’t get a good night’s sleep? When your sleep is disrupted, it’s not only unpleasant, it can be bad for your overall health. There are lots of reasons you might be sleeping poorly, and your dentist can be your ally in discovering or ruling out certain causes.

1. Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which your upper airways close off and interrupt your breathing while you sleep. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Routine loud snoring
  • Waking gasping for air
  • Feeling overly fatigued during the day
  • Falling asleep unintentionally in the daytime

If you think you may have OSA, talk to your doctor. To properly diagnose OSA, you will have to do an overnight sleep study. Many people diagnosed with OSA can be treated using an oral appliance, a small, plastic device that you place in your mouth while sleeping that helps keep your airways open. Your dentist can help to fit you with an oral appliance made specifically for your unique needs.

2. Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can also cause you to sleep poorly. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, your sleep might be disrupted by the sound of the grinding, hard clenching, or associated pain. Some signs that you might be grinding your teeth include:

  • Pain in your teeth, mouth or jaw
  • A clicking or popping sound in your jaw
  • Visibly worn down teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

If you’re thinking these sound like you, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and mouth to help determine if you are grinding your teeth. Often, teeth grinding can be treated with a mouthguard, which your dentist can custom-make for you.

Don’t neglect your sleep. Talk to someone.

Your sleep is important to your health, so don’t ignore signs that you’re not getting adequate sleep. Give us a call, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment to see you. 502-244-9595 You are also welcome to use our online appointment request form by clicking the button below.

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