Did you know that you could actually save dollars by maximizing your dental insurance benefits before the end of the year? Here at Dr. Glasscock’s family and cosmetic dentistry, we take pride in doing everything possible to help you maximize and understand your dental insurance coverage.
FIVE REASONS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY AND UTILIZE DENTAL BENEFITS
- Every insurance plan has a yearly maximum, which is the most money the dental insurance plan will allow for your dental work per one full year. This amount will vary by insurance companies, but the average dental maximum is $1,000 per person per calendar year. That yearly maximum renews every year usually around January 1st. If you have a fiscal plan, it renews on the date the plan was implemented. If you have unused dental insurance benefits they will not rollover into the next calendar or fiscal plan year, which means, you are actually losing free insurance dollars.
- With most dental insurance companies, there will be a deductable for any treatment that may be needed prior to your insurance company paying anything towards any services. Your deductable is paid out of pocket every year. Deductibles can run $25, $50, $75 to $100 dollars. If you met this year’s deductable and have remaining benefits to use towards other treatment, you are actually saving money.
- If you are paying your dental insurance premiums every month you should try to utilize the benefit your insurance offers. Preventative dentistry is another way of saving money. How you ask? By keeping up with your periodic check-ups and cleanings to help prevent and detect any early signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer as well as any other dental problems. Not going to these preventative maintenance appointments every four to six months can actually cost more money in the end.
- By delaying dental treatment you are risking more extensive and costly treatment. Many think that just because the condition (cavity) is not causing acute discomfort, you choose not to make the appointment. Months later, you are facing a possible crown, root canal or other complex procedure, the cost of which may exceed that year’s benefits.
- Every year dental offices will negotiate their schedule of fees within the office. Therefore, a possible increase in fees will increase the cost of treatment, which in turn, increase you’re out of pocket contribution.
In the end, insurance is a benefit that helps contribute to your out of pocket expenses; it does not pay for your entire treatment. Insurance is a bonus and gives you free dollars to work towards your oral health. With the current changes in Healthcare, your benefits in 2015 may not be the same as in 2016. Take advantage of your unused benefits – call our office at 704-510-1150 to schedule an appointment before time runs out!
Dr. David Glasscock and Team
Posted in Dental Health, Stress Free Dental
Tagged dental benfits, dental insurance benefits, dental insurance companies, dental insurance coverage, dental insurance plan, Glasscock Dental, insurance companies, insurance company, maximing dental benefits, Stress Free Dental
Avoiding the Baby Bottle Blues
When it comes to thumb sucking, babies are naturals — maybe because they practice even before they are born. Children begin sucking on their thumb while in the womb to develop the skills necessary for breastfeeding. Not surprisingly swapping a thumb for a pacifier or baby bottle is an easy transition for many kids.
In a child’s first few years, pacifier use generally doesn’t cause problems. But constant, long-term pacifier use, especially once permanent teeth come in, can lead to dental complications. Constant sucking can cause top front teeth to slant out, and bottom front teeth to tilt in. It also can lead to jaw misalignment (such as an overbite) and a narrowing of the roof of the mouth.
It is generally advised that children stop or drastically reduce their pacifier use around age 3. If a child is dependent on the pacifier to be calmed and soothed, try giving it to him or her only when absolutely necessary and using positive reinforcement to wean them off the habit.
Many children also use a baby bottle longer than necessary. Apart from the risks associated with the sucking motion, bottles also carry a heavy risk of promoting tooth decay if they contain anything other than water.
Frequently sucking or sipping on milk or juice from a bottle over an extended period of time will increase your child’s risk of tooth decay. When sugars and carbohydrates come in consistent contact with teeth they create an environment for decay-causing bacteria to thrive. Tooth decay can lead to painful infection and in extreme cases children may need to have a tooth extraction or dental treatment to extensively repair damaged teeth.
Long-term use of pacifiers and bottles can lead to speech and dental problems as your child gets older. Since children develop at different ages, it is a good idea to speak with your dentist and pediatrician to make sure that your infant or toddler’s early oral habits don’t cause problems.
Chipped Teeth Choices
If you have a chipped tooth, you’re not alone! In fact, chipped teeth are the most common dental injury today. But don’t let that little-known fact fool you into ignoring a chipped tooth; any type of dental trauma deserves immediate attention. A small chip may not cause you pain, but there could be damage underneath the surface of the tooth. Our dentist can rule out cracks or internal tooth problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye. And in many cases, your chipped tooth can be repaired in just one visit.
Chipped tooth treatments vary according to the amount of damage. Depending on your situation, any one of these chipped tooth treatments may be an option for you:
Dental Bonding — Most chips can be corrected with dental bonding. Dental bonding is an efficient, durable and cost-effective way to correct minor chips.
Enamel Shaping — Often used in conjunction with dental bonding, enamel shaping can also correct small chips or surface flaws. During enamel shaping, a small portion of the tooth’s surface is removed or recontoured to smooth out imperfections.
Dental Veneers – If the chip is significant and dental bonding or enamel shaping can’t be used, you may need a veneer. These thin, porcelain wafers completely cover the surface of the tooth and are often used for front teeth.
Root Canal – Pain in the location of the chip can be a sign that the nerve is exposed. If that’s the case, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.
Dental Crown — A dental crown is used to completely cover larger teeth or to cap a tooth after a root canal.
Tooth Extraction — If the tooth can’t be saved, a tooth extraction may be necessary. The good news is a dental bridge or dental implants can replace missing teeth.
Is It Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
About 80 million people in North America snore, and approximately 12 million Americans have sleep apnea. So what’s the difference, and why does it matter?
Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and uvula, occurring when the airway becomes obstructed during sleep. Several things can obstruct the airway and cause you to snore, including allergies, drinking before bed, being overweight and having large tonsils or a deviated septum.
If you snore now and then, you probably have nothing to worry about. But chronic snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a more serious sleep disorder. People with sleep apnea stop breathing in their sleep – sometimes up to 100 hundred times an hour – for one minute or longer. Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your chances of serious health conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. At a minimum, you may feel groggy in the morning or unable to concentrate during the day.
The good news is sleep apnea is treatable. The two most common ways to treat sleep apnea are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is administered by a physician, and oral appliance therapy, which is administered by a dentist. CPAP therapy can be very effective for people with sleep apnea, but some find it difficult to sleep with a mask. More people are increasingly turning to the oral appliances administered by dentists. Oral appliances are small, flexible devices that look like mouthguards. They increase the airway space and reduce air velocity and soft tissue vibration (snoring) by moving the lower jaw into a forward position. Patients who have tried both say that oral appliances are more comfortable to wear, easier to care for and very cost-effective.