Friday, January 27, 2012

Toothbrush Care 101

A popular tweet sent recently from my twitter account had to do with the origination of toothbrushes. It is true that horse and boar hair were once used to make the bristles for the common tooth brush! Its a pretty disgusting thought to us now, but you'd be surprised what used to pass for "OK to use!"

Still, these days tooth brushes are not as durable as they once were. Have you ever thought about how long yours lasts? According to a study sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, most Americans replace their brush every 9 months, with only about 9% replacing their brushes regularly. Turns out you need to replace it when it shows wear, not within a certain time.

Follow these simple steps to extend the life of your toothbrush:
• Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months (or sooner if the bristles start to bend or fray).
• Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing and allow it to air dry; air drying helps kill bacteria.
• Store your toothbrush upright so it can drain and air dry faster. If you keep it in a cup with other toothbrushes, don’t allow the toothbrushes to touch each other.
• Don’t share toothbrushes.
• Avoid placing your toothbrush in a small container for long periods of time. Moisture can easily build up, creating an environment for bacteria to grow. While traveling, allow your toothbrush to air dry completely before storing it.
• Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet. Because germs may go airborne when you flush, always keep the toilet lid down.

Now if that's not incentive for closing the toilet seat, I don't know what is! Proper oral hygiene is a learned ability. Children may need extra help in reaching back teeth, and yes, those baby teeth are still important even though they'll fall out! Parents should brush children's teeth and coach proper brushing until the technique is mastered. You can get tips on how to properly brush and floss on our website. If you're still having trouble explaining technique to your child, we can help at your next appointment.

Sources: American Dental Association, Colgate-Palmolive, Tricare Dental Program websites

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vote for your favorite smile!

You can't turn on the television right now with out seeing some gorgeous celebrity smiling for the camera, its awards season after all! So in the spirit, we thought we'd ask who's flashing your favorite grin these days?

Our picks are Angelina Jolie, Katy Petty, Beyonce, and Julia Roberts!

So, go to my facebook page and vote in our online poll! We'll tell you who won in our March newsletter, and dig up the details about what makes her smile a dental delight!

Have fun everyone!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Dentists Offer Free Consultations

In today's blog post, we'll take a  few minutes to address one question we get quite often. It boils down to this: "Why do I need to come for a (free) consultation?"

The answer isn't because we want to convince you to have more "work" done. Believe it or not, most insurance companies request estimates be submitted for treatment that could cost in excess of $300. For us to meet this request, patients need to be seen face to face. Truth be told, if you're calling to make an appointment, we know you're aware your oral health is important, and that's terrific! But your mouth is unique and dentistry is not an exact science, it is individualized. Looking deeper at the question, "Why do I need to come for a (free) consultation," consider this example:

Sample email to our office:
Dear Office, Could you tell me how much a (crown, root canal, implant, et cetera) will cost me? My dentist/specialist said it would cost a lot of money and I want a second opinion. Please call me.

Sample response:
While you have given us some information about your case, it is difficult to give a clear, valid opinion from the details we have here. We believe our doctor, Dr Mary Dooley, would actually need to see what the situation is herself. We do have openings for consultations available in the coming weeks and
would accomodate your schedule to the best of our abilities. I have left a message on the phone number you submitted, please return my call. I would like to help schedule an appointment to get you smiling!

A second opinion is truely different from a cost comparison. However, both need to be addressed with an appointment.

A free consultation is important because:
1. We get a chance to understand what YOU really want.
2. You get personalized case by case details about what YOU really need.
3. We include an evaluation of any insurance benefits so the cost can be explained more clearly.
4. It allows us to document your case in the event of any changes in your status.
5. Its FREE! What do you have to lose?

During your consultation, we'll show examples of your potential outcome that will help you understand how you will benefit from the services done in our office. We've heard people say "I don't want to take up all of your time," and we don't want to take up yours either. We strive to find solutions to evey case that you'll be able to handle in every sense of the word.

So, the next time you hear you need some serious work done, consider scheduling that consultation.
You'll be a more informed patient for it, and your dentist really does want to make you smile!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Announcing Free Cost Reviews!

We've just begun a new year, and for many people that means its a new insurance benefit year also. Insurance benefits change on the first of January in many cases. And while yours may vary, now is a good time to take a second look at what you have available to use now.

But what if you're one of the nearly 46 million Americans (according to a 2009 US Census Bureau report) that do not have insurance? Does the cost of out of pocket dental care scare you? You're not alone if you answer "yes."

Many factors can play into the lack of dental insurance these days. It is not offered by every employer and in some cases employers pass on the cost to those who need it the most. We want to make sure you get the dental care you need. Did you know that poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight babies and many more serious and potentially life threatening conditions? As a free service to new and existing patients, our office is now offering complimentary cost comparisons and consultations. This service allows you to understand all of your insurance and out of pocket costs up front. It gives you the convenience of fewer hassles when services come into question, and peace of mind, knowing you are taking control of your overall health.

Call our office today at 757-486-4880 to schedule your appointment. Read our online reviews to see what other patients are saying. We want you to smile!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dental Implants: Big Impact!

     If you’re missing a tooth or more, you may find that there are other things you miss. You may miss your natural smile. Maybe your mouth waters at the thought of biting into an apple. Maybe you feel self-conscious about your teeth and mouth, or discomfort as remaining teeth shift. Some patients even suffer muscle strains, have trouble speaking, or experience headaches.
     Most people are familiar with crowns and dentures, but there's an innovative middle step so to speak that you may not have heard of yet. If you’ve lost the crown, you’ve lost the visible part of your tooth. But if you’ve lost the root as well, you’ve lost the unseen part of your tooth. The next step doesn't have to be complete or even partial dentures.
    There are many ways to replace tooth crowns, but only dental implants can replace the entire tooth including both crown and root. Dental implants look, feel and function like your own natural teeth.

Improved Comfort
     Dental implants eliminate the pain and discomfort of removable full or partial dentures. Since dentures sit on top of the jawbone and gums, continuous shrinkage of the jaw bone alters the fit of the denture resulting in slipping or rocking of the dentures. Exposed nerves and irritation of the gum tissue may add to the discomfort.
    Implant supported replacement teeth are like natural teeth because they are anchored securely to your jawbone. Gum irritation and the pain of exposed nerves associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.
MDI Mini Implants like this one anchor to your bone
and retain functionality for most patients.
Great value
     Although dental implant treatment may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods it often turns out to be the best investment from a long term perspective since most patients can expect them to last a life time. Other treatment methods like bridges and dentures often requires regular alterations and adjustments over time.

Improved Speech & Convenience
     Dentures that aren't fitted properly can allow the teeth slip and slide around the mouth. The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the teeth in place. This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises. Implant supported replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone. Dental implants can eliminate the numerous embarrassing inconveniences of removable partial and full dentures. Say goodbye to messy adhesives! You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, for fear that your teeth will pop out or fall down

Improved Self Esteem
     Our Virginia Beach practice uses MDI Mini Implants with amazing success! Imagine walking into a room with the beaming smile you did ten, 15, or 20 years ago! You can regain nearly all the capabilities you had with your natural teeth, giving you renewed confidence, and allowing you to enjoy life, do all the things everyone else is doing and not think twice about it.
    Dental implants allow you to taste your food like you did before! By not covering the upper palate, you can experience the texture of most any edible and enjoy eating again.

      If you're thinking dental implants could make your life easier, more enjoyable, you're not alone. Call us at 757-486-4880 to schedule an appointment today! We'll review your case and help you consider your options!