Every day, the importance of oral care becomes more and more prevalent. If your eyes are the gateway to your soul, your teeth are the gateway to the health of your body.

Every day, that gateway becomes more and more clear; things like periodontal disease and gingivitis can be hints of something more sinister going on your body. However, this article is not about why you should go to the dentist – hopefully you already know that. This article is to give some helpful hints at picking the right dentist, once you decide you need one.

There are probably more dental offices than Starbucks or McDonalds, and more and more sprout up every day. There are chains, groups of dentists and solo dentists.  (If you don’t already have a dentist you go to regularly, you can of course consult your phone book or conduct an Internet search).

However, for me personally, I like to do the research on my own, check out the offices and the people working there – shopping, basically. Of course, before I go shopping I like to ask people I trust, for example: what their favorite red wine is, or a good vegetable to go with pork chops, even if they saw a particular movie and liked it. There is so much of everything out there, if you shop blindly, you could end up becoming blind with too many choices.

Chances are, unless you live in a town with one stop sign, you have many dentists to choose from. Ask your friends and family if they have a dentist they trust and like.

Getting a referral from your friend or family may be all you need. If so, perfect, make that appointment. But what if you asked three people and each of those three people gave you a different name?  This is where the shopping comes in. Visit each of the three places (I would recommend not visiting more than 5 – otherwise you’ll be blinded by choices).

When you visit your prospective dentist, it’s a simple personality test. Prices will be different but not different enough to influence your choice of whom you get along best with.  Is their team friendly? Is their waiting room clean and orderly? If you enter an office and can’t tell in the first 1 minute if you like it, move on to the next one.  Keep in mind this personality test is between you, the dentist, the team or staff, and the office space; a score of 95% or less is an F. Of course there are some dentists who may not specialize in what you need done.

634px-Dental_floss_(whole)The Cleaning of the Teeth (Part I)

She told me to open my mouth, she started the exam, and, she was in there for about 30 seconds,. Suddenly, she started crying (this is a dental story there might be some exaggeration for point). My dental hygienist said that my teeth were not very happy; in fact they were down right sad. I hadn’t been to the dentist for my recommended twice-yearly cleaning and I’m not the best flosser – in that I don’t really floss. The good news is that I don’t have periodontal disease, the bad news is if I don’t take care of my teeth now, I will.

I brush my teeth every day and use mouthwash with fluoride and, I don’t eat sweet stuff, so why can’t I just come in every five years and clean my teeth?  After all, that’s what I have done for the past forty years. She looked at me and said, “Listen, I have a really full schedule, I’m booked out for months, and I can’t force you to take care of your teeth. Other people get it, you don’t yet, call me when you do.”

And that was the last time I saw my dental hygienist. Not because I haven’t “gotten it” yet. I understood almost immediately, cleaning your teeth doesn’t just make them whiter; it actually keeps your gums healthy and free from gingivitis and periodontal disease. I haven’t seen my hygienist since then because she really was booked for months and I just couldn’t get in.

 

The Cleaning of the Teeth (Part II)

I finally made it in to see my hygienist and my gums are so much happier now. Of course it takes a bit of work on my part, learning to floss after 40 years of not flossing is like learning a new language.  I’d rather go to the dentist once a month for a monthly cleaning but personal responsibility is important. For now I will continue to keep my gums happy and therefore healthy by flossing and brushing every day. And, I will resign myself to the recommended twice-a-year cleaning. I hope my little story has impressed upon you the importance of regular cleanings. If I can do it after forty years of not doing it, then anyone can.*

*Two visits annually for a cleaning is normal. If you have periodontal disease, it will likely be recommended you visit your dentist and hygienist 3 to 4 times per year until the condition of your gums improve.

 

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Dental floss (whole)

When it comes to dental health in the workplace, men win the battle of the sexes.

Survey data show that more men practice good dental habits while at work than women. Two in five men either brush or floss their teeth after eating lunch or a snack at work.

Women, on the other hand, find the practice impolite or inappropriate.

Interestingly, nearly 90% of both men and women agree that there is a strong connection between overall health and dental hygiene.

dental-insurance-end-of-year

 

Now is the time to plan for the completion of your dental treatment before the end of the year.  All insurance plans have a yearly maximum.  If you do not use this maximum amount, the benefits are lost forever.

If you have treatment to be completed or to be started, take advantage of your benefits this year.  We can use the maximum allowed for this year to begin or complete any treatment that needs to be done.  If we do not complete all of the treatment, then we can start with a new maximum next year.

 

Good planning will allow you to take advantage of the full benefits of your policy.  Please do not wait until the last few days of the year when our congested schedule will make it difficult to appoint a convenient time for you.

Our goal is to provide you with quality dental service.  If we can help you maximize your dental insurance coverage in the process, we know you will be very pleased.  In addition, we have a financial partner who can help you with any portion of your treatment that insurance does not cover.

Call (314) 858-5366 today for an appointment!

We appreciate your continued support,

Dr. Elliot Leon and the Soft Touch Dental Team

www.softtouchdental.net

www.facebook.com/softtouchdentalmo

 

*Take an additional 15% off when you call to schedule.

(Good until December 31, 2014)

 

In recent years, the field of cosmetic dentistry has made great strides forward in techniques and materials, and we can choose from many more procedures now than in years past.

Many of us had metal crowns done at one time or another, and these might have been made of, Gold or Gold alloy, Nickel alloy, Chromium alloy, or Palladium, On back teeth, which do the chewing, a metal crown is sometimes a good choice, as the metal materials are very strong and durable.

There are few disadvantages of old metal crowns such as their color – which contrasts strongly with the white teeth surrounding them, problems with decay – if bacteria get up underneath the crown, gum disease can set in, requiring the removal of the crown, gum treatment, and a new crown. Also, wear and tear – older crowns can become worn or no longer fit as well.

An alternative to the metal crown is to use a porcelain crown instead. Dental porcelain is a material with similar properties to tooth enamel. It absorbs and reflects light the way our natural teeth do. Light travels through the porcelain to the bonding material which attaches the crown to the tooth, and then bounces back. This gives the porcelain crown a translucent look much like that of our natural teeth. With tooth enamel, the light travels through to the tooth dentin underlying the enamel, and bounces back. This is what gives our teeth that shiny, pearly look.

An all-porcelain crown blends in excellently with the surrounding teeth. Porcelain is highly resistant to discoloration, and when bonded to our teeth, it’s strong and durable.

Replacing a missing tooth is about more than beauty.
At this Florissant dental establishment, we use the latest implant tools so you can smile again with no fear.

Soft Touch Dental
1005 Dunn Road Florissant MO 63031
(314) 838-9454
http://softtouchdental.net/best-dentist-florissant/implants
http://softtouchdental.net/florissant-oral-care
http://softtouchdental.net/dr-elliot-leon
http://www.yelp.com/biz/soft-touch-dental-florissant

We can’t wait to provide you and your family with the Best Dentist Florissant services for a perfect smile!

Soft Touch Dental
1005 Dunn Road Florissant MO 63031
(314) 838-9454
http://softtouchdental.net/florissant-oral-care
http://softtouchdental.net/dr-elliot-leon
http://softtouchdental.net/directions-2

http://www.yelp.com/biz/soft-touch-dental-florissant

There is a prevailing thought out in the world that dentists are expensive. There is also a relatively new type of currency that is starting to take traction, a bitcoin. A Bitcoin is considered a cryptocurrency. If you don’t know what a bitcoin is or what cryptocurrency is, that’s ok, hardly anyone does.

A bitcoin is just a different way to pay for something. A bitcoin’s value fluctuates, kind of like a stock. It is the rising popularity of bitcoins that begs the question; is there another way to pay for something that folks consider expensive, like dentistry?

Yes, and no. As of yet I have not found a dentist that accepts bitcoins. However, many dental offices are more than willing to help their patients come up with the best payment plan that will work for tem.  Some dentists offer in-office financing, some offer financing through a third party vendor.

Like any financing, the interest rate you will end up paying depends of your credit. However, most dentists are aware our economy is still in rough shape and will be willing to work with those with bruised credit.   The thing you as the patient need to decide: Is the interest rate you will be paying worth the health benefits a major dental procedure will afford you.

Obviously if you want to do some financing to get diamond incrusted teeth, maybe you should rethink that. Financing for a root canal, implant or other device that will help you enjoy eating healthier, better, and in less pain, may well be worth the finance charge.

Of course there is dental insurance, but that may be as hard to get as health insurance through Healthcare.gov. And, keep in mind anytime you can pay cash directly, you will pay less.  But, also keep in mind; taking care of your teeth is not like a kitchen renovation on a kitchen that still works. Without proper dental care your health will suffer.

So, call your neighborhood dentist and make an appointment to come in and talk to them about finally getting that filling, crown, implant or root canal. The worst-case scenario is that the financing may not be available. The best-case scenario is that you can work out a payment plan with your dentist and finally have the dental care you deserve.

My job is to visit dental offices where procedures are underway. I observe. That’s a big part of my job. I’m a trained observer. Then, I gather what I hear and see and put into a report virtually anyone can read and understand. I’m hired many times because the doctor wants to make changes and improvements.

You’d be amazed at what I see. Or, then again, maybe you wouldn’t be.

Let me give you an idea: Shag carpet from 1975. Stained floors and walls. Unkept restrooms. Red décor. Old furnishings that should have been retired years before. I could go on and on.

You have to wonder, “Is the doctor really up-to-par on recent innovations and advancements in dentistry if they’re hesitant to keep things up?”

It’s a valid question.

On occasion, I also manage to accidentally overhear patients instructing the dentist or the hygienist when they think they should be seen. Usually the conversation goes like this, “I don’t want to have an exam two-times a year. My physician said once time is enough.”

Your physician? Huh? Since when did they spend 4 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours of ongoing continuing education specializing in oral health? Pretty sure, never.

That’s like a dentist giving you advice on cardiology and heart disease.

(I’m not even a dentist – just someone that has seen first-hand what can happen to someone that “skips” appointments or sets their own re-care schedule!)

Did you know oral cancer (cancer of the mouth) is normally only detected by dentists and hygienists?

That means since more than 50% of Americans don’t see the dentist, 50% of our country will never know they have or at high-risk of developing a severely painful and tough-to-treat disease.

And, pulling all your teeth probably isn’t the best solution. Sadly, sometimes, it’s the only one. Being “edentulous” or without teeth, poses its own unique set of undesirable health problems.

Here’s another one I’ve overhead more than once: “Periodontal disease? My teeth are fine. The bleeding stops by mid-morning. I don’t have any disease. That’s hogwash.”

According to the website, http://www.answers.com, 80% of Americans have gum disease (Periodontal Disease). If you know 10 people, chances are, 8 will have gum disease. EIGHT!

Bottom line: If you choose to skip your bi-annual exams, you put yourself at risk. If you choose to ignore regular cleanings or, for someone already “perio involved” (they have the disease) ignore your SRP visit (that means, perio scaling and root planing), you’re putting yourself further at-risk for bigger, body-wide or systemic problems.

For the price of a dinner out at Olive Garden, you can find out what kind of health your mouth is in. It’s likely the best investment you’ll ever make. Don’t ignore your oral health. It can be a silent killer.

Why the “silent killer?” According to the ADA: “It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.”

Call today. Don’t wait. Health has to be a top priority.