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Dentistry and Technology Access

167222984Dentistry today is very appealing. No longer do people need to fear dentistry with the advent of sedation dentistry. Millions are benefiting from early intervention treatment to prevent root canals, dental crowns, dental infections, or tooth loss.  Thousands more are enjoying the advantage in the combination of restorative and cosmetic dentistry that has been known to reshape people’s lives in more ways than one.   Some of the best news is that some advanced dental technologies do not add costs into your dental treatment.  We turned to Dr. Summer Lerch, of New Haven Connecticut, to get her take. Dr. Lerch is leader in the field of cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry with top level titles in the professional dental community, including: past President of the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, an affiliate of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), Examiner for the Accreditation Process and Mentor for the AACD as well as, past AACD board member and Editor of the AACD Journal.

As she explains, “Have comfort in knowing   that the best of dentists offer the following types of treatments to make your life easier. That’s not all. The technologies and procedures listed are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other advancements that you may be able to take advantage of at your dentist’s office.   If you can just get into see your dentist, I bet you will like what you see!”

Bonding: The vast majority of dentists fill in any small chips, cracks and gaps that you might have to prevent the need for more invasive treatment. A select number of dentists have extensive experience in complex bonding cases that require advanced artistry to perform the procedure. The pricing for slight bonding can be just as slight as the treatment area or a bit of an investment, depending upon how much artistry is required to perform the procedure.

Cavity Detection: Many dentists offer a painless cavity detection system to identify any tooth decay that might surface at the earliest stages of development. This makes the search and rescue mission for your tooth decay much simpler and allows for the least invasive approach to treatment. Big dental fillings don’t have to be in your mouth anymore with the aid of cavity detection systems and regular check-ups! The cost for such detectors is included in your semi-annual dental visit costs, so why not investigate early cavity detection systems?

Composite Dental Fillings: Many dentists perform the composite tooth colored dental filling procedure. Yet, because dental schools did not always offer training for composite fillings in the past, some dentists today may not offer composite dental fillings to you. For just a few dollars more, you can have tooth colored fillings instead of silver. But remember, some teeth, such as molars, may be better served with a silver amalgam filling because of the strength of this metal.

Dental Bridges and Dentures: To remedy any missing teeth you might have, all dentists offer dental bridges and dentures. A dental bridge is an appliance that fills in the missing space with a false tooth and is permanently cemented to the adjacent teeth. A denture is an removable appliance comprised of false teeth, capable of filling in more than one open space. Some dentists work with implantologists to perform the dental implants procedure for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants offer several advantages over dental bridges and crowns, including: better fit, no appliance necessary, longevity, as well as, a more natural look and feel. Dental bridges may run from $2,500 to $6,000 or greater, depending on the number of teeth involved.  Dentures may run from $1,000 to 2,500 or more depending on your location and the skill of the dentist.   Dental implants may range between $1500 and $2500 per implant.  Always get your consult and decide on the benefits to you before letting cost make the decision for you.  You will be glad you did, you’ll also learn about flexible payment options and you won’t be burdened by the price when you reap the rewards.

Dental Crowns: All dentists offer the dental crown procedure. Some dentists fabricate their own crowns in their office with the use of advanced technology because that technology is now around to help ensure the best fit for your teeth. Other dentists work hand-in-hand with a laboratory technician who uses their technology to fabricate your crown. For $1200.00 to $1250.00, a dental crown may be just what the dentist orders if you weren’t able to detect your cavity in time for early treatment.  Don’t forget there’s always patient financing for tight budgets which is wise to consider knowing that untreated tooth decay’s next stage is often tooth loss.

Digital Imaging: Some dentists offer digital imaging so that you can preview the appearance of your smile following treatment. Cost is usually included in the pricing for dental treatment.

Environmentally Friendly X-Rays: Some dentists have advanced x-ray testing equipment so you can benefit from as little as 10% in radiation exposure when compared to traditional x-rays. This equipment may also be designed with greater precision for pinpointing finer imperfections which allows for enhanced treatment. Again, there no additional cost over the cost of a normal x-ray for you- for less radiation exposure and greater precision in treatment.

Gum Disease Treatment: All dentists perform related gingivitis treatment (pre-gum disease phase) and early stage gum disease treatment using root planing and scaling. Some dentists are able to use technology that will detect your genetic predisposition to gum disease. Some dentists also offer bacteria testing to identify pathogens that contribute to gum disease.  Both of these detection tests are pain-free and simple to perform. In fact, dentists can use testing information to develop early stage gum disease treatment plans. It’s worthwhile to make these little investments, knowing that gum disease is progressive and may lead to tooth loss in its severest form.

A small number of dentists are certified in bio film treatment which can help thwart off the progression of the gum disease by reducing bad bacteria in your oral cavity which can bring down your silent inflammation. These dentists are likely to be in tune with inexpensive at- home bio film treatments that can easily fit into your budget and routine for a little more than the average cost of “store bought” toothpaste or mouth rinse so you can avoid more invasive and more expensive treatment. For advanced gum disease, dentists certified in biofilm treatment offer refined formulations at an advanced level to best manage your gum disease.

A select number of dentists use laser and antibiotic treatment to eliminate infected gums and seal off open gum pockets if you have advanced gum disease. Some dentists may provide initial gum disease treatments and prefer to refer you to a periodontist who is a dentist with advanced training in gum disease treatments through other forms of treatment, such as, periodontal surgery, particularly at the late stage.

As you can see, in gum disease, there is an armory of tools to prevent tooth loss from gum disease.

  • Use of a Waterpik with 5-6 drops of unscented bleach has been known to kill bacteria for the right candidates, according to a UC Davis Study.
  • Bio film treatment with the at home approach for a little more than your current at home oral care  products, for early stage and ongoing management of gum disease which might be great for everyone since 75% of the population has at least the precursor to gum disease (gingivits).
  • In office bio film treatment for up to $2000 per quarter in more severe cases.
  • Laser and antibiotic treatment at roughly $700 or more, which may be effective in some moderate to late stage cases.
  • Periodontal surgery ranging from $1500 to $2500/quadrant, for the most severe forms.

In short, gum disease should never be left untreated, especially with the many early treatment options available in the paragraph above that contain costs and may be financed over time, if your insurance policy with not cover all costs.

Laser Therapy: Some dentists offer laser dentistry which allows you to have a wide variety of procedures performed without disturbing your healthy oral cavity structures. From removing tooth decay to veneers, gummy smiles, cancer sores, and cancer screening, the use of laser therapy in treatment is highly advantageous for many patients. Depending upon the procedure, the cost for laser therapy may be included in the treatment plan.

Microscope: Some dentists use a microscope to be able to view the tiniest areas of your teeth. This allows for enhanced precision in treatment, early detection of problems and potentially less invasive treatments. In term of price, dentists do not usually charge fees for the use of a microscope.

Root Canals: Your general dentist is the first one to see if you have an infected tooth that may require a root canal. Your dentist will examine the infected tooth and treat you, if possible. Yet, some root canals procedures are complex. So, you may be referred to an endodontist who has advanced training and experience in root canals. Depending upon the complexity of the root canal, this procedure may cost between $350.00 and $1500.00.

Sedation Dentistry: Some dentists are trained in sedation dentistry which helps to take your fear and anxiety out of dentistry with the use of medications and/or anesthesia. Although the price tag may be a small extra charge for medications or from $500 to $1500 for advanced anesthetics, many people appreciate the comfort provided by sedation dentistry.

174247392Q and A for Your Dentist

Knowing that many of these technologies are not an additional cost and  provide a great advantage in your treatment, hopefully you’ll know that your dentist is not your enemy. A visit to his or her office may be an eye opening experience when you ask about their use of advanced technology. In fact, patient financing is offered in dentistry with flexible options that may be better than your credit card. The above mentioned technologies represents a only small sample of the many advancements offered in select dental offices across the U.S. today.  Why wait? Investigate and have comfort in knowing that the right dentist is there to assist in working through your constraints, whether it’s fear of the dental chair or fear of the costs.

It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.
Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.