USE IT OR LOSE IT!
Your Dental Insurance, that is. Did you know that, when your dental insurance year runs out, you LOSE whatever benefits you have left? Unlike phone minutes, there’s no “roll-over” for your insurance, so once they’re gone, they’re GONE.
We are rapidly approaching the end of 2009, and our schedule is already filling up for those last appointments of the year; if you don’t schedule now, you could easily miss out on the opportunity to use your benefits to help you get the dental treatment you need. If you want to use Flex Plan dollars (‘cause you lose those, too, don’t forget!) or Dental Insurance that is still available, please call Liz at your first chance so you don’t miss out.
In addition to using your Dental Benefits, we are offering some really cool End-of-Year specials to help you out (hey, if you save some money and I get to stay busy, we BOTH benefit, right?)
1) Get up to an ADDITIONAL $500 off our amazing Six-Month Braces! This has been incredibly popular, and patients tell us almost every day that they can’t believe how fast their teeth are straightening out. Many are going to have the smiles straight and white by Thanksgiving or Christmas already. Since we already have the coupon for $500 off, if you chose this option, you can save UP TO $1000! If you’re doing 1 arch, you save $250 extra, but $500 off if you do both top and bottom teeth.
2) SAVE YOUR TEETH FROM GUM DISEASE AND $500 OFF! If you have gum disease and we’ve talked with you about LANAP, here’s the best way to go: We are scheduling blocks of time in the last week of December and the first week in January JUST for LANAP patients. By doing the first ½ of your mouth in Dec., then the second ½ in January, you already get to use TWO years of dental benefits, which will really save you money. But if you call to schedule now, you can save $500 off your total treatment fee, too! Because we’re reserving 4-5 hours of time for you this far in advance, we do require a deposit so we know you’re serious. If you’re worried about how it will feel, especially around the holidays, visit us at www.YouTube.com/SmilesbyPayet and you can see some video testimonials from 2 of my recent patients and from other patients around the country. It’s amazing – all you’ll need is a little ibuprofen and the next day you’re back up to normal .
3) 15% OFF ALL OTHER TREATMENT! Regardless of what other dental work you need, you can save a full 15% off from now through December 31st. Just call Liz to schedule your appointment ASAP before others take them all.
So start planning and calling now, before time runs out, your dental insurance is gone, your flex dollars are gone, and our End-of-Year Specials are gone. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Request an Appointment Online or Call 704-364-7069
When most people think of “bonding,” they are thinking of tooth-colored dental fillings, or composite fillings. To be completely technical for a moment (I try to avoid that as much as possible to not bore you 😉 ), “bonding” is actually the series of steps and the products we dentists use to make the tooth-colored fillings actually STICK to the teeth. OK – technical moment is over. Whew, aren’t you glad of that?
An issue that many patients have experienced in the past, is that their new tooth-colored fillings seem to be mildly or even extremely sensitive to cold, and sometimes hot, foods and drinks, even just to tapping your teeth together. Naturally, it’s not a fun experience, and one that all conscientious dentists try to avoid for their patients, but even in 2009, when one would imagine there is a solution, many patients still run into this problem. Here’s the thing, though……..THERE IS A SOLUTION!
OK, you’re probably asking, if there’s a solution, why is it still a problem? Well, it’s simply a matter of technique, really, and getting the technique for bonding is actually more difficult than it might seem to be. In addition, just as in the rest of the world, there are MANY bonding products that dentists can use when doing tooth-colored fillings, but just because the companies that produce them supposedly have research behind these products, they’re not all they’re always promised to be. Some work better than others in strength, sensitivity, durability…..and it can honestly be rather tough to sort through all the stuff that companies throw at us, just like for physicians with all the stuff pharmaceutical companies throw at them. So it is CRITICAL that dentists really stay up on the latest research, but here’s the thing…..just because something has the “latest and greatest, newest and most improved,” labels all over it, that doesn’t mean it actually works as well as the old stuff all the time.
There’s one other REALLY CRITICAL FACTOR for long-term success of composite fillings, and that is keeping the teeth DRY while the bonding is placed and activated, then the filling material is layered into the tooth. Saliva contamination is one of the most common reasons for bonded fillings to be sensitive, and it’s also one of the most common reasons bonded composite fillings fail earlier than they should. There are a couple techniques dentists can and SHOULD use to do this – a Rubber Dam or something like the Isolite2 Dryfield Illuminator system. Both are pretty inexpensive for the dentist to have (we have both and use them as appropriate), both are pretty easy to use, and to tell the honest truth, they actually make it EASIER for us to complete your dental work faster and with better results. I really don’t know why not all dentists use 1 or the other; I can’t imagine practicing without them, ’cause it’s a lot harder to get good fillings!
So there you go: 2 of the most common reasons why bonded, tooth-colored, composite fillings are often sensitive to hot and cold foods/liquids or even just tapping your teeth together.
The good news in our office? I’m fortunate to actually know the man who basically INVENTED bonding, and I not only use the techniques he teaches, but I even use the most current materials that he himself has developed and/or recommends, and I can honestly say that ALMOST NOONE who gets tooth-colored fillings in my office ever has hot/cold sensitivity afterwards. There are rare exceptions, ’cause I’m not going to claim perfection, but they’re quite rare indeed.
As much as I’ve been integrating some awesome new technology into our practice, I’ve also been working to add useful material to my other practice websites and wanted to make sure people take the time to browse through them, too. I have 2 more websites that I have to get up and running in the very near future, so be on the lookout, but for the moment, I hope you’ll find these 2 sites helpful:
I sure wish I had the HD video hookup for my dental microscope already, but since I don’t yet, I’ll keep showing you stuff with my Canon cameras. 🙂
One of the most incredible benefits of the microscope is the ability to work on levels of detail that aren’t even imaginable without one. And that means that I can do VERY VERY VERY VERY SMALL, CONSERVATIVE fillings. I use teensy little burs to remove the absolute minimum amount of tooth structure, not really big ones that dig out way more than necessary. I just wanted to show you an example of how this looks using a patient from this morning; the benefits of this are pretty obvious:
Interestingly, this porcelain crown was done on the same patient as the last gold onlay that I posted. So why a porcelain crown on this tooth instead of gold? Simple — this one is more visible in his smile, and he wasn’t interested in having “bling” in his smile. LOL Given that strength and durability of his porcelain crown is also very important, as is obvious by his choice of gold for his second molar on the other side, we did use what is currently the strongest porcelain crown available today, whether made by a lab or with our CEREC, and it is called Emax. This ceramic is incredibly strong, far superior to the old Porcelain-Fused-to-Gold (PFM) crowns that have been used for decades. And, of course, we did it in a single appointment.
Just to review the advantages of CEREC 3D CAD/CAM Porcelain Crowns, and why we’re proud to offer them at our Southpark Charlotte NC dental office:
- Just 1 Appointment
- No temporary (provisional) crown
- No worries about the temporary crown falling off
- Incredibly strong
- Very natural-looking and blend in beautifully
- LESS sensitivity afterward because the tooth is immediately bonded and sealed
If you need a crown and are looking for the convenience and excellent result we can provide with our CEREC 1-visit crowns, call us or visit our website:
This is a question I’m frequently asked, especially when a patient is considering a significant investment of time and money into some form of cosmetic dentistry, such as:
- Porcelain veneers
- Bonding (tooth-colored fillings)
- Porcelain crowns and bridges
- Teeth whitening
- Even Six-Month Braces
It’s a very understandable question, and the simple answer to the question, “How long will my dental work last, Dr. Payet?” is “It depends.”
Just like a car, your teeth and gums require regular care to ensure that they are working properly. Sure, you can go 10-20,000 miles between oil changes given how improved cars are nowadays, but do you really want to take the risk? Same thing with teeth……….some people go for 5-10 years with no dental check-ups and are fortunate when they come in to find no problems, such as cavities or gum disease. But it’s not many people that are so lucky!
I always remember a quote from some lecturer at a dental conference years ago telling us his response whenever a patient asks the question, and it’s really the most honest, best answer that can be given, “Clearly the teeth that God gave you haven’t lasted your entire life, and since I can assure you that my work is not nearly as good as God’s, unless you die first, the work I do (no matter how excellent) will not last forever either.”
So what can cause your dental work to fail?
- Grinding your teeth — when the human jaw clenches, it can create an amazing amount of force, and over time, enough clenching will cause teeth to crack and break.
- Acidity — anything that increases the acidity in your mouth is good for the bacteria that cause cavities in particular, including Acid Reflux, Sodas, Power drinks (Monster, Red Bull, etc), Sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc).
- A very sugary diet — the bacteria that cause cavities love sugar. High sugar content means the bacteria feed like crazy, produce acid, and the acid is what eats away the teeth to cause cavities.
- A compromised immune system — your saliva contains important antibodies that help keep the cavity-causing bacteria under control. If your immune system is knocked back due to a disease or some medication, those antibodies will be decreased, allowing the bacteria to grow uncontrolled.
- Decreased saliva (dry-mouth syndrome) — again, due to medications or illness, the amount of saliva may be decreased. With less saliva, there is less “washing” action of the teeth.
- Trauma — obviously. LOL One of my patients a few years ago fainted and fell face-first into a brick wall, shattering a front tooth. Another ran into a pole, shattering another front tooth. Clearly, if you are injured in such a way that your natural teeth would break, any dental work will break, too.
- Bad habits like chewing hard candy or ice regularly — hard candy and ice are just that — HARD! Ice, in particular, is easily as hard as your enamel and as porcelain or bonding. So if you bite down on ice frequently enough and/or hard enough, you can break your teeth and dental work.
That covers most of the major causes of dental work failing. With regular care, use of appropriate mouthrinses and toothpastes, proper brushing and flossing, regularly scheduled check-ups and dental x-rays, using a nightguard, and being aware of diet, etc, your dental work can and should last a very long time.
But always remember — my dental work isn’t as good as the natural teeth God gave you, so my work probably won’t last forever either. 😉
You know, dentistry can be a very challenging job: working on very small teeth, teeth, tongue, cheeks, saliva all trying to get in the way, patient fears…..some days dentistry wears you out.
But other days like today? Wow, I had a patient come in this morning for whom we’d done a big tooth-colored filling (bonding) on her upper left eye-tooth a couple weeks ago. It had been really obvious in her smile, a big brown hole in the tooth that she had to hide every time she smiled, and trust me…….this is a lady who likes to smile a LOT. When we finished the bonding that day, she almost burst into tears of happiness, because she could smile with confidence again.
Honestly, this testimonial is the reason cosmetic dentistry is so big, whether it’s porcelain veneers, bonding, Six-Month Smiles (getting your teeth straight in only 6 months really is possible!), teeth whitening……read for yourself why I love what I do, even with all the challenges:
“After 17 years of being terrified of the dentist and avoiding simple preventive office visits, my smile had become my enemy. For years now, I have covered my mouth when I laughed and smiled, even avoided social settings.
Dr. Payet and his staff have been wonderful to me and have made me feel very comfortable while in the office. in just two visits they have given me so much to smile about! I almost bust into tears of joy when I smile in front of a mirror, and find myself in front of many mirrors lately! Dr. Payet has restored my confidence and for that I am truly grateful to him and everyone in his office! Thank you so much!
As a practicing dentist for almost 11 years now, in a practice that does accept assignment of dental insurance benefits, I have seen almost every conceivable attempt by dental insurance companies to hold up payment, deny payment, or anything they can do to keep the money that should rightfully help pay for your dental care. But this one took the cake for me, and I have to share. Which insurance company? Metlife. Seriously……..they said there was not enough missing tooth structure due to decay or fracture on these teeth, and therefore they don’t need crowns. Are they CRAZY!!!!!?!?!?!?!?
Baby Boomers – get your teeth fixed before you retire when you still have dental insurance and flex plans to help pay
Old silver fillings with cavities and cracks that could turn into root canals and crowns or extractions
The teeth around the old silver fillings may have cracks that could lead to broken teeth
Gum (periodontal) disease
Ugly old crowns that could be replaced for a nicer smile in the golden years
Replacing missing teeth with dental bridges or implants so you can eat the foods you want
Etc etc etc……
This gentleman hadn’t been to the dentist in a number of years but knew that he was approaching retirement, so he wanted to come in, get a cleaning, and find out if he needed to take care of anything while he still had dental insurance. Turns out that many of his 30+ year old silver fillings were in really bad condition, with pieces chipping off, cavities forming around the edges, teeth cracking, and gum disease to boot.
While the total treatment that he needed involved some gum surgery (not needed for everyone, obviously), the primary issue that we addressed was to clean out the old fillings and cavities, then rebuild the teeth with all-porcelain crowns on several teeth, 1 tooth got a tooth-colored filling, and 1 tooth got a gold 3/4 crown (most of the tooth, but not the whole tooth is covered by the crown).
He can now rest assured that all of the problems with these teeth are fixed, and it’s likely he will not need any of them ever worked on again as long as he takes good care of them.