Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: March, 2013

Most people know that maintaining good dental health into old age has many benefits. Those most important include comfort of the teeth and gums, the ability to enjoy food, and a better appearance.

Studies have shown that those individuals who have poor dental health have a higher mortality rate than those who were in better dental health. Moreover we can point to the impact of nutrition as the most likely contribution to health.

The elderly like younger patients should see their dentist at least twice a year for check ups and cleanings. All cavities, gum disease, and other dental infections should be treated promptly. Patients wearing full or partial dentures should have them evaluated for proper comfort and fit. Dentures that have been worn for many years may not fit well anymore. This happens because the jawbone under the denture can become worn away over time.

Loose dentures make it difficult to eat, speak, and do not support the face as well. A loose denture begins to need more and more adhesive to stay in place. Your dentist can sometimes remedy the problem by relining the denture, but a new denture should be made about every 5 to 7 years, or when the dentures cannot be used comfortably. In some cases, implants can be used to help secure the dentures. This is usually needed in the lower jaw and is sometimes the only way to help the patient stabilize and use their denture.

Remember, maintaining good dental health along with proper nutrition is a key factor in living a long healthy life.  


If you have dental insurance coverage, like most people, you want to know how much of the treatment will be covered and how much out-of-pocket expense will I have?

Most dental benefit plans arise from an agreement between an insurance company and a plan sponsor [employer or union]. There are literally hundreds of plans with endless variables concerning limitations, exclusions, deductibles, annual of lifetime maximum benefits, co-payments and fee schedules. If you have changed jobs, your new plan may not have any resemblance to your old one.

If you are being offered a plan, ask if there are several plans from which to choose. Beside yourself, who in the family will be covered? See if the plan you choose covers pre-existing conditions. If the plan is provided by your union or employer, is there any direct cost to you? If so, how much? Compare this with what you understand the benefits of the program to be.

If you already have dental insurance, we need you to bring in specific information for us to give you the best advice as to your coverage. We must have your insurance policy and ID number. Most important, bring your benefits booklet. If you don’t have one, call your employer or insurance company and request it.

Once we read the benefits book, we can project a general idea for what services and treatment are covered and the percentage of reimbursement. Many third party payers request a "predetermination of benefits" on treatment plans. We can submit the proper form and appropriate records to the insurance company. They will return it with the accepted, allowable treatment and the exact amount of coverage.

Once we have reviewed your plan, we should be able to answer most of your questions. Some plans will only allow the least expensive way to treat a problem, regardless of your choice or our recommendation. We would hope that you don’t base your dental needs and oral health solely on what benefits your plan allows. Our office will be happy to discuss a variety of financial arrangements that will make it possible to receive the treatment you need, while maximizing your insurance benefits. 


 Baby Bottle Nipples
Usually, we like to see your child for their first check-up at about age 2 - 3 years, when all their primary [deciduous] teeth have erupted. However, there are many measures that you as parents can take before this time to insure good oral health. To begin, if mom is not going to breast feed, the type of nipple used on the bottle can have a definite effect on the growth of the jaws and development of muscles and swallowing patterns. The NUK nipple has an optimal shape that fits the anatomy of your babys mouth. Upon first sight, many parents assume that its funny shape and size will cause the baby to reject it, and thus, shy away from using it. Try the NUK nipple for a few days. Most babies will accept it readily. Using the NUK will lessen the chance of your baby developing a colicky stomach and may prevent certain orthodontic conditions that wont become evident until your child is much older.

Fluoride
Perhaps, the most predictable and consistent preventive measure in dentistry is the ingestion of systemic [enters the blood stream] fluoride up to about age 14. The incorporation of fluoride into the tooth enamel allows the tooth to be more resistant to demineralization by acid and ensuing tooth decay. If your water district doesnt add fluoride to the water supply, your baby should be receiving fluoride drops of a fluoride/vitamin combination as soon as possible after birth. The first permanent molars are already calcifying by age 3 months. It is in this formative stage that the tooth will incorporate the greatest amount of fluoride. Studies have shown that fluoride will not cross the placental barrier, so pregnant woman no longer receive fluoride preparations. Systemic fluoride [at 1 part per million] is a safe and effective way to dramatically reduce dental decay, along with the cost of dental treatment. Please call our office to learn if your water is fluoridated, and if not, we will be able to prescribe the proper dosage.

Teething
On the average a baby will start to get their first teeth at about six months. Teething [tooth eruption] can cause discomfort for your baby, as well as many sleepless nights for you. During teething periods, your baby may exhibit excess drooling, runny noses, low-grade temperature and/or overall crankiness. To help this situation, you may purchase some 2 by 2 inch gauze pads at your pharmacy and lightly rub your babys gums with them several times a day. This will remove a thin layer of plaque that forms on their gums, thus lessening eruption pain. Most babies will find this massaging very soothing, and some will derive pleasure from sucking on the gauze or your finger. A clean teeth ring to chew on may also be helpful. Teething gels or ointments that will temporarily numb your babys gums and reduce discomfort are available at your pharmacist.

Nursing Bottle Syndrome
Many parents give their babies a bottle in bed to pacify him/her and enable them to fall asleep. Most people fill the bottle with milk, formula, fruit juice or water mixed with a sweetening agent such as Kayro syrup or honey. Unfortunately, as your baby falls asleep, the tongue and nipple on the bottle pool the liquid around certain teeth. The acidic and/or sugar content of these liquids can cause severe tooth decay. This is called nursing bottle or baby bottle syndrome. Dont allow your baby to become a dental cripple before his/her first check-up. If you must give them a bottle in bed, be sure to fill it only with plain water.  


Happy St. Patricks's Day!

Don't let your teeth turn green too!  We are offering teeth whitening home kits for a low price of $99.00.  Schedule your appointment now as the offer will end March 31, 2013.




Archive:

Tags

ADA Patient Library