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First Time to a Dentist? 8 Things to Consider

First Time to a Dentist? 8 Things to Consider

Maybe you've avoided the dentist for years, or perhaps you have simply never gone. You're not alone! According to the ADA, 42% of Americans do not see a dentist as often as they would like. Don't stress--Whether you're going for a dental bridge, braces, emergency oral surgery or even just your first teeth cleaning, we have some tips on how to prepare and what to do before you leave your dental office! What to bring to your dental appointment: 1. A detailed list of over-the-counter and prescription medications you take. This includes prescription drugs as well as vitamins or herbal supplements. Make it as specific as you can: The more information you give your dentist, the better they can tailor your treatment plan to meet your needs. 2. Your driver's license or other photo I.D. When you check in, you may be asked to show a photo I.D. to prove your identity. 3. Insurance, Medicare or Medicaid card(s) Prior to your procedure(s) or checkup, make sure to check your insurance policy or talk to your agent about co-pays so you can have an idea of what will be covered and what is not covered by insurance. 4. A list of any symptoms or problems you're having Bring a list of symptoms along with copies of any diagnostic reports, tests, and surgical reports. 5. Major life changes Share them to provide your dentist with a complete picture of your current lifestyle. Examples of major life changes would be: you had a child, you quit (or started) smoking, etc.  Before you leave the dentist: 6. Gather Information Make sure you have complete details about any tests or medications that have been ordered for you. 7. Ask when you need to return for a follow-up visit If possible, schedule the follow-up while you're in the office. 8. Get Contact Information Ask the dental assistant or receptionist who you can contact if you have any complications or questions after the appointment. Write down their contact information so you have it on hand for the days following your visit. Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Again, speak to your doctor before using any form of medication- prescription or nonprescription drugs.

4 Reasons it Might Be Time to See a Dentist

4 Reasons it Might Be Time to See a Dentist

Oral issues can arise at any time, especially if you have been avoiding regular visits to the dentist! While skipping the dentist might seem like a time-saver, regular checkups are necessary for preventive care as well as for overall health. Worried about something inside your mouth? It's probably a good time to make an appointment. Here are four reasons you might want to make a visit to the dentist. 1. In pain? Get to the dentist! Pain is an indication that there is a problem that needs to be solved. You could have tooth decay, an abscessed tooth, a damaged filling, a crown has come off and an infection has set in. You may also have infected gums or other issues that require attention. If you are experiencing swelling and a fever, you should call your dentist now. 2. Not all problems are emergencies, but do need attention A chipped tooth? Has a crown come off? Call and make an appointment with your dentist. (Are you in pain? Remember, that’s an emergency!) 3. I have an abscessed tooth. What do I do? An abscessed tooth has a pocket of pus growing around its root (ouch!). This can cause pain, swelling, fever and gum redness, which means you need to see a dentist right away. 4. Stay on schedule and keep your smile safe Be sure to make regular appointments to prevent urgent or emergency problems. This means cleaning and check-ups at least twice a year, every six months. Remember, neglect can lead to pain. Ignoring your teeth and dental health are two of the biggest reasons for expensive treatments. Small cavities can grow into tooth decay - which can lead to root canals, extractions, and implants. If you're worried about any of these or other issues, contact your dentist or schedule a visit. Your smile will thank you! Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Again, speak to your doctor before using any form of medication - prescription or nonprescription drugs.

65+? 4 Things Your Dental Plan Should Include

65+? 4 Things Your Dental Plan Should Include

Everyone needs a great dental plan - especially those age 65 + (or as we like to say, 65 and better!), who might increasingly face issues like the need for dental bridges, tooth loss or gum disease as time goes on. To avoid unnecessary pain and costs, it's important to get coverage that fits your needs. But what does that include? If you're 65 + and shopping for dental insurance, watch out for these: 1. Three to four cleanings (with check-ups) each year Regular cleanings and check-ups help maintain basic dental health and give dentists a chance to look for cavities or talk about a variety of possible needs, ranging from dental bridges to crowns, plates to dentures, or services such as root canals. While check-ups are great for oral health, they also have links to overall health and early detection of larger health issues. At regular dental exams, dentists can identify health issues such as nutritional deficiencies, HIV, and some cancers, as well as microbial infections. 2. X-rays Depending on the person and the issue at hand, x-rays are crucial for diagnosing an array of dental concerns. These photographs can include basic pictures to more comprehensive views of the mouth to show the full range of what's happening with a person's oral health and overall health. 3. Local anesthesia Not all plans cover local anesthesia, but be sure that when you enroll in a plan it's included as a part of your services. This is especially important if you think you may need common fillings, crown work, root canals, or other work that requires medication to keep you comfortable during the procedure. 4. Oral surgery According to the National Institutes of Health, people between the ages of 60 and 70 have a greater risk of getting oral cancer. If this happens, you want to be sure you're covered. Oral surgery coverage could include extraction, incision and drainage of tooth abscesses, and tooth transplantation, among other services. Getting older is an adventure: don't let dental issues get in your way. Ensuring that your dental insurance plan includes these four things will help you keep up with regular dentist visits and any other dental services that might be necessary. Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com.

How to Choose the Right Dental Coverage

How to Choose the Right Dental Coverage

When it comes to dental plans, there's no "one size fits all" plan. In reality, there are so many different plans that can vary greatly by coverage, cost, brand, feature set, and more! While this might seem to complicate things, don't let it scare you! Choosing the right dental plan for you and your family can be really simple (and we're here to help!) Here's what to look for when choosing your plan. Basic Coverage Look for coverage that includes these three essentials: cleanings, exams, and filling & sealant coverage. Cleanings Regular cleanings help keep your mouth and gums healthy. Try to find a plan that covers 2 cleanings a year at a minimum, but we recommend getting 3-4 cleanings and exams a year to help keep up with basic dental health. Exams At regular dental exams, dentists can identify a number of health issues. These visits keep teeth clean, allow dentists to offer instructions on regular brushing and flossing, and allow dentists time to check on possible cavities, gums, or other possible health issues.  Filling & Sealant Coverage This is in case you or your children get cavities. While fillings and sealants can fall into different categories of dental care (For example, these might fall under 'preventive' for some plans but might be considered 'basic' or 'major' for other plans), having fillings & sealant coverage is important!  Fluoride Treatments If you have kids under the age of 14, consider fluoride treatments a minimum of once per year, though twice is preferable. Fluoride treatments are necessary for this age group because they stop the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth and help prevent cavities. X-rays Whether you're covering yourself or your family, look for X-ray coverage in your plan details. Annual X-rays can detect cavities and are used to see how a child's mouth is growing and determine if they need braces.  Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Again, speak to your doctor before using any form of medication - prescription or nonprescription drugs.

3 Reasons Your Child May Need an Orthodontist

3 Reasons Your Child May Need an Orthodontist

While it might seem like it's too early to see an orthodontist, it actually may be just the right time! According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should start seeing an orthodontist before age 7. This is especially true if you notice a problem with misaligned teeth or jaws: If you notice problems earlier, take your child in. 3 tips from the American Association of Orthodontists: 1. Early orthodontist visits may prevent problems By age 7, children typically have many of their permanent teeth, and may already be showing signs of possible orthodontic problems. An orthodontist can assess the child's teeth and jaw to check for any misalignment that may develop in the future. This allows for early treatment and less headaches later on! 2. Orthodontist visits can help with intervention of other issues Seeing an orthodontist doesn't always mean braces; other work may include helping stop a sucking habit or removing a stubborn baby tooth at the right time. 3. Early visits can also help ensure your child's development is on track When you visit an orthodontist early, he or she can make sure your child's baby teeth are on schedule, that permanent teeth are coming in at the right time and in the proper sequence, and that the jaws are developing well. It's never too early to start addressing your child's orthodontic health. If you have concerns regarding your child's teeth or jaw, talk to your dentist about scheduling a visit with an Orthodontist. Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Again, speak to your doctor before using any form of medication - prescription or nonprescription drugs. Source:https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/is-there-a-benefit-to-early-treatment/

Dental Surgery: Things to Consider Post-Op

Dental Surgery: Things to Consider Post-Op

You've scheduled an oral surgery to resolve a painful problem - That's great! Now what? The days following oral surgery can be a blur, but like any other type of surgery, proper post-operative care is important to a speedy recovery. Luckily, we wrote these tips just for you about all the things you can do to set yourself up for success! Here are our best tips on what to do for a comfortable recovery: Before the Surgery This might sound like a no-brainer, but it's important to plan for a lot of downtime post-oral surgery. Before you leave for your appointment, set up a bedside/couch-side "station" that has all your necessities within arm's reach, including extra pillows and blankets, books, tablets, phones, chargers, remotes, snacks, water, and so on. Make sure to clear cords, furniture, and other objects from walkways and stairways to make your return home easier (and less dangerous!). Be sure to have any food you want or need easily accessible, which means it is either ready to eat or very convenient to prepare or heat up.  Post-Op: 4 Steps to Recovery 1. Write it Down Keeping a diary of your recovery is imperative for effective communication with your dentist. Consider using a journal to track how you're feeling, rating pain on a scale from 1-10. 2. Track Your Medications Even more importantly, remember to track the details for all the medications you are taking post-op. Consider tracking the following: Names of medications Dates and times This is important: Write down the dates and times that you take any pain medications to ensure proper use and to avoid taking too much. Side effects Write down any side effects or symptoms you may be experiencing. If you believe you are experiencing a side effect, or if your condition worsens, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away. Tell them if you have done anything in attempt to treat the side effect. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately. 3. Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions If you have any questions regarding your medications, tests, treatments, and/or diagnosis, contact your dental office. 4. Make Follow-Up Appointments If your dentist said that you need additional tests, call the dentist office to make the necessary appointments. If your dentist recommended seeing a specialist post-op, make an appointment with the specialist as soon as possible. Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Again, speak to your doctor before using any form of medication - prescription or nonprescription drugs.

What to Include in a Medication List

What to Include in a Medication List

Planning on visiting the dentist or doctor anytime soon? As you may know, it's standard practice for a nurse, dental hygienist, doctor, or dentist--whoever you're seeing--to ask for a list of the current medications you're taking. The list should include prescriptions, herbal products, and over-the-counter drugs. Before your visit, prepare a thorough list. Make sure that the list includes these things: The name of each medication you take Be very detailed in this list. For example, rather than saying "Vitamin B", list the brand of the vitamin and specify whether you take a certain type, such as B1 or B12. The more specific you can be, the more your dentist can understand your health condition and how your current prescription list might interact with any medications given during or after your appointment. What the medications treat Explain what the medications are for so that your dentist understands why you're taking these prescriptions. When he or she understands your health condition(s), your medical team can take the best approach possible in caring for your dental health. The dosage orders and strength In the spirit of giving as much information to your dentist as possible, be sure to also name the dosage orders and strength of the medication. This will help your dentist know how your current medications might interact with any other medications necessary during your visit or afterward as part of your treatment plan. How/when/how long you've been taking the medications Your dentist should also know your medication history. Bring information about how long you've been taking your prescriptions, when you began taking them and how you take your medications. For example, do you take medications with or without food, in capsules or in liquid form, or even as shots. The more information your dentist has, the more they can tailor your treatment plan to fit your needs. Too much info? Take pictures! If you don't want to write it all down, take a picture of each medication label, herbal product, or other drugs so you can show your healthcare professional. This is an easy way to show your doc what you've been taking and what your daily regimen looks like. Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, you can call us at (888) 890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Again, speak to your doctor before using any form of medication - prescription or nonprescription drugs.