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Dental Crown Cost: Comparing The Average Cost of a Crown With vs Without Insurance

Dental Crown Cost: Comparing The Average Cost of a Crown With vs Without Insurance

In the event that one of your teeth has been severely damaged, your dentist might recommend setting a crown in place. This will look just like a real tooth, so it’s a great solution when you need to restore the appearance and function of one of your chompers.  If you aren’t sure about whether or not this type of dental restoration is right for you, it’s wise to gather some information first. Why are crowns so popular, and how much does a crown cost? Check out our short guide below to learn more.  An Overview of What Dental Crowns Are The part of your tooth that you can see above the gum line is the crown, so when that area of the tooth is damaged, your dentist can replace it with an artificial crown.  For example, if the tooth is cracked or chipped, if it has advanced decay that a filling can’t fix, or if you need a root canal, a crown can be used to make the tooth good as new by restoring its function and appearance.      Also, if you’re getting a dental implant to replace a lost tooth, a crown will be used to complete that procedure as well. There are several types of dental crowns   When you decide to get a crown, your dentist will discuss the different types of crowns available. Based on your unique needs and preferences, and the location of the tooth that needs the crown, your dentist will guide you towards the best option.  Materials that are used to make crowns include: Porcelain or ceramic – This material helps the crown look natural, as it can be made to match the rest of your teeth. Porcelain fused to metal – This durable option may be more affordable than an all-porcelain crown, but might lead to a gray line along the gums. Metal or gold – Made of metals like copper, chromium, and nickel, this material is resistant to wear and tear, so it’s more likely to last a long time, but it might not be as aesthetically pleasing as you’d like because it won’t match the natural color of your teeth. Zirconia – This material gives you the look of a porcelain crown with the durability of metal.  What should you expect when getting a crown? Generally, when you need a dental crown, your dentist will do the following, and you’ll likely need to book more than one appointment to complete the process in stages: Prepare the tooth by removing decay, and then removing the outer part of the tooth to make room for the crown. Take an impression so a crown can be made specifically for your mouth. Apply a temporary crown if the permanent crown will be made in a third-party lab (some dentists have the equipment to make it in-house). Place the permanent crown so that it looks and feels right.  Side note: Your dentist might need to build up the part of the tooth that remains so it will be able to support the crown, or you might need minor gum surgery to ensure the crown will fit properly and look natural. How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost? Now that you know the basics about what a dental crown is, and what its main benefits are, let’s take a look at the average cost of a crown.   How much does a crown cost without insurance? When you don’t have a good dental insurance plan, you’ll be liable for the entire cost of your dental crown, along with all of the appointments and procedures that you’ll need before the crown is permanently set in place. This could cost you thousands.   Generally, the typical cost of a crown can be anywhere from $300 to $2,000 or more. As is the case with other dental procedures, the final price will depend on various factors, such as where you’re located, the dental professional you choose to use, and the material that the crown is made of.  The extent of the damage that needs to be repaired before the crown is set into place, and the amount of preparation that your dentist needs to do to get your tooth ready for the crown, will play a role in how much your bill will be. Exams and X-rays can potentially add hundreds to your bill. The type of tooth that needs a crown might also affect the price. For example, the average cost of a crown on a molar will likely be different from that of a front tooth crown.  Average tooth crown cost, based on the material used: A porcelain or zirconia crown can cost $800 to $3,000. A porcelain fused to metal crown can cost $500 to $1,500. A gold or metal crown can cost $600 to $2,500.  Does Dental Insurance Cover Crowns?  Yes, many dental plans will help cover the cost of crowns, particularly when they’re necessary for medical, rather than merely aesthetic, purposes.    Plus, insurance can also help cover the cost of exams, X-rays, and related procedures, such as root canals, thereby helping you save even more money! How much does a crown cost with insurance?  How much money can you potentially save with dental insurance when you need a crown? Well, many plans will consider crowns a major procedure, so they’ll cover half of the cost. This means you might be able to save thousands! Here’s an example: if you opt for a porcelain crown that costs $2,000, you’d save $1,000.  Just as there are various factors that play a role in dental crown cost, there will be several factors that determine how much money you can save when you have insurance. Even if you can get some level of coverage for out-of-network dentists, you’ll likely save the most money by sticking with a provider who is in-network. Dental insurance plans come with annual maximums, and if you’ve hit that max, you’ll be responsible for the balance. Although high-quality crowns can last for many years, if you need to have a crown replaced, there might be a limit on how often you can get a replacement crown (example: once every 5 years). So, if you require a replacement crown sooner, you’ll need to pay for it yourself.  Pro tip: When shopping for dental insurance that will cover crowns, carefully read through the fine print to see if there are any exclusions. For example, are there limits when it comes to coverage for pre-existing conditions, or are there scenarios in which a crown won’t be covered even if you need one for medical reasons?  The Good News: Crowns Are Covered by Dental Insurance! Dental crowns are hugely popular when it comes to tooth restoration options, but the average cost of a dental crown is high, so it might be out of reach if you have to pay for it all out-of-pocket.  Fortunately, there are dental insurance providers that offer coverage for crowns, so even after you factor in the cost of your monthly premium and other out-of-pocket fees (copay, coinsurance, and deductible), you’ll be able to save a lot of money when you need this type of restorative treatment.  There’s a wide range of dental plans to suit your needs, so shopping for the right one can become overwhelming. To make the process simple, and to quickly find the perfect plan, start browsing the Direct Benefits Marketplace.         Sources: https://delraydentalwellness.com/blog/types-dental-crowns-cost/ https://www.1dental.com/dental-crowns/ https://www.holisticsmilecare.com/cosmetic-dentistry/dental-crown-replacement-cost/ https://www.guardiandirect.com/resources/articles/dental-crown-cost-and-how-dental-insurance-coverage-helps-pay-it   https://www.aspendental.com/dental-services/dental-crowns https://health.costhelper.com/dental-crown.html https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/bridges-and-crowns/how-much-does-a-porcelain-crown-cost-0617    

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? Cost, Alternatives & Coverage

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? Cost, Alternatives & Coverage

These days, if you want to improve your smile, you don’t have to settle for metal or ceramic braces. Instead, you can go with Invisalign, which is a brand of clear plastic aligners that you can remove easily when you need to brush, floss, or eat. The aligner is custom molded, and you replace the tray every week or two so you can gradually shift misaligned teeth into their proper positions.  Not every patient is the right candidate for Invisalign, and an orthodontist will need to examine your mouth to determine if this would be the best way to achieve a perfect smile.  In the event that you are a good candidate, you’ll want to consider Invisalign cost and your options. Check out the information below to get an idea of what you’d need to pay if you took this route.   Why More People Are Choosing Invisalign Invisalign boasts a lot of features that make it more attractive than other types of braces.    You don’t need to make as many trips to the orthodontist’s office throughout the treatment period. It can take the same amount of time, or less, to straighten your teeth than it would take with regular braces. Although it can cause some discomfort, it might be more comfortable than regular braces. Because it’s clear, other people probably won’t even know you’re wearing it. It can be a good alternative to lingual braces, which people seek in an effort to hide the fact that they’re wearing braces.  How Much Does Invisalign Cost? When looking at Invisalign vs. braces cost, you’ll see that they’re similar.  The average cost of Invisalign can be anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, but the price can go as high as $8,000 in some cases.   Of course, the cost will be dependent on various factors, such as where you live and what orthodontist you use, as well as why you need braces, how long you need to wear them, and if you need any additional treatments or extractions first.  For example: to treat minor misalignment, or if the problem can be fixed in a few months, you might only pay $2,800 for Invisalign. On the other hand, if your bite needs more correction, or if the majority of your teeth need to be aligned, the price will be higher, potentially around $5,000.   What About Invisalign Alternatives? There are other brands, such as ClearCorrect and SmileDirectClub, that offer clear aligners, so you can consider those options as well if you want to shop for the lowest price. The average price of ClearCorrect aligners is $2,000 to $8,000. If you have dental insurance that covers orthodontics, it may help by paying a portion of that cost, so you might save hundreds.  Another option is SmileDirectClub, which you can take advantage of from home. You start by making a mold of your teeth so you can mail it to the company. They’ll send you aligners, and you’ll follow their instructions for use. This tends to be more affordable, with average costs around $1,850, but you aren’t getting the benefits of working directly with an orthodontist. And, with the right insurance, you might be reimbursed for the cost of these aligners after paying for them upfront.  Don’t Forget to Add in Additional Fees As you work on calculating how much you’ll need to spend on Invisalign, don’t forget additional costs that could add hundreds to your bill, such as: Exams X-rays Treatments to ensure your teeth are healthy enough for orthodontics Retainers that you’ll need to wear after your Invisalign treatment is complete How Much Does Invisalign Cost Monthly? You might be able to get on a monthly plan to make it easier to pay a hefty Invisalign bill. Just keep in mind that, depending on your needs, you might have to wear Invisalign for months or years, and this can affect the monthly fee.  If you don’t have Invisalign insurance coverage, you might pay $125 per month, though prices might start at $99 per month. If you have insurance that helps cover the cost of Invisalign, your monthly plan will be lower, with the average cost being around $83 per month.  Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? If the price of Invisalign is scaring you, don’t worry, as there are many insurance providers that will help cover the cost of this innovative treatment. Just be sure to enroll in a plan that covers orthodontics, including Invisalign, in particular.  How Much Does Invisalign Cost with Insurance? Remember, the amount that you’ll need to pay for Invisalign will depend on your unique needs, but insurance providers might cover anywhere from 25% to 50% of the cost. This means you can potentially save hundreds or thousands.  Another perk to having insurance: it might also help cover the cost of treatments that you need prior to getting the braces, such as fillings or extractions. So, even after you consider out-of-pocket costs like your premium, copay, coinsurance, and deductible, you’ll still save money.  Tips:  As you shop for dental insurance that covers orthodontics, read the fine print. There might be restrictions in terms of when Invisalign will be covered. For example, some providers might only cover it if it’s medically necessary. Also, keep in mind that dental plans typically come with annual maximums. Your coverage for Invisalign and other dental care might be capped at a certain amount, such as $1,500 or $5,000 per year, depending on your policy.  To Save Money, Sign Up for Dental Insurance That Covers Invisalign! Whether your kids need braces or you’re an adult whose teeth need to be aligned, there are plenty of dental insurance providers that will help cover the cost of these treatments.  To find the best plan available in your area, browse the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can easily compare policies to see which one fits your budget and gives you the most coverage with the highest possible savings.             Sources: https://www.thebalance.com/invisalign-and-dental-insurance-coverage-2645589 https://www.healthline.com/health/invisalign-cost  https://www.candidco.com/theimpression/article/how-much-does-invisalign-cost https://happytoothnc.com/does-insurance-cover-invisalign/ https://www.drarocha.com/invisalign-cost.html https://www.dmsmiles.com/blog/invisalign-cost-per-month-with-or-without-insurance    

How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?

How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?

Your wisdom teeth are the last set of pearly whites that will grow in, usually showing up in your late teens and early 20s. Unfortunately, these molars might not grow in properly and they may end up being impacted, increasing the risk of problems like pain, infection, earache, bad breath, and inflammation. At that point, an extraction might be your only option to restore oral health.   If your dentist has told you that you need to have one or more of your wisdom teeth pulled, you might be wondering how much you should expect to pay for this procedure.  Although common, it can be expensive to have wisdom teeth removed, especially if you don’t have the right type of dental insurance to help cover the fees. Also, various factors, including where you’re located, the dental professional you use, and the severity of the impaction, will play a role in determining the total impacted wisdom teeth removal cost.  So, how much does it cost to remove wisdom teeth? Check out our breakdown of the average prices below.  Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost Depends on the Type of Impaction One of the main factors that will determine your bill when you need a wisdom tooth removed is the type of impaction.  The more severe the impaction, the higher the cost of the extraction, and the greater the odds that you’ll need to see a specialist, such as an oral surgeon. If a wisdom tooth has erupted (meaning: it came out of the gums just fine), the extraction will be pretty simple, and your regular dentist might be able to do it. The procedure should be fairly quick, and you might only need local anesthesia to make it pain-free. Therefore, the price will also be lower for this type of extraction, so you might be charged as little as $75 or as much as $200, on average. A soft tissue impaction occurs when the wisdom tooth is still covered by some amount of gum tissue. The procedure to remove the tooth will be more complicated, so it will cost more because an incision will need to be made to get through the tissue. You’ll likely require more anesthesia, and stitches may also be necessary. The average price is around $350, but it could range from as low as $225 to as high as $850. A partially bony impaction means the wisdom tooth hasn’t erupted completely from the jawbone. To remove this tooth, the oral surgeon will need to not only make an incision to get into the gums but will also need to get into the bone that covers the tooth. For this procedure, which will take more time, general anesthesia or sedation might be recommended. The average cost is around $450, but the range can be anywhere from $300 to $950. A full bony impaction is the most severe type of impaction because the tooth is still completely in the jaw, and it might even be resting horizontally. General anesthesia may be used as you may need to be completely sedated and unconscious while the surgeon works on getting through the gums and bone that surround the tooth. Plus, the tooth might also be cut into pieces to make it easier to remove. This is the most complex and, therefore, the most expensive type of extraction, averaging $550, with a range of $350 to $1,100.   What If You Have All Four Wisdom Teeth Removed at the Same Time? If you need to have all four of your wisdom teeth extracted, you might be given a little bit of a break on the cost, especially if it’s done in one appointment.  Even when you’re having more than one tooth removed at once, the average cost of wisdom teeth removal will depend on several factors, including the type of impaction: For fully erupted teeth that require simple extractions, the cost of removing all four might be anywhere from $300 to $800.  If it’s a soft tissue impaction, the cost of removing all four during the same procedure might be anywhere from $800 to $1,500. If it’s a bony impaction, the cost might be anywhere from $1,000 to $1,800.  Don’t Forget to Add in Additional Fees That Will Affect the Final Price In addition to the cost of the extraction procedure, there are other fees to tack on as well. These include: Exam fees, which may cost anywhere from $50 to $200. Panoramic X-rays, which can range from $100 to $250. Sedation, which might cost $100 to $500. Note: There may also be follow-up appointments after the extraction, so you might be charged for those visits as well.  Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost with Insurance As you can see, wisdom teeth removal cost without insurance can be hard on your wallet. If you don’t have the right dental plan, you’ll need to cover the entire bill all on your own. Paying out-of-pocket might mean you spend thousands when everything is said and done. Ouch! Does Dental Insurance Cover Wisdom Teeth Removal? Yes!  How much does it cost to get wisdom teeth removed when you have insurance? Well, that will depend on the plan you’ve signed up for, as well as how complicated the extraction will be.  With a comprehensive dental plan, you can dramatically reduce what you’re required to pay out of pocket, even when you consider premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.  Whether your insurance covers 50% of the cost or as much as 80%, you can save a lot of money, especially if the procedure will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars! Tips: Remember, you might be able to save some money if you have more than one problematic wisdom tooth extracted during the same appointment. If your insurance has an annual maximum and you need more than one wisdom tooth removed, you might be able to do one at a time over the course of two years to remain within coverage limits, and to save the most money possible.  Shop for Dental Insurance to Take Care of Your Wisdom Teeth How much does wisdom teeth removal cost, particularly when a tooth is impacted? The straightforward answer is a lot! Thankfully, the simple act of signing up for high-quality dental insurance will allow you to get the best care, without needing to worry about the price tag.  It can be tough to sort through the many options on the dental insurance market these days, but Direct Benefits makes it easy to find the ideal plan for your needs. Browse and compare policies available in your area, and sign up whenever you’re ready. That way, you won’t have to live with the pain of an impacted wisdom tooth or the pain of paying for expensive treatment out-of-pocket!       Sources: https://omegadentists.com/blog/wisdom-teeth-removal-cost/ https://www.authoritydental.org/wisdom-teeth-removal-cost http://www.nanookdental.com/procedures/wisdom-teeth-extractions/ https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/qa/how-much-does-wisdom-teeth-extraction-cost https://health.costhelper.com/wisdom-teeth-removal.html https://www.angieslist.com/articles/6-important-wisdom-teeth-questions-answered.htm  

How Getting a Root Canal with Insurance Saves You Money & Stress

How Getting a Root Canal with Insurance Saves You Money & Stress

No one wants to be told that they need a root canal, but sometimes, it’s the best treatment to restore the health of a tooth and avoid needing an extraction.  Knowing what a root canal is, as well as the cost of a root canal with insurance vs without insurance, can help put your mind at ease so you are more prepared going in and there aren’t any surprises.  What is a root canal? To understand what a root canal is, you need to first have a basic understanding of the anatomy of teeth.  Put simply, your teeth are made of layers that include the enamel on the exterior, a layer of dentin, and pulp, which has connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels within it. A root canal involves a dentist or endodontist removing the infected pulp, filling and sealing the space and later applying a crown for protection. When is a root canal necessary? If a tooth develops decay that’s so extensive that it reaches the pulp, your dentist might prescribe a root canal to clean out the infection, salvage the tooth, and help prevent future infections. Another scenario in which you might need a root canal is if you end up accidentally cracking a tooth or an injury causes damage to the pulp. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain when you bite or chew, you have a lot of sensitivity, your gums are tender or swollen, or your gums are becoming darker or developing pimples, it’s wise to see your dentist, as these are all signs that a root canal may be necessary.  What does a dentist or endodontist do during a root canal? A root canal might sound scary, but it can be a lot like getting a filling to fix a cavity. Your dentist or endodontist will provide anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure, and then he or she will get to work on removing the pulp that has become infected and inflamed.  Here are the basic steps involved in a root canal: 1. To reach the pulp inside the tooth, the endodontist will start by creating an opening.   2. The infected pulp is removed and the root canals and pulp chamber are cleaned with small tools. The endodontist also works on shaping the space inside the tooth to prepare it for a special filling. And medication might be necessary to thoroughly remove the infection.  3.The next step involves the placement of a filling in the pulp chamber and root canals.   4. Finally, the endodontist will use a crown to fully restore the appearance and function of the tooth.  Root Canal Treatment Cost Root canals are considered serious dental procedures, and you might need more than one appointment to complete the entire treatment.  Plus, there are costs to consider before and after the treatment too, such as the price of X-rays and prescription antibiotics or painkillers. For these reasons, it can be expensive, especially if you’re paying for it completely out-of-pocket.  How much is a root canal without insurance? Various factors can affect the cost of a root canal, such as: The tooth that’s being treated. While a front tooth might cost, on average, up to $900, a bicuspid (premolar) might cost upwards of $1,000. A root canal for a molar is the most expensive, as it might cost up to $1,400.  Your location and the dental professional you choose. Different areas of the country come with varying dental care costs. Also, the professional that you choose might charge more or less than others in your area.  The cost of the crown. We already mentioned that there are other expenses to consider before and after a root canal, but don’t forget that you also have the added cost of the crown that comes with this procedure. This might add a significant amount to your bill, as a crown might cost as much as $1,000.  Without dental insurance that helps cover the cost of root canals, you will be required to foot the entire bill yourself. Ouch!  How much is a root canal with insurance? Many dental insurance providers will cover anywhere from 50% to 80% of the cost of undergoing root canal treatment.  It depends on whether the insurer classifies root canals as basic or major procedures. Insurance companies tend to cover a greater percentage of the cost of basic procedures than those that are considered major.  As an example, instead of paying $1,000 out of pocket, you might only be responsible for $200 to $500. That’s a lot of savings!  Plus, with the right type of plan, you’ll be able to rest assured that the root canal procedure itself, as well as the crown, will be covered so there’s nothing to worry about.  Bottom line: with insurance, you might be able to save hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re using an in-network endodontist or your plan comes with a higher annual maximum. It Starts with Searching for the Right Dental Insurance! It’s clear that getting a root canal with insurance is going to make it easier—at least financially—to handle this experience. And planning ahead is key because the last thing you’d want to deal with is the hefty cost that can come with an emergency root canal with no insurance.  When you shop for dental insurance, there are a lot of things to consider, and a lot of fine print to read. For example, you want to look into the annual maximum, the out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles, and whether you can choose any dentist you want or you’re required to stick to in-network dentists to save the most money.   To keep things simple, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can browse and compare a variety of dental insurance plans that are available in your area. This is an efficient way to sign up for the one that will allow you to save the most money when you need treatments like root canals.             Sources: https://www.aae.org/patients/root-canal-treatment/what-is-a-root-canal/    https://www.aae.org/patients/root-canal-treatment/what-is-a-root-canal/root-canal-explained/ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tooth-abscess/multimedia/root-canal/sls-20076717?s=3 https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-root-canal https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/protect-my-smile/procedure/root-canal/root-canal-cost.html https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/health-insurance-guide/

Does Insurance Cover Braces?

Does Insurance Cover Braces?

Does dental insurance cover braces? Unfortunately, not all plans automatically come with this level of coverage. This means that, without the right braces insurance, you could be hit hard if you or your kids ever need orthodontics.  How much do braces cost? And are the costs different for kids than they are for adults? We break it down for you below to give you an idea of what you should look for when shopping for the best dental insurance for braces.   How Much Do Braces Cost a Month? Because it’s often necessary to wear braces for years (the average is two years), it’s important to realize the long-term costs of this treatment. This will help you calculate the monthly cost more accurately. How long you’ll be required to wear the braces, and how much you’ll pay for them, will depend on various factors, such as the condition of your teeth and the reason for the braces, as well as the types of braces you’ll need.  How much will braces cost without insurance? Here are some average prices: Metal braces, which are the most affordable, might cost $3,000 to $7,000. Ceramic braces might cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. Lingual braces might cost $8,000 to $10,000. Invisalign might cost $3,000 to $8,000. How much will braces cost with insurance? Well, it depends on the plan you signed up for. If your insurance provider covers a percentage of the care, such as 50%, you’ll need to budget so you can cover the rest, along with any deductibles and copays that you’re also required to pay. No matter what, though, if you have insurance that covers orthodontics, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.    Braces for Kids Kids might need braces for a variety of reasons, from fixing a bite to straightening teeth that are misaligned due to crowding or spacing problems.   Does insurance cover braces in this case? Yes, as long as you sign up for the right plan. Beware that some insurance plans will only cover braces if they’re deemed medically necessary, such as if your child has trouble chewing.     How much do braces cost for kids? On average, braces can cost $5,000 to $6,000. But it really depends on how long the treatment will last.  For example, if treatment costs around $2,500 per year, if your child needs to wear the braces for three years, the total cost would be $7,500. And if there are any complications along the way, that can affect the cost as well.   Braces for Adults Even though you might think that braces are only used in kids and teens, the truth is that adults sometimes need orthodontics as well.  You might need braces if you never got them when you were younger but you aren’t happy with the way your teeth look because they’re misaligned. Or, you might find it difficult to keep misaligned teeth as clean as they need to be. And you might need braces to fix a problem with your teeth or your bite in order to make it easier to chew your food.  Regardless of the reason for wanting braces, if you don’t have the right dental insurance that covers braces for adults, the cost alone might hold you back from getting the treatment you need. And, as is the case with braces for kids, an insurance company might deny coverage if you want orthodontics just for cosmetic reasons, so enrolling in the right plan is key.  How much do braces cost for adults? Depending on how long you need to wear your braces, they might cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.  Compared to braces for kids, those for adults tend to be a bit pricier. On average, it’s around 3.6% higher. This means you might need to pay several hundred dollars more than you would for treating a child with similar needs.  Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Dental Insurance for Braces Searching for the right dental insurance plan is easy when you use a resource like the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can compare plans that are available in your area and see if supplemental orthodontic insurance is an option.  As you shop, keep the following in mind: Dental insurance plans will differ based on where you’re located. Some might only offer discounts on orthodontics. Plans also vary when it comes to annual maximums and lifetime maximums that can affect how much support you’ll receive, as well as out-of-pocket costs like copays that you’ll be responsible for.    Some plans might not cover braces for adults. And, even when it comes to coverage for orthodontics for children, options can vary widely.  There might be limits to the amount of coverage provided for orthodontics, or there might be a waiting period before you can get braces.  There might be restrictions on the types of orthodontics that are covered. For example, if you want Invisalign rather than traditional braces, read the fine print to be certain this will be covered too.  You might be restricted when it comes to selecting an orthodontist, especially if you need to stick with in-network dental pros to save the most money.  Overall, the goal is to find a plan that won’t only cover the braces themselves, but will also be there to help cover the costs of examinations and other treatments that you’ll need before, during, and after orthodontic care. Once you’ve found the perfect provider and policy, you’ll be on your way to sporting the perfect smile!          Sources: https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/resources/dental-insurance/dental-insurance-cover-braces-orthodontist-services https://www.cigna.com/individuals-families/understanding-insurance/orthodontic-insurance http://www.orthodonticspecialists.net/our-blog/does-my-insurance-cover-braces https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-braces https://www.mykoolsmiles.com/content/how-much-do-braces-cost-without-insurance-a-month

Dental Implant Insurance Coverage

Dental Implant Insurance Coverage

When you lose a tooth or multiple teeth, it’s wise to replace them. But you don’t need to settle for dentures. Instead, you can talk to your doctor about dental implants, which look and function just like real teeth. So, how do you know if you have dental insurance that covers implants? A Look at Dental Implant Costs How much do dental implants cost, on average? When comparing dental implants to other tooth replacement options, one thing you’ll notice is that they’re more expensive.    To replace one tooth, it might cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000.  Replacing up to four teeth might cost as much as $10,000.  Full mouth implants might cost $34,000 or more.    Dental implant costs will depend on various factors, such as whether or not you need a bone graft or a tooth extraction first, as well as what materials will be used for the implant and crown. Even where you’re located, the dental professional you use, and whether or not you have insurance that covers implants will all play a role in how much you’ll pay out of pocket.   What are dental implants, and why are they so expensive? A dental implant is similar to a screw. It’s surgically placed in the jaw, where it will act much like the root of a natural tooth, helping to maintain the strength of the jaw and the position of nearby teeth.    The procedure is pretty straightforward. To start, your dentist will examine your mouth and evaluate the health of your jawbone to determine if an implant would be the right type of tooth replacement. Then, during this procedure, after the implant is set, an abutment is placed on top of it. This then allows the dentist to set a custom crown in place that will look, feel, and function like a real tooth.    Keep in mind that dental implant procedures may take months from start to finish because they’re usually completed in stages, allowing for healing in between those stages.    Once complete, when it comes to maintaining an implant, you can simply brush, floss, and see your dentist for cleanings just like you would for the rest of your chompers.  Dental implants vs. dentures A dental implant is a permanent fixture in your mouth, unlike dentures that need to be taken out of your mouth to be cleaned with a special solution overnight.    Also, dentures can be uncomfortable, they might slip out of place while speaking and chewing, and you might need to use denture adhesive. With implants, you don’t need to worry about any of those problems.  So, does dental insurance cover implants? Not always. That’s why finding dental insurance plans that cover implants is wise.    Wait, why doesn’t dental insurance cover implants like it covers other procedures, like fillings and root canals? Well, it might be because implants are so expensive and an insurer doesn’t want to cover the costs. Or, it might be because the insurer considers implants a cosmetic procedure that isn’t really necessary.    A note about the missing tooth clause: Most dental insurance companies have what is called a "missing tooth clause". It is important to be aware of for prosthetic devices such as bridges, dentures and implants. The Missing Tooth Clause states that teeth that are missing from the mouth prior to your policy effective date are not eligible for insurance coverage. How to get dental implants covered by insurance 1. To figure out if you’ll incur any out-of-pocket costs to get dental implants, contact your medical insurance provider. That’s right, your health insurance might help cover the costs of medically necessary dental implants. If, for example, you lost a tooth and it’s causing other health problems, you might be covered, at least to some degree.    2. If you have dental insurance already, you can contact them to find out if they’ll cover all or part of the bill. You might be responsible for out-of-pocket fees like a copay or deductible, or your plan might have a lower annual maximum that will result in you having to cover the rest of the bill. Also, the amount of coverage might be based on the reason why you need an implant (e.g. you lost a tooth in an accident).     Bottom line: getting in touch with your medical insurance and dental insurance providers is the only way to figure out if these plans will help you.     What if your medical insurance won’t step in to support you and you don’t have dental insurance? Then it’s time to start shopping! How to Find the Best Dental Insurance for Implants If you’re considering dental implants, you’ll need to see a dental professional to receive a personalized quote based on your unique needs. From there, having the right dental implant insurance will help you save a lot of money.    The key is to find high-quality, affordable dental insurance plans that cover implants. To begin your search, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace. There, you can easily compare plans and narrow your options down to those that will help cover the cost of implants so you don’t need to sacrifice your smile, or your bank account, to get what you want.                  Sources: https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/all-about-dental-implants.html  https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/implants/how-to-find-dental-insurance-that-covers-implants https://myoms.org/what-we-do/dental-implant-surgery/does-insurance-cover-dental-implants/  

Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Enrolling in a dental insurance plan would add an additional cost to your monthly budget. So, is it worth it? The simple answer is: yes, with the right plan, the benefits will outweigh the costs. More importantly, you'll be able to take care of your teeth and gums without having to worry about expensive bills just to see the dentist. Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons why dental insurance is worth the cost.  What Does Dental Insurance Cover? The great thing about dental insurance is that it can cover so much of the care that you need to maintain a perfect smile. Of course, coverage will vary from full coverage dental plans to more limited plans, but you can generally expect that you’ll receive support for the following: Preventive care, which may include exams, cleanings, and x-rays, might be covered 100%. Basic procedures, which may include things like fillings, gum treatments, and extractions, might be covered anywhere from 70-80%. Major procedures, which may include things like root canals, dentures, bridges, crowns, and implants, might be covered from as low as 10% to as high as 50%. Some plans also provide coverage for orthodontics, like braces. As you can see, much of the routine care that you need is covered when you have the right dental insurance. And expensive procedures that can restore your smile may also be covered, at least to a certain degree, to help you save a lot of money.   Note: Different insurance providers will place various treatments into different categories. For example, a root canal might be considered a major service by one provider, while another might classify it as a basic procedure. Also, the amount of coverage that’s offered for each category of care won’t be the same from one provider to the next. So be sure to read the fine print before deciding which plan is right for you and your family.  The Costs to Consider as You Shop for Dental Insurance If you’ve been to the dentist without insurance and had to pay out of pocket, you know how badly those bills can sting.  Depending on your location and the dental professional you use, a simple visit for a checkup, x-rays, and cleaning could end up costing you hundreds of dollars. More advanced procedures are even more expensive. A root canal might cost you around $1,000, while dental implants could cost thousands. Ouch!  As you shop for and compare dental insurance, keep those costs in mind to calculate just how much you can potentially save with the appropriate coverage.  Even with insurance, though, there will be out-of-pocket costs to consider, such as: The percentage that you’ll be responsible for in every category of care (for example, if your insurance will cover 70% of the cost of a basic procedure, you’ll be responsible for the remaining 30%) The monthly premium to keep your insurance plan active The deductible that needs to be met before coverage kicks in The copay and co-insurance that might be applied to each visit The annual maximum that the insurer will pay out (for example, if the annual max is $2,000, you’ll be responsible for paying anything that your dentist charges beyond that amount over the course of a year) What About Discount Plans? In addition to regular dental insurance, there are discount dental plans that are worth considering. These might help you save quite a bit of money too, but they work a little differently. Put simply, you pay an annual fee to get discounted rates from providers within a network.  Like regular dental plans, these can vary in terms of how much they cost and how much coverage they provide for various services, so take your time as you browse your options.  Should I Get Dental Insurance? Don’t sacrifice your oral health because of the high costs of dental care, especially if you’re prone to tooth and gum problems. Instead, search for affordable insurance on the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can compare plans that are available in your area. Need some more help deciding? Check out our dental insurance guide for what else to consider when choosing the best dental insurance for you.       Sources: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-dental-insurance-worth-the-cost/ https://twocents.lifehacker.com/is-dental-insurance-worth-it-1840267563 https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-root-canal https://www.aaid-implant.org/faq/  

Is Your Jaw Clicking? Here are Some Causes

Is Your Jaw Clicking? Here are Some Causes

Has your jaw been clicking or popping? Are you wondering why? We’ve got you covered with some information below that might help you figure out what’s going on. Continue reading to learn more, but keep in mind: seeing your dentist is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment to resolve any issues you’ve having with your jaw. First, We Need to Talk About TMD TMD is short for temporomandibular joint disorder and can also be referred to as TMJ. You might have heard of it, but you might not know exactly what it is. Put simply, TMD is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint. That’s the hinge on either side of your face that connects your jaw to your skull. When you open and close your mouth, it’s this jaw that works, and it also allows you to move your jaw backward and forward, as well as side to side. Want to find this joint? Place your fingers in front of your ears and open and close your mouth. Feel it? Neat, right? So, when you have TMD, a problem arises within this complex and important joint, causing symptoms like discomfort, pain, clicking, or popping. And the disorder can make it difficult to do simple things like chew your food, talk, and even yawn. Ouch!     What causes TMD? Well, it’s sometimes hard, even for dentists, to figure out the root of the problem. There are a variety of things that can contribute to this disorder, and they include trauma, malocclusion, arthritis, and bruxism (clenching and grinding the teeth), as just a few examples. Is Your Clicking Jaw a Symptom of TMD? If your jaw is clicking but you aren’t experiencing any pain, and you aren’t experiencing any limitations when opening and moving your jaw, it might not be TMD. Even occasional discomfort in the muscles or joint may not be anything serious, and the clicking might come and go as well. That’s good news!    Clicking in your jaw might be mild and temporary, lasting only a little while before going away on its own. If you’re having more severe or ongoing symptoms, however, a more serious issue, or TMD, might be to blame. What Can You Do to Relieve Clicking in the Jaw? There are some things you can try at home to help stop your jaw from clicking and popping. Here are some examples: Avoid chewing gum, and avoid foods that are crunchy, hard, or chewy, as these can all put excess strain on the jaw and make the popping and clicking worse. Take small bites so you don’t have to open your jaw as wide and try to stick with soft foods until your jaw issues resolve. Massaging and stretching the muscles of the face and jaw might help you get rid of the clicking you’re experiencing, but this is best done with the help of a physical therapist, doctor, or dentist. Feeling stressed? Clenching your jaw because you’re tense? Try stress-relieving strategies like deep breathing, meditation, and exercise. You can even make it a point to relax your jaw by keeping a bit of space between your upper and lower teeth.   Remember, if the discomfort you’re feeling persists, or if you notice that you aren’t able to open or close the jaw properly, it’s best to see a dental professional who can pinpoint what’s going wrong with your jaw. Jaw Symptoms? See Your Dentist for Advice! Even though a painless clicking in your jaw might not be anything to worry about, it’s still a great idea to make an appointment with your dentist for a checkup. He or she can examine your jaw and take X-rays to evaluate the health of your temporomandibular joint. If it’s determined that you have TMD, you can start receiving the appropriate treatment to get relief, based on the cause of the problem. Concerned about being able to afford trips to the dentist for symptoms like clicking or popping sounds in your jaw? The right dental insurance can help! Search for the ideal plan on the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you’ll find comprehensive coverage that will give you peace of mind.              Sources: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/temporomandibular-disorder/when-a-clicking-jaw-is-a-sign-of-tmd-1215 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/symptoms-causes/syc-20350941 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319888.php#treatment-for-jaw-popping http://www.tmj.org/site/content/tmd-basics    

The Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

The Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

You already know that brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist regularly for professional cleanings are smart ways to remove plaque and tartar. By taking these steps to keep your teeth and gums clean, you’re helping to reduce the odds of developing cavities. Great work! But you can do even more to protect your pearly whites. Go beyond brushing with fluoride toothpaste by talking to your dentist about fluoride treatments and the benefits that they can provide.   What are fluoride treatments, and why might you need one? Check out the information below to learn more, but also be sure to chat with your dentist to find out if this option would really be right for you. Would You Benefit from a Fluoride Treatment? When you see your dentist for a checkup, they might be able to determine your level of risk when it comes to cavities. If you have a high or moderate risk of cavities developing, a professional fluoride treatment might be a great preventive measure to take—in addition to following a strict oral hygiene routine at home, of course.  Some factors that may indicate you’re the right type of patient for a fluoride treatment. These include: Weakened enamel, enamel defects, or exposed root surfaces Dry mouth High amounts of bacteria that can cause cavities Poor oral hygiene  Poor diet How Does It Work? You might be wondering why you would need to receive a fluoride treatment in the dentist’s chair if you’re already using toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride. Well, it’s simple: the fluoride that’s used by your dentist will be more highly concentrated, making it even stronger than what you’re getting daily at home through brushing and rinsing.   If your dentist notices the early signs of tooth decay—when you don’t yet have a cavity that requires drilling and filling—treatment that applies strong fluoride directly to a tooth might help prevent the decay from progressing, and might even reverse it! And, in children, fluoride treatments may help prevent decay in those adorable baby teeth, too.   Basically, the fluoride gets to work on rebuilding your enamel. It can do that by helping the teeth absorb calcium and phosphate from your saliva. Fluoride might also get in the way of bacteria that could lead to cavities, making it harder for that bacteria to stick to your teeth and do damage. What to Expect When Getting a Fluoride Treatment Along with helping prevent cavities, the best part about fluoride treatments is that it’s painless and simple – the treatment only takes a few minutes to complete! Here’s how easy it is: your dentist will apply the fluoride, which could be in the form of a gel, a rinse, a foam, or a varnish. They might use a brush, cotton swab, or tray to carefully apply the fluoride to your teeth. After the fluoride is applied, you might be told that you aren’t allowed to drink or eat anything for a certain amount of time, typically about a half-hour, so the solution can get to work strengthening your teeth.     How often do you need to get a fluoride treatment? The answer depends on various factors, and your dentist will decide what’s right for you. Some people might need a fluoride treatment once a year, while others might need one every few months. Fluoride Treatments: Painless, Fast, and Worth Talking to Your Dentist About Overall, fluoride treatments may be an option if you’re at a higher risk of getting cavities, as this simple, painless, and quick treatment might help you avoid the dentist’s drill. Who wouldn’t want that?! If you think that you could benefit from a fluoride treatment, talk to your dentist. And, remember, if you have the right dental insurance, like one of the high-quality plans on the Direct Benefits Marketplace, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to receive the oral health treatments you need without breaking the bank in the process.        Sources: http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/patient_72.ashx https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/fluoride/fluoride-treatments https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327168.php#benefits https://phys.org/news/2013-05-evidence-fluoride-tooth.html https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/14/469959427/no-drill-dentistry-fluoride-treatments-can-prevent-cavities-in-adults https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Fluoride-Varnish-What-Parents-Need-to-Know.aspx

Dental Implants vs. Dentures: What You Need to Know

Dental Implants vs. Dentures: What You Need to Know

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, two well-known options are dental implants and dentures. But there are pros and cons associated with each, so before you decide which one of these is best for you, keep reading to learn more about them{...}. What You Need to Know About Dentures Pros Today’s dentures are better than those of the past, and they are a rather simple solution when you need to replace some or all your teeth. They tend to be inexpensive, particularly when compared to dental implants, and you don’t need to undergo an invasive procedure to get them.   The key is to be sure you see a dental professional who will ensure your dentures are made correctly. When they are properly fitted to your unique mouth, they will be less likely to get in the way of your speech or slip out of place. And, in the case of partial dentures, they’ll be less likely to cause infection or tooth decay in nearby teeth. Dentures also might be the ideal option if your jaw or gums aren’t in the best shape and, therefore, would not be able to support implants. Cons One of the drawbacks of dentures is that they are removable, and they might need to be secured into place with a special adhesive. They also need to be cleaned when you take them out of your mouth. Even when in place, dentures might not function like real teeth because they aren’t secured into your jaw. Complete dentures might be uncomfortable, they might make your gums sore, and they might even affect the way you taste food. And when you do things like cough, smile, speak, chew, and yawn, the dentures might even shift or click. Finally, dentures might last up to 15 years, and they may need to be adjusted if your gums and facial structure change as you get older. Therefore, you’ll need to factor in the cost of replacing them whenever necessary. What You Need to Know About Dental Implants Pros You can get a single dental implant, or you can have all of your teeth replaced with implant-supported dentures. Provided that your jaw and gums are healthy enough, dental implants can serve as a long-term solution to missing teeth. With proper care, they might even last a lifetime! Because they’re surgically implanted into the jawbone, implants are more comfortable than dentures. They look and function just like real teeth, so they don’t get in the way of your speech or your ability to chew and taste food. You can even brush and floss them, just like your natural teeth, to keep them clean. Also, unlike dentures, because implants are placed into the jaw to replace tooth roots, the bone will be less likely to deteriorate over time. This can help prevent problems like facial sagging and changes to your smile.   Cons One of the biggest drawbacks of getting a dental implant is the fact that this is a surgical procedure that requires multiple steps. As a result, implants are much more expensive than dentures, typically costing thousands of dollars. You will need to undergo an invasive procedure to get a dental implant. Additional steps, such as having X-rays taken, are necessary, and some patients also need a bone graft as well. The entire process of getting implants is typically completed over the course of several appointments, and you might experience pain along the way.   No Matter What You Decide, the Right Dental Insurance Can Be Really Helpful! Whether you opt for dentures or implants will depend on a variety of factors, including your dentist’s recommendations, but no matter which solution you go with, having dental insurance can put your mind at ease when it comes to paying for these services. Pro tip: Be sure to read the fine print to see if implants are covered if that’s the route you’d like to take to restore your smile. Not all dental insurance policies will help cover their cost.  To find the ideal dental plan to suit your needs and expectations, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can easily compare plans and sign up for one whenever you’re ready. Then, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank if you need dentures or implants! Sources: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adults/implants-vs-dentures https://www.acfdga.com/blog/2018/9/6/should-i-get-dental-implants-or-dentures-heres-your-answer https://www.aaid-implant.org/dental-implants/implants-vs-dentures-and-bridges/ https://www.perio.org/consumer/full-mouth-implants https://forestparkdental.com/dental-implants-vs-dentures-best-2/

Dental Insurance Guide: What to Look For and Consider

Dental Insurance Guide: What to Look For and Consider

Ready to purchase dental insurance? Great! This is a really smart step to take, as oral care can be expensive. The right insurance will help cover the costs so you never have to miss an appointment for a checkup, cleaning, or treatment that will keep your smile bright and beautiful. As you begin shopping for dental insurance, though, you might quickly become overwhelmed. How can you sort through all of your options to find the one that will suit your needs, as well as your budget? We’re here to help with this handy dental insurance guide. Below, we cover the basic things that you should look for in a plan, as well as factors to consider to help you land on the ideal policy for yourself and your family. Details You Should Look for Out-of-pocket costs – In addition to your monthly premium, find out what other out-of-pocket costs you’ll be responsible for. These might include a deductible, co-insurance, and copay.  Annual maximum – A dental insurance plan will only cover up to a certain amount per year, so be sure to check what the annual max is. If you think you need more coverage for various treatments, you’ll want the annual maximum to be higher. Once that maximum number is reached, you’ll have to cover the rest on your own.  Waiting period – Is there a waiting period before the insurance kicks in? If a plan doesn’t have a waiting period, it means you can begin using it right away.  The network – If you want to be able to continue using your current dentist, you’ll want to ensure you can do so. Some dental plans, such as HMO and PPO options, have networks of providers that you must adhere to. Others, such as indemnity plans, will allow you to choose any dentist you want.  Ask Yourself: What’s Covered by Various Dental Plans in Your Area? Not all dental plans will cover the same types of services, and some will be more comprehensive than others.    As you look through the various dental insurance providers that are available in your area, check if their plans cover a wide range of services, such as the following: Preventive and routine care like exams, cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments Diagnostics like X-Rays Treatments for the gums, such as root planing Fillings, root canals, extractions Crowns, dentures, bridges Dental implants Orthodontics Emergency services Oral surgery Cosmetic procedures like whitening treatments or veneers Note: These services might not be covered 100%. If that’s the case, consider your out-of-pocket costs if you were to seek out these treatments. Other Things to Consider Before Choosing a Plan By now it’s clear that when you’re shopping for dental insurance, you have to look at a lot more than just the monthly premium that you’ll be required to pay. But there’s more. Here are some other things to keep in mind as well: Will the plan cover everything you need for yourself, as well as your spouse and kids if they also need coverage? What level of customer service does the insurance company provide? Is it easy to get in touch with them when you have questions or concerns? Does the policy limit you to the cheapest treatment options available? In other words, if you opt for more expensive treatments, will you still be covered or will you have to pay for those out-of-pocket? Want an Easier Way to Shop? Check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace! Head to the Direct Benefits Marketplace to view the dental plans that are available in your area. You can compare different policies side-by-side to clearly see what they have to offer, and you can get a better picture of what your out-of-pocket costs will be based on the level of coverage that’s provided by each insurer.  Once you start looking at what options are available, you might be surprised by how many choices you have, and how affordable they are. And with the information above, you can take additional steps to rest assured you’ll select the plan that’s just right.          Sources: https://www.dentalplans.com/dental-information/dental-insurance/how-to-choose-dental-insurance https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-insurance#1 https://www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Guide_to_Dental_Insurance.pdf https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/120914/4-important-steps-choosing-dental-insurance.asp http://www.insuranceqna.com/dental-insurance/choosing-a-dental-plan.html

Natural Remedies for Teeth Pain

Natural Remedies for Teeth Pain

Toothaches hurt! And when you have one, you want to get relief fast. But if you're not a fan of using products with synthetic ingredients, you might be in search of natural remedies to try instead. We've got you covered! There are several natural remedies for teeth pain that you can use to reduce the discomfort until you can see your dentist.{...} We've listed a few of them below to help you get started.  Natural Remedies to Try: 1. Apply a Cold Compress to Your Cheek This natural option can be helpful if you have swelling along with a toothache. Just take a cold compress and put it against your cheek for 20 minutes. If you need more relief, wait an additional 20 minutes before reapplying the cold compress to the outside of the cheek. The goal here is to temporarily bring the swelling down, while also numbing the pain in the tooth.  2. Feel Better with Clove Oil or Peppermint Oil Clove oil is a natural pain reliever, but it can also help with swelling. Start by absorbing several drops of clove oil with a cotton ball. Rub it gently over the gums and teeth that are causing discomfort. Just keep in mind that, like other remedies on this list, this one can provide temporary effects, but you might be surprised by how well this oil works.  Another natural way to numb the pain would be by using peppermint oil to get short-term relief. Once again, you can apply it using a cotton ball. Soak up a few drops of peppermint oil with a cotton ball, and then apply it to the painful area in your mouth.   3. Numb the Pain with Peppermint Tea or Black Tea If you don’t have peppermint oil, you can also use peppermint tea. Take a teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves and steep it for 20 minutes in a cup of boiling water. Once it cools down, use this as a rinse by swishing it around in your mouth. You can either swallow it or spit it out.     Don’t have peppermint tea? No problem! Grab some black tea instead, which is also capable of reducing pain and swelling. To make the most of this natural remedy, you’ll need a wet tea bag (warm is most comfortable). Simply put it against the tooth that’s aching to help relieve the discomfort temporarily.  4. Rinse Your Mouth with Salt Water or Hydrogen Peroxide Warm salt water can serve as a pain-relieving mouth rinse when you have a toothache and swelling in the gums. Put anywhere from ½ teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of salt in a cup (8 ounces) of water and swish it around for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Make sure the water is warm, rather than hot or cold, as that will provide the most relief without causing more discomfort.  Alternatively, you could try rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide to reduce pain and swelling. Mix a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide in an equal amount of water before swishing and spitting. Like the salt water rinse, this shouldn’t be swallowed. And, after spitting it out, rinse your mouth a few times with pure water. Have a Toothache? Make an Appointment to See Your Dentist! Toothaches and swollen gums shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s time for a checkup. So make an appointment with your dentist to figure out what’s going on, and to receive the appropriate treatment that will provide permanent relief.  Worried about affording trips to the dentist? Then consider signing up for one of the many affordable dental insurance plans on the Direct Benefits Marketplace! With the right plan, you’ll receive the financial support you need to keep your teeth and gums strong, healthy, and pain-free.      Sources: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/home-remedies-toothache https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/home-remedies-for-toothache/ https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adult-oral-care/4-tooth-pain-home-remedies- https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities/four-homemade-toothache-remedies-1116      

How Teeth Change with Age

How Teeth Change with Age

Like all other parts of your body, your teeth will change with age. And, as you get older, you need to be extra diligent when it comes to preventing oral infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. Knowing how your teeth change as you get older and understanding what you can do to keep them as strong and healthy as possible will help you maintain your beautiful smile as you get older.{...} Remember, if you start taking steps today to keep your mouth healthy, you can reduce the odds of needing to replace your natural teeth with dentures or implants in the future.    How Teeth Change as You Get Older Here’s a list of some of the ways that you can expect your chompers to change with each passing year:   • Wear-and-tear takes its toll on your enamel: Years and years of biting and chewing might eventually wear down your enamel, which is the outer layer of the teeth. Even certain foods, such as those that are acidic, could do damage. Also, certain parts of the teeth may become flatter over time. Plus, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) and a poor bite might also wreak havoc on the surfaces of your teeth. Bad habits like chewing on hard foods or ice, could make your teeth more susceptible to damage, too.   • Increased sensitivity: As you get older, and your enamel is worn away more and more, or your gums begin to recede, you might start to experience sensitivity, particularly when you eat or drink something cold or hot. If your teeth are sensitive, be sure to see your dentist to rule out problems like gum disease or tooth decay.   • Less sensitivity because of changes in the nerves: Your teeth have nerves inside them, and they might get smaller as you get older. This could make you less sensitive to problems like cavities, so you might end up going a long time with decay eating away at your pearly whites if you don’t see your dentist regularly for checkups. Reduced sensitivity also means that you might not notice if there’s a small break in a tooth that ends up exposing the inner pulp. Your dentist can catch problems in their earliest stages at regular exams and cleanings, so be sure to keep those dental appointments even if you don’t have any symptoms! • Your teeth won’t be as white: As you get older, your teeth may not look as white and bright as they used to. The dentin might become more obvious through the enamel, which can also become stained by what you eat and drink.    The Risk of Problems Increases with Age As you get older, your risk for a variety of oral health problems, from cavities to cancer, increases, and the gums start to recede as well.    Unfortunately, once you’re over 65 years of age, the odds of tooth decay developing and the odds of needing a root canal for severe damage are much higher than when you’re younger.    Additionally, if you have old fillings from many years ago, you’ll need to see your dentist to ensure they aren’t breaking down and decay isn’t occurring along their edges. Your dentist can fix these problems if they arise.    Keep Your Gums Strong to Support the Health of Your Teeth Did you know that gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in seniors? So, if you want to keep your teeth healthy as you age, it’s important to take great care of your gums, which provide the foundation for your pearly whites.    Brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings can help you prevent the buildup of plaque in between teeth and along the gum line. Remember: even if you’re brushing and flossing regularly at home, you might not be getting your teeth as clean as they should be, so professional cleanings in the dentist’s chair can help prevent a minor case of gum disease from becoming worse as you get older.    See your dentist regularly for checkups and let them know if your gums bleed, or if they feel swollen or sore at all. A dental professional will be able to carefully evaluate the health of your gums, looking for areas that might be receding and putting your teeth at risk. Luckily, there are a variety of treatments available to resolve gum disease before it can do serious damage to your teeth.    Have the Right Dental Insurance to Help Cover the Costs of Care! Cleaning your teeth and gums at home, and seeing your dentist for checkups, are important steps during every stage of life, but they become even more important when you’re older. Shopping for the right dental insurance can help put your mind at ease when it comes to affording the professional care you need to keep your smile looking fabulous, no matter your age.    If you’re ready to sign up for a dental plan, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace to easily compare options that are available in your area.  Sources:   https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-gums-age#1 https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-aging-mouth-and-how-to-keep-it-younger https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/aging-and-dental-health    

Beyond the Buzzwords: How to Pick the Best Dental Insurance for Your Needs

Beyond the Buzzwords: How to Pick the Best Dental Insurance for Your Needs

Dental insurance companies want you to buy their plans rather than a competitor's-Not so surprising, is it? But, as you shop for a dental policy, it's important to look beyond buzzwords and focus on the fine print. That way, you'll be able to see what a plan really has to offer, and you can be confident that you're making the right choice after comparing your options{...}.   How can you be sure you’re picking the best dental insurance for your needs? We’ve compiled some tips to help you get started.  Think About Your Current and Future Needs While you can’t predict every dental treatment you’ll need (think: accidentally chipping a tooth) or the costs associated with high-quality care, it is possible to get a general idea of what you and your family will need, both now and in the future.  • Regular checkups are necessary to keep an eye on your oral health. Your dentist can look for early signs of gum disease and cavities, and then you can get less invasive, more affordable treatment.    • Cleanings, too, are a key component to maintaining your oral health for years to come. Brushing and flossing at home every day is great, but it won’t get rid of all the plaque and tartar on your teeth. A dental hygienist knows exactly what to do to clean your teeth to help keep problems at bay.  • Another component of oral health maintenance: getting X-rays. These will allow your doctor to see inside your teeth and determine if there’s any decay or infection.   Beyond routine care, there are many other possibilities to think about, as these will also play a role in determining the type of insurance policy you’ll need. Some examples: • Do you have kids? They might end up needing orthodontics to correct a bite or to straighten their teeth for a perfect smile.  • Are you and your spouse getting older? Did you know that, as you age, your risk of various oral health problems increases? Having a comprehensive dental plan that covers extras like dentures can help put your mind at ease, especially when it comes to affording care while following a strict budget.  • Have you always had problems with your teeth, despite your efforts to brush and floss at home? You might end up needing more fillings, or you might need expensive root canals and crowns at some point in the future.  • If you ever lose one or more teeth due to any reason, replacing missing teeth with bridges and implants is a great way to get your smile back, but these options can be costly without the right insurance.  Evaluate Plans Based on What They Cover Now that you’ve thought about some of your current dental care needs, as well as your potential future needs, you have a clearer idea of what you require from your insurance.  For example, if you don’t have kids or you aren’t planning on having any children, you might decide that you don’t want to spend money on a plan that includes coverage for orthodontics.  Or, if you want to stick with a basic plan to cover routine care because your teeth and gums have always been healthy and strong, you might opt to look for affordable plans that don’t have a lot of extras.   On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who wants the peace of mind that comes with a more complete package that includes even the most expensive treatments (because you never really know what will happen), you’ll know to look for plans that cover it all.  Pro Tip: Not all dentists work with every insurance company or plan. If you have a dentist that you really like, and you don’t want to be forced to switch, ask their office what insurance plans they accept so you can select one that includes your dentist in their network.  Comparing Plans Doesn’t Have to Be Challenging Now that you know how to evaluate your needs to determine what type of dental insurance would be right for you and your family, it’s time to shop!  Remember, when comparing policies, look for information regarding the level of coverage for preventive care (like checkups, cleanings, and X-rays), basic care (like fillings), major care (like bridges, crowns, and implants), and emergency care. Orthodontic care would also be listed as a separate category to look for if you need it.  To begin your search, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace. You can view dental plans available in your area, and you can narrow down your options to those that are designed for single individuals, kids, and families with or without kids.  On the Direct Benefits Marketplace, you also get to compare several plans side-by-side to see what your out-of-pocket costs will be, and what percentage of coverage you’ll receive in every dental care category. This makes shopping for your specific needs super easy! Get started whenever you’re ready, and before you know it, you’ll have the coverage that can help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.   

How to Reverse Gingivitis

How to Reverse Gingivitis

Gingivitis-characterized by gums that bleed and are swollen, red, and sore-is the earliest stage of gum disease. Even though you might get a little freaked out by this diagnosis, rest assured that it is reversible. You can get your gums back to a state of health rather easily, without the need for expensive treatments. But you do need to put the work in to do it right, and to prevent this condition from progressing into serious gum disease{...}. Below is some information on how to reverse gingivitis, but be sure to work closely with your dentist for personalized guidance on how to heal your gums and keep them strong for years to come.  You Can Tackle Gingivitis at Home First off, whenever you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s best to see your dentist to get answers. If the diagnosis is gingivitis, here are some steps you can take at home every day to reverse it and keep it from coming back: 1.Brush and floss every single day: To keep your pearly whites bright and your gums gingivitis-free, brushing and flossing daily is necessary. There’s no way around it. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes at a time using a manual or electric toothbrush with soft bristles that won’t irritate your gums. Brush along the gum line, and replace your toothbrush regularly. Floss at least once daily with string floss or a water flosser to clean between your teeth. This simple routine can help ensure you remove plaque and bacteria that would otherwise irritate the gums.  Note: When it comes to maintaining gum health, flossing is a must, so don’t forget to do it.  2. Add a mouthwash and/or oil pulling to your routine: In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist might recommend adding a mouthwash to your routine in order to reverse gingivitis. Ask your dental care provider which type of mouthwash would be best for your needs. Plus, you might want to try oil pulling with coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil, as this simple technique may help reduce plaque that causes gingivitis. 3. Eat a healthy diet that supports gum health: Your oral health can be affected by what you eat, so consuming plenty of foods that are nutrient-dense, while avoiding sugary and starchy foods, is wise. Stick with whole grains, add more fruits and veggies to your diet, and switch to water if you drink a lot of carbonated and sugary beverages.  4. Treat dry mouth: If you’ve been diagnosed with dry mouth, there’s less saliva to help keep bacteria from wreaking havoc on your gums, so it’s wise to take steps to keep your mouth moist. Your dentist can give you tips on how to go about doing so, but you might find relief with simple strategies like chewing sugar-free gum, enjoying sugar-free lozenges, and drinking more water.    5. Quit smoking: Smoking is an unhealthy habit for many reasons, but a lot of people don’t realize that it can also take its toll on your gum health, and make it harder to heal from gingivitis too. Quitting smoking might be your ticket to reversing gingivitis and preventing gum infections.  Your Dentist Can Help! Great oral health includes both home care and professional care, so see your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings, which go a long way in preventing and reversing gingivitis.  Why are professional dental cleanings so important when it comes to reversing gingivitis? It’s pretty simple: tartar isn’t something that you can get rid of on your own, no matter how impeccable your oral hygiene routine is. By getting rid of that tartar buildup, a dental hygienist can help restore the health of your gums.      How often should you see your dentist? Well, experts recommend every six months, but your dentist can tell you whether or not you can go longer between visits or if you need to see him or her more often.  It’s Possible to Reverse Gingivitis and Prevent Future Problems! The ultimate goal is to keep as much plaque, tartar, and bacteria off of your teeth as possible so your gums can remain healthy and strong. And you can do that by following a strict oral hygiene routine at home, while also seeing your dentist regularly.  Experiencing symptoms? See your dentist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis. If it’s gingivitis, he or she can professionally clean your teeth and give you a plan to follow to get your gums back to a state of health. With consistent effort, it might even only take a couple of weeks to start seeing results. Then, just maintain this routine so you can prevent gingivitis from recurring.   Final Tip: Worried about affording professional dental care? Browse the Direct Benefits Marketplace to find the perfect insurance that can help cover the costs so you never have to skip an appointment, especially when you’re experiencing gum problems.        Sources: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/reverse-gum-disease-dont-miss-your-window-of-opportunity-0914 https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/edu/gum-disease/how-long-does-gingivitis-take-to-heal/ https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/gingivitis-gum-11#1 https://benefitsbridge.unitedconcordia.com/reversing-gingivitis-7-tips-to-make-it-happen/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/  

Dental Implants: Costs and Need to Know Information

Dental Implants: Costs and Need to Know Information

Dental implants are great. They look and function just like real teeth, so they are a popular option when it comes to replacing a missing tooth. Unfortunately, dental implants can be pricey. To better understand the costs associated with this procedure, and to access other important information that can help you make the right decision for your dental health, check out the short guide below.{...} How Much Do Dental Implants Cost? The thing about dental implants is that their cost is determined by a variety of factors, such as: Where you are located, and the dental professional you select Whether or not you’ll need to have a tooth extracted first Whether or not you’ll need a bone graft How many dental implants you need The materials used for the implant and crown Because of all of these variables, it’s hard to say exactly how much a dental implant will cost. You can, however, expect that it will be expensive. How expensive?  Well, if you’re just getting one implant to replace a single tooth, it might cost you anywhere from $1,500 to a whopping $6,000. If you’re replacing up to four teeth, your costs might be as high as $10,000. Full mouth dental implants, also known as implant-supported dentures, cost $34,000, on average, though the price might be even higher than that. Why Are Dental Implants So Expensive? Now that we’ve covered the range of prices that you might see when you’re looking into getting dental implants, it’s time to cover why they’re so expensive.  First off, dental implant surgeries need to be performed by trained and experienced professionals. You’ll likely need to make several appointments with the dental surgeon, and you’ll also need to cover the cost of X-rays or a CT scan of your mouth before you even get started. Dental implant surgeries are complex, and involve multiple steps and trips to the dental chair. Generally, those steps include moving through an initial consultation, as well as the procedure to place the implant into the jawbone. You’ll then need to have the abutment placed after the gums heal, and then a permanent crown needs to be set into place. Note: In the event that you don’t have enough bone within your jaw for an implant, a bone graft might be needed, and that will add to the cost of the implant surgery. And if you need to have teeth extracted prior to the surgery, that will also be an additional cost.   Beyond the procedure itself, the implants themselves are expensive because they consist of three components: implant, abutment, and crown. You’ll Need to Get a Personalized Quote Sure, dental implants are expensive, but they’re worth considering if you want to be able to replace your natural teeth with a long-term solution (cared for properly, they might last a lifetime!), and if you don’t want to rely on bridges or dentures. Because implants look just like real teeth, no one will know that you have them. And because they function like real teeth, you can chew and speak naturally and comfortably. Plus, you care for implants just like you do your real teeth (simply brush, floss, and see your hygienist for professional cleanings).   How much this surgery will cost, however, will depend on your unique situation and needs. So the best way to figure out what you’ll have to pay is by seeing a dental professional with experience in placing implants and asking them for a quote.  Dental Insurance Might Be Able to Help Cover the Cost! The good news is that some insurance plans will gladly help cover the cost of dental implants. So if you were worried about being able to afford this procedure, don’t fret. Investing in the right insurance policy might be all that you need to do to be well on your way towards getting the implants that will restore your beautiful smile. Ready to get started? Search through the Direct Benefits Marketplace to quickly and easily sign up for the dental plan that will give you the coverage you need for everything from basic cleanings to major services.    Sources: https://www.authoritydental.org/implants-cost https://www.aaid-implant.org/faq/#265 https://askthedentist.com/dental-implants-cost/ https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-implants#1  

How are Cavities Fixed?

How are Cavities Fixed?

Let’s say you go to the dentist for a checkup and some x-rays. You think you’re fine, or maybe you’ve been experiencing some symptoms like sensitivity or toothache, but you aren’t sure what’s going on. Then your dentist tells you that, unfortunately, you have one or more cavities that need to be fixed before they worsen.  It can be a huge bummer to find out that you have cavities, but the good news is that there are treatments to resolve cavities so you don’t have to worry about losing your teeth! What are your options? We cover some of the main ones below, but keep in mind that your dentist will prescribe the appropriate treatment based on factors like the severity of your cavities.  Good Ol’ Fillings You’ve heard of fillings for cavities, right? Of course, you have! Basically, when your cavities aren’t too extensive, and they haven’t reached the pulp or the nerve of the tooth yet, this is likely what your dentist will recommend.  Also referred to as restorations, fillings can be made of various materials. You can choose from amalgam (a.k.a. mercury fillings), composite resin (a.k.a. tooth colored fillings), or even porcelain or gold fillings. And you can discuss the pros and cons of each of these filling materials with your dentist, who will guide you towards the one that would be best for your unique situation.     What can you expect? Well, for a filling, your dentist will use special tools, like a dental drill, to remove all the decayed areas of the tooth. Once all the decayed stuff has been cleaned out, your dentist will place the filling, which will harden into place and make your tooth good as new.  Root Canals: When a Filling Won’t Be Enough What happens when the decay has reached deeper into the tooth, past the dentin and all the way to the pulp or nerve? In that case, it’s likely that a filling wouldn’t suffice. And that’s when your dentist might tell you that a root canal is necessary. If you can, remain calm! Root canals are more common than you might think. During this procedure, your dentist will remove the diseased pulp and nerve, and he or she might even use a medicine to remove any infection, if needed. Once the pulp and nerve are cleared out, a sealant is used to fill in the space inside the tooth. So, like a cavity, this helps you keep your tooth rather than having to extract it. Crowns Can Be Used to Restore the Look of a Tooth After a root canal, you might need to go back to your dentist to have a crown placed on the tooth that was worked on so it can be nice and strong, and so that it will look like a natural tooth.   Crowns might also be necessary after a filling if the dentist had to remove a lot of tooth in order to clean out the large amount of decay that developed.  Why get a crown? By replacing the tooth’s natural crown, the integrity of it is restored. Plus, you can preserve the tooth, and you can reduce the risk of it being so weak that it would be prone to breaking.   When No Other Options Will Work, Extraction Might Be Necessary In the case of a severely damaged tooth that has way too much decay, and when the risk of infection spreading to the jaw is high, your dentist might not be able to restore it with a filling or root canal and crown. At that point, your only option might be to have the tooth extracted.  Don’t worry, as there are options to replace the missing tooth after it has been removed. For example, your dentist might recommend a bridge, or you might even be a good candidate for a dental implant that will look and function just like a real tooth.  Get Checked Regularly – You Won’t Regret It! As you can see, there are a few treatment options when you’re diagnosed with a cavity, but the less intense treatments are only possible when the decay isn’t extensive. That’s why seeing your dentist for checkups is highly recommended.  By having your mouth examined on a regular basis, your dentist will be able to spot trouble in its earliest stages, when decay will be easiest to treat with the smallest fillings possible. And, remember, even if you aren’t feeling pain, there might be a small cavity that still needs to be treated before it progresses and starts causing pain, so keep those appointments anyway.  How can you be sure you can afford to see your dentist regularly to reap all of these benefits? The simple solution is to sign up for an affordable dental insurance plan! You can quickly find the policy that’s right for you by browsing the options on the Direct Benefits Marketplace.  Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352898 https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities/how-to-treat-and-prevent-cavities-0414 https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities-tooth-decay/cavities-treatment-ways-to-treat-cavities https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10946-cavities/management-and-treatment https://askthedentist.com/root-canals-know-before-you-go/    

Braces 101

Braces 101

Braces: They’re a great fix for teeth that aren’t perfectly aligned, misaligned bites, or teeth that make you feel self-conscious. They are also necessary to fix issues like speech difficulty, wear and tear of the teeth, or TMJ caused by a poor bite. There are a few options for braces if you are struggling with any of these issues (and you’re not alone!){...}   Before heading to an orthodontist to discuss your options, check out the information below to learn the basics about braces. That way, you can go to your appointment with more knowledge, and you can be even more prepared to make the right choice for your smile. Let’s get started:   What Are the Different Types of Braces? These days, you don’t have to settle for a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to braces. Instead, there are different types of braces to choose from, and your orthodontist can help you decide which type would be best for you.    Here’s the breakdown of the main types of braces available:    • Metal braces – This is probably what you think of whenever you envision braces in your mind. When they’re on your teeth, you will be able to see them every time you smile, but the good news is that, compared to how they were in the past, these braces are now more comfortable, as well as smaller. That’s a plus! • Ceramic braces – If you want braces that are less noticeable, choosing ceramic might be the right way to go. These can be translucent, or they can be tinted so they blend in with the natural color of your teeth. Overall, they don’t stand out as much as metal braces do when you smile.  • Invisalign – This product is really popular because it’s a modern alternative to traditional metal and ceramic braces. Rather than being set permanently in your mouth with bands, brackets, archwires, elastics, hooks, and coil springs, Invisalign braces are plastic trays that you can take out of your mouth. These aligners need to be custom made so they can fit your unique mouth perfectly, and you’ll need to use different trays as your teeth shift into position over time. This could be a more comfortable, less noticeable option. Plus, you also have the ability to remove your aligner before eating and brushing your teeth, so it’s even easier to eat the foods you love and keep your teeth clean.  • Lingual braces – Back to metal braces, another option is lingual braces. These are less obvious because they’re placed on the back of your teeth rather than on the front. However, a drawback is that they’re typically not as comfortable as regular braces.   No matter what type of braces you go with, they all work the same: by applying pressure, they’re able to gradually move your pearly whites into a healthier, more attractive position.  How Long Do You Need to Wear Your Braces? The length of time that it will take to straighten your teeth and/or fix your bite will depend on the severity of the problem. While some people might only need braces for a little over a year, others might need to wear them for around three years.    It’s also worth noting that after your braces are removed, you might not be totally done, as your orthodontist might tell you that you need to wear a retainer to ensure the results will last. This is a mouthpiece that’s custom made to fit your teeth, and your orthodontist will give you instructions on when to wear the retainer, and for how long.   How Can You Be Sure You’re Keeping Your Braces Nice and Clean? Keeping your braces clean is imperative, as failing to do so could boost the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and unsightly stains or spots.    What should you do to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible in between appointments with your dentist?    1. Avoid having foods that are starchy, sticky, chewy, or sugary. These foods can easily adhere to your braces, and once that happens, it can be hard to clean them. On top of that, it’s also a good idea to avoid eating foods that are hard, as these might do damage to the braces themselves, such as the brackets and wires.  2. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions regarding how to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth while wearing your braces. You might be taught how to use special tools, such as floss threaders and an interdental toothbrush, to clean areas that are hard to reach because of your braces.  3. Brushing your teeth after every meal, or at least rinsing your mouth after eating, is a smart strategy. Remember, when you’re wearing braces, it’s surprisingly easy to end up with trapped food particles that can do a lot of harm to your oral health.  4. In addition to taking care of your teeth and gums at home, schedule appointments with your dentist to have your teeth examined and cleaned on a regular basis.  Are Braces Expensive? Unfortunately, yes, braces can be expensive, potentially costing thousands of dollars. Thankfully, there are many dental insurance plans that include coverage for orthodontics, especially for children under 18 years of age.    To find the right plan in your area that will give you the orthodontic coverage that you need at a price you can afford, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace. There, you can search through your options, select the plan that will help you save the most money, and sign up with ease. Translation: you can do it all in one convenient place!   Once you have the right dental insurance and you see an experienced orthodontist, you can be well on your way towards having a beautiful smile you’ll be proud to show off!         Sources:   https://www.begreatdental.com/orthodontics/braces-101/   https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/braces/faq   https://oasmiles.com/portfolio-items/bite-correction/   https://www.interdent.com/gentle-dental/resources/braces-guide/   https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/braces-101.html   https://www.ucsmilesortho.com/miscellaneous/our-blog/essential-tools-for-cleaning-your-braces   https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/braces/how-much-do-braces-cost

Natural Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

Natural Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

We know that brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis are all great ways to keep your teeth clean, strong, and healthy for years to come.  But maybe you’re curious about natural ways to prevent tooth decay? It turns out that there are some simple steps you can take to avoid tooth issues. We’ve listed a few below to help get you started! {...} It Begins with Your Diet Like other aspects of your health, when it comes to preventing tooth decay, what you eat and drink plays a big role in the health of your smile.    Which foods and drinks are best avoided as much as possible? Well, you already know that sugar isn’t great for your pearly whites, right? Basically, when you eat something sugary, bacteria in your mouth use the sugar and end up producing acid that then breaks down the enamel of your teeth. That’s why limiting your consumption of sugary foods and beverages is always recommended by dentists.  But avoiding sugar completely isn’t realistic (and wouldn’t be much fun). If you want to try to avoid tooth decay, consider brushing your teeth right away after having a sweet treat. If you can’t do that, rinsing or swishing your mouth with water is also beneficial.  In addition to sugar, it’s a good idea to limit refined carbs and starchy carbs, such as chips and crackers, as they can stick around on your teeth, breaking down into sugar, and feeding bacteria that produce damaging acid. Rinsing your mouth with water or brushing after having these foods can be a helpful step in preventing problems before they occur. Simple enough!  There are a lot of tasty foods that can be great for your smile. When it comes to foods and beverages that are beneficial to your teeth, the list includes: • Fresh fruits and vegetables that require a lot of chewing and stimulate the production of saliva • Foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus • Green tea and black tea • Whole grains Chew on Some Sugarless Gum Chewing on sugar free gum that contains a sweetener known as xylitol is another natural method that you can try in an effort to avoid tooth decay. Experts have found that xylitol may help slow the growth of bacteria that can lead to decay. Pretty cool, right?  Plus, chewing on some gum after you eat is a good way to stimulate the flow of saliva that helps rinse away acid that would otherwise linger on your teeth. But, again, the key is to ensure it doesn’t contain any sugar, so read labels to ensure any gum you buy is “sugar free.” Try the Ancient Technique of Oil Pulling Some research has shown that using a simple method called “oil pulling” may help protect your teeth and gums against plaque. So, yet another natural way to fight oral bacteria at home is to take a small amount (we’re talking a tablespoon or less) of coconut oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil and swish it around your mouth.  All you need is five minutes per day, but if you can swish the oil for longer, go for it. Be gentle as you slowly move the oil around your mouth and between your teeth, and make sure you don’t swallow any of the oil.  Tip: Rather than spitting the oil down the drain, spit it out into the trash to avoid it clogging your pipes.  Get Even More Advice from Your Dentist! In addition to taking steps daily to prevent oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease, seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings is also necessary. And with the help of high-quality dental insurance, you don’t have to worry about affording the care that you need! If you’re searching for the perfect dental plan, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace to browse the options that are available in your area, and to easily sign up for the one that fits your budget. Then, with this combination of at-home and professional care, you’ll be on the right track towards keeping your smile bright.      Sources: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-decay-prevention http://www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au/facts/tooth-decay.html https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities-tooth-decay/foods-that-prevent-tooth-decay-cavities-naturally https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/healthyfoods.html https://askthedentist.com/healing-cavities-naturally/ https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling   

Cost vs. Value | The Ins and Outs of Dental Insurance

Cost vs. Value | The Ins and Outs of Dental Insurance

When it comes to purchasing any type of insurance, you want to look at the cost of the plan in relation to the value that you’re getting out of it. And knowing the ins and outs of dental insurance, in particular, can help you shop smarter for the policy that’s most appropriate for your needs and budget. Below are a few of the things to keep in mind as you browse the various insurance companies and plans available. By knowing what to look for in dental insurance, you can make the decision that’s right for you and your family. What’s Usually Covered by a Dental Insurance Plan? There are a few different categories of dental care, most of which are covered, at least to some degree, by top-quality dental insurance plans.      • Preventive and diagnostic care typically includes things like standard exams, cleanings, and x-rays.      • Basic dental procedures might include things like fillings, gum treatments, root canals, and extractions.        • Major dental procedures might include things like bridges, implants, and dentures.  Different dental insurance plans will cover different amounts of care. Generally, however, a plan will typically cover:      • 100% of preventive care      • Around 80% of basic procedures      • Around 50% or less of major procedures Beyond that, some plans will even go so far as to cover the cost of orthodontic care. But sometimes, providers will only cover that type of care for children under 18 years of age. Also, many plans are willing to cover certain treatments that improve the appearance of your teeth (such as veneers) if they’re deemed restorative, rather than merely cosmetic.   Bottom line: Some plans are more comprehensive, while others are more basic. Therefore, you have a lot of freedom to choose the plan that suits your needs best while still being affordable.  How Much Does Dental Care Cost? Now that you have an idea of how much your insurance can help you with covering the costs of dental care, from preventive care and basic procedures, to major procedures, orthodontics, and restorative care, it’s clear to see why this can be a wise investment that could help you save money in the long run. But how much money can you really expect to save? Well, dental care costs vary by location and by dental professional. But, generally, you might expect to be charged the following amounts for various preventive and diagnostic treatments:      • A dental exam might cost you as much as $150      • X-rays might cost less than $100, or they might be more than $200      • A cleaning might be as low as $70 or as high as $200      • On average, you might end up spending nearly $300 just to have your teeth                  examined, X-rayed, and cleaned Because it’s wise to see your dentist regularly each year for a checkup and cleaning, these out-of-pocket costs can quickly add up! And what if you need to undergo a treatment to resolve a tooth or gum problem? Those costs might be even higher:      • Diagnosed with a dreaded cavity? Costs will depend on the tooth that needs to be        filled, and the filling material that’s used. An amalgam filling might cost anywhere        from $50 to $150, while a composite filling might be anywhere from $90 to $250.       • Need a root canal? That’s bad enough, but the cost can make this procedure even        more painful. Once again, the type of tooth being worked on can affect the price of        the treatment. While a root canal on a front tooth might be anywhere from $300 to        $1,500, a molar might cost you anywhere from $500 to $2,000. And premolars might        range from $400 to $1,800.  Major treatments will be even more costly:      • Dental crowns can range in price from $500 to $3,000, depending on the material that they’re made of.       • Bridges and implants might cost you thousands of dollars.       • The cost of extractions will vary greatly, depending on factors like whether a tooth is        impacted to any degree, and whether or not anesthesia needs to be used. While a        non-surgical extraction might cost upwards of $300, a surgical extraction could be        more than double that cost. And if a wisdom tooth needs to be extracted, it could         cost up to $600 if it’s impacted.  Make Dental Care Easier on Your Wallet with the Right Insurance! If you’re the type of person who avoids the dentist in an effort to steer clear of the out-of-pocket costs, the right dental insurance plan can help you see the dentist regularly for checkups, as well as for treatments whenever you develop symptoms. With your insurance helping you pay for your care, you can rest assured that you won’t have to break the bank just to have a beautiful, pain-free smile and clean, strong gums. Today’s dental insurance plans are surprisingly affordable for the level of coverage that they provide. So, when it comes to cost vs. value, it’s hard to deny the fact that this type of insurance does indeed provide a lot of value for the price. Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of shopping for a dental insurance plan for yourself or your family? Using the Direct Benefits Marketplace will simplify the process by allowing you to compare various plans that are available in your area. You can see exactly what’s covered, as well as what your out-of-pocket costs will be, so you can calculate just how much you’ll end up saving.    Sources: https://www.moneyunder30.com/is-dental-insurance-worth-it https://www.humana.com/individual-and-family/products-and-services/dental-insurance/dental-care-dental-insurance/cost-of-common-dental-procedures https://memberbenefits.com/dental-costs-with-and-without-insurance/ https://health.costhelper.com/dentistry.html