The cost of dental care has constantly risen over the past decades. Aside from the increasing dental cost, the number of people with access to dental insurance has decreased.
In fact, a new poll finds that most Americans can’t afford even the basic dental care. More than half of the people surveyed also said that they did not know how they would get affordable dental care after they turn 65.
If you do not have access to dental insurance or you lack money to pay for the high cost of dental care, there are cost-saving measures to help you save money.
7 Ways to Save Money on Quality Dental Care
1. Use Low-Cost or Free Dental Providers
There are some dental professional providing services to patients without insurance. They also operate on a sliding scale, which means that they set rates based on your income.
If you can’t find or you still can’t afford a dentist operating on a sliding scale, consider receiving dental services from a free medical clinic. Generally, eligibility is limited to low-income patients.
2. Participate in Medical Studies
There are some organizations and universities performing research on certain dental treatment methods. You can actually participate in medical studies in exchange for free dental care, like having a wisdom tooth extracted or dental cleanings.
3. Look for Online Savings and Coupons
Check out online sites that occasionally provide deals and coupons for dental care services like fillings and cleanings. These sites can be your lifesaver if you do not have insurance.
4. Receive Dental Care from Dental Students
Dental students must acquire experience before they graduate and get their license. You can help them get the experience they need while receiving affordable dental care. Whenever these students operate, they are supervised by a licensed dentist.
5. Ask for a Discount
Most dentists understand that some of their patients are uninsured. So don’t be afraid to inform the dentist about your financial situation and ask for a discount. Also, try to negotiate ahead of time.
6. Find a Job with Dental Benefits
Most jobs will require you to be a full-time employee so you can receive insurance benefits. However, there are others that are more flexible. So long as you meet a certain number of hours worked each month, you can qualify for health and dental insurance.
7. Use Government Resources
Most government organizations are established to help uninsured and low-income people so that they receive the medical and dental attention they need. The Health Resources and Services Administration or HRSA provides listings of the affordable dental providers in your area that you might be eligible to use.
Taking care of your teeth on a daily basis must be your priority even if there are ways you can save on dental care. Although some dental problems are unavoidable, preventative dental care practices can minimize the chances and costs of most dental problems.
People today live in a society wherein good looks are usually an advantage in life. By having a nice physical appearance, you automatically become a shoo-in for certain jobs, for example, and advancing in your career is bound to be easier.
Several studies prove that the women who advance most at work are those who are more attractive, thinner, taller and have a more youthful appearance than their female colleagues.
Another advantage established by research is good personality perception. A person with a pretty smile is automatically perceived as kinder and more successful. It’s no wonder so many people work on having a great smile these days, and there are several dental options available that are designed for this goal.
So, if you want to achieve a better smile to improve your facial aesthetics, there’s definitely no shortage of options.
Rounded up below are the most in-demand dental options to improve facial aesthetics.
This is definitely one of the most popular dental treatments for the creation of a nice smile and the improvement of facial structure. Orthodontic braces correct teeth alignment and can even correct the jaw, especially when paired with headgear.
There are different kinds of orthodontic braces – the traditional metal ones, clear, ceramic, lingual and Invisalign. Clear, ceramic, lingual and Invisalign are becoming quite popular because they’re the more discreet options.
- Dental veneers
These are the best solutions for chipped, broken, and weirdly shaped teeth, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Also, these are the secret to Hollywood’s best smiles because dental veneers are shaped to really improve the look of your teeth. This wafer-thin material is durable and it doesn’t stain. This means you get real pearly whites with dental veneers.
These restore the original appearance and strength of damaged teeth. Likewise, these also provide the advantage of preserving surrounding teeth.
- Dental bridges
If you have lost a tooth, shifting is likely to happen. Also, your gums may recede and the teeth surrounding the vacant spot may wear down more easily because they would bear the pressure that the lost tooth should’ve been helping with. Dental bridges can prevent these issues from occurring.
Spanning the missing the space, bridges are bonded to the teeth on both sides of the gap, and a false tooth (called a “pontic”) is attached to the bridge, which replaces the missing tooth.
- Dental implants
Finally, if you want a permanent solution to the teeth you have lost, dental implants are the way to go. These will not only restore the original look of your mouth but also its function. Dental implants will look and function like your real teeth because they are secured to your jaw. These are rather expensive, however, but getting dental implants is perhaps the best restorative dental procedure there is.
Cavities always start small and are undetectable to the naked eye. However, if left unchecked and untreated, the decay will eventually progress and bypass the protective layers of the tooth. Once the cavity reaches the inner chamber, an infection is imminent and will cause serious damage to the tooth.
According to a leading Prescott, AZ dentist, there are five stages of tooth decay:
Stage One: Demineralization
The onset of tooth decay happens when acids in your mouth attack the hard outer layer or the enamel of your tooth through a process called demineralization. This happens on a small portion of the surface of the tooth first. This early stage of tooth decay comes in the form of a white spot (also called lesion) on the enamel. If the decay is detected at this point, steps can be taken to remineralize the enamel and stop the cavity from progressing.
Stage Two: Enamel Erosion or Decay
If the initial lesion isn’t treated immediately, the tooth will break down further and cause the decay of the tooth enamel. The damage has now officially become tooth decay. The cavity can now be seen using a dental x-ray and the underlying dentin layer of the tooth is exposed. The cavity can cause patients to suffer from tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking too hot and extremely cold foods and beverages.
The decay at this stage can be still be treated by removing the decayed material and the placement of dental filling, inlay, onlay, or crown.
Stage Three: Dentin Erosion or Decay
The cavity will further spread to the dentin of the tooth if the enamel decay was not treated immediately. Dentin is a porous substance which is not as durable as enamel. When the cavity reaches the dentin, treatment becomes a far more crucial matter because the pace of the decay will go faster.
Stage Four: Dental Pulp Infection
The dental pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues and it is found in the innermost part of a tooth. This pulp plays an important role in the maturation and overall health of a tooth. If the bacteria reach the dentin layer of the tooth, it means that the dental pulp has also been breached. This causes a root canal infection which can be highly painful and uncomfortable.
At this stage, root canal therapy and tooth extraction are the only treatment options.
Stage Five: Abscess Formation
If root canal therapy or tooth extraction has still not been performed, the infection will spread beyond the dental pulp. The surrounding tissues, including the gum tissues and jawbone, will be affected and inflammation and swelling are imminent. Abscesses or the accumulation of pus will also appear as a response to the infection. The presence of an abscess can be a serious health problem which can result in a major general infection and other health issues, especially if it bursts. At this point, the infection has to be treated with antibiotics before the severely decayed tooth will be removed.
The longer you wait to have your cavities treated, the worse it will be for your tooth. If you suspect you have some dental caries or if your dentist has already ascertained this, get the recommended treatment quickly so that you can still preserve your natural tooth.
Brush your teeth daily. Floss at least once a day. Visit your Prescott Valley dentist regularly.
These are all a part of good oral hygiene. But what some people do not know is that a healthy diet can contribute greatly to achieving excellent oral health.
Dental cavities are a serious dental condition that affects the permanent teeth of over 90 percent of adults. Left untreated, cavities can lead to pain and costly treatments.
As such, it is crucial to protect your teeth from this dental malady using different strategies, including the consumption of the right types of food.
You are probably aware that overconsumption of sweet and starchy treats can lead to tooth and gum problems. But do you know that there are foods that prevent cavities and other gum and dental issues?
Here’s a brief list of foods that you should add to your shopping cart the next time you go to the supermarket.
Apples and fresh fruits may contain a high amount of sugars and acids, but these are natural and can help stimulate the flow of saliva. In turn, the more saliva is produced in your mouth, the less likely it will be for the bacteria in your mouth to cause damage.
Cheese and dairy products
Cheese and other dairy products help in the prevention of the formation of cavities. The main reason behind that is because these food products alter the pH level of plaque. This increase in the pH level, along with the high level of calcium and stimulation of saliva, make dairy products staples that every household should have.
It may sound counter-intuitive to chew gum if you want to keep your mouth healthy. But according to a Prescott, AZ dentist, it boils down to choosing the right kind: sugar-free.
Unlike conventional chewing gums which are loaded with sugars and can cause cavities, sugar-free gums contain xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can help in the prevention of cavities. If you are thinking of consuming sweets, reach out for a sugar-free gum instead.
Tea leaves contain properties that allow these to keep bacterial growth in check while preventing the build-up of plaque. Green and black tea come highly recommended, especially after indulging in sugary treats. But do make sure that you don’t add sugar or cream to your beverage.
Red wine is rich in proanthocyanidins which in turn contain antioxidants that help ward off the bacteria which cause tooth decay.
Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today!
Through the years, the Horizon Dental Group’s objective has been to serve generations of families residing in Northern Arizona and to provide them with top quality dental services. From teaching toddlers and young kids the basics of keeping their teeth clean and healthy to providing services to adults and seniors with dental issues, their team of dental experts is ready to serve.
With this in mind, the Horizon Dental Group Family is proud to announce the addition of two new partnerships. The Gentle Touch Family Dental Care at the West Bell Plaza Building in Phoenix, Arizona and the Horizon Dental Group New River located along the North Black Canyon Highway in New River, Arizona. The Horizon Dental Group has four additional offices located within the following locations: Chino Valley, Prescott Valley, Prescott, and Spring Valley. Dental patients can now choose from a total of six different offices to schedule for an appointment with our amazing team.
Regardless of whether you are a new patient or returning for additional dental work, Horizon Dental Group makes it easy for patients to visit a dentist and receive the necessary services. At the Horizon Dental Group dental office in New River, we offer the Ambassador Dental Plan. It is an in-house membership plan that offers patients the opportunity to avail of specific dental services regardless of their current financial situation. There are plans available for individuals, families and new patients alike.
In both the Gentle Touch, our Phoenix/Glendale area dentist and the Horizon Dental Group New River offices, a number of general dental care services are available. The services allow patients to work with their dentist to develop and follow long-term oral hygiene goals. Services include teeth cleaning and digital x-rays. These services help detect hidden dental issues such as cysts, tumors and irregular tooth positions, among others.
Horizon Dental Group’s two new offices also offer a host of cosmetic and restorative dental care services. These types of services make it easier for patients to achieve their ideal smile. Under these categories, Horizon Dental Group offers the following services: teeth whitening, creation of crowns, fixed bridges and veneers made out of porcelain and composite fillings.
For patients looking for a dentist in Arizona, contact the Horizon Dental Group today to schedule an appointment or a consultation with one of their dental specialists. Horizon Dental Group dentists are ready to assist patients and give them all the details needed to bring back their winning smile.
Although dentists recommend flossing for enhanced oral hygiene, at least a third of Americans don’t floss at all. Studies indicate that this may be due to lack of education or not stressing the importance of flossing enough to make it a habit. By not flossing, you increase your chances of developing gum disease.
Here is a more detailed explanation of the consequences of not flossing your teeth from a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist.
When you eat, food particles get lodged in your teeth and beneath your gums. It is in these types of environments where bacteria thrive and multiply. Brushing your teeth is not enough as the bristles cannot get into these hard-to-reach places. Dental floss works as a supplementary tool, cleaning the areas that your brush can’t reach. Making flossing a daily routine ensures that no substances or organisms can make your mouth their home.
Buildup of plaque and tartar
Not flossing causes a variety of dental issues. If you skip flossing for even just a few days, you run the risk of developing a buildup of plaque. Solidified plaque is known as tartar. Once a layer of tartar has formed and hardened on your teeth, it becomes more difficult to remove. You will need to visit a dentist to have all of the tartar removed.
Over time, if you don’t make flossing a daily habit, you could potentially develop gum disease. Gum disease occurs when your gums become inflamed due to the bacteria inside your mouth. The inflammation makes your gums sensitive to pressure and makes it more prone to bleeding. Even eating becomes uncomfortable at some point.
In extreme cases, you could potentially lose your teeth because of gum disease or cavities. This happens when the disease has affected your gums to the point that it can no longer provide support for your teeth. In another study, it was found that approximately 10 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 no longer had any teeth left.
Compared to men, women are more likely to develop gum disease. The probability of developing gum disease rises during pregnancy. Having gum disease while pregnant can lead to giving birth to premature babies or babies with low birth weights.
With poor oral hygiene habits, your mouth becomes the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and pathogens. By not brushing and flossing, your body will reabsorb these microscopic organisms. Some of these pathogens may end up in your lungs where it could cause a host of respiratory issues. One review established a connection between poor dental hygiene and developing pneumonia. By simply brushing and flossing, patients lowered their chances of developing pneumonia by as much as 40 percent. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!
Common Reasons People Need Dentures
If you are one of those who have been religiously observing proper oral care since you were young, chances are you won’t be needing dentures when you get old. But if you are one of those who constantly put off regular brushing or call off dentist appointments, then you may find yourself needing dentures as you age.
A denture, commonly known as false teeth, is a removable replacement for missing teeth and gums. It can either be full or partial, depending on your needs, and your dentist will help you choose the type that is best for you.
It is also worth noting that there are several situations wherein you might need dentures. A Prescott, AZ dentist states the common reasons people need dentures below:
- Loss of natural teeth
The loss of natural teeth, whether from tooth decay or injury, is one of the primary reasons people need dentures. Tooth loss due to mouth disease does not happen at once, unlike accidents or injury. It is a gradual process that starts when you neglect caring for your pearly whites.
Having said so, losing one or more of your teeth due to decay and gum disease is avoidable, yet it still remains to be among the top reasons for getting dentures.
- Difficulty chewing and speaking
Dentures might not be your first choice, but when you are missing some teeth, you may find it difficult to chew certain types of food and to speak properly. When this happens, getting a set of dentures may become your best option.
Because the front teeth are important in speech, pronouncing certain words becomes challenging when you are missing some of your teeth. Denture placement can restore essential oral functions like chewing and speaking.
- Facial sagging or altered facial contour
Missing or underdeveloped teeth causes the facial muscles to sag and the facial contour to alter and appear hollow. Dentures help individuals have an improved appearance by filling out their facial features. This will help individuals gain back their self-confidence or self-esteem.
New dentures may feel awkward at first and it will take some getting used to. It will require practice to speak and eat with your dentures on, but your dentist will help you deal with some of the challenges you may experience.
Caring for your dentures is also important to ensure that they will last a long time. Careful handling is also vital because they are delicate and can easily break. Of course, regular dental checkups are still necessary even if you have dentures on.
What You Should Know About Dental Health And Aging
Aging brings about various indications of physical, physiological, and mental degeneration. Dental health is among the most common concerns for older adults. As you get older, the risk of experiencing dental problems also increases.
Because of impairments in the normal bodily processes associated with aging, older people may find it more challenging to perform oral hygiene and self-care.
The most common dental conditions experienced during old age are:
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
The golden years are considered cavity prone years. Cavities during old age are commonly caused by dry mouth. Xerostomia or dry mouth is not a normal process in aging; rather, it is a result or a side effect of various medications, which are usually taken by older adults to treat or control high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, and other illnesses that come with aging.
Dry mouth can lead to cracked lips, fissured tongue, caries, and mucositis. A Prescott, AZ dentist recommends increased fluid intake and avoidance of alcoholic and carbonated beverages to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent cavities.
Periodontitis or gum disease
Dental health and aging are linked together in many ways. As a person grows older, he may start to experience receding gums, which exposes the roots of the teeth. This increases the risk of developing decay.
In addition, poor dental hygiene also causes the buildup of plaque, causing the gums to become irritated and swollen.
In general, gum disease, in its early stages, is painless and does not present any symptoms. As such, it is often left undiagnosed and untreated until it is in the advanced stages. Advanced gum disease affects not only the gums, but also the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth.
Good oral hygiene through regular and proper brushing are very helpful in preventing periodontitis. Regular visits to a dentist for professional cleaning are also advised to remove hardened plaque.
Root and coronal caries
The four elements needed for dental caries to form are the tooth surface (enamel or dentin), fermentable carbohydrates, bacteria, and time. Dental caries could lead to advanced gum disease and tooth loss when left untreated.
Regular brushing using fluoride-containing toothpaste remains to be the main preventive measure for dental caries.
Because older adults may not be fully capable of caring for themselves, it is important to have a caregiver who can help them maintain their personal hygiene, including dental care. It is essential to discuss dental care and self-care with professionals such as dentists and doctors.
8 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Most people think that their teeth will always be healthy, strong and functional, and so they usually take these for granted. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist emphasizes that proper and efficient dental care is very crucial throughout the human life cycle.
Here are some tips for healthy teeth and gums that will help you achieve a bright, big smile.
How to Achieve and Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
1. Deal with dental visit anxiety – If sitting on a dentist’s chair often makes you anxious, help yourself feel calm by bringing your headphones and a music player to your next appointment. This is indeed a great way of relieving your anxiety. Most of all, you must communicate with your dentist so he can help you.
2. Floss first before you brush – Flossing first will make brushing more effective since it will remove the food that gets trapped in between your teeth. There are floss holders you can buy from a drugstore if handling floss agitates you. After flossing, brush your teeth gently and rinse with a recommended antibacterial mouthwash to totally eliminate any leftover plaque.
3. Regularly replace your toothbrush – Over time, toothbrush bristles flatten, wear down and fray. Replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months is highly recommended. To avoid harboring germs, consider replacing your brush if you are sick.
4. Be gentle when using toothpicks – A toothpick is a good alternative to floss; however, be very gentle when using it because it can easily damage your gums and it may even break off below your gum line.
5. Consume cheese – The whey protein and casein in cheese will help keep your tooth enamel in its excellent form because it reduces demineralization. Moreover, cheese has tooth-building calcium. But do not forget to include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet because this vitamin can help your body absorb calcium.
6. Remove teeth stains with baking soda – If you love drinking red wine, coffee or other tooth-staining beverages, your pearly white teeth can become dim. Brushing your teeth using baking soda at least twice a month will help brighten your smile. You can use toothpaste containing baking soda if plain baking soda irritates your teeth and gums.
7. Control your acid reflux – Preserve your tooth enamel and oral health by controlling your acid reflux. Avoid consuming foods and drinks that can trigger reflux, such as tomatoes, coffee and tea, chocolate, mint, and caffeinated drinks.
8. Brush your tongue – Brushing or scraping your tongue each time you brush your teeth can help prevent bad breath. Your tongue can host different bacteria that cause bad breath, so giving it a scrub will help minimize or eliminate odor-causing compounds.
Your teeth and gums can stay healthy and happy throughout your life with proper care. Most importantly, there will be fewer risks for gum disease and tooth decay if you always have healthy teeth and gums. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!
Horizon Dental Care Tips for Eliminating Bad Breath
Also known as halitosis, bad breath can be embarrassing for you when there are lots of people around you. This is caused primarily by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria cause inflammation, thereby giving off noxious gases that smell unpleasant.
Studies have shown that 80% of bad breath has an oral source. Gum diseases, trapped food particles on your tonsils, cracked fillings, and unclean dentures – all of these can lead to bad breath. Medical conditions can likewise cause bad breath. These include liver disease, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.
The good thing is that there are tips for eliminating bad breath that you can try.
The key to preventing and eliminating bad breath is good oral hygiene. You need to floss and brush your teeth after every meal in order to reduce the build-up of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Using mouth rinses can also prevent cavities as well as reduce bacteria-causing plaque. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist recommends using an antibacterial or antiseptic rinse that will kill bacteria instead of a cosmetic rinse that only promises fresh breath.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
1. Watch What You Eat
What you ingest will greatly affect what you exhale. The food gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, and is expelled when you breathe. As such, you need to eat a balanced, healthy diet and regular meals. Eating watery fruits and vegetables like raw carrots and apple slices can help clear your mouth of any food particles or debris. Diets, like very low-carb ones and extreme fasting, can actually give you bad breath. Moreover, avoid consuming breath busters like onions, garlic and spicy foods.
2. Stay Hydrated
If you cannot brush your teeth after each meal, you must drink a lot of water as this can help hasten the process of cleaning debris and harmful bacteria in between your teeth. To help deodorize some offensive breath odors, drink milk.
3. Avoid Drinking Too Much Coffee
Coffee can be very tasty; however, this has a tough smell that can stay on the back of your tongue. Drink herbal or green tea instead.
4. Avoid Smoking
Cigarettes and other tobacco products can give you horrible breath. Moreover, smoking can stain your teeth and damage your gums. Opting for nicotine patches can help tame your desire. If you think you need a bit of help, make an appointment with your doctor and tackle how you can easily and successfully quit smoking.
5. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
One cause of dry mouth is alcohol. You can suffer from bad breath if you consume too much wine, beer and hard liquor.
6. Chew Gum
If you chew gum 20 minutes after having a meal, it can help with your saliva flow. Choose sugarless gums to help reduce cavities. This also has a cooling effect, giving you a nice fresh breath. Avoid sugary mints because the sugar will just sit on your teeth and may worsen the problem.
These tips can help make your mouth feel clean and fresh. Indeed, it is very easy to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to improve your breath at the same time. Schedule an appointment with us today!