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.
According to a study published in the Journal of Structural Biology, human teeth are as strong as shark teeth. If you’ve ever seen the jaws of these underwater creatures in action, you will certainly have a hard time believing that human teeth can be as tough as a shark’s scary choppers.
But even if you won’t be munching on fish bones and other hard objects (as sharks do), you still need to keep your teeth strong all the time. This is because having strong teeth is one of the most important considerations in maintaining good oral health.
Fluoride fortifies your teeth by making the crystals that form tooth enamel tougher. This element, therefore, remineralizes one’s teeth and enables them to resist acid and decay better.
You can help your teeth get more of this mineral by using toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dental treatments that contain fluoride. You can also do this by drinking fluoridated water and eating foods high in fluoride concentrations such as fish and green tea.
Avoid food and drinks that demineralize the enamel
The enamel is the outermost and protective layer of your teeth. This layer protects your teeth from decay and physical damage. The enamel’s natural enemies are fermentable carbohydrates that come from acidic and sugary foods and beverages such as candies, cookies, and carbonated drinks. The carbohydrates from these items combine with bacteria in your mouth to create harmful acids that destroy the building blocks of your tooth enamel through a process called demineralization.
To keep your teeth strong, avoid or at the very least, minimize your consumption of acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Also, make sure you brush your teeth properly at least twice daily and floss once a day.
Consume foods rich in calcium
Lastly, you can prevent teeth demineralization by increasing your calcium intake. This means consuming more foods and drinks rich in this nutrient such as milk, yogurt, celery, dark leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, almonds, and Brazil nuts.
Cheese is also a good source of calcium and will help keep your teeth strong. In addition, cheese also promotes healthy saliva flow which helps maintain the right pH level in your mouth and inhibit acid production.
Proper brushing helps greatly in strengthening one’s teeth as well. As such, with the right diet and good oral care, you can have strong teeth and one less thing to worry about in terms of dental health.
Electric Vs. Traditional Toothbrush – Which Is Better?
There’s a growing selection of dental supplies available in the market today and these are in line with the call for making a strong commitment to oral health. Among the many options today are different kinds of toothbrushes.
In terms of designs, the choices can prove to be overwhelming. However, if you’re more focused on function, the only issue really is whether to choose an electric toothbrush or a traditional toothbrush.
Electric vs Traditional Toothbrush
It’s imperative to establish that both items do the job well. The main difference is that the battery or electrically powered option can make the task easier because it does the brushing for you. Children, in particular, can benefit from this mechanism, especially since they’re still honing their motor skills.
Another advantage provided by electric toothbrushes is that they can be a time-saver. The head can stroke teeth 6,000 to 30,000 times per minute. Therefore, it works so much faster in getting teeth’s surface clean; this means that instead of the usual two to three minutes of brushing advised by dentists, you can cut that time in half.
As for the disadvantage with electric toothbrushes, even the cheapest brands you find in the market are still more expensive than most manual toothbrushes. It’s important to mention that the bristles tend to get worn faster too, and at times, the vibration of the heads can prove to be too much for people with sensitive teeth and gums.
Manual toothbrushes, on the other hand, are what everybody’s more familiar with. They’re much easier to control, so if you have sensitive spots around your mouth, you don’t have to worry about excessive vibrations.
When it comes to efficacy, a manual’s toothbrush will work well if you know how to brush your teeth well for that perfect smile. Therefore, if you tend to just speed through brushing your teeth, you’re not going to get your chompers thoroughly clean, says a Prescott, AZ dentist.
As for cost, even the most expensive manual toothbrush won’t cost as much as a branded electric toothbrush. It’s definitely a winner as a cost-effective option.
The con with this option, however, is the difficulty some people have in using it. Those who have arthritic hands and fingers will find it hard to brush thoroughly; ditto with young children who still do not have refined motor skills.
There you go – one is not necessarily better than the other. It’s best to choose one kind of toothbrush over the other based on your preference or the limitations you have. Schedule your 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.
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.
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.
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!
Cases of missing teeth among young children are often deemed cute occurrences (which is probably why there’s a popular song about missing teeth). But when you’re old, missing teeth can be a health risk.
Apart from a sagging facial appearance that can make you look sad and older, missing teeth can also have other negative consequences. One is the high likelihood of “shifting” – teeth can move a bit toward the gap. This movement creates spaces between the teeth that will not only alter alignment and bite but can also make teeth prone to harmful bacteria buildup that can lead to gum disease. A more serious consequence is bone loss, which will put you at greater risk of losing more teeth as you get older.
One of the best solutions to missing teeth is a dental bridge. What it does is it literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It is made of two or more crowns (depending on the missing tooth’s location). One crow will serve as the replacement for the missing tooth, and the other/s for the anchoring tooth or teeth (called abutment teeth).
Maintain the healthy shape of your face (no more hollow areas).
Maintain your proper teeth alignment and bite.
Preserve your original teeth better.
There are different types of dental bridges that your dentist can put in for you depending on where your missing tooth or teeth are, and they are:
Cantilever bridges – These are the type of bridges used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing teeth. Cantilever bridges are not used that often anymore because they are not ideal as restorative solutions for missing tooth at the back of the mouth where there’s usually a lot of pressure on surrounding teeth.
Maryland bonded bridges – These are also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge. They are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums held together by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings, usually placed on just one side of the bridge, are anchored or bonded to your existing teeth.
Traditional bridges – These consist of a crown for the tooth or implant on both sides of the missing tooth, with a pontic or a dummy tooth in between. Traditional bridges are the most frequently used type of bridge and they are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
The application of dental bridges takes multiple visits to the dentist, which can take several weeks. But once the bridges are permanently placed in, you’re sure to feel a big difference in the way your mouth feels and functions. Ask your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist about the best treatment for you.
Written by Horizon DDS, April 13th, 2017 | Comments Off on The Different Types of Dental Bridges and Their Benefits
Annually, people from all over the world celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20.
But beyond this important day, it is crucial for people to pay attention to their oral health and take better care of their teeth and gums. Your oral health impacts your self-confidence, personal relationships, and even your overall health.
In fact, poor oral health has been associated with the increased vulnerability to a host of diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease to some forms of cancers.
When it comes to some dental health factors, there are some risks that you can do nothing about. These factors include your age, sex, and the genes you have inherited from your parents.
But there are also other risks factors that you can control. These include your lifestyle and habits and your behaviors. Some of the risk factors that you can change include tobacco use, your diet, alcohol consumption, and oral hygiene.
Making key changes in these areas can help boost your oral health while minimizing risk factors.
When you are looking to modify your diet, one of the first things that you need to check is your sugar consumption. That includes sweets and soft drinks which increase your vulnerability to oral diseases. As much as possible, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
If you are a smoker, you need to be aware that your habit is wreaking havoc on your oral health. In fact, many studies have associated tobacco use with a long list of conditions ranging from gum disease to oral cancer.
While you do not have to totally avoid drinking alcohol, keep in mind that excessive consumption can leave you vulnerable to dental caries and oral cancer.
The easiest thing to modify is your oral hygiene. By simply brushing and flossing your teeth properly and regularly, you can protect your teeth and gums from a diverse array of conditions, including tooth decay and gum disease.
Beyond World Oral Health Day
Celebrating World Oral Health Day is a good way to underscore the importance of the health of your teeth and gums.
However, taking care of your oral health is something that you need to constantly remember every day, and not for just one day in a year. Take charge of your oral health by contacting us today!
Written by Horizon DDS, March 20th, 2017 | Comments Off on Celebrate World Oral Health Day by Taking Better Care of Your Teeth and Gums
If you have lost a tooth or a few teeth, one of the treatments your dentist will recommend is a dental bridge procedure. This is a highly recommended treatment if you wish to preserve the healthy structure of your mouth despite the loss a tooth or more.
You may be unsure about this solution especially with all the other options available, but if you’re gravitating toward this treatment, here are five things you need to know about it.
Compared to other types or restorative dentistry solutions, it’s definitely more affordable.
And if you’re just focused on appearance, it can achieve the same natural “look” that dental implants can produce because a crown would also be used to replace your missing tooth or teeth.
For a successful dental bridge procedure, you would need to have healthy surrounding teeth that would serve as an anchor for the bridge, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Here’s something that you need to understand about the placement of a dental bridge: surrounding teeth need to be reshaped for the crown to fit securely and hold the bridge in place. This is something you need to think about especially if you care a lot about the health of remaining good teeth.
There three main types of bridges: traditional, cantilever and Maryland.
The first type, which is the traditional bridge, has a crown attached to each side of the artificial tooth. A cantilever bridge, meanwhile, is an artificial tooth attached to only one crown, and a Maryland bridge is an artificial tooth bonded to existing teeth on both sides.
When your teeth have been reshaped, the dentist will make an impression of the missing tooth and the surrounding teeth.
The will be used to customize a bridge that fits your mouth perfectly. While that is being created, your dentist will provide you a temporary bridge to use. You can expect your permanent bridge to be completed in a few weeks and once it’s ready, there’ll be evaluations on how it fits and affects your bite so it can be improved for your comfort.
And lastly, dental bridges can last you over a decade but you need to practice good oral habits.
You need to care for your dental bridge just like your real teeth because there’s always the risk of developing gum disease if you don’t.
A dental bridge procedure is a great option to consider especially if you’re not a good candidate for dental implants. It’s a quicker process to restoring the original look of your teeth and preventing your original teeth from shifting. Contact our dentists today to schedule an appointment!
Written by Horizon DDS, March 14th, 2017 | Comments Off on 5 Things You Need to Know About a Dental Bridge Procedure