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The Bottom Dollar on Dental Implants

Some patients are curious about getting dental implants but worry about the cost.

“Will my insurance cover dental implants?” they often ask.

Yes, it may help you out. We do everything possible to help patients maximize their benefits. Our experienced administrative team assists patients by preparing the necessary forms, and as a courtesy, we submit all claim forms to the dental plan company. In short, we will get everything we can from the dental benefits and we will communicate to our patients just what to expect to pay out of pocket.

And what about those out-of-pocket expenses? “Is there a payment plan?” patients often wonder.

Yes indeed. There are several options available, and our office will work to determine which is the best for you and your specific needs. One of the most popular payment plans is CareCredit, CareCredit requires a very simple application process, that is similar to applying for a credit card. CareCredit is more advantageous to you than just paying for your treatment on your regular credit card because it is specifically designed for your healthcare needs. It can be used with us and with more than 187,000 other healthcare practices across the nation. Plus, qualified applicants may be eligible for no-interest financing or low minimum monthly payment options. 

“Are implants expensive?” they ask me.

Dental implants are an investment, yes, but one that will restore and replenish your overall quality of life. Not only do dental implants allow you to enjoy your favorite foods and restore the functionality of your teeth, they also improve the look of your smile and provide a level of confidence that only comes with a healthy set up teeth. And you can’t put a price tag on that! Believe me when I say, you are worth that investment!

What’s more, every good investment provides a strong return. My patients tell me that so many aspects of their lives are better after getting their smile restored. They have more confidence. New romances. New jobs. A whole new outlook on life.  The transformation of the smile is almost always the transformation of a life.

Don’t forget, you always have options on how to pay for your dental implants. But most importantly, the monetary expenses associated with dental implants pale in comparison to the overwhelming benefit dental implants will have on your life.

We welcome your questions. Please reach us at 361-358-9780 or beevilledentalcare@gmail.com.    

 

Are Implants Done In One Appointment?

By Dr. Gerardo D. Quiñones-Whitmore

Restoring your beautiful smile is a three-step process. First, I will set the implant(s) and give you time to heal. Afterward, I will place the artificial tooth or teeth, depending on your case.

Let’s look at these three steps in more specific terms…  

Step One

To being, I will take X-rays and impressions of your jaw and teeth. This is similar to the X-rays and impressions you may have gotten at your regular dental appointment – easy and painless. This helps me to analyze your bone, gums and tissue, and to determine spacing available for an implant. 

Step Two

The dental implants themselves are artificial roots, usually made of titanium. I will numb the area and surgically place the implant into the upper and/or lower jawbone, as I have done for many patients before you.  You will heal in three to five days, and over the following eight to twelve weeks, the bone will fuse to the implants. This will make your implants very strong and durable.

Depending on the type of implants, a second surgery may be required in order to place the post that will hold the artificial teeth in place. Together, you and I will decide what’s best for you in the long run.

Step Three

In the third step, the artificial teeth are attached to the implants. Once you heal, your new teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. The fitting phase requires laboratory help, it may take one or two months to complete.  After the fitting period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implants, providing excellent stability and comfort.   

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene and eating habits, along with regular dental visits will preserve your newly restored smile. Your dental implants will be expected to last many years.

Your new teeth will be authentic and natural looking. Just like that, you’ll have a beautiful new smile! 

We welcome your questions. Please reach us at 361-358-9780 or beevilledentalcare@gmail.com.  

 

How Painful Are Dental Implants?

By Dr. Gerardo D. Quiñones-Whitmore

Many of my patients are fearful of the pain that may be involved with dental implants, but are curious about improving their smiles. It may even be the only thing holding them back from making a total transformation of their smiles and their lives.

They ask, “How painful will dental implants be?”

In short, it depends on two things: the complexity of your case and your overall health.

The Complexity of your Dental Implant Case

If you have existing dentures or over-dentures and we agree that it makes the most sense for us to just stabilize those, then Mini Dental Implants (MDIs) are the simplest and most pain-free option. They don’t even require surgery!

Instead, non-invasive anchors will be placed in the jaw during one easy appointment. This fully anchors the dental prosthesis. That means no more ill-fitting, loose dentures.

The smaller size of Mini Dental Implants means no recovery period. You get a brand new smile that same day.

Read more about Mini Dental Implants.

By contrast, dental implants may be appropriate if you:

·      Don’t already have any type of dental prosthetic

·      Have one or more missing teeth

·      Have joint pain or bite problems

·      Have issues with chewing, speech or digestion

·      Are ready for a total transformation

Getting implants involves a number of visits over several months. The first thing we do is pain-free – we simply take X-rays and impressions. Next, we numb the area (no pain!) and surgically place the implant into the jawbone.

Once that’s complete, we give you time to heal and time for the implant to integrate. This may take up to six months.

Depending on the type of implant, a second procedure may be necessary. But remember – we numb you before, so it’s relatively painless.

After the healing period, your new teeth are attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort. This part is pretty painless, too.

Read more about dental implants.

Your Overall Health for Dental Implants  

The second factor that will determine the pain level you will experience with implants is your overall health. When you are in tip-top shape, you heal quicker and minimize pain.

By tip-top shape I mean that you regularly:

·      Eat a balanced and nutritious diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and proteins

·      Drink plenty of water throughout each day

·      Exercise at least three times per week

When patients who are diligent about those three things, I see them heal faster and with less pain.

All of that said, tolerable pain is to be expected after any surgical procedure like dental implants.

The Mayo Clinic reports:

Whether you have dental implant surgery in one stage or multiple stages, you may experience some of the typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery, such as:

  • Swelling of your gums and face
  • Bruising of your skin and gums
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Minor bleeding

Rest assured that I will guide you in the best foods to eat after your procedure and other pain-management steps you can take to feel your best.

Source: Mayo Clinic | Dental Implant Surgery: What You Can Expect

 

Are Dental Implants Right For Me?

FAQs about Dental Implants

When initially learning about or considering dental implants, you may be overwhelmed by all the information out there.  Below are several frequently asked questions regarding dental implants to help you determine if dental implants might be the best option for you!

Am I a candidate for dental implants? 

Generally speaking, if you have lost one or more teeth, you are a candidate for dental implants. However, placing dental implants is an intensive procedure, and you must have strong overall health in order to receive dental implants. Several different conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, gum diseases, etc., may affect the dental implants’ ability to fuse to the bone. A comprehensive examination of your mouth and jaw area is required to assess whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants. 

Are there other options besides dental implants?

There are several other options, but dental implants are the only selection that allows the feeling and function of natural teeth. Further, dental implants actually stimulate natural bone growth and prevent further bone loss.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are generally made from titanium. The implant is surgically fused to your jawbone, acting as a replacement for the missing root. This material and thorough placement process provides a firm and durable foundation for the replacement tooth. 

What are the main benefits of dental implants? 

Dental implants are next best thing to natural teeth. They are designed for durability, and with proper care can last over a decade. One of the most convenient and overlooked advantages is that you are able to maintain your natural facial and jaw structure with dental implants. Further, there is no adjustment period for learning how to speak, eat or drink with dental implants. For more benefits, click here.

When determining if dental implants is the correct choice for you, it is important and necessary to determine the best treatment option for your circumstances. Contact Dr. Gerardo Quiñones-Whitmore to schedule your initial exam by calling 361-358-9780.

Sources:

https://dentalimplants.com/understanding-dental-implants.php

http://www.aaid-implant.org/resources-and-news/dental-implant-facts/

http://www.aaid-implant.org/about-dental-implants/what-are-the-benefits-of-dental-implants-over-other-treatments/


 


 

 

Seal the Deal On a Healthy Smile with Dental Sealants

If you take a close look in the mirror, you’ll notice your teeth are covered with deep grooves and pits, especially back in your molars. These irregularities are a completely natural aspect of your tooth’s chewing surface and are not a cause for concern on their own. These grooves are, however, susceptible to developing cavities if they happen to trap plaque and oral bacteria. In fact, more than 75% of dental decay begins in these areas, where it can easily spread deeper into your tooth’s dentin.

Apart from brushing and flossing, dental sealants are the leading preventative measure dentists take to protect teeth from forming cavities, particularly for children. Teeth containing deep pits and grooves are more difficult to clean effectively, even with proper brushing and flossing. Sealants protect teeth by sealing these grooves, creating a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. 

We recommend that kids get dental sealants as soon as their six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear. If you have a child older than six, we still strongly advise the application of sealants at any time during the cavity prone years of 6-16. Adults can also benefit from sealants if they have deep grooves or pits in their teeth that haven’t yet experienced decay. 

Sealants can be easily applied by either Dr. Quiñones-Whitmore or one of our dental hygienists, and the process only takes a few minutes for each tooth. We begin by cleaning each tooth that will receive a sealant and preparing it with a special solution that will help the sealant bond to the enamel surface. The sealant material is then carefully painted over the tooth surface to cover any grooves or depressions. Depending on the type of sealant we use, the material will either harden automatically or require a special curing light to solidify.

If you have a child in need of sealants or would like to protect your own teeth using sealants, please get in contact with us today by calling 361-358-9780.



 

 

Brighten Your Smile for the New Year With a Custom Whitening Kit!

Over the course of time, most people will experience a slight yellowing to their teeth. In most cases, this is completely normal, but it can cause some patients to feel insecure about the aesthetic appearance of their smile. To remedy this, Beeville Dental Care happily provides dental whitening (or bleaching) treatments that can be used to change the color of your dental enamel and give your teeth the shine you’re looking for.

There are a number of different ways to whiten your smile, but the most popular in this day and age is the take-home whitening kit. This method allows you to whiten your teeth significantly on your own time in the comfort of your own home. It’s important to note, though, that teeth whitening kits only target your natural dental enamel. The bleaching agents won’t affect any crowns, veneers or ceramic fillings. You will want to evaluate these after undergoing the bleaching treatments to determine if their color matches to your satisfaction. Dr. Quiñones-Whitmore can replace any restorations after bleaching so that they match your enamel. 

Take-home whitening typically requires two visits to our office. During the first, we will take impressions of your teeth to create custom whitening trays made of a clear plastic. During the second appointment, we will have you try on the trays to ensure they fit properly. We can then make any adjustments as needed. 

Our office will provide specific instructions on how long and how often to wear the trays depending on whether you prefer to wear them for short periods of time or overnight and the degree of whitening you wish to achieve. Some patients experience slight sensitivity or tingling sensations while wearing the trays, but this will subside shortly after finishing the whitening session.

Dental whitening can be long-lasting depending on your diet and oral hygiene, but it’s not permanent. Regular touch-ups are recommended every few years, especially if you regularly drink coffee or soda or use tobacco products. Our office is happy to provide refills of our whitening gel so you can whiten your smile whenever you feel it’s necessary.

What are you waiting for? Call our office today at 361-358-9780 to brighten your smile for 2016! 

 


 

 

4 Pointers for Getting the Most Out of Brushing Your Teeth

If you’re already brushing your teeth twice a day, way to go! You’re doing better than the roughly 50% of United States citizens who struggle to keep up with this essential habit. Brushing regularly not only removes food from your teeth, but also stimulates your gums, scrapes away plaque and tartar and eliminates odor-causing oral bacteria. That means fewer cavities, healthier gums and a strong, attractive smile. So while you’re busy being an oral hygiene rock star, why not go the extra mile to ensure you’re making the very most out of your time spent polishing your pearly whites? Here are a few pointers to help get you there.

Choose the Perfect Toothbrush.

Not all toothbrushes are created equal. In fact, they vary quite a bit in terms of size, bristle length, bristle type and grip style. Using a brush that’s too big for your mouth will make it more difficult to clean the hard-to-reach places where plaque loves to hide. Similarly, using bristles that are too hard for your mouth can lead to unsightly ridges on your teeth and even gum recession. You’ll want to ask Dr. Quiñones-Whitmore about the type of brush that is right for you.

Pick the Right Toothpaste.

Choosing the right toothpaste is also important when it comes to getting the most out of brushing. Choosing a paste flavor that you enjoy will making brushing a more positive experience and therefore encourage you to remember to do it. Like toothbrushes, there are many types of toothpaste to choose from. Some help whiten your teeth, contain fluoride or help re-minerialize your dental enamel. You will want to put some thought into choosing the right paste for your taste and needs.

Master Your Grip.

According to the ADA, the optimal way to hold your toothbrush is at a 45-degree angle to your gums. This will target the cavity-causing plaque that builds up along your gum line. Use a gentle grip to move your toothbrush back and forth along the length of each tooth, careful to clean the chewing surfaces and each side. Use an up-and-down motion to clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth.

Take Your Time.

Brushing your teeth is often done at times when you have to hurry, like before going to work or when trying to get to bed on time. In spite of this, one of the most failsafe ways of getting the most value out of brushing is by putting some time into it. By this we mean around 2 to 3 minutes on average. Brushing your teeth for this length of time increases the likelihood that you’ll reach every surface and clean your teeth thoroughly. Consider setting a timer to help yourself get into the habit.

Dr. Quiñones-Whitmore and our staff are always here to provide professional advice on how best to care for your teeth. If you have any questions about how to brush most effectively, please call our office at 361-358-9780.

Sources:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth

http://sunvalleypediatricdentistry.com/statistics-brushing-flossing-oral-health/ 

 


 

 

5 Top Tooth-Staining Foods and Drinks

Over time, most people will experience a gradual yellowing of their teeth. For the majority of people, this is subtle and often goes unnoticed. Others, however, will experience a more saturated staining, causing their teeth to take on a cream, yellow or even brownish tinge. This can be attributed to a number of different causes, from certain medications to habitual smoking, but is most commonly the result of deeply pigmented and staining foods. Here are the top five culprits for teeth-staining foods and drinks.

Black coffee tops the list for teeth staining not only for its rich color, but also the frequency at which it’s consumed. The darker the coffee, the deeper and faster the staining will occur. To lessen the effects, consider mixing your coffee with milk or cream to dilute the color.

Tea is actually great for your dental health thanks to its tannin content, which is known to fight oral bacteria and plaque. However, it is best to stick to green, herbal and white teas to keep your teeth white while reaping these benefits. Black tea is a notorious stainer.

Dark sauces such as soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and even spaghetti sauce are both richly colored and high in acids, causing them to cling to your teeth and discolor them. To reduce these effects, it’s a good idea to include a leafy salad in your meal or dish, as this forms a protective layer over your teeth.

Cola drinks can not only stain your teeth, but also erode your dental enamel and cause cavities. Like dark sauces, they are high in acids which cause staining tannins and particulates to cling to your teeth.

Blueberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants which can help keep your teeth healthy and strong, but can also cause deep stains when consumed frequently. Drink a glass of water or green tea while eating blueberries to avoid staining.

If you’ve noticed an unsightly yellowing to your teeth, do not worry! At Beeville Dental Care we are happy to offer both in-office and take-home whitening treatments to get your teeth back to looking their very best! Call our office today at 361-358-9780 to speak with our experts about which treatment is best for you.

Source: http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/homerealestate/package.jsp?name=fte/stainteeth/stainteeth

 


 

 

Teeth Grinding: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Teeth grinding, clinically known as bruxism, is one of the most common oral disorders. It can range from a sometimes audible grinding to simple clenching of the jaw, and most frequently occurs during sleep. Most people grind their teeth from time to time, and it is usually harmless, but it can cause damage to the teeth and jaw if it happens on a regular basis. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth, it’s a good idea to get in contact with Dr. Quiñones-Whitmore, who can determine if you have done any damage to your teeth and whether treatment will be necessary.

Teeth Grinding Causes

Dentists aren’t entirely sure of all the causes of teeth grinding. It is commonly believed that emotions such as stress, frustration and anxiety can cause a malfunction of the chewing reflex, which is turned off in non-sufferers during sleep. Other known causes are sleep apnea, acid reflux and complications from Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease. If you are grinding your teeth while awake as well as during sleep, you may suffer from an abnormal bite or other jaw disorder that is making it difficult for your jaw to relax.

Teeth Grinding Symptoms

The telltale signs of teeth grinding include a constant dull headache, jaw pain, ear pain and anxiety. If these occur soon after you wake up, it may indicate that you grind your teeth in your sleep. Many people will also come to learn about the habit because their loved ones can hear the grinding at night.

If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to gum recession and tooth loss. The motion and pressure can cause pockets to form between your gums and teeth where bacteria collect, leading to decay and bone loss. Other adverse effects include abnormal wear patterns on the chewing surface of teeth, fractures in teeth, arthritis and tooth sensitivity.

Teeth Grinding Treatments

Unfortunately, there is no perfect cure for teeth grinding. Acrylic mouth guards created from impressions of your bite can be worn long-term to serve as a protective barrier between your teeth while you sleep. An NTI-tss device can also be fitted by Dr. Quiñones-Whitmore to cover your front teeth, preventing you from grinding your rear molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle. Finally, Botox® injections are sometimes used to relax and weaken the jaw muscles so that they are prevented from clenching while you sleep, while still allowing you to chew food normally while awake.

If you have any questions or think you might suffer from teeth grinding, call our office today at 361-358-9780.

 


 

 

7 Facts You Should Know About Laser Dentistry

These days, lasers are used for a lot more than entertaining cats and blasting space aliens. In fact, they have a wide variety of applications in modern dentistry. A laser is simply an intense beam of light that can be used to shape a variety of materials. Approved for use by the FDA in 1990, lasers are quickly becoming popular alternatives to traditional dental techniques thanks to their added precision and comfort during treatment. Here at Beeville Dental Care in Beeville, Texas, we are dedicated to keeping up with the very latest technologies available in dentistry and prosthodontics. Here are several reasons why we believe you should keep laser dentistry in mind for your smile.

Greater Precision: Laser dentistry can be significantly more precise than traditional methods. For example, when used for fillings, the laser is able to carefully remove decayed parts of your tooth while leaving the healthy parts untouched, preserving the tooth structure and reducing hairline cracks.

Increased Comfort: Lasers are extremely gentle on soft tissue and sensitive areas. They can be used to remove tumors, perform biopsies of suspicious tissue and even prepare cavities for fillings often without the need for anesthesia.

Reduced Dental Anxiety: It is fairly common for patients to feel some anxiety surrounding dental drills. Laser dentistry eliminates the need for a drill, along with its noise and vibrations.

Accelerated Healing: Because dental lasers are so precise and gentle, they damage far less of the surrounding tissue than traditional methods. This means shorter healing times and less discomfort!

Eliminates Oral Bacteria: Lasers can be used to kill oral bacteria in sensitive areas such as surgical sites and cavities that are being prepared for fillings. 

Reshapes Soft Tissue: Dental lasers are routinely used to reshape and dissolve soft tissue for cosmetic effect or increased comfort. Some examples include exposing more of the tooth (or lengthening it) by removing small amounts of gum tissue and removing uncomfortable folds of soft tissue caused by dentures.

Cosmetic Improvements: When combined with a peroxide bleaching solution, dental lasers are often used to expedite bleaching procedures, resulting in a longer-lasting, brighter whitening.

Interested in learning more about laser dentistry? Visit our Laser Dentistry page to read more!


 


 

 

Remember to Floss with these 5 Tips

 

At Beeville Dental Care, our passion for our patients extends far outside the walls of our office. In addition to making your dental care a top priority when you visit us, it is also our goal to equip you with the tools and knowledge to best care for your smile when you’re at home. This includes advice on how to maintain a healthy flossing and brushing schedule to keep tooth decay at bay. We understand that remembering to floss your teeth can be a challenge in the midst of a busy schedule. Here are a few tips from Dr. Q that may help you stay on top of this essential habit.

Be Choosy – There are many types of floss to choose from. While traditional flossing using nylon thread is considered the best, floss picks, water picks and other devices can work too depending on your comfort level, dexterity and how close your teeth are to one another. You will want to select a method that works best for you.

Make is Easy - Stash floss in a variety of places to remind yourself to do it. This is especially easy if you use floss picks, which don’t require a mirror for effective use. Store some next to your favorite chair, at the dinner table or maybe even at work!

Make it a Routine – They say that it takes 21 days for a habit to fully form. Try to floss for 21 days straight to make this an easy-to-follow routine. You might be surprised that it sticks!

Write a Note – Posting a sticky note on your mirror or bathroom door can help you remember not to skip flossing in the morning or evening. Even leaving your floss out on the counter so you’ll see it can be a good visual reminder to keep you in the habit.

Start from the Ground Up – It can be challenging to start flossing daily right off the bat, but this might not be necessary. Provided your gums are fairly healthy, it’s okay to begin by flossing every other day or even a few times a week. As time passes, you’ll begin to notice an improvement in your oral health. Let this be encouragement for you to crank up the action and floss daily!

At Beeville Dental Care, we’re happy to provide flossing tips and advice that suits you individually! If you have any questions, give us a call today at 361-358-9780.