DO I NEED DENTAL X-RAYS?
X-rays will help discover any problems early.
To provide optimal care, the staff at Yankee Springs Dental recommends dental x-rays once a year. X-rays help us track your oral health and address problems early, when most areas of concern are easily corrected. If you have questions about x-rays, don’t hesitate to discuss your dental needs with our dentist or hygienist. Keep in mind that our office takes advantage of modern technology, including safe digital x-rays.
HOW DO I KEEP A HEALTHY MOUTH?
Yankee Springs Dental provides the following guidelines to keep a healthy mouth:
Brush and Floss
You’ve heard this before, but proper dental hygiene will prevent the majority of dental problems for most people. Decay and periodontal diseases are infections caused by bacteria in plaque deposits. It is important to thoroughly remove plaque from all surfaces at least once a day. Brushing doesn’t reach germs that are between the teeth, so flossing is important. Once your teeth are clean, it takes about 24 hours for the bacteria to reach disease causing levels. Making brushing and flossing part of your daily routine, goes far in keeping your mouth healthy.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Professional cleaning on a regular basis is obviously important in the control of periodontal disease. A regular exam and x-rays are just as important. Oral diseases often have early symptoms. Periodontitis, gingivitis, decay, and oral cancer are much easier and less expensive to treat when caught early.
Protect Your Teeth
Make sure your family members wear mouth guards for sports and wear a night guard if you know you are clenching or scraping your teeth together (bruxism) during the night. Of course, it is also very important not to use teeth as tools–or ice crushers.
Do not Smoke
Smoking adversely affects your oral health in many ways. Most of us recognize that smoking leads to stained, yellow teeth, but there are greater, less obvious, dangers. Smokers are more likely to get oral cancer than those who do not smoke. Periodontal disease in smokers is more severe, progresses faster, and responds poorly to treatment. There is also a high risk for oral cancer and injured gums with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Update Your Medical History
We update our patients’ history on every visit. While it may not seem important, your dentist must be aware of your health conditions and the medications you are taking to properly manage your treatment. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, affect your oral health both directly and indirectly.
We thank the MDA for their permission to include information from their articles on our website.
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY SERVICES?
We are doing everything to keep the cost of our services affordable while doing nothing to compromise the excellent care you deserve. One way to do this is by eliminating the cost of sending statements. When you first visit our office, you will be given a choice of payment options. Cash or checks are welcome, and if you wish to make extended payments, we also accept credit cards. An interest-free option is often available through Care Credit. Visit www.carecredit.com to apply, or get an application from our office.
In the event that we bill as a “non-participating” provider for your insurance plan, we will file for you, and we’ll assist with any insurance questions you may have. Sometimes people ask why they should go to a dentist who is not on their insurance network. You should know that being an “In Network” or “Preferred Dental Provider” means that in order to get your business, a dentist has negotiated a contract with specific insurance carriers in which the dentist agrees to reduce a fee in exchange for being listed in the carriers’ directory and website. This allows not only the fees to be dictated by the insurance carrier but also, in many cases, the treatment. The more carriers a dentist contracts with, the less time the clinician can spend with each patient in order to cover the expenses of the practice. We also believe it is unfair that patients who do not have insurance coverage be charged more to cover the losses of those who get insurance discounts in a “participating” practice. Our patients who have had this type of insurance chosen for them by an employer, often find that their additional cost–if any–is very minimal.
We take pride in the quality of care we deliver and our fees for services. They reflect the the products we choose to use for your benefit and the amount of individualized care we offer each patient. Our priority is to keep affordable fees without compromising quality. We believe that the quality of our services will be reflected in a beautiful, and lasting healthy smile. Dr. Kokmeyer and Dr. Ackermann have carefully considered their decision to remain “out of network”. This is a win, win situation for our patients. Our policy allows every patient to benefit from the best individualized care without the limitations placed by insurance carriers, while still having their insurance claims processed. Our patients appreciate this benefit.
IS IT OK TO HAVE BLEEDING GUMS?
There are many reasons your gums might bleed, but bleeding usually warns of a problem. A patient may be brushing too hard, or bleeding may be an early sign of gum disease. We can instruct you on the best toothbrush and pressure for effective brushing. If your gums show signs of gingivitis or gum disease, more frequent and deeper hygiene treatment may be recommended to stop the disease and restore your gums to good health. It is important to realize that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults. It has also been linked to many overall health conditions including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant health problems.
Jan, our hygienist, has received specialized training to provide non-surgical treatment to help our patients keep healthy gums. In most cases, the treatment can take place in our office, eliminating the need to drive to the office of a specialist.
WHEN IS IT TIME FOR A CHECKUP?
It is important that patients with good oral health have an exam and hygiene visit at least twice each year. We will let you know if you need to schedule more frequently. Even if you don’t notice any pain or problems with your teeth, it is still important to keep regular appointments so that we can discover the first signs of potential problems. Too often oral cancer goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can also become a problem. Our hygienist will clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth, and we’ll make sure your gums are healthy and strong.
Our patients have found that keeping regular exam and cleaning appointments often prevents more extensive–and more expensive–treatment later.