Tuesday, November 10, 2015

American Dental Association In Action

Every year the American Dental Association has an annual meeting. They rotate which city will host it, and this year it was Washington DC's turn to play host. I, along with the rest of the board of the Utah Dental Association, took advantage of the location this year to visit with our state senators and congressmen to discuss some bills and resolutions that we are fighting for to improve dental coverage for our patients.

There are 3 bills/resolutions in particular that we are pushing. I'll give you a quick summary of each bill.
1- we are trying to repeal the McCarron Ferguson act that was passed 60 years ago. It gives insurance companies exemption from anti-trust laws. Basically insurance companies can collude to price fix and do other illegal things that end up hurting the patient. They don't have to play by the same rules as everyone else and we want the playing field leveled. Once this happens patients will see an increase in innovation and as a result their insurance benefits will improve, costs will shrink, and efficiency will improve. 
2-we are seeking changes to the ERISA laws that were passed back in the 1970's. Long story short is that insurance companies are unfairly denying patients their rightful benefits at times, and when we try to prosecute them through the state insurance commission the insurance companies hide behind this federal law. An unintended consequence of the law is that it allows insurance companies to bully their patients and get away with it. We want our patients to rightfully receive the benefits they have been paying the insurance company for.
3-The federal government won't allow federal student loans to be refinanced more than once and are locking students into rates that are far above market value. We want this law changed to allow student loans to be treated more like mortgages are. After all, many dental students are now graduating with $450,000 in student loans. If a person has a home mortgage it can be refinanced multiple times to get a better interest rate. Student loans don't have that option unfortunately, and as a result they miss out on tremendous savings opportunities. 
It's an uphill battle for all three but we have to try.

One thing that I learned from meeting with our representatives is that together we can accomplish our goals. Government may be slow and frustrating at times, but the best way to get stuff done is to work together.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Implants vs Bridges

Unfortunately sometimes a tooth needs to be pulled for various reasons. Two of the best options to replace a missing tooth are implants and bridges.  Each has some pros and cons.  This cool image breaks down some of it easily.

In our office a bridge costs about the same as an implant, so price is not an issue. This is good because it allows us to better decide on which is the best treatment option for the situation.  Most of the time we will recommend an implant because it's the better option, but there are times when we will recommend a bridge.  Here are a few examples: severely medically compromised individuals (i.e. uncontrolled diabetes, history of bisphosphonates, etc.), severe bone loss where there is no longer sufficient bone for an implant, or for esthetic reasons. In these situations it is better in the patients interest to forego the implant and pursue a bridge.

The majority of the time though implants are the better option because they are easier to clean and maintain. Bridges are very difficult to keep clean as you need to thread the floss underneath the bridge which can be cumbersome and time consuming.  Implants are less invasive on the other teeth. Bridges require grinding down one tooth in front and one tooth behind the missing tooth, and we try to avoid grinding down good teeth, whereas implants don't need to bother or change the teeth next to them.  Implants last must longer than a bridge. Bridges tend to last a mere 10 years. If the bridge is resting on a tooth that has had a root canal, that time frame goes down even more.  Implants on the other hand can last a lifetime if you keep them clean.  Also, implants help to preserve the bone. Jaw bone is funny and unlike any other bone in the body. It thinks its only purpose is to support teeth. When the teeth are gone, the bone resorbs and shrinks in size. This can affect how you look. Implants are bone stabilizers. When an implant is placed, it preserves the jaw bone.

Implants can look incredibly life like. Esthetically they are difficult to distinguish from your natural teeth. Technological advancements have really improved the look, feel and durability of implants.

So if you are missing teeth, feel free to ask us which option would best benefit you to replace the missing teeth. Contact us for more info or visit our website to learn more about your options.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry is a buzz phrase often heard in our industry. Dentists use the phrase to describe a style of dentistry they offer, and patients reference it when discussing what type of dentistry they are interested in. So what is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure that can improve the aesthetics of your smile. Whether it is something as simple as whitening your teeth or as complex as a full mouth makeover, cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile. Many people have teeth that are chipped, discolored, misshapen or even missing and as a result don't smile with the confidence they would prefer. That is when they pursue some of the treatment options that we can provide.
At Park City Dentistry we offer a variety of these cosmetic services. Some of the most popular are our 1 hour in office teeth whitening procedures, porcelain veneers that look incredibly life-like, implants to replace missing teeth, crowns for misshapen teeth, gum therapy for patients suffering from periodontitis, and even realistic dentures for patients who have lost all of their teeth.
Our goal is to help our patients leave here with beautiful, natural looking teeth. We aim for the type of teeth that will make your family and friends wish they had your smile. We take great satisfaction in providing cosmetic procedures that even many of the most trained eyes can't detect if they are natural or not.
One added benefit of cosmetic dental procedures extends beyond even the aesthetics of your smile. Cosmetic dental options can even improve many of your oral health problems like your bite and gum health.
If you have any questions about the procedures we offer or about what options you would have with your smile, feel free to call our office and set up an appointment for a consultation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Guidelines for Artificial Joint Patients

Have you had a joint replacement in the past and felt confused on whether or  not you should take antibiotics prior to your dental treatment?  Well you are not alone.  Many in the medical industry have been confused with the changing guidelines recommended for joint replacement patients.  It has been recommended that patients with prosthetic joints should pre-medicate for life.  It has also been recommended to pre-medicate for 2 years after the surgery.  Confusing, right? Now the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) have clarified the issue and determined that patients with prosthetic joints no longer need to pre-medicate.
Their reasons for this recommendation are based on their findings that there is no association between dental procedures and the occurrence of prosthetic joint infections. Factors also considered in the recommendation included:
1- Antibiotic resistance due to overuse of these drugs.
2- Adverse drug reactions such as anaphylaxis, nausea, vomiting and development of allergy like symptoms.
3- Cost.  The results of a 2013 report revealed that the annual cost of amoxicillin administered to patients with joint prostheses before dental procedures in the U.S. probably exceeded $50 million!

So the bottom line is that if you have had a joint replacement you no longer need to pre-medicate for dental visits.  These new guidelines do not apply however to pre-medication for patients with cardiac issues that were outlined in 2007.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why good dental hygiene is important

A few recent studies published by NYU, Harvard, and the University of Bristol have shed light on the need for good oral hygiene.  You can read a summary of the reports here.

Most people are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease and bad breath.  But there are other problems that can result from neglecting your mouth.  The studies mention that Alzheimer's disease, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease can possibly be caused by poor oral hygiene.

Take care of your mouth, and it will take care of you.  If you need to schedule a cleaning and check up, feel free to call our office today at 435-649-4343 and let us help you improve both your oral health and your overall health.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Power of a Smile

Dr. Steven Lin gave a powerful TEDx talk on the power of a smile.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Can Green Tea Fight Cavities?

Studies show that drinking green tea can strengthen your teeth and help fight cavities.  That is if you don't add sugar to your tea. So next time you are ready to drink your green tea, hold off on the sugar to protect your teeth.
On a side note, they have found that coffee does not affect your teeth one way or the other, unless you add sugar to your coffee.  If you add sugar to your coffee, then you are more likely to get cavities and are at risk of losing your teeth.
The take away from these studies, avoid your sugar intake for the benefit of your teeth.