Dental Blogs by Cumming, GA Dentist, Dr. Sangita Venkatesh


On this page I would like to write from time to time about dental issues and topics that are on most of my patients' minds. The topics will range from everyday dental hygiene to complex topics such as root canal, implants, dental insurance etc... This page is meant to be both informative as well as interactive for my patients. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. As your family dentist, it is my desire to provide as much information as possible so you are prepared for your office visit as well as make informed decisions about your everyday dental needs. You may also contact us for comments, suggestions or concerns by calling our office or sending us a message from the Contact Us page.


Dental Health Checks



By Dr. Sangita Venkatesh, D.M.D

Why should you visit a dentist regularly?

Are you one of those individuals that does not believe in visiting a dentist regularly? Do you visit a dentist only when you have tooth ache? Do you think bad breath is ok? Have you been recommended some dental treatment and you decided to not take care of them because you think it’s too expensive or unnecessary? If you answered Yes to any of these questions you are not alone. Many people in developing and under developed countries do not visit a dentist regularly for a variety of reasons including but not limited to poverty, lack of access to dental insurance, lack of access to quality dental care, misbelief etc … Some even question why it’s necessary to visit a dentist regularly for cleaning, because they brush every day and their teeth are clean. In this article I would like to shed some light on why visiting a dentist regularly is very important especially in a country like America where quality dental care is very affordable.

A person with good oral health needs to visit a dentist only every six months. Most dental insurance plans cover two dental exams and two regular cleanings per year but most people fail to take advantage of their benefits. Regular dental visits are necessary for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Dentists are well qualified to spot potential issues that could cause pain, discomfort or expenses down the road. A good dentist will not cut corners when providing oral care. Depending on the condition of your oral health, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.
There’s a big difference between someone who has a healthy mouth and someone with gum disease. Those with gum or periodontal disease need a deep cleaning also known as scaling and root planing. And if you are one of those patients that have this disease, your dentist will not only recommend deep cleaning but will also recommend you visit the dentist every 3 or 4 months for follow up cleaning known as periodontal maintenance cleaning. Let me explain why this is very important and key to maintaining a healthy mouth.

While brushing twice a day and flossing is very important to maintaining good oral health, it alone is not enough. The reason it’s not enough is because, after every meal left over food particle and saliva mix and form a sticky substance called plaque. This is problematic because it contains bacteria and it eats away the enamel that protects the teeth and thereby causes cavities and tooth decay. If you don’t have the habit of brushing and flossing your teeth properly after every meal, this plaque keeps accumulating and over a period hardens to a point, a regular brush can’t remove them no matter how many times or how hard you brush. This hardened plaque is called tartar. The tartar is the substance that looks yellow on your teeth and causes smell and bad breath. The tartars can only be cleaned by a professional dentist or a hygienist. They do this by scraping them away with special tools. It’s very difficult and takes a lot of motivation and belief to brush and floss after every meal and as life unfolds many of us keep postponing healthcare in general and oral care particularly and this only worsens the situation.

So, you might ask what is this plaque and how it gets formed? The plaque forms due to a chemical reaction that happens between the food particles left over in our mouth, carbohydrates, bacteria and saliva. The first step of this process involves chewing down the food into carbohydrates. The carbohydrates then combine with bacteria that is normally found in our mouth to create an acid. This acid alone can break down the enamel. But they also combine with leftover food particle and saliva and form a sticky substance that is somewhat hard and is known as plaque. While you can control your diet to limit candies, sweets and other carbohydrates rich food, it’s not reasonable to avoid carbohydrates.
Hence the best thing to do is to brush and floss at least twice a day to give yourself the best chance to avoid plaques. The plaque once formed needs to be cleaned within 48 hours by proper brushing. If not they harden and is impossible to remove by a regular tooth brush no matter how hard you try. It is therefore necessary to visit your dentist so plaque and tartar are removed. If you do not visit the dentist frequently, this tartar keeps building around your gums and when left untreated, over a period they cause the gums to get infected and causes them to turn red, swell and recede. Swollen gums usually don’t cause pain and discomfort during this stage and eventually bleed during brushing. Healthy gums will not bleed during day to day activities. Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection etc…

Gum disease is the mildest form of periodontitis and is reversible with professional treatment and good home care. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis as the tartar will start to build below your gum line and with periodontal disease there are more harmful, destructive bacteria present that have the potential to destroy your jaw bone and other supporting structures around the teeth. The body’s natural reaction to this is to fight the bacteria by losing bone. As you might know, the teeth are held in place by the bone. As you might also know, bone loss is irreversible and over a period it will cause the teeth to become loose and eventually tooth loss. Its therefore very critical to visit your dentist regularly so well trained eyes can provide the right treatment and care for your oral health. As I mentioned earlier, Oral health is also an indication of underlying health conditions and so your dentist may recommend follow up visits to your physician to address them.

Another factor to consider is the cost of delayed dental care. While most insurances cover healthy mouth cleaning twice a year with no out of pocket expenses, they also provide benefits with some out of pocket expenses for other dental necessities including deep cleaning, cavity fillings, crowns etc … Most dental conditions are cost effective and best treated early when they are not too serious. For e.g. cavities are best treated when they are small as they only grow if left untreated for a long period of time. As cavities do not cause any discomfort when they are small and are virtually invisible to untrained eyes, not visiting a dentist regularly will not only cause them to grow bigger but also cost more when its detected at a later stage. Sometimes delaying treatment for cavities might lead to root canal treatment or possibly even extraction of the tooth as your dentist may not be able to save the tooth if the cavity has decayed the tooth beyond restorable limits. Needless to mention, root canal treatment is more expensive compared to a filling. While the cost of extraction itself is comparable to the cost of cavity filling, depending on your age and lifestyle needs, replacing a lost tooth can be very expensive. Some of the replacement options for a lost tooth are bridge, implant or partial denture etc… depending on one’s dental necessities.

There is also a common misbelief in certain individuals that a dental visit causes one’s dental health to deteriorate as these individuals mistakenly believe dentists can damage their teeth so they may have to keep going back for treatment. The hygienists and dentists go through extensive education and training and are certified to treat dental conditions effectively without causing any damage to teeth structure. As I stated earlier, not visiting a dentist regularly can cause the dental enamel to break down as opposed to a dental cleaning by your dentist.

In summary, it’s in your best interest to visit a dentist regularly for maintaining good oral health as it provides the best possible care at the right time for your dental necessities. It also keeps the expenses down for dental care regardless of whether you have insurance or not. It also gives you a chance to keep your overall health in check. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and call your dentist and make an appointment for a treatment he or she may have already recommended for you or get an assessment of your current oral health. If you do not currently have a dentist or are not satisfied with your current dentist, I will be more than happy to be your family’s dentist. I am a general dentist at Bright Smiles in Cumming, GA. I provide most dental services in house for the whole family including small children and adults.

Whether it is a simple cleaning, cavity filling, complex oral surgery like extraction including wisdom teeth, implants or braces for children and adults, I can help you with best possible oral care for your family. At Bright Smiles, you can count on honest, reliable and quality dental care. Bright Smiles is located at 907 Buford Hwy #100 Cumming, GA 30041. You can call (678) 922-8282 or visit https://www.BrightSmilesGA.com to learn about our office or make an appointment.

Source: Wisdom Bites
Dental Health Checks By Dr.…


Teeth Whitening or Bleaching ?

For a lot of people cosmetic dentistry begins and probably ends with Tooth Bleaching or Whitening.  For many of us a better smile might just mean whiter teeth.
Lets get into the history of Bleaching,
 
Bleaching  teeth is not a new procedure. Romans have been known to use Uric Acid, Washing Soda or Sodium Carbonate and Salts of Tartar (Potassium Carbonate) to whiten their teeth. In the United States most available Bleaching options contain Carbamide Peroxide and or Hydrogen Peroxide. Some countries have allowed the use of Chloride Dioxide for this purpose, but its safety has not been established and we are not sure if you should use it at this point.

 

So, why do teeth get discolored?
    Teeth get stained either internally or on their surface.  Surface stains collect on teeth due to our habits such as Wine or Tea Consumption, Smoking etc. Also, if you are not regularly getting your teeth cleaned at a Dental Office, you are more likely to have tartar build up on your teeth causing them to turn yellow.
     Teeth also discolor as a result of aging or the way they form genetically. Sometimes teeth get discolored as a result of Trauma where as a fall or an accident can cause the “nerve” inside the tooth to “die”.  Teeth also discolor because of long standing Amalgam or Silver fillings inside them.
So what are the steps before you get your teeth Bleached?
     It is our opinion that before you initiate any Bleaching treatment, you should consult your Dentist. Because there are many different reasons for them to get discolored, it is always best to get a professional opinion before you begin your bleaching journey. Many times cavities are asymptomatic or “quiet” and need to be taken care of before you initiate bleaching. Putting bleaching agents on teeth with cavities is not a good idea. Also, bleaching works well on a clean tooth surface. If your tooth is covered with tartar or stains you will not be getting a good result.
What are my options?
     There are multiple different options to Bleach your teeth. The least effective products are the “Whitening” products such as Toothpastes etc. These products can call themselves Whitening because the FDA defines Whitening as  removing stains so the teeth are clean and as white as they can be. Bleaching on the other hand is actually changing the color of the teeth. So just ” whitening” products are probably not as effective as Bleaching products.
     As far as Bleaching options go there are again different options. You have two different options at a Dental Office. One being the “Power Whitening” option where the bleaching is carried out inside the office. Chemicals with higher concentrations of Peroxide are used for a duration of an hour or so. This may be accompanied with a light. These options are typically more expensive, however there is the convenience of having your teeth significantly lighter in an hour or so. The power bleaching option will require you to use trays for a few weeks to get to the shade that you prefer.
      The other type of Bleaching that is commonly done by a Dentist is a “Take Home Bleaching” using Trays that are custom made for your mouth. Our office prefers this kind of Bleaching. The process is gradual and can be stopped if you start developing problems.
You could use these trays to deliver Fluoride or Sensitivity relief materials if needed. More importantly there is no difference in the amount of whitening delivered by both methods.
Commercially available Bleaching options range from Trays, Strips that have Peroxide on Polyethylene strips and even paint on gels. These maybe a good options for patients with a healthy mouth, who do see the Dentist on a regular basis but, a poor option for people who have not had a Oral Evaluation in multiple years.
Is Bleaching Safe?
     There has been a lot of research on Professionally conducted Bleaching treatments for the past 20 years or so that shows that Bleaching is a very safe procedure. However there are a few common risks. Gum Irritation, Tooth Sensitivity and rarely allergic reaction to the chemicals in the Bleach. There are multiple ways these symptoms can be managed with help from your dentist so that you can have your teeth as white as you would like.
     It is important to note that the research only supports the safety of Professionally Conducted Bleaching and it does not support the safety of “Over The Counter” materials.
    It is also possible to “Over Bleach” your teeth. We have seen patients abuse bleaching products causing their teeth to get a reddish-grayish color. Unfortunately, since a lot of times these patients are bleaching without supervision, they tend to bleach their teeth even more and it makes the problem worse. So, it’s always safe to use these products with professional guidance.
     All bleaching products release free radicals and it is commonly known that free radicals have been linked to cell damage and have potential toxic effects. We do tend to advise caution when women are expecting, lactating, and in teenagers. We feel that they should wait before they bleach their teeth. More research is needed before we can assume that this procedure is harmless in these patient population.
     So, armed with all this knowledge, come in or call us @ (678) 922-8282 or click here to schedule an appointment for your FREE CONSULTATION at Bright Smileslocated in Cumming, GA 30041.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb Sucking is a very common concern for most Parents. It is important to understand that the need to suck is a very important survival trait that helps infants survive in the first few months of their lives.
This need to suck results in infants engaging in sucking even inside the mother’s womb and is seen continuing in infants till they are about 2 years or so. Thumb Sucking is so common that it is safe to say that a 100% of Children have done it at some point in their lives.
Now, most Children stop this habit on their own and only about 10% of 4 year olds continue with the habit. At this point most parents feel that something should be done to help the child wean off the habit. It is important to break the habit because continuing the habit leads to malformation of the jaw, crooked teeth or buck teeth, altered patterns of speech, altered position of lips, higher chance of injuries to front teeth due to falls etc. So what to do about Thumb Sucking? Like with most things, prevention is better than the cure. The AAPD recommends that children use a Pacifier that is dentally Recommended instead of a thumb. It is so much easier to take the pacifier away when the need arises. Thumbs well…not so much.
Children suck their thumbs if they are feeling insecure. It is important for us to recognize this and try to fix the problem. For example, if the habit occurs when the child is bored, then distracting or engaging them should work well. Praise always works better than scolding. Remember it’s almost impossible to reason with a young child about long term effects of anything they do. Telling them, “If you do not stop putting your thumb in your mouth, you will need braces!” might make as much sense as speaking mandarin. You could point out to his or her favorite characters and show them how they do not put their thumbs in their mouths etc. Gentle reminders work better than haranguing your child. Peer pressure many times work better than parental pressure! Also, repeated scolding’s might make your child a Closet Thumb Sucker.
Try giving them control of the behavior and offer praise and rewards for success. A daily chart that plots times that finger was not sucked perhaps and a reward for a set goal is an example. Parents should not be frustrated when there is a relapse. Johnny was not potty trained in a week, these things take time to work.
A sufficiently mature child, usually after 4 years of age can be helped with habit reminder.
Bitter Tasting nail polish like Mavala Stop or Physical Restraints such as Thumb Guard will help them stop the habit. It is very important to continue whatever training tool you are using for at least 3-4 weeks to make sure they break the habit. If you are seeing a general decrease in the amount of sucking, then you are on the right track.  Relapses can happen and do not be surprised if there is a new child, or if you move or if their normal routine is disrupted in any way if the habit reappears. Night time sucking is the last to go, and the most difficult to stop.
Ok, so if you have tried all that and it does not work, we dentists can make a guard that fits in the child’s mouth. This is worn by the child at all times and is painless. It’s not very visible and sits behind the child’s front teeth and stops the placement of the Thumb or Finger. These usually work most of the time but they cannot be used on preschoolers. Any Jaw Deformations can be corrected easily on kids about 8 years old or so.
Call us (Bright Smiles, Cumming, GA) at (678) 922-8282 or click here to schedule a free consultation with a dentist for your child’s thumb sucking habit or dental health.


Canker Sores

Canker sores (also called as Apthous Ulcers) are pretty common and it is estimated that 25% of the population has had one or two sores at some point in their lives. Thankfully, this pesky problem is a short lived one and mostly self-limiting. 

There are three types of Canker Sores, Minor, Major and Herpetiform Ulcers. The first kind is the most common with a solitary small lesion. The other two manifest as multiple lesions and are difficult to manage, but are thankfully rare. 
Canker sores usually start inside your mouth either on the tongue or cheek as sensitive or tingly or burning areas. This is then followed by the formation of an ulcer about the size of a pea. These do hurt quite a bit but are short lived and most patients usually feel better about the 6 or 7th day and are asymptomatic by the 10th day. Canker sores always happen on the insides of your mouth like your tongue, insides of your lips or cheeks and this makes them different from Cold Sores. Cold Sores happen quite frequently on the outsides of the lips and while Cold Sores are infectious, Canker Sores are not. 

So…how do we stop them from occurring?
Since we are not really sure at this point as to what causes them there are multiple suggestions to prevent them from happening.
Some patients might be susceptible to Canker Sores due to nutritional imbalances. So if you find yourself getting Canker Sores frequently, Zinc, Folate, Vitamin B 12 and/or Iron supplements might help you control the frequency of occurrences.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is a chemical used in many toothpastes has been known to cause Canker Sores in susceptible patients. It might be beneficial for some patients to switch to a toothpaste that is SLS free. Toms of Maine, Sensodyne and Biotene are a few companies that make SLS free toothpastes.

What to do if you have one?
There are many home remedies that you are welcome to try. My personal favorite is to put a pinch of salt on the ulcer. It will hurt like crazy for a minute but does feel better for a long time after. If that sounds too radical, you could rinse your mouth with one tablespoon of salt and baking soda in four ounces of water multiple times a day.

If it hurts to eat, you could apply Oral Gel or a similar anesthetic over the lesion before you eat. You could make an anesthetic mouth wash by mixing a teaspoon of Benadryl Syrup with a teaspoon of Magnesium Hydroxide Antacid or Kaopectate and rinse your mouth multiple times a day. Make sure you spit out the rinse or you will be setting yourself for constipation!

Sometimes these ulcers can be really painful and you are welcome to stop by the office. Special cautery is available that can help reduce the pain from the lesion almost immediately.  If you need help with Canker Sores in Cumming, GA or Suwanee, GA or for any other Dental Emergency call us at (678) 922-8282 or click here to schedule an appointment.


Your child’s first dental visit

A lot of times we are asked on what to say or not say before a child’s first visit at our Dental office. We have a few suggestions on how you should handle this important discussion.

At Bright Smiles we recognize that every child is different. Thankfully, most children have a reasonably good time at the Dental office, but some don’t.  There are 30 million or so Dental Phobics in our society today and surely some of them got that way because their visits to the Dentist were not as pleasant as it could have been. We are sure that some of this fear stems from early childhood. At Bright Smiles, we are more concerned about the child having a pleasant and comfortable visit….. and very importantly not be afraid to come back. Please realize that most Dental problems are not life threatening and with little bit of time and understanding most treatments can be achieved in a safe manner. A lot of times all you need is spend a few extra hours in the beginning and your child will be a good dental patient for life.

So…with that basic understanding of our philosophy, what do we want you to say about your child’s upcoming Dental Visit?

a) Please say that you will be taking your child to see a new Dental Office. Please avoid saying, “Don’t worry or It does not hurt” etc. These will usually have the opposite effect and make the child worried needlessly.

b) If the child, being naturally curious, were to ask why, you could say something like, “We are going to have the dentist count your teeth, take pictures of them and maybe brush your teeth. After that you can get your face painted or get a cool glowing balloon! (We give those to our young patients) You may also do puzzles and get a treat from the treasure box!” How you phrase your answers might affect the outcome. If you are not sure on how to answer a particular question, you could choose to write the questions down and have us answer it.

c) It is very important that YOU do not feel stressed during the appointment or before it. Your feelings will be read by your children very well. During the visit some parents feel the need to get a set of goals accomplished. We realize that you have to take time off your busy schedule. Most children do well and are able to get needed work done. But there are some, who are shy or anxious and need a few visits to the place before they are comfortable. We are willing to spend the time to make your child comfortable if you are.

d) What will happen during your child’s First Dental Visit at Bright Smiles?
You will be greeted by our front office team member and asked to fill out relevant forms pertaining to your child. If you deem appropriate, please ask our team member to choose a movie or cartoon that your child might enjoy. Next you and your child will be shown a tour of the office. After this depending on how comfortable your child is with our team, we will clean his or her teeth, take dental x-rays if needed and apply flouride to prevent cavities. In 9 out of 10 patients things go smoothly. However, every once in a while, a child might get apprehensive. We might choose to not push at this point. We might accomplish as much as they are comfortable and set another appointment in a week or so.We believe eventually they will come around.

You are welcome to visit your child’s treatment area but please be a silent partner. We feel it is very important that you not instruct your child during your time with us. We will definitely take your permission before we do anything but please let us handle your child. All you do is maybe spend a few extra hours in the beginning and he/she will be a good dental patient for life.
If you need a General Dentist in the Cumming and Suwanee area to take care of your child in a Compassionate way call us at (678) 922-8282 and/or email your questions or concerns at contact@brightsmilesga.com or visit us here to schedule an appointment.

(A lot of this information is from my experience and Dr. Alan Pike’s Building a NO Fear Practice book)


Toothpaste – Choices Choices Choices ….

Have you ever wondered why there are so many options when it comes to toothpaste and which one is good for you, your children or family? In this blog I will try to clear any doubts you have about which one of the many toothpastes that are in the market is better for your teeth. 
One common question we get asked all the time is what toothpaste to use?
 Now, humans have been using all kinds of things for a long time to clean our teeth. Ancient Indians were using Neem tree barks to clean their teeth. Ashes made of Ox hooves, Burnt Eggshells, Crushed Bones, Oyster Shells, and Charcoals have all been used in the past. Chalk was initially used in the 1850s. Dr. Peabody, a Dentist incorporated soap into the product to make it foam. In 1873, Colgate started to mass produce toothpaste in a Jar! The first real health benefit from toothpastes came about in 1956 when Proctor and Gamble added Fluoride to their Crest toothpaste brand.
Most modern toothpastes have a few major ingredients to them. There is an abrasive that helps your brush scrub the biofilm off your teeth. There are detergents to generate foam, Fluoride to help re-mineralize and strengthen our teeth and Flavoring agents. What you need to look for when shopping for toothpaste is an ADA Seal. The American Dental Association will certify commercially available products on their safety. This is very important because there was a recent incident, where a non-certified toothpaste was found to contain Antifreeze! (Which needless to say is Toxic.)
When choosing toothpaste for older children, Fluoridated toothpaste is preferred.   Younger children who can reliably spit out toothpaste can use Fluoridated toothpaste however kids who cannot be counted on spitting out things should be using non-fluoridated toothpaste.
Adults who suffer from a dry mouth should use Toothpastes without sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium N-Lauryl sarcosinate which are surfectants. This chemical helps in the foaming action of the toothpaste but dries out your mouth more. You could search online for a SLS Free Toothpaste to see what is available in your area. Biotene and Rembrandt companies make special toothpastes for patients with Dry Mouth. On a side note, patients who suffer from Dry Mouth should not use Alcohol based Mouthwashes such as Listerine or Scope.
“Ugelstad Spheres” named for the Norwegian scientist who invented them are pretty useful for scrubbing teeth and faces. These get washed down the drain and are too small to be filtered. Eventually they end up in the river beds where fish eat them or dissolve in water releasing harmful PCBs. We are not sure how they affect us when eaten and speaking for myself the less plastic I consume, the better!
They do also tend to get stuck in our patients gums after a bout of brushing. Canada and numerous American States have banned them and Colgate, P and G and Unilever have agreed to remove them from their products. As our patient we think you should stop using products containing these products today!
Finally, our patients with sensitive teeth will find some relief by using toothpastes that have either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to help reduce tooth sensitivity. One good way to use them is not use them as a toothpaste but as an ointment. So you would coat them on the sensitive teeth and let the paste sit on the teeth for a few minutes before rinsing off. We find that this gives a better relief than brushing your teeth for a few minutes.
If you have more questions on what toothpaste to use, call our office, Bright Smiles located in Cumming, GA @ (678) 922-8282 or click here to set up a free consultation with a dentist!


Dental Insurance 101

In this blog I would like to explain the basics of dental insurance. Dental Insurance benefits are confusing, some days even to us. We want you to understand your plan well so there is one less thing to worry about when you are in our office.

There are many Dental Insurance companies, primarily Delta Dental, Aetna Dental, Cigna, Guardian, MetLife, United Concordia, BCBS etc. Your Employer negotiates with the Insurance company on the benefits they want you to have. If you feel like your plan is not to your satisfaction you should approach your HR about switching plans if possible.The first thing you need to know about your plan is whether it is a HMO/DMO plan, a PPO plan or a state run plan like Medicaid, Smiles for Children etc. If you have a HMO/DMO plan or a Medicaid or Smiles for Children type of plan you will have to go to an office that is contracted to provide care for patients with this insurance. You will not be able to utilize Dental Insurance benefits from these plans if you choose to go to a non participating provider. In general you will find it harder to find offices that accept these insurance plans.

It is a lot easier to find providers who accept PPO plans and so, you have a greater choice in choosing your provider. Most Dental Offices that accept PPO insurances are either “In Network” “Preferred Providers” or “Out of Network” providers. “In Network” offices are contracted with your Insurance Companies to provide you with treatment at lower reimbursement rates. This reduces the cost for treatment that you have to pay out of pocket. You can use your PPO plans at offices that are not in network. These offices will file for your benefits or help you file for your benefits, but your out of pocket treatment costs might be higher, typically 20% or more. If affordability is your main concern on how you choose a Dental Office, then simply ask if the office is in network or out of network with your Dental Insurance. Out of Network offices might mean higher out of pocket treatment costs for certain procedures.

To find a Dentist near you who accepts your PPO Plan use the links on this page. Just click on the name of your Insurance company and it will take you to the relevant page. Once you choose a Dentist near you who accepts your particular Insurance, these are the things you need to be aware of regarding your plan. Unlike most Medical Plans, most dental plans do not require you to pay an office visit co pay. If you have to go to the Dental Office multiple times you are not required to pay an office visit for each visit.
Most services that you get at a Dental Office are divided into three tiers, called Preventive, Basic and Major. Preventive services are typically your check ups, needed x rays or radiographs and simple cleanings etc. Most Insurances pay the entire cost for these services and you should not be required to pay anything out of pocket. Other services such as Deep Cleanings (Scaling or Root Planing), Fillings and Extractions will be typically included under the Basic category and will be covered anywhere between 50-90% depending on the benefits your employer wanted you to have. Most Insurances will only pay a portion for these services and patients will have some out of pocket expense for Fillings, Deep Cleanings or Extractions. Other times, your “White” or Composite Restorations are not covered but your insurance company will only pay for a “Silver” or Amalgam Filling. This means that you will end up paying more for Composite restorations. These things are in the fine print of your insurance contract and it is best to budget for a bit more when you plan on getting this kind of work done.

Major Services are typically covered at 50%. Root Canal Treatment, Wisdom Teeth Removal, Orthodontic or Braces Treatment, Crowns and Bridges, Dentures are all typically considered as a “Major” category. Insurances will pay a smaller portion for these services and you will be required to pay at least half the cost for the treatment.
These services can be expensive and since there might be clauses in your insurance company contract that do not exclude these benefits, it might be beneficial to have a predetermination to see what the coverage is, before treatment is initiated.
With all this said, please do not choose your provider on the basis of whether they are on your plan or not. You should not entrust your Oral Health in a provider you are not comfortable with. Quality and Comfort are the first reason to go to see your Dentist!

So, I know this was rather boring. My hope is that you understand your insurance a little better and can plan your Dental Budget better! If you need a Cosmetic Dentist, a Family Dentist or a Dentist for your Children who takes your insurance near Cumming, GA (30028, 30041, 30040) / Canton, GA/ Suwanee, GA (30024) / Alpharetta , GA(30004, 30005)/ Johns Creek, GA (30004, 30005)/ Buford, GA or Dahlonega, GA, call my office at (678) 922-8282 or click here to schedule your appointment.

You can use the following links  to see who are some of the dental providers near you!

Delta Dental
Cigna
Metlife or MetDental
Anthem
Smiles for Children
Anthem HealthKeepers
Aetna
Guardian
United Concordia