Tooth decay is the disease known as caries or cavities. Unlike other diseases, however, caries is not life threatening and is highly preventable, though it affects most people to some degree during their lifetime.
Tooth decay occurs when your teeth are frequently exposed to foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars) like soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, cakes, and even fruits, vegetables and juices. Natural bacteria live in your mouth and forms plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods to produce acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or de-mineralizing, the mineral structure of teeth, producing tooth decay and weakening the teeth.
The acids formed by plaque can be counteracted by simple saliva in your mouth, which acts as a buffer and re-mineralizing agent. Dentists often recommend chewing sugarless gum to stimulate your flow of saliva. However, though it is the body's natural defense against cavities, saliva alone is not sufficient to combat tooth decay.
The best way to prevent caries is to brush and floss regularly. To rebuild the early damage caused by plaque bacteria, we use fluoride, a natural substance which helps to re-mineralize the tooth structure. Fluoride is added to toothpaste to fight cavities and clean teeth. The most common source of fluoride is in the water we drink. Fluoride is added to most community water supplies and to many bottled and canned beverages. Also the dentist will often give a prescription of fluoride to those who need an extra boost of protection due to lack of saliva from medications and other medical treatments.
Because we all carry bacteria in our mouths, everyone is at risk for cavities. Those with a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary foods and those who live in communities without fluoridated water are likely candidates for cavities. And because the area around a restored portion of a tooth is a good breeding ground for bacteria, those with a lot of fillings have a higher chance of developing tooth decay.
Children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities.
The best way to combat cavities is to follow three simple steps:
A number of factors determine this; your natural bacteria, your home care habits, any pre-existing health conditions, such as changes in medications, cancer therapies and hormonal these are all considerations. Therefore, the cleaning intervals can vary greatly from person to person. Typically, patients are placed on a 2,3,4,5 or 6 month cycle. At each visit the dentist will evaluate your changing conditions and recommend what is best for you.
X-rays are the best diagnostic tools available for the dentist to see at or below the gum line. To see between teeth and be able to diagnose unseen decay. X-rays help diagnose bone loss, hidden abscesses and defects from past trauma. X-rays also give the dentist an overall view of your entire mouth as a whole. With new digital technology today dental x-rays are much safer than in previous years.
Yes. Bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal disease (gum and bone disease). Healthy gum tissue does not bleed from normal brushing and flossing. Gum disease, if left untreated, can escalate and do irreparable damage to your teeth and bone with eventual tooth loss.
Not necessarily. You may be a candidate for a fixed prosthesis with crown and bridge work or with the help of implants. May be you only need a few extractions and partials. Only an exam with x-rays by a dentist can let you know this. Do not be afraid to get a second opinion.
Usually for the following reasons:
Dr Vaziri is highly trained to provide this service-just ask your Dental Assistant or Dr Vaziri about this.
At Leading Edge we are pleased to offer a variety of financial options to you to help it make affordable for the dental services you need without straining your budget.
For your convenience we accept cash, checks, money orders, MasterCard, Visa and we have a program available for qualified patients with regard to extended payment options. We are excited to offer easy financing options that allow you to have 12 -18 months same as cash (no interest) or extended payment options up to 5 years. We recommend the following financial provider because of their easy application and fast approval process. You can apply online at CareCredit or when you visit our office for a appointment you can apply by phone in just 10 -15 minutes.
Fact: No claims are not read and reviewed by any dentist. A "claims specialist" will review the claim, apply the plan provisions, and process the claim for payment. The only time a dentist reviews a claim is if there is a dispute on the treatment performed. Otherwise your insurance company will pay for the most economical restoration that your plan allows for, and this is called a down grade, rather than the best option for you. It is important to remember that reimbursement and benefit levels are based on what plan your employer has selected. The more money your employer pays the better the plan benefit. Dental insurance plans are a business arrangement between an insurance company and your employer. We as dentists have absolutely no influence on what they will cover and how much they reimburse.
Fact: Dental insurance benefits differ greatly from general health insurance benefits. Medical benefits have gradually increased, while dental insurance benefits have been at a standstill for almost 40 years. In 1971, your dental insurance benefits were approximately $1,000 to $1,500 per year. Some 40 years later, you will note that your benefits are still $1,000 to $1,500 per year. Figuring a 3-5% rate of inflation per year, you should be receiving between $5,000 and $9,000 per year in dental benefits. Your premiums have increased, but your benefits have not. Therefore, dental insurance is never a pay-all; it is only a supplement.
Fact: You may receive notification from your insurance company stating that dental fees are "higher than usual and customary." It is important to understand how they arrive at that figure. An insurance company surveys a geographic area for your zip code, calculates an average fee, takes 80% of that fee, and considers it customary. Included in this survey are discount dental clinics and managed care facilities that bring down the average. Any doctor in a high-quality private practice will have fees that insurance companies define as higher than "usual and customary."
Fact: Many plans tell their participants that they will be covered "up to 80% or up to 100%" but do not clearly specify plan schedule allowance, annual maximum, or limitations. It is more realistic to expect dental insurance to cover 35% to 65% of major services up to the annual maximum. Remember, the amount a plan pays is determined by how much the employer paid for the plan. You get back only what your employer put in. The less your employer paid for the plan, the less you get back.